NEW AD CAMPAIGN CHALLENGES CANDIDATES, MEDIA TO “GIVE US A DEBATE WORTHY OF A GREAT NATION IN TROUBLE”

WASHINGTON – A major new advertising campaign will begin running this week to focus the national debate on important issues at stake in this year’s elections. The ad campaign, sponsored by the Institute for America’s Future, challenges candidates and the nation’s media to “give us a debate worthy of a great nation in trouble,” encouraging Americans to demand a real debate focused on “seven national crises that won’t wait.”

The first in a seven-week series of provocative “op-ed” print ads will appear on Tuesday facing the editorial page of The New York Times. Each ad seeks to provoke widespread discussion of major challenges facing the country. Leaders of the Institute are urging people to take the ads to public meetings, church groups and civic associations – to demand the debate the country needs.

A full-page ad announcing the campaign will appear this week in the main news section of The New York Times and on Tuesday, the first issue ad on how the American Dream is slipping out of reach for more and more families will run on the op-ed page. Other ads in the series will focus on our soaring global debt and financial crises, broken health care system, collapsing public infrastructure, the looming global warming challenge, increasing Robber Baron corruption and the endless occupation of Iraq and the “war on terror.”

Institute for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage said the campaign is designed to change the tone of the debate surrounding the presidential elections.

“These issues are simply too important to be lost in the media frenzy and amid political distractions,” said Borosage. “It is time to shelve the gotcha politics and the horse-race journalism of the past. We’re urging the candidates to confront the major challenges facing our country and the debates to focus on them.”

An electronic copy of the first ad on “reviving the dream” is available online at http://tinyurl.com/american-dream. Text of the ad follows.

REVIVING THE DREAM
#1 In A Series
A Debate Worthy Of A Great Nation In Trouble

“Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true. Or is it something worse.”
–Bruce Springsteen, The River.

The American Dream is on life support. It is not expiring of old age. It is being killed off by calculated policies hostile to working people.

“The fundamentals of the economy are strong,” says the President. The fundamentals of that statement are bunk. Yes, for entrenched corporations, for the rich and for some other privileged souls, this economy works. But for tens of millions of working families, life in 2008 is a hard slog and getting harder by the day.

Costs of living keep rising. Wages don’t keep pace. Savings vanish. Debt builds up. Poverty spreads. Those are the joys of what they told us are “good times.” Now as the economy sours, home values plummet and job losses spread, it will get worse.

And inequalities scream out for change. A typical worker works a whole year to earn what her CEO takes home in one day. A hedge fund billionaire pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The old deal between the people who own the country and the workers who make it go has been busted. It’s time to cut a new one. Here are three places to start:

Over the last seven years profits and productivity soared. But workers didn’t see the benefits. This is a question of power. It’s time to empower workers to organize at the workplace and crack down on employers who trample their rights.

Corporations are shredding promises they made on health care and pensions. It’s time to forge a new social contract – health care, paid vacation and sick leave, pensions and a decent minimum wage – and enforce it.

When the economy is at full employment, workers can demand a fair share of prosperity. Make full employment the central target of our economic policies, with government acting, when necessary, as employer of last resort.

What do you think? Don’t stay silent. Join the debate at www.ourfuture.org.

INSTITUTE FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE
For more go to www.ourfuture.org.

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**NOTE: To obtain an electronic copy of the “Reviving The Dream” ad, please visist http://tinyurl.com/american-dream. For background information and additional resources for each ad, please visit www.ourfuture.org.**