A Labor Day Message

Paula Bradshaw Calls for Full Employment With a Green New Deal
The United States of America needs a lot of work done. Our infrastructure is in need of repair and modernizing, our inner cities are crumbling, our land and waters need protection and our people need food, water, shelter, health and education.
A lot of work needs to be done, and there are a lot of people who need work. What is the problem? The Humphrey-Hawkins “Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978” specifies that if unemployment rises above 3%, and the private sector is unable to provide needed jobs, then the federal government will step in and initiate projects to employ people.
Since 1978, both Democrat and Republican Presidents and Congresses have ignored this law. It is time to elect Greens to Congress, and renew and update Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s approach to putting America to work, with a Green New Deal.
The original New Deal created national parks, planted trees, provided electricity to rural areas, built post offices, and paid artists to paint murals, writers, musicians and actors to provide entertainment and education, and much more.
Today we need to build on that legacy, and more. We need to refurbish and insulate our existing housing, provide renewable energy and sustainable transportation, rebuild our light and heavy rail systems, restore forests and wetlands, protect our water and topsoil, and take care of our children, disabled and elderly.
With programs like these, we can bring comfort and prosperity to the people of our country, and protect our air, water and land from pollution and destruction.
This is not unaffordable. Through a combination of tax reforms, cutting wasteful military and “security” spending, and, above all, badly needed monetary reform, our federal government can meet its obligation to provide gainful employment to all who need it.
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[O]ur distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered, because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply.

Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True, they have tried. But their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They only know the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933WPA