In an editorial published this week in the San Francisco Chronicle, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger called for less policy debate and more immediate action at the national level to stimulate the economy and create JOBS Now!
“At today’s White House forum on job creation, President Barack Obama will hear ideas from businesspeople, labor leaders and economists on how to reverse America’s record high unemployment,” said Buffenbarger in the editorial titled, A Proposal for Obama’s Jobless Summit. “Pedestrian proposals are inevitable. But truly innovative ideas that can be implemented immediately are what America really needs.”
Buffenbarger called for a modern version of Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, the unique program that put 3.5 million men to work in a single year – the equivalent of finding jobs for eight million Americans today. The WPA focused on local community projects with a lasting value to the nation. It spent 85 percent of its funds on payroll and 15 percent on materials.
The IAM’s call for additional spending to stimulate the economy has been echoed by Nobel Prize winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, who wrote that “what is needed now is another dose of fiscal stimulus. If that does not happen, we can look forward to an even longer period in which the economy operates below capacity, with high unemployment.”