A National Jobs Program is Desperately Needed

This week the national unemployment figures for June will be released but we already know that Georgia is expected to see continued job loss, based on the Georgia Department of Labor statistics that we have already lost 28,000 jobs from last May to this May. These figures are startling to me considering my history of working to find employment for Americans goes back to the 1970’s when I led the efforts in Atlanta to place and/or train over 70,000 disadvantaged residents for employment. That was then.

Now my business success is based on how much revenue I can generate not unlike Mayors all around the country who promote economic policies based on projects and jobs in their cities and Governors who design economic policies to entice and encourage companies to move to their states to increase revenue. The President of the United States does not have the luxury of focusing on the US economy only he has to be an active leader in the global economy. As the elected leader of the free world, his policies have an enormous impact around the world. We must have confidence in him and his Cabinet to protect and expand the US economy while appreciating the interrelatedness of the US economy with the world economy. Every level of the economy is dependent on the success and the health of the other parts.

When many of us see international revolutions and rampant poverty on the evening news, we don’t always understand the impact or correlation of these events on President Obama’s economic policy deliberations. When the “smart” Republicans on Wall Street failed, the world was affected. When President Bush gave tax cuts to the rich and jobs went overseas our economic health was negatively impacted. When a national disaster occurs in Japan or the man-made economic downturn in Greece, or England, or Italy the US is not exempt from feeling the brunt of that financial pain. When a billion people around the world go to bed hungry every night and our rich keep getting richer, it is a national issue that warrants the President’s serious attention.
The Democrats must push for a national jobs program here at home if we are to have any impact on the nearly 14 million Americans who are unemployed. So while it might be comfortable to criticize President Obama from our living rooms while we watch the news, it is high time Democrats start telling the story of the real economic impact and consequences of supporting a national jobs program that puts Americans to work.

And I suggest Democrats tell that story before 2012, because as we know, all politics is local.

Aaron Turpeau
Atlanta Businessman


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