A Milk-Carton Campaign for “Missing Workers”

unemployment-line-351Wall Street analysts, corporate lobbyists, and front groups like the US Chamber of Commerce form an exuberant cheering squad for maintaining the status quo of America’s do-nothing jobs policy.

“Hooray!” they shout to our lawmakers, “The unemployment rate is improving!” Waving pom-poms of campaign cash and doing statistical backflips, the pep squad instructs Congress to forget a national jobs program, raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits, etc. “Push ‘em back, Push ‘em back,” they yell!

Well, yes, the official jobless rate has fallen to 7.2 percent, but don’t get giddy, for that’s not the total score. In December 2007, when Wall Street’s reckless greed crashed our economy, the unemployment rate was only about 5%, the average length of being unemployed was half of today’s, and far fewer people were forced into part-time work or had to find multiple jobs to make ends meet. Plus, family income was much higher back then.

But there’s an even more telling statistic that we rarely hear about: “The employment/population ratio.” It tells us the number of working-age adults who’re “in the workforce,” meaning they are employed at least part-time or are looking for jobs. This number has plummeted by five million people since the crash. They’re not working, and they’re not counted as unemployed.

jim hightowerThat’s five million American workers who – Poof! – have just disappeared. If we added these “missing workers,” as they’ve been dubbed, to the number of unemployed and underemployed Americans, no one could cheer Washington’s do-nothing jobs policy.

We need a national “milk carton” campaign, spreading the photos and names of each of these five million missing workers so widely that even Congress would finally recognize that it must do something to boost jobs and wages in our country.

Jim Hightower
America’s # Populist

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Published by the LA Progressive on November 6, 2013
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Jim Hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.

Hightower is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.

He broadcasts daily radio commentaries that are carried in more than 150 commercial and public stations, on the web, and on Radio for Peace International.

See more here: http://jimhightower.com/jim