The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century

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The President has proposed the GROW AMERICA Act to renew our transportation infrastructure, which would grow our investments in roads, bridges and transit systems by more than a third, create tens of thousands of new jobs, and lay the foundations for long-term economic growth. Promoting American Jobs and American Workers by Signing New Trade Deals So the United States, not China, Sets the Fair Wage, Safe Workplace, and Clean Environment Rules of Trade: President Obama is committed to a trade agenda that provides new opportunities for workers and supports economic growth by opening markets, enforcing high standards in our agreements, and leveling the playing field for our workers.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership TPP , the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership T-TIP , and other negotiations offer new opportunities to advance this agenda, consistent with American interests and American values, including putting labor and environmental protections at the core of trade policy while creating jobs and protecting and promoting innovation. The President will call on Congress to work with him to secure approval of bipartisan trade promotion legislation — building on the 80 year bipartisan history of Democrats and Republicans working together to promote American exports and create jobs.

As we work toward new trade deals that will expand markets for American goods and services, we will also work to ensure that the strong existing rules governing trade are enforced. The Obama Administration has brought 18 cases before the World Trade Organization, more than any other country, and we have prevailed in every case that has been decided. The President also believes we must help American small businesses compete in overseas markets, and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will create jobs and open opportunities. Recent advances in genomics and digital data have produced powerful new discoveries about health and disease that have made it possible to design highly effective, targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases.

To help address the global threat of infectious disease created by rampant spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the President also proposes to nearly double the Federal investment in antibiotic discovery. Exemptions that let the smallest businesses avoid these complexities have not been comprehensively updated for nearly 30 years. The President will put forward a proposal to dramatically simplify tax filing for the vast majority of small businesses, letting them pay taxes based on their bank statement.

The President will also challenge the private and non-profit sectors to recruit more women, underrepresented minorities, and entrepreneurs from around the country to launch and scale innovative companies. Positioning the United States to Lead in Manufacturing: After a decade of decline, the manufacturing sector is adding jobs for the first time since the s and poised for growth in the years ahead.

Ending Manufactured Crises and Investing in America: The President will call for the end of manufactured crises like government shutdowns, and call for investing in the things that have made America great for generations — strengthening our economy, improving the education and skills of our workforce, accelerating scientific discovery, bolstering manufacturing, and keeping our nation safe. The President's Budget will outline how to end sequester and pay for these investments by cutting ineffective spending and closing tax loopholes.

Building on Net Neutrality to Increase Access and Reduce Cost for Broadband: Affordable, fast broadband is crucial to the future of our economy and nation. To that end, communities around the country are refusing to settle for subpar service that can make it hard to keep business local and attract new entrepreneurs. To help more communities do the same, and ensure a level playing field for all competitors, in the lead-up to the State of the Union the President called to end laws that harm competition, expand the national movement of local leadership for better broadband, unveil new loan opportunities for rural providers, remove regulatory barriers, and improve investment incentives.

Fixing the Broken Immigration System through Comprehensive Legislation: President Obama continues to urge Congress to fix our broken immigration system by strengthening our border security, holding employers accountable, creating an earned path to citizenship so that undocumented immigrants can play by the same rules as everyone else, and modernizing our legal immigration system to boost our economy and reunite families.

After waiting over days for the House to act on commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform, in November the President acted within his legal authority to help secure the border, hold millions of undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules and pays their fair share of taxes. These executive actions crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass national security and criminal background checks in order to request temporary relief allowing them to stay in the United States without fear of deportation.

The President is committed to doing what he can to work with bipartisan partners in Congress to pass legislation this year reforming sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders, reducing recidivism, and promoting juvenile justice. Building Trust Between Communities and Law Enforcement: Recent events around the country have highlighted the importance of trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve.

Blueprint for the 21st Century

Recognizing that the need to bridge the trust gap is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services, President Obama established the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Finally, the President recently signed an Executive Order creating an interagency Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group that will provide specific recommendations to the President regarding Federal funds and programs that provide certain equipment to state and local LEAs.

