Our jobs crisis didn’t happen overnight. And it didn’t happen by accident.
We’re paying the price for a system that for too long valued wealth over work, ignored the warning signs of crisis, and failed to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.
80 years ago, we found ourselves facing similar challenges. A reckless financial system crashed our economy—leaving millions without jobs, without homes, and without hope.
But we know what happened next.
President Roosevelt created the New Deal and he did it by empowering Frances Perkins to shake things up across government and business. She worked around the clock to not only put people back to work—but to build an entirely new economy.
She focused on innovative public works programs to put millions of people back to work quickly and efficiently.
And she ensured workers could share in the productivity of a growing new economy by protecting their freedom to join unions—laying the foundation for the greatest middle class the world has ever seen.
If we are going to come out of our current crisis stronger and better prepared for the challenges of a 21st century economy, we need someone to take charge, to focus—24/7—on job creation until we see results.
It’s time for President Obama to empower the 21st century Francis Perkins, someone to speak for him and someone who has the authority across government to shake things up. It’s time to create a country that works for all of us. And that starts with jobs.
Creating jobs isn’t rocket science. We just need the political will, courage and determination to make it happen.
Now it’s time to get to work.
- We need to extend the safety net, including increasing unemployment insurance and expanding work sharing programs to provide unemployment benefits for reduced hours of work. and
Expanding the home retrofitting programs begun under the Recovery Act will create good jobs in construction and related industries. Including commercial and public buildings would increase the scope of the program, create high skilled jobs, and protect the planet by reducing demand for energy. By acting now, America can lead the way on green technology.
We can do this without breaking the bank or increasing the deficit over a ten year period.
It’s time for Wall Street and the financial industry to pay back their debt to our society. Wall Street must do its part by paying a speculators tax on their obscene profits and transactions. This tax can fund the entire program over ten years.
This isn’t a hard ask. After the trillions in taxpayer investments to bail them out, the excessive profits of firms like Goldman Sachs, and the $150 billion in compensation and bonuses the top six banks plan to dole out this year, this is a small price for Wall Street to pay.
The American people demand action.
People like Ferol Wagner, an 81 year old widow who lost her life savings when the market crashed. Like Keith Scribner, who lost his job when a bank liquidated the 60 year old business he worked for. And Maria Guerra, whose brother lost his job, fell behind on his mortgage payments, and had to sign the home Maria helped him purchase over to the bank.
We were together in Chicago recently with thousands of other Americans to demand an end to an economy that puts Wall Street and corporate CEOs ahead of the rest of us. We were there to demand that the leaders we elected work 24/7 to create the relief our families need.
We can solve this crisis. We can right the wrongs of our economy.
But only with real focus and leadership that ensures everyone does their part.
And only if we get to work today.