Why a Jobs for All demand?

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What are the benefits of a Jobs for All program? 

According to Phillip Harvey, professor of Law and Economics at Yale, not only is a policy of direct government job creation feasible, it is also beneficial.  Such a policy will directly deal with poverty and other social goods.  A national jobs program will also directly “increase national wealth,” allowing the U.S. economy to expand its economic output.[1]


Jobs for all in the U.S.A.?

The United States is already dedicated to full employment, according to federal statute.  The Employment Act of 1946 and Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978 were Congression commitments to using public resources to promote full employment.[2]


Does Raising Taxes on the Wealth Reflect the interests of the 99?

Raising taxes on the highest incomes is already broadly supported in the United States.  According to a September 20, 2011 Gallup Poll, 70% of Americans surveyed reducing corporate loopholes in order to raise revenues, and 66% (2% with no opinion) favored increasing incomes on individuals making $200,000 and families earning at least $250,000.  The same poll found overwhelming support for many of the suggestions of the “Jobs for All” demand, including funding public works and repairing schools (72%) and increasing funding to hire teachers, firefighters, and police officers (75%).[3]  An October 2011 poll by Harrison Group and American Express Publishing found that over half of all families making more than $100,000 a year favor raising taxes on families making more than $500,000 a year.  The number rises to 73% of affluent families supporting higher taxes on families making more than $1 million a year.[4]  Taxing the rich is a widely shared demand.


A “Jobs for All” demand makes sense because it meets the most immediate material needs for the largest number of the 99%.  While other demands are also important and require immediate attention, “Jobs for All” speaks to the needs of a wide range of vulnerable communities.  There are 14 million “officially” unemployed workers in the United States, not including discouraged and underemployed (part time by force) workers.  The rate officially stands at 9.1%.  Demographically, major social groups suffer the following unemployment rates: adult men (8.8 percent), adult women (8.1 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (8.0 percent), African-Americans (16.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent). [5]

[1] Philip Harvey, “Human Rights and Economic Policy Discourse: Taking Economic and Social Rights Seriously,” Columbia Human Rights Law Revie, 33: 466.

[2] Coalition for Social and Economci Justice, “The Case for Full Employment,” December 8, 2008, http://www.jobsandjustice.org/econ-justice/full-employ/cffe.html

[3]Gallup, “Americans Favor Jobs Plan Proposal, Including Taxing the Rich,” September 20, 2011, http://www.gallup.com/poll/149567/americans-favor-jobs-plan-proposals-including-taxing-rich.aspx

[4]Robert Frank, “The Affluent Support Higher Taxes — On the Rich,”  The Wall Street Journal,


[5]Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Economic News Release: Employment Situation Summary,” October 7, 2011. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

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