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"Fake Political Crises and Real Economic Crises - A Call for Leadership and for Action"

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  • Rick Kisséll
    Fake Political Crises and Real Economic Crises - A Call for Leadership and for Action AFL-CIO Executive Council Statement Washington, DC 8/3/11 The United
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2011
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      Fake Political Crises and Real Economic Crises - A Call for Leadership and for Action

      AFL-CIO Executive Council Statement
      Washington, DC
      8/3/11

      The United States is in a continuing and severe jobs crisis. Our economy
      is growing at less than 2 percent per year, and growth is slowing.
      Official unemployment is 9.2 percent and rising—driven now by mass
      layoffs of teachers, first responders and other public employees. The
      real unemployment rate is almost twice as high—once labor market
      dropouts and involuntary part-time work are taken into account.

      It doesn't have to be this way. There are real solutions to the jobs
      crisis, but real solutions require government action.

      Yet Washington is inexplicably focused on measures that will make the
      situation worse—both in the short and long run. Our nation's leaders are
      offering working people the choice between bad and worse policies.
      Instead of addressing our profound economic crisis, they are adding to
      it an unending series of fake political crises.

      Real wages have been stagnant for three decades and are now falling. The
      housing market, the largest market of any kind in our country, continues
      its downward slide, driven by the collapse of an enormous bubble.
      Millions of American families have been or will be thrown out of their
      homes by banks, guaranteeing that this drag on our economy will continue
      for the foreseeable future. Our trade deficit keeps growing. We invest
      less and less in our nation's infrastructure while unemployment in
      construction is nearly double the national average. Veterans return home
      and struggle to find work. Our education budgets at every level are
      shrinking, and fewer and fewer of us have adequate health insurance or a
      pension.

      Republican congressional leaders have made their agenda crystal
      clear—paralyze the government and hold our economy hostage until a
      multitrillion-dollar ransom is paid to their contributors in the form of
      tax cuts for the wealthy and for multinational corporations. They will
      not rest until they have succeeded in dismantling the American
      government and the American Dream—so their wealthy contributors can be
      sure that their taxes will remain the lowest in the developed world for
      the remainder of their days.

      Unfortunately, far too many Democrats have been either silent or
      complicit in the Republicans' scheme. We expect Democrats at every level
      of government to stand tall for progressive principles, working families
      and the American labor movement. We need their leadership—not their
      excuses or apologies.

      But this agenda has been clear for years. The congressional Republicans
      are doing nothing more than escalating the Bush agenda—using the
      disingenuous rhetoric of fiscal responsibility to transfer wealth to the
      rich, dismantle the social safety net and increase the deficit. If our
      country is going to have a bright and fair future, we need a completely
      different direction—toward a high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity
      economy, driven by investment in our workforce and our infrastructure,
      and our public services.

      There is no way to fund what we must do as a nation without bringing our
      troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The militarization of our foreign
      policy has proven to be a costly mistake. It is time to invest at
      home....


      http://www.aflcio.org/mediacenter/prsptm/08032011.cfm














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