Putting America Back to Work

Posted by Al Hathaway Saturday, September 18, 2010

A local publication has asked me to contribute an op ed article on the importance of work for individuals, families and communities.

After applying the principles of "trickle down" economics, the Obama Administration recognizes that now is the time to pump money into the United States economy from the bottom up.

The Obama Administration listened to the cries of Wall Street and funded an historic bail-out for corporations. The bail-out operated on reasoned assumption (theory) that once those corporations reduced their toxic debt and improved their balance sheets, they would hire new employees and increase production.


The assumption did not manifest the outcomes intended. Instead corporations freed from toxic debt, reduced their workforces, banked the cash, raised prices and then realized that they could increase production with less employees. The employees who were fortunate to retain their jobs worked harder, producing more, and actually earning less. The workers began performing multiple functions which in the minds of the corporate interests mitigated the need for hiring new personnel.

Now the Obama Administration intends to pump money into the economy in sectors that require industries and agencies to hire workers: bridge and highway construction, tunnel maintenance and upgrade, and other public sector jobs that require additional people power. While this activity is good and has value for improving our infrastructure, I'm not certain that hiring practices of the corporations which will benefit from this increase in business will actually reach into the America's inner city communities and hire new personnel.

Multi-million dollar capital improvements in poverty stricken communities. Job training, skill development and work opportunities for local residents are essential for the economic upturn in American cities.

The Obama Administration will do well by implementing programs to ensure that human capital in inner city neighborhoods and communities is not ignored and wasted.


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