The Economic Future Looks Dark as the Faux Economic Recovery is Primarily Low-Paying Jobs
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All are win-win solutions, but the politics at the federal level aren’t even close to being there.
There are rays of hope, however, in our states and cities. The bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors is calling for quick investment in infrastructure, small business, manufacturing, trade and tourism to create jobs. Renewed activism, like the Wisconsin and Occupy Wall Street protests, is advancing calls for job creation, living wages and a strong safety net for the unemployed. The immigrant community has become a powerful voice for workers’ rights, increasingly winning anti-wage theft campaigns. And diverse coalitions have successfully fought back attempts to weaken state minimum wage laws, as they launch campaigns to raise the minimum wage in more than half a dozen states.
The question, of course, is will it be enough – enough to pierce the bubble of insanity that is holding American politics hostage and put jobs and wages squarely on the front burner of domestic policy. The answer to this question has enormously high stakes, not just for avoiding a second recession, but for the long-term project of building a competitive, sustainable, and just America.
Annette Bernhardt, policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project, is currently on leave as a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.