Former RAF medic and entreprenueur Kayam Iqbal is battling to help ex-services men and women find jobs in the civilian world.
“And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became the truth.” ~ George Orwell, 1984 (published in 1949)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was in town yesterday (specifically, at Stanford’s Hoover Institute where he could surround himself with sympathetic Republicans) to tell this whopper: “Cutting the federal deficit will create jobs.”
It’s not true. Cutting the deficit will creates fewer jobs. Less government spending reduces overall demand. This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding back (continue reading…)
On Wednesday the Republicans on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee are holding a “public” hearing about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Penn. Except they’re not there to listen to the public and people like Pennsylvania’s Stacie Ritter, whose family had good insurance and still had to file for bankruptcy because of massive medical bills.
Stacie and her husband Ben had to pay huge fees for the treatments their twin little girls, Hannah and Madeline, needed when they were diagnosed with leukemia. At the same time, Ben had to take time from work to help care for the twins and their other children (continue reading…)
When you are faced with a career change, and you’re not quite sure where you want to go, don’t waste time speculating. Sell yourself, get real offers and then decide.
We all face times of transition. Sometimes these changes are planned, such as graduating from college or pre-set retirement. Sometimes they are unplanned, such as dismissal from a job or company bankruptcy (continue reading…)
Remembering Women’s History Month and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, New Deal 2.0 tells the surprising story of how women became citizens. As author and Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Ellen Chesler reveals, the long journey is far from over.
It’s hard to fathom today, but for most of human history, and even into our own time, it was simply assumed that women had no need to acquire identities or rights of our own — except, of course, those enjoyed by virtue of our relationships with men.
This principle was central to defining American women’s claims on citizenship at the country’s founding. And it stuck around at the heart of the long and fierce opposition women encountered in seeking rights to inheritance and property, to suffrage, and most especially, to control over our own bodies through legal access to birth control and abortion — a right now ever precarious (continue reading…)
Millennials can’t catch a break. They are criticized for not paying their dues (leaving a job that doesn’t fulfill them), yet advised to find their “passion” (leaving to find a job that fulfills them). Before the recession it was career “suicide” to stay in a job too long, so flipping jobs was by choice. Now, with the job market yet to fully recover and unemployment for 20-somethings still outpacing that of the general population, it’s by default (continue reading…)
New York City’s Department of Homeless Services’ Advantage program aims to assist families in making a permanent transition from shelter to self-sufficiency by providing a rent subsidy for one to two years once they leave shelter. To maintain their eligibility, Advantage program participants are required to work at least part time and contribute 30 percent of their gross monthly income toward rent in the first year, and if they qualify, 40 percent in the second year.
While receiving an Advantage subsidy is premised on a parent’s ability to obtain and retain a job, without at least a high school equivalency diploma (known as the General Education Development Exam or GED), the road to gainful employment and self-sufficiency will be riddled with potholes. Homeless parents — almost 50 percent of whom are high school dropouts — require tools, such as a GED, to solidly begin down the road to self-sufficiency.
While funding Advantage is clearly better than having no significant subsidy in place, the city’s housing policies must be linked to cost-effective investments in education (continue reading…)
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
A “report” from Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee says that the path to job creation is cutting … the very things that create jobs. This is like saying that cutting taxes increases revenue (continue reading…)
Even as President Obama and members of Congress celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I doubt they will dwell on the worst chapter in the history of the Emerald Isle — the Irish Famine of 1846 to 1850.
Yet shamrock-sporting politicians everywhere should pay heed to the depths of that calamity. An inadequate response and misplaced priorities of the government in London added immeasurably to the tragedy (continue reading…)
The president should declare that he would sign a bill that contains substantial additional budget cuts — but only if it sets a trigger that activates them automatically after the unemployment stays at or below 7 percent for six months.
One can set the unemployment rate at some other figure (say, 7.25 percent) or the trigger period at some other interval (three months?), but the main features must remain: the recognition that (a) additional budget cuts at this point may stall the economic recovery, (b) unemployment is unacceptably high, (c) as the economy grows stronger, we must attend to the deficits in earnest, and (d) the president is irrevocably committed to attending to both jobs and deficit-cutting.
One may quibble and ask: what if there is some great disruption? Say, oil prices rise to $200 a barrel or… or… Congress of course could reverse itself, but the president should sign such a bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
Note that according to a February 2011 Gallup poll, 35% of Americans felt unemployment was the most important problem facing America; only 11% said the same of the deficit.
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Democratic Members of Congress, through the Democratic Caucus New Media Working Group, will be participating in a Congressional Twitter Town Hall, Thursday (tomorrow), from noon-1 PM EST, and I wanted to personally invite you to join us. We’re taking questions with the #AskDems hashtag. You’ll be able to follow Democratic responses here.
We’re focusing on budget issues and spending priorities (continue reading…)
Washington is afflicted with its own version of March madness, and we’re not talking college basketball. Call it a severe case of attention disorder. Washington has forgotten that 25 million Americans remain in need of full time work – a human calamity and national emergency.
When the Campaign for America’s Future (which I help direct) convenes its Jobs Summit on March 10 to address what to do about jobs, it will have to pierce through a bipartisan clamor about cutting spending.
“The American people want the government to stay open and they want us to cut spending” House Speaker John Boehner trumpets, apparently forgetting that he just campaigned across the country bellowing “Where are the jobs?” In Washington, the argument is about less – how much and what to cut (continue reading…)
Weekly Audit: Standoff Continues in WisconsinBy Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger The 14 Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin to thwart the passage of a draconian anti-union have no plans to return. On Sunday night, a Wall Street Journal blog reported that the senators planned to return soon. Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly found it odd that the piece didn’t contain any direct quotes from the exiled Democrats. The claim that the Democrats were planning to return rested on a paraphrase of State Sen (continue reading…)
In 2009, Jeffrey Erb left his management position at a premier New York City design firm to branch out and start his own business, Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design, which creates artful urban landscapes and garden designs. Though Jeffrey plans to hire and expand his young business in the future, current economic conditions necessitate that he remain a “one man shop.”
Jeffrey’s situation is becoming increasingly common. The layoffs of the Great Recession have prompted more and more people to set off on their own, trying their hand at running a business. New data from the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity indicate that startup activity rose to record highs in 2008 and 2009 (continue reading…)
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke knows it. Education and training are central to our nation’s economic competitiveness. In fact, he recently urged that budget deliberations recognize the benefits of programs that equip workers with needed skills — even when we must grapple with difficult decisions around balancing state and federal budgets.
But House leadership is taking action that will cut off our nose to spite our face. The House-passed Continuing Resolution, which would fund the government through the remainder of FY 2011, includes drastic cuts to adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) (continue reading…)
Are we making progress on the jobs front? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 192,000 new jobs in February (220,000 new jobs in the private sector and a drop in government employment), and a drop in the overall unemployment rate from 9 to 8.9 percent.
We’re heading in the right direction but far too slowly to make a real dent in unemployment. To get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent by 2014 we’d need over 300,000 new jobs a month, every month, between now and then.
Overall, the number of unemployed Americans — 13.7 million — is about the same as it was last month. The number working part time who’d rather be working full time — 8.3 million — is also about the same.
But to get to the most important trend you have to dig under the job numbers and look at what kind of new jobs are being created. That’s where the big problem lies.
The National Employment Law Project did just that (continue reading…)
Thursday, 4pm: we log on to read Kim Kardashian’s tweets. Or Snooki’s. Or, now, even Charlie Sheen’s. It doesn’t matter…
I’m amazed by the junk that’s out there and our willingness to consume it (continue reading…)
I hate to call attention to George Will’s latest column in Newsweek – a psycho-political portrait that seeks to explain why liberals love high-speed rail. But it is actually a pretty instructive read. While Will starts out trying to shine a light on the workings of the progressive mind, he winds up shining a light into his own – and into the minds of the nation’s current crop of rail haters.
To sum up Will’s argument, let’s quote the man himself: “[T]he real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.”
Got that? Will tells us that backers of rail are “blinded by ideology” in supporting a technology that “was the future two centuries ago.” Their motivation? Nothing less than the “modification of (other people’s) behavior.”
The column raises a few important questions: First, is support for rail really limited to liberals? Second, if it’s not, why are people like Will so knee-jerkily (read, ideologically) opposed to pretty much any investment in passenger rail? And third, if the goal of transportation reformers is not world domination and mind control, what exactly is it?
Is rail a liberal/conservative issue?
Rejecting passenger rail on ideological grounds is like rejecting the fork or the screwdriver as technologies that are “too liberal.” Passenger rail is a tool – one that works very well for some purposes in some situations, and less well for others (continue reading…)
Charlie Sheen is definitely mad as hell and not taking it anymore. His angry calls into radio stations have evolved into wacky but entertaining (at least, until the allegations of spousal abuse and parental issues resurfaced) television interviews. TV is his friend. He has played a charming bad boy on two successful sitcoms; now he’s living that on a multi-channel, ever-repeated reality show (continue reading…)
Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0.
Democrats looking for a message don’t need to hunt any further than Tuesday’s New York Times, where a 67-year-old retiree from Tennessee lays it out real clear. In an interview with the Times, after being polled on attitudes towards public employees, Phil Merritt said:
Merritt got it all in there — if you work hard you should be able to have a home, a retirement and send your kids to college, a simple reminder of the core of the middle class American Dream. And he told us what’s changed too: it’s now a struggle to keep a toehold in the middle class, even with both spouses working.
The Times quoted Merritt because he did a good job summarizing the view of most Americans on the question of whether worries about the deficit trump concerns about good jobs. The answer was a resounding no (continue reading…)
As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” When you put enough dots in front of people sooner or later they will connect the dots. And Americans are connecting the dots.
Dots: Trade deals close factories, outsource jobs and pit workers against each other, then wages decline and unemployment is really high, while all the money goes to a few at the top. Then calls to cut the wages and benefits of the rest.
Dots: Unions squashed, then pensions disappear, then calls to get rid of public-employee unions because they have pensions.
Dots: Tax cuts for the rich, then panic over resulting deficits, then calls for cuts in the things government does for We, the People.
People are connecting the dots: Unions mean better wages, benefits and working conditions.
There is a joke circulating that goes like this:
Americans are waking up to the value of unions and government of, by and for We, the People.
The situation in Wisconsin is waking America up to the value of unions. At a time when so many of us are hurting, seeing this naked attempt to strip from Wisconsin’s public employees the ability to bargain for a better life is resonating (continue reading…)
There are good jobs and there are crappy jobs. There are burger-flipping jobs and there are skilled trades and professions. There are jobs that pay well and have benefits and jobs that don’t.
There is even the job you had, now paying less, with no benefits.
Much of the post-recession job growth is at low end. Many “better” jobs not at the low end pay less and offer fewer benefits than they used to (continue reading…)
Looking for a new gig? We’ve got 100 family-friendly jobs for you to consider when you head back to the grind. While it’s rare that a job would meet all of our mom-positive requirements, the goal was to hit as many as possible.
We’re highlighting jobs that don’t have you scrambling for a babysitter on a regular basis and jobs that aren’t more stressful than four months of 4 A.M. feedings. Big points for jobs that don’t take you out on the road and jobs that don’t have blatant pay discrimination (even though all jobs still don’t pay equally for men and women) (continue reading…)
Yesterday, I invited some of the nation’s leading experts and advocates to shed some light on how H.R. 1, one of the most draconian spending cuts packages our modern time has ever seen, will impact America’s justice, job creation, public safety, and constitutional rights. Panelists spoke on how the bill is loaded with numerous anti-consumer and job-killing provisions. Worse yet, the bill includes measures that critically threaten the public safety and health of every American, by slashing some of the core government services middle-class and lower-income Americans depend on the most (continue reading…)