Almost absent from the dominant discussion of the federal stimulus package (and bailouts) is any attempt at progressive change that goes beyond the surface of ‘what we buy.’ I spoke yesterday about tying taxpayer expenditures to a living wage – but I’ve been thinking about this type of thing for a while agreeing with Matthew Yglesias’ sense of “enormous progressive opportunity” in the federal spending.
What I lacked was some sort of comprehensive policy to latch on to – so I went searching and, thanks to Kathleen Mulligan-Hansel of The Partnership for Working Families, I’ve found it. They call it “A New Urban Agenda for America” – but there’s nothing particularly “urban” about desiring a living wage; or union rights; or expanding opportunity through job training for jobs with a future; or incorporating quality, environmental and safety standards into jobs; or most of the other ideas for expanding the middle class through “high road” quality jobs that make society better. Read it.
Now that you’ve read it – take action. The stimulus is too valuable to waste on status quo stagnation and decline.
1. Contact Your Senators and
A “Sense of the Senate” amendment is far from as binding as I’d like – I wish I could find more – but how we can spend close to $1 trillion in stimulus (likely as part of trillions of dollars in stimulus and bailouts) and not do better for America’s working families? We have to do what we can do now – and then do more, much more. America will save its “economy” – the question too few are asking is will we save the middle class along with it. Ask the question, join the discussion, and then demand answers.