We don’t have to sacrifice our health and environment for jobs. There is plenty of work to be done in modernizing our economy and infrastructure for 21st century jobs. While we do so, we must ensure that the economic rights of workers and families are protected.
We can grow our economy with good jobs by doing the following:
- Transition to renewable energy and a modern electric grid. The process of transitioning from a fossil fuel economy to an electric economy based on renewables will require a large amount of work. We must build solar power farms, wind turbines, and install batteries and modern electric grid supplies. We must support electric cars and buses and install recharge stations in our cities and along our highways and expand public transportation. This will not only give us a competitive 21st century infrastructure but also create many good jobs while tackling the pollution problem. We don't have to give up our health and environment for good jobs.
- Rebuild crumbling infrastructure, including public transit. Our roads are falling apart with potholes everywhere. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates America's bridges as being in wide disrepair to the point of being potential safety concerns. Our electric grid is old, and water pipes in some communities are nearly a century old and made with lead. It's time for us to invest in our country and rebuild our infrastructure. Not only does modern infrastructure spur the economy, but it also create many good paying public works jobs. There is so much work to do that I support implementing a jobs guarantee; anyone that wants work should be able to find a good job rebuilding our infrastructure.
- Support co-ops and unions. Using tax incentives, we should prioritize and encourage the formation of more democratic structures of business governance that allow workers and community members to have a direct say in company decisions that impact the community. For existing businesses with a more hierarchical structure, workers' rights to form unions and negotiate with employers should be expanded and protected.
- Defend economic rights of workers. I also expect business to properly compensate workers. I will defend workers' rights to a living wage (currently at least $15 per hour), affordable housing, and paid sick and family leave. Businesses that cannot provide this are failing businesses that do not deserve to be propped up by government. Businesses that learn to take care of their employees will create a much more stable economy and job market.