The Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, so-called independents and many others all clamor on about more jobs. In a recession like we see today, we certainly want to make sure everyone finds fulfilling work and receive decent incomes for their efforts. However, we should not simply create jobs for the sake of creating jobs. The US worker has experienced enormous increases in productivity many fold over the last century. Yet though we would expect increased productivity to mean lower burdens of work for everyone, we have not enjoyed the bulk of the benefits of these productivity gains. Instead we have been forced to work longer hours, more intensely and with more family members entering the workforce than ever before. At the same time the corporatists have attacked workers wages and basic income supports to ensure hourly compensation levels fall while incomes from profits, interest, rents, royalties, and other unearned income rise.

With such dramatic increases in productivity we should experience abundance. Instead we are told by Republicans and Democrats alike that we must be realistic and accept less and less from government, and less and less from the economy. We are told by pundits that we cannot afford to embrace renewable energy nor sustainable transportation and we cannot afford to adequately fund our schools. We are being fleeced by greedy predatory corporatists.

Moreover, it does us no good whatsoever to create jobs for the sake of creating more jobs. If we can produce all we desire with an average twenty hour work week, then it makes no sense to push that beyond twenty hours. When doing so, we turn people into fodder for an insatiable and unquenchable greed. If a two earner household provides 80 hours or more to the commercial economy, when we could all live well with 30 hours or even less, then the rest of our work time gets devoted to cheating one another out of the wealth already produced in the first 30 hours of work. However, with our division of labor, some spend their entire work week producing wealth while others spend their entire work week simply cheating wealth on behalf of their employers. So with the level of productivity we have achieved we must start to gradually reduce the length of our work week and devote more time to non-commerecial production and also to our communities, our significant others, our families, and our friends. To push for more and more jobs without understanding the potentially damaging affects on the economy, the Earth and on the people taking those jobs makes a grave mistake. While someone might pursue a job devoted to finding excuses to deny medical insurance coverage to those in dire need of medical care, we do them nor anyone else any good to fight for them to keep that particular job. We want all those desiring fulfilling and productive work to find it, but we do not want to force work to such an extent that we treat human lives as waste for not other purpose than to concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands.

So our goal cannot just be about creating more jobs which can be environmentally destructive, but about creating good jobs, high-paying jobs that eliminate the need for such pervasive structural household debt, and quality jobs which provide fulfillment and do not interfere with the other crucial aspects of our lives.

I support:

  1. a New Department of Labor program to encourage and foster worker cooperative corporations so that we eliminate the adversarial employer-employee relationship and replace it with a cooperative enterprise where workers decide their own fate democratically and within a republican form of governance.
  2. except for  worker cooperative corporations, imposing a requirement that all other adversarial employers secure a collective bargaining agreement with their employees or face daily punitive fines.
  3. a shortening of the work week to 35 hours through modifications to the Fair Labor Standards act to decrease the overtime pay threshold to 35 hours and expanding coverage of the act to all wage salaried workers except for the officers and directors of an enterprise.
  4. enacting the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to keep employers from meddling in employee collective bargaining representation determinations
  5. increasing unemployment benefits so that employees are not forced into accepting inadequate jobs due to their desperate circumstances
  6. raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour in a gradual phase in and then permanently indexing the minimum wage for inflation thereafter.
  7. ensuring basic income supports reach those in need so that, for example, single parents can raise their children without resorting to low-paying hyper-exploitatie jobs. The work done raising a child is important work performed  without need for a payed job. Instead we must not force needy single parents into welfare-to-work workfare programs which undermines the quality of jobs for all workers by forcing those unable to work into desperate conditions and into the workforce. We should not sacrifice the important work of parenting merely to further enrich hyper-exploitative capitalist corporations.
  8. a requirement for paid family leave and paid personal leave for all workers working for employers employing more than ten employees.
  9. A renegotiation of NAFTA to make sure our trade neighbors improve the standards for their workers too and also allow North American workers to freely seek work anywhere in North America without need of requesting a work visa from the government. A renegotiated NAFTA should also improve environmental and consumer commercial standards throughout the free trade pact region.