Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Create Good Jobs Now:

A bold proposal for meeting human needs through a permanent U.S. employment program.

Sidney Hollander, Ron Baiman, Bill Barclay, Joe Persky, Elce Redmond, Mel Rothenberg. The authors are members of the Chicago Political Economy Group November 9, 2009 In These Times (Web only)

For the last three decades, U.S. public policy makers have operated on the theory that individual entrepreneurial freedoms are essential to the creation of wealth and thus to the well-being of individuals and society as a whole. One of the great failures this "neo-liberal" approach to economics has been its inability to create enough jobs to keep pace with population growth.

Between 2001 and 2007, the working-age population in the United States outpaced job creation by 10 million individuals. Projections indicate that the shortfall will include another 17 million persons by 2016, making a 16-year total of 27 million missing jobs -- 27 million people, in other words, who will have been pushed out of the labor force.

If current trends continue after 2016, labor force participation will have fallen to barely half the working-age population, down from a pre-2000 level of about two-thirds.

The scale of the problem--and program

To confront the growing poverty and social misery that is engulfing the poorest 40 percent of Americans, the United States will require a national jobs program based on significant public investment in the economy. We propose a program that would pay workers the current median wage ($18 per hour), which is a living wage that still allows room for promotions and pay raises. As we will demonstrate, this program can be funded easily by progressive taxes, cuts in defense spending, and taxes on carbon-emitting production.

In the short term, jobs will help people stay in their homes and encourage consumers to begin spending again. In the longer run, a reordering of our economic priorities through public investment and redistribution of access to good jobs will create an economy that serves the needs of all, rather than the wants of a few.

The plan should aim to boost national employment by 3.5 million new jobs each year for five years, for a total of 17.5 million new jobs. This rate of job creation is more than twice the currently projected growth of only 1.5 million jobs per year, which would yield only 7.5 million additional jobs over the five years.
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michael said...

Public investment in the creation of jobs may be one piece of the puzzle, that is an issue that economists still argue about. An even more important issue, however, is removing the legislative obstacles to private sector job creation. According to a study by the former head of the CBO, if congress were to repeal the estate tax, the private sector would add 1.5 million jobs over ten years...and that is just one tax. Imagine the impact of totally restructuring the tax code along rational lines.
To see that study, visit www.estatetaxtruth.org

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