Along our eastern seaboard, a number of cities now flood regularly at high tide. In the West, 20 of the 25 largest fires in the last years have occurred since Severe weather events over the last decade related to climate change have cost families, businesses, and taxpayers billions of dollars. The Obama Administration has made climate a high priority by working hard to reduce carbon pollution here in the United States and by bringing other countries along to forge an effective global effort to combat this problem.

Two months ago, President Xi of China joined President Obama to announce a historic step for climate change action. President Obama announced an ambitious but achievable goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions percent below levels by And China agreed to peak its carbon emissions around — the first time China has ever committed to peak its carbon pollution — and to double the share of zero-emission energy sources to 20 percent by In the United States, our carbon pollution is near its lowest levels in almost two decades.

We set higher standards for fuel economy, so that our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas, and are setting a new standard for trucks that will drive American manufacturing and spur the development of new technologies. Recognizing the need to help communities step up to prepare and respond to the impacts of climate change they are already seeing, we are also working with governors, local officials, and tribal leaders to prepare for climate change.

Safeguarding American Consumers and Families in a Digital Age: In the lead-up to the State of the Union, the President announced that the Administration is building on the steps he has taken to protect American companies, consumers, and infrastructure from cyber threats, while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties, including improving consumer confidence by tackling identify theft, safeguarding student data in the classroom, and beyond, convening the public and private sector to tackle emerging privacy issues, and promoting innovation by improving consumer confidence.

These include a new legislative proposal, building on important work in Congress, to solve the challenges of information sharing that can cripple response to a cyber-attack. And the President is extending an invitation to work in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to advance this urgent priority for the American people, including by convening the first White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University in February, to help shape public and private sector efforts to protect American consumers and companies from growing threats to consumers and commercial networks.

Despite President Lyndon B. It's time to think big. The rules that govern our economy are working best for far too few, at the expense of far too many. While Republicans have sought to dismantle the New Deal and the regulatory apparatus that was developed to protect Americans from an unfettered private sector, Democrats in recent decade have mustered no more than incremental changes to an increasingly unequal and unfair economy. The rise of Donald Trump provides a political lesson for both Democrats and Republicans: People are looking outside the box.

Direct government intervention for full employment, a cornerstone of the Democratic Party Platform for almost half a century, has been all but forgotten, replaced by a commitment to market liberalization or tax incentives and other subsidies for corporate America to cajole them into hiring more workers.

Policies put forth by Hillary Clinton in , which included raising the minimum wage and promoting equal pay for equal work for women, would have improvde the lives of many working Americans — but they do not go nearly far enough. Let us be clear: Our economic reality is not mere circumstance; these are the result of policy choices.

We envision moving far beyond marginal or incremental steps. We envision reforms aimed at building an inclusive economy that works for all , enshrining a national obligation to provide every American with economic security and opportunity. While many will spend the next four years fighting the Trump administration in an attempt to preserve the limited economic and civil rights that still remain unequally distributed, we want to build a real alternative that will produce fundamental change.

We want to resurrect a bold idea, an Economic Bill of Rights for all Americans—more specifically, an inclusive Economic Bill of Rights tailored to the conditions of the 21st century. In his groundbreaking State of the Union address, President Franklin Roosevelt called for an expansion of the Bill of Rights to recognize economic rights as well.

Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power

Roosevelt outlined those rights as follows:. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment. Roosevelt died before he could begin a national movement to enshrine these economic rights as a constitutional commitment.

In subsequent decades, though prominent politicians and civil rights leaders continued building on Roosevelt's pursuit of economic justice. Seeking to extend the scope of the Civil Rights movement in the mids, A. Martin Luther King Jr. We need to rethink public policies, breaking out of the straightjacket that overemphasizes market-based solutions. We have thought big before—but have compromised big as well. During the Great Depression, FDR and liberals made a Faustian bargain with southern segregationists to provide a New Deal and beyond, rewriting the rules of our economy.

But only for some of our citizens. The racial apartheid that existed under slavery war renewed under another name—Jim Crow—for decades. The exclusions from the guarantees of the New Deal contributed to the highly unequal outcomes we observe today. Today, we must transcend the racial, ethnic, and regional divisions exacerbated by post-Depression and post-World War II-era policies by building universal policies that are cognizant of identities and intersectionality, and inclusive of race, gender, nationality, sexuality, and ability.

The first six rights outlined by FDR above are still all too germane today, but to update these economic rights to facilitate an inclusive economy for the 21st century, we add:. Let us briefly explore each of these rights—those proposed in and those we're proposing now—in turn. As a onetime centerpiece of progressive politics, a Federal Job Guarantee received tremendous support from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, and civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin. The provision of a job for all was central to the Freedom Budget, crafted for the A.

Philip Randolph Institute in the wake of the March on Washington.

Table of Contents

Today, despite the recovery from the Great Recession, the problem of inadequate employment continues to plague our society. Not only are there millions more Americans seeking jobs than there are available openings, but many Americans who are working remain in poverty because of woefully inadequate wages. These conditions warrant the resurrection of a bold idea, an Economic Bill of Rights for all Americans, tailored to the conditions of the 21st century.

Below, we turn our attention to the first article of a new Economic Bill of Rights— a federal job guarantee. Why the need for such a guarantee? First, we invariably have major economic crisis that drive people out of work; the most recent episode is the Great Recession. And third, not only do we generally have an inadequate number of jobs, but we have a tier of jobs that are of extremely low quality. They are low-paid, have uncertain hours, and have few or no benefits.

What the nation needs is a program, established through federal legislation, that would guarantee employment to every American at non-poverty wages.

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Similar legislation to what we envision has already been introduced to Congress House Resolution - Jobs for All Act, which has 29 co-sponsors. In our proposal, we would first establish the National Investment Employment Corps NIEC , a permanent agency to oversee direct employment of all Americans seeking a job.

A Blog of Ideas

If individuals were unable to find adequate employment in the private sector, they could turn to the government for employment. In return, the government would provide employment at non-poverty wages. Provision of a reasonable floor for compensation in the labor market must be a critical feature of the program.

If employers are unwilling to provide employment, or are offering terms inferior to those offered under the NIEC, individuals can simply take the public sector job. However, to provide genuine economic security, workers will need more than a non-poverty wage—they need benefits. The program will include health insurance for full-time workers hours per week of the same quality that is received by civil servants and elected officials in the federal government.

Such a program, which will transform the labor market as we know it, will come with a price tag. But that will not be the net expense of the program. Since the program functions both as a full employment and as an anti-poverty program, a portion of the expenditures the United States currently devotes to a variety of entitlement programs could be reduced significantly. This would include lower expenditures for unemployment insurance, SNAP, or other types of means-tested social programs.

Moreover, it is not extraordinarily difficult for governments to fund large-scale programs. The fact that at the outset of the great recession, huge amounts of public funds quickly were turned over to the banking community, suggests that there is a huge capacity on the part of the federal government to meet large, new expenses.

A federal job guarantee would enable the nation to fund the well-being of all of our citizens, rather than support, narrowly, the folks who produced our most recent economic crisis.

How far would you go to give your children a better chance in life?

However, the BBC and other broadcasters are now much more willing to use indeed desire to use regional accents. Language and writing style have consistently been one of the most reliable indicators of class, although pronunciation did not become such an indicator until the late-nineteenth century.

The variations between the language employed by the upper classes and non-upper classes has, perhaps, been best documented by linguistics Professor Alan Ross's article on U and non-U English usage, with "U" representing upper and upper middle class vocabulary of the time, and "Non-U" representing lower middle class vocabulary. The discussion was furthered in Noblesse Oblige and featured contributions from, among others, Nancy Mitford.

The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century
The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century
The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century
The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century
The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century
The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century
The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century The New Middle Class: Creating Wages, Wealth, and Opportunity in the 21st Century

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