I’m throwing this out there after much thought, but also just before leaving town for a week. So I won’t be able to respond right away. The economic incrementalism we Democrats are doing with supposed economic solutions to a broken capitalistic system isn’t working. Jim Hightower and many other fellow populists told you they wouldn’t work and he was right. It is time for radical solutions on behalf of the people.
47 million of us are unemployed, underemployed and in poverty as a result. Some small share of them will not be able to participate in a repaired economy because of infirmity, under education and other social maladies we might not be able overcome. But we can make things right for the huge majority of those in this situation.
Band aids are not working; major rehabilitation of the economic system is the only solution requiring sacrifice by the privileged class. And it is high time that both our local parties and the DNC step up to the task of offering remedies that will get most of America working in life sustaining employment and back in the middle class that was once the envy of the world. Democrats must now address this genuine crisis. Our viability as a society depends on it. Now, not later. Fully, not partially. Here’s what many economic experts propose as the solutions. No, austerity, well and long tested here and in europe prove without any doubt that is not the solution. You can fight over the details. Details do matter.
l. Create the Nixon proposed guaranteed annual income for all American’s. Pay for it by taxing corporations and the very wealthy who will then see the return of the funds in increased sales and purchases. Create a baseline income for a family, below which the guarantee kicks in by some means, like a tax credit or outright cash.
2. Restore public jobs, especially teachers, paid for by both state taxes (you figure out what kind) and for federal jobs, federal taxes. Those salaries will come right back into the economy.
3. Launch a Marshall Plan to fix those broken public schools in inner cities and rural America with state of the art teaching techniques and highly trained teachers prepared to deal with poverty stricken children as well as great classrooms, equipment and spaces.
4. Re-tool our job training programs to address needed skills in our workforce. Yes, fund them heartily, paid for by the very companies who need these skilled employees.
5. Incentivize and yes punish in some cases multi-national companies shipping jobs overseas to get those several million jobs back here. Include incentives to “buy American”.
6. Launch a massive green public works renewal program to address failing roads, bridges, the grid, high speed communications and all dilapidated infrastructure. Hire private contractors to do much of this. Finance through public banks. Make one of the roles of the public bank is to loan money to new industry start ups, especially green industries. All this money will flow back into the economy. Fund in part by a massive reduction in the military budget, including converting military contractors building weapons of destruction into contractors of planet restoring green products.
7. Toughen worker safety and health standards and require robust retirement and health care benefits to contractors. Restrict temporary employment among contractors and for other users of temps, require minimum standards of benefits to be set aside for employees of temp agencies.
8. Revolutionize laws empowering re-unionization of the workforce and severely penalizing companies restricting organizing activity. Require unionized workforces for any federal contractors.
9. Lower recipient age for social security to 55 and restructure cap on s.s. tax upward.This will move retirements earlier and make way for new workforce participants.
10. Increase the minimum wage to $15/hour, affecting 28 million people.
All this should be a 20-25 year program with the promise to those seeing their taxes increase, including corporations, that after the rebuilding era, congress would be required to revisit and reduce taxes if the renewal is working.