(image by Wikimedia)
Two-thirds of the American people agree. As a society, we "ought to see to it that everyone who wants to work can find a job." Most Americans also believe the minimum wage should be high enough to enable workers to avoid poverty.
We know how to guarantee every worker a living-wage job opportunity. We can do it easily. There is no good reason not to do it.
When the opportunity to secure a living-wage job is guaranteed, everyone will benefit. The positive effects will ripple throughout society:
*Business owners will benefit from a more prosperous economy.
*Most workers will benefit from higher wages, because employers will pay more to keep trained employees.
*Many workers will be treated with more respect by employers, because workers will have more choices.
*Everyone will benefit from living in a more harmonious, safer society.
*People currently living in poverty will lift themselves out of poverty.
*We can take better care of the environment without worrying about its impact on the economy.
It's hard to imagine any quickly achievable reform that would be more beneficial. To gain that goal, we need to build the embryonic full employment movement. The seeds of that movement have already been planted. Now we need to grow it and develop the grassroots pressure that is needed to be successful.
A full employment movement could be based on the following principles.
A BROAD ALLIANCE
Assuring a living-wage job opportunity is a policy embraced by individuals with widely different political views, because it is a principle that blends valid beliefs from varied perspectives.
We can achieve full employment:
Without increasing the size of the federal government. Rather, the federal government can send money to local governments (where citizens have more impact) to hire public-service workers to meet pressing social and environmental needs.
Primarily by creating private-sector jobs. Initial funding of public-service jobs will increase consumer demand, which will boost the economy. Then, in the upward spiral that follows, private businesses will steadily hire more workers.