Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Keep Obama Honest on Economic Justice

As we all know now, the economy is the one issue on the top of our minds. The US has now been in a recession for a year, and there are still concerns that we may slip into a depression.

Already, President-Elect Barack Obama has said he wants to take action on the economy as soon as he's sworn into office. But will he support the real solutions that our economy needs? Well, that's where we step in.

Now is the time for us to ensure that Obama's campaign promises come true. And now with everyone worried about the economy, now is the time to institute the real reforms and investments that are needed to fix what's broken. So where should we begin?

How about the one problem that is actually making our businesses less competitive? And the problem that is squeezing the working class, as people pay so much for so little? Yes, I'm talking about health care. Believe it or not, instituting universal health care can stimulate our economy. With businesses spending less on health care expenses, they can afford to hire more workers and produce more product. And with individuals spending less on inadequate health care, they can have more livable income. We must make universal health care happen, as this can do plenty to improve our people's and our economy's health.

Another great way for us to stimulate the economy will be to invest in infrastructure. And if we want to solve the climate crisis and fix our energy problem while also stimulating our economy, we should start building our green economy infrastructure. Think about it. We need new American jobs, and we need renewable energy. So why not build the solar panels and wind turbines and geothermal plants here so we can accomplish both? Contrary to what the "conventional wisdom" says, good environmental policy can actually go hand in hand with good economic policy. And right now, we need both for the new jobs and the investment. Blue Green Alliance gets it, and so should the new Administration.

And finally, no economy functions properly without a functioning middle class. And for far too long, the corporate right has attacked the middle class. We need to change this, and we can begin by ending the assault on the unions that helped create the American middle class. We must ensure that the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, so that workers will once again be able to choose to form unions. We also must reform the global trade regime to make "free trade" fair as well. Our trade policies must be fair to our workers so they can keep their jobs, but we also must make sure that they are fair to the workers in the developing world. After all, how good is "free trade" if half the world can't afford it?

So there you have it, a more well-rounded economic rescue plan. We need to remember that Wall Street "rescue funds" and Detroit automaker loans are only part of the solution, and so do the incoming President and Congress. Please tell President-Elect Obama to fulfill his pledge to us, and please ask your members of Congress to do the same. They promised change we can believe in, and now's the time for that change to be delivered.


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