Posted by rflacks on:
Responding to the ongoing jobs crisis:
The American Federation of Teachers urges support for a congressional measure aimed at saving 300,000 teaching jobs at all levels:
The Keep Our Educators Working Act (S. 3206) provides $23 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This program has helped mitigate some of the recession's most harmful effects on our nation's public education system. The Local Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4812) represents a broader approach to helping localities in distress by providing additional funding for local jobs, but it also includes $23 billion for the SFSF program. There's an attempt to tie this to the wr appropriations measure: ask your congressperson to demand a separate vote.
Regrettably, at the moment both pieces of legislation have stalled and the best chance to attain the funds needed to save jobs this fall is through attaching this spending to an emergency spending bill. There is growing opposition to providing money for educators, so congressional leaders need to hear that members of Congress support the inclusion of funding for this purpose in the emergency spending bill being developed. A simple and public way for members of Congress to demonstrate their support publicly is by signing onto a letter being circulated by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, which calls for the $23 billion to be included in the emergency spending bill being developed.
And here's an idea that came to me after watching a PBS documentary on the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC employed millions of young men to save the land and the forests. Why not a similar sort of program to save the Gulf Coast? A way to create jobs, help restore the devastated region, and engage the people.
Finally-the best online source for understanding the jobs crisis is the website of the Economic Policy Institute. Once you go there you will see how most of what you read in the mainstream press on economic policy is pernicious nonsense. And you will get some very practical understanding of alternative policy proposals that help working people.
Finally, let me repeat my recommendation made in an earlier blog post. Go study this website: Community Wealth. How can communities build wealth without depending on corporate domination?