Cross-posted from Smirking Chimp
We got the discussion of income inequality going. We have achieved minimum wage increases and paid sick days in several cities and states. The National Labor Relations Board is functioning and we even saw labor-movement gains in the South this week. We have held back (so far) the drumbeat for big cuts in corporate taxes they're calling "tax reform."
Now it's time to put our demand for full employment policies on the table. And guess what -- it's a great way to win elections!
What would it mean in people's lives if there were more job openings than people? Right now people suffer terrible job fear that forces them to accept pay cuts, benefit cuts, extra hours and other things that increase profits for the giant corporations.
Think about the huge change in the mood and structure of the country if employers had to fight to get employees. If your boss couldn't find the people needed to do the work and knew that you had three job offers, you might be getting a raise instead of a pay cut -- and you would know that, too.
It has been a while, but imagine the situation in our economy if working people had the upper hand. This is what full employment would mean. And it is possible to achieve full employment -- but only if We the People decide to just go ahead and pursue this, through our government.
How To Get To Full Employment
There are so many things we could be doing to bring about full employment. For example, this is the record of the 2009 "stimulus." We were losing more than 800,000 jobs a month in the wake of the 2008 recession; then because of "government spending" we were gaining 100,000-250,000 jobs a month. Look at this chart and think, "No wonder Republicans don't want more government spending to create jobs."
Government spending in a democracy is by definition things we do to make our lives better. This chart shows that it can do just that.
In Front Of Congress Now
In front of Congress right now there is H.R. 2821, the American Jobs Act. The American Jobs Act expands on that stimulus package and repeals the sequester. It does a number of things to improve conditions for workers, including cutting taxes for working Americans, restoring emergency unemployment insurance, investing in infrastructure, and helping to put unemployed Americans back to work. First and foremost, it gets started on fixing out infrastructure with grants for airport projects, air traffic control systems, highway and bridge rehabilitation, high-speed rail projects, Amtrak, and various other transit projects.
Republican leadership is keeping this bill from a vote in the House because it would pass. There is a discharge petition to force it to come to a vote. Call your member of Congress ask tell them you want them to sign the discharge petition for H.R. 2821, the American Jobs Act.
I wrote about a previous version of this bill in 2012. That version was also blocked by the Republicans.