Americans Need a Job

labor day bluesWorkers are the backbone of America but the backbone has been aching for some time and needs immediate and serious attention – through job creation policies.

On Labor Day this year, the Economic Policy Institute reports that over 14.9 million American workers remain unemployed while food services and home health aides, vocations that pay only slightly more than minimum wage, are the fastest growing jobs in the United States. In San Diego County, one-third of working families do not earn $13.13 an hour, which is the minimum amount required to meet basic needs.

Often the unemployed feel rejected while chronic joblessness drains charitable and non-profit resources and diminishes local government’s ability to provide safety net social services for families. During these harsh economic times many households are worried about losing their homes or health insurance, and stressed out about being able to feed their family or meet financial obligations. The effect of low paying jobs and chronic unemployment is more than merely an economic issue to all Americans – it strikes at the heart and soul of our families and weakens our communities.

Real prosperity in America can only be generated from the ground up through employment from jobs that produce goods and services — by real labor. When workers earn, their income enters the stream of commerce and is spent on housing, and in retail stores, local restaurants, and car dealerships and other businesses. In turn, American jobs generate income for our cash-strapped local governments to pay for public services such as fire protection, schools, libraries, transportation and waste and water treatment plants.

As the national jobless rate rises and wages fall, we must contemplate actions which put Americans back to work and into higher paying jobs. Our nation’s job policies should focus on creating infrastructure jobs, retrofitting buildings and revitalizing manufacturing and other plants because these jobs require U.S. labor. These jobs will secondarily produce delivery, clerical, and other various skill-level jobs.

Job creation must be accomplished through partnership with private, public and labor segments. Because the government plays an important role in helping to finance jobs through state and national economic policy and legislation, Americans must demand that economic policies provide the framework to create good paying jobs at home during the next decade with the least amount of outsourced labor and materials.

A solid way to build our economy that goes far beyond mere job creation is to commit $100 billion annually in public investments over the next decade for energy-saving retrofit jobs. The Economic Policy Institute’s April 2009 report asserts this investment “would yield an increase of $160 billion in output over the next two years which translates into 1.1 million jobs created.”

Retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficient techniques and equipment and retooling our manufacturing industries provides immediate jobs and decreases environmentally induced illnesses.

tracy-emblemAs a nation, rebuilding our outdated energy, transportation, communication, sewage and water infrastructures and manufacturing plants with investment from national, state and private sources will substantially impact our long term economic development and is a matter of national security.

On Labor Day, while many will spend leisurely time with friends and family, be sure to forward this article to your local state and federal representatives and remind them — there are over 14.9 million Americans without jobs — Americans need a job.

Tracy Emblem

Tracy Emblem is an attorney in Escondido.


  1. Mad Jayhawk says

    A great American president once said “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”. Now we have another American who seems to saying to us “Government is the solution to our problem; the American People are the problem.” We have elected people who think that the American People are too stupid to handle their own problems and only government bureaucrats can save us.

  2. Pat Kirk says

    * Women would be hired as secretaries, but NOT in a professional field
    * Laboring workers wore required to work 12 hour days, 7-8 days a week
    * Workers were given BELOW living wages, no unemployment insurance, social security, nor medical insurance, no vacation days


    • Roger says

      Dear Pat,

      The reason those things are not common anymore is because people fought for them not because the government made it law. If anything the only thing politicians know how to do is to delay the true equilibrium of wage wars. If you do not allow the people to fight for what they are worth no the effort is not respected.

      This is why many do not respect unions. This is why many do not like black people! This is why the Depression has taken so long to hit rock bottom.

      We say we value education so much but many of us do not understand that we cannot expect for people who do not respect it to engender the same respect to their progeny and community.

      Authoritatively forced law is ineffective for those who do not respect the authority will act or engender mistrust and hatred towards it.

      “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. ”
      – Vince Lombardi

      Problem is we think we cannot win with our “enemy”.

  3. Ryder says

    Governent policies dont create jobs. Now, government can invent make-work tasks that make people at leas appear to be busy… But busy making does not add to an economy, and in fact represents a burden to the true economy and the productive portion of society.

    Government failure actually hinder the natural creation of work…

    For example, it used to be the case that if you wanted to pay someone to, say, be a ranch hand, you could enter a private agreement with a person…

    Today, you can’t make a free agreement… Government says you have to offer a minimum wage, and that you have to keep records, report incomes, submit to OSHA regulations, collect social security and other taxes, undergo inspections, offer specific benefits, expose yourself to workplace litigation including fair hiring practices, hostile work environment legislation, and countless others….

    You get the picture.

    Government is a MASSIVE job killer… is crushing our economy… and prompting a mass exodus of jobs outside our borders.

    History shows, clearly, that centrally controlled job markets result in depressed if not tragically imploded work/life prospects for citizens.

  4. bigbadjohn says

    yes america needs jobs….you would have to be blind not to see that. this is something obama should have been hawking all along. but the democrats dont have a strategy for that. the repubes have been somewhat talking about jobs but they dont have a clue either. sorry i cant offer anything myself, as i believe this country is about at the end of its run. yes i’m a pessimist. show me something to be optimistic about, and dont say the stock market. thats the playground of the rich and i’m far from that.

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