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Nathan Newman on October 11, 2008 - 2:09pm
Working conditions for a substantial part of the U.S workforce have declined markedly in recent decades. Wages have stagnated for most workers and have fallen for the most vulnerable populations in our society. State leaders can work to reverse this decline and rebuild the American Dream through a number of key programs.
- Wage Standards and Workplace Freedom programs should raise Wage Standards such as the minimum wage, create strong Wage Law Enforcement to ensure that people receive the wages they legally are owed, Protect Workplace Speech and Freedom to Form Unions to strengthen the ability of workers to organize for better work conditions on their own behalf, Strengthen Employer Responsibility for Health Care to protect families from the rising costs of health care, and establish Just Cause Protection for Employees to eliminate arbitrary treatment or firings of employees.
- Fair Trade Deals should raise labor standards globally and encourage a cycle of higher wages and greater consumer demand, driving job creation across the world. States should have a clear role in oversight and development of new trade laws.
- Unemployment & Retraining reform requires first Unemployment Insurance Reform to include many part-time or other workers left out of the system, a strengthening of Training Programs to provide help on finding new job help, and provision for creating new Government Jobs when private sector jobs are not being generated in sufficient numbers to employ all the unemployed.
- Tax Policies that Rewards Work are needed especially to help low-wage workers who have seen their wages decimentated by the global economy.