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December 2, 2011     Post-Gazette
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December 2, 2011

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;Pag e4 POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 2,2011 A Main Street Fobs Agenda Putting More Money in the Hands of Those Who Already Have Jobs So They Can Buy More Chinese Imports Does Very Little to Put Americans to Work in Good Jobs that Pay Good Wages by John Cavanagh and David Korten Americans are now past the Thanksgiving holiday and the bruising Washing- ton battles of a failed con- gressional "supercommit- tee" with a giant hangover. The hangover results from the lack of clear answers to the most important question facing most of us: Where are the jobs that our children, our communities, and our nation so desperately need? Neither major national political party has a credible plan for putting America to work. Republicans generally argue that freeing Wall Street and the wealthy from regulation and taxes is the path to job creation. But we've tried that and wound up with sky-high Wall Street profits and bonuses at the expense of working people and Main Street businesses. Democrats are more likely to see a need for appropriate regulation, a progressive tax system, and government stimulus spending. But both parties ignore the fact that putting more money in the hands of those who already have jobs so they can buy more Chinese imports does very little to put Americans to work in good jobs that pay good wages. The two of us are the prin- cipal: authors of a new report that offers a seven-point Jobs plan that builds on a past American success story. The economy we envision builds on the 1950s Main Street economy that created the American middle-class (Aaron Bauer / Flickr) and made our nation the world leader in industry and technology. That economy was a direct result of effec- tive struggles by workers during the Great Depression to limit Wall Street power and hold it democratically accountable to Main Street needs and interests. The government also raised taxes to pay for the GI Bill and other jobs programs that reduced inequality and created a vast middle class. This arrangement served America well for more than 30 years. Then what happened? In the late 1970s, a well-funded Wall Street campaign began to roll back the rules and programs that created the middle class. After the elec- tion of President Ronald Reagan. an all-out assault on regulation, unions, and social safety nets shifted economic and political power from Main Street economies accountable to the interests of local people and commu- nities to a global corporate- ruled Wall Street economy accountable only to itself. These shifts laid the foun- dation for the 2008 financial crash and a massive wave of unemployment, foreclo- sures, and depressed wages. African Americans and His- panics, few of whom ever enjoyed middle-class pros- perity, have been particu- larly hard hit. The Occupy movement has shifted the spotlight back onto an unaccountable Wall Street as the source of the economic failure that has weakened the nation and reduced millions of Ameri- cans to lives of desperation. This opens space for a much- needed national debate about what is required m put Amer- icans to work rebuilding American strength and pros- perity in