Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stop the presses > Public opposes cuts in social programs

One important constituency isn't down with Slash and Burn for public education, health care and social programs -- the public.

President Obama must strike modest tone in speech - USATODAY.com:

"...Polls show Obama may have support for his investments. Given nine potential areas from which to cut, those polled by USA TODAY/Gallup this month favored only one: foreign aid. Majorities opposed cuts in education, the arts, antipoverty and farm programs, defense, homeland security, Medicare and Social Security.

'We need to invest trillions more to build the 21st-century infrastructure necessary for our nation's and our planet's future,' AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says. 'We should be hiring more great teachers ... not firing them because our states are out of cash.'"

Drive for Decent Work comment:

Let's be clear. If the Congress continues on a trajectory to cut off financial aid to states and strangle discretionary public sector spending, hundreds of thousands of teachers, health care workers and municipal workers are going to lose their jobs. The resulting escalation in costs for unemployment assistance and collapse in consumer spending will feed the downward spiral.

The states have been mugged by Wall Street, and the thieves are getting away without even paying civil damages, or even getting their limousines towed.

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Unemployment: A Jobs Deficit or a Skills Deficit?

Unemployment: A Jobs Deficit or a Skills Deficit? | Dollars and Sense

Politicians and economists are trying to reframe a severe jobs crunch as a problem of workers’ inadequate skills.

By John Miller and Jeannette Wicks-Lim

"...The only problem is that this [skills mismatch] explanation is basically wrong. The weight of the evidence shows that it is not a mismatch of skills but a lack of demand that lies at the heart of today’s severe unemployment problem."

Read rest of article

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

MLK's Legacy - Let's Launch a People's Campaign for the Unemployed

Vision: MLK's Legacy -- Let's Launch a People's Campaign for the Unemployed | Economy | AlterNet:

Blog for our Future, by Isiaih J. Poole

Vision: MLK's Legacy -- Let's Launch a People's Campaign for the Unemployed
With a conservative House trying to box Obama into stymying job creation, we need a dramatic confrontation on behalf of the 27 million who are unemployed or underemployed.
"When Martin Luther King Jr. gave the sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington on March 31, 1968 to highlight the Poor People's Campaign he was organizing for later that spring, unemployment was hovering just under 7 percent—for African Americans. The nationwide average was under 4 percent.

Last week the Labor Department reported unemployment rates that were more than double that—9.4 percent nationally; 15.8 percent for African Americans."

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