This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF. Note: See also Isaiah Poole’s We Need An Unemployed People’s Campaign
Why don’t we all have a right to a job? Who is our country and our economy for? The first three words of our Constitution provide us with a hint: “We, the People.”
There are millions of people out of work and millions of jobs that need doing. The jobs that need doing pay for themselves because they make our economy more competitive, like modernizing our infrastructure and improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Millions Of People Out Of Work
Here is The Chart (from Calculated Risk.)
The following two charts are from this analysis. They are unemployed over 26 weeks and part time for economic reasons (underemployed) Millions Of Jobs That Need Doing
Since the Reagan-era tax cuts caused us to defer maintaining out infrastructure we have fallen behind much of the world in economic competitiveness. Modernizing ports, roads, rail, airports, Internet, wireless, water, sewer, schools… Retrofitting buildings and homes to be energy efficient would save us from buying so much oil from the Middle East. So would building wind, solar, electric car charging stations, efficient power grids, etc.
Meanwhile our economic competitors, countries like China and Germany and India, have been investing in their people and building modern infrastructure like crazy. Other countries are investing, educating, improving public services because they know these things make the economy explode later, paying dividends for decades. The Right To A Job
Robert Borosage wrote this week about the 67th anniversary of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights,
How does America dig out of the hole we are in? Surely the focus must be on first principles: how do we recreate an economy that works for working people? With the right talking about a return to the principles of the Constitution, it is worth remembering how Americans thought about first principles coming out of the last great economic calamity.
Among the rights FDR proposed: “The right to a useful and remunerative job…”
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists.”
“If a man doesn’t have a job or an income he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness, he merely exists.” “All labor has dignity.” “It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.” “… bridge the gulf between the haves and the have nots .. we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty.” Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.
Looks like the vote is tomorrow. This is really important to a lot of PEOPLE.
I received this:
Right now it looks like:
* Murkowski is leaning yes
* Lugar (IN), Bennet (UT) will vote yes
* Tester, Baucus, Nelson (NE) are likely no’s on the D side. Tester in particular has enjoyed netroots support and should feel some pain for this.
People monitoring closely think we’re within 4 votes on this.
There’s a number that will randomly assign you to someone we’re trying to persuade if you call: 866-587-6101.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.
“Who could have known?” That’s the cry from the big-corporate and DC elite as the economy and the environment and so many imporant things crash around us. (Around us, not them, they’re doing just fine and taking good care of each other.)
Who could have known that 25%-per-year house price increases was a bubble?
Who could have known that a housing bubble could burst?
Who could have known that deregulating the financial industry could lead to a financial meltdown?
Who could have known that concentration of wealth could cause consumer demand to dry up?
Who could have known that huge tax cuts for the rich combined with huge military spending increases could cause massive budget deficits?
Who could have known that the Social Security trust fund needed a “lockbox” so it wouldn’t be given away as tax cuts?
Who could have known a deregulated deep-water well could cause a massive, destructive, uncontrolled underwater gusher?
Who could have known that continuing to put carbon into the air would cause problems for the climate?
Who could have known that moving our factories out of the country would lead to high unemployment and structural trade deficits?
Who could have known that invading Iraq was wrong and a deadly, disastrous, costly, long-term mistake?
Who could have known that a too-small stimulus that focused on tax cuts wouldn’t turn the economy completely around and then conservatives would claim that the stimulus “killed the recovery?”
(List continues into infinity…) Add organized labor to the list of those who got it right, time after time.
Organized labor was right about the 40-hour workweek.
They were right about the middle class.
They were right about the weekend.
They were right about paid vacations.
They were right about paid holidays.
They were right about paid sick leave.
They were right about providing good, secure retirement plans for everyone.
They were right about providing unemployment benefits to tide people over.
They were right about providing maternity leave, child care and family leave for families.
They were right that trade agreements like NAFTA and letting China into the WTO would lead to massive trade deficits and job losses.
They were right about workplace and consumersafety.
They were right about keeping manufacturing in America.
They were right about fighting discrimination in the workplace.
They were right about raising the minimum wage and the effect that low-wage policies would have on the economy.
They were right about the effect of excessive CEO pay on the economy.
They were right about the devastating effect of the Bush tax cuts.
They were right about the need to maintain and modernize our country’s infrastructure.
They were right about going green.
They were right ab out the dangers of Wall Street’s financialization of the economy.
They were right about providing good health care to everyone.
They were right about strengthening, not cutting Social Security.
They were right about democratizing corporate governance.
They were right about fighting privatization.
They were right about fighting deregulation.
They were right about providing good education opportunities to everyone.
They were and are right that we need a national jobs agenda Labor was right about people joining together instead of being on our own. (List continues into infinity…) They were right and they continue to be right.
And unions have been fighting for these things for all of us, not just for their members. Please add to these lists in the comments! What other things could nobody have known, and what other things did labor get right? Enjoy Labor Day. In fact, for those of you that still have jobs after the decades of conservative policies, enjoy having weekends off, the 40-hour week, paid vacations, sick pay, health care, etc. And if you have a job but don’t have those things … JOIN A UNION!
P.S. Here’s an example of being right:
There were large immigration rallies in cities across the country today. 50-100,000 people marched in LA.
Do you think now there will be wall-to-wall coverage in the news for months now, like there has been for the Tea Party events?
Here’s the question: WHY not?
Turning out those so-called “surge” voters — who turned out for the first time to back Obama, but who sat out gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia last year — has become the Democrats’ central pre-occupation for the midterm elections, and the new Democratic effort to nationalize the election around Obama and his agenda mark an attempt to energize those voters.
Currently there are over 3000 comments to the Politico story, like:
“Pathetic…the very people who are his “base” are the ones who are the problem, the non-producers, the takers. These are the people who pay no taxes. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic.”
Ahhh, the opening shot to garner the Hispanic vote as they work their amnesty legislative blitzkrieg through Congress, continuing their Socialistic attack on the Republic.
The racist president at it again. This white hating man should be thrown from power now, he does not reprent the American people, he represents hatred.
And 3000 more like those. Of course it’s all over talk radio. Rush Limbaugh chimed in at length. And, of course, Fox News. Of course the RW blogs (scroll down to a list of other blogs just linking to this one post). Wash. Times.
So … was President Obama “playing the race card” by appealing to those who were first-time voters in 2008? Are women even a “race?” Are right-wingers idiots?
Media Matters has more.
Given a national platform by Fox News, retired Air Force Lt. General Tom McInerney says it is really time to crack down on the kind of people who commit terrorist acts,
“We have to use profiling. And I mean be very serious and harsh about the profiling.”
I can’t imagine how they are going to be able to handle intensely searching anyone who looks like or has a similar background to Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Scott Roeder, …
… oh, wait, he doesn’t mean those terrorists. They don’t count, for some reason.
He means only racial and religious profiling. Even though most terrorism here has come from white right-wingers. He continues, on his Fox News national platform,
“If you are an 18 to 28-year-old Muslim man then you should be strip searched,” he said. If we don’t do that, we’re going to lose an airliner, he explained.
So it isn’t about keeping us safe from people who are known to have committed terrorism at all, it’s all about going after people because of their race and religion. And Fox News gives this bigotry a national platform. Shame.
am in DC for the America’s Future Now! conference. Last night there was a spontaneous vigil in Dupont Circle for Dr. Tiller, killed by a right-wing terrorist. About 100 people showed up on very short notice from a Facebook, Twitter and emailed announcement a few hours earlier. Here is a picture, (taken in the dark with a cell phone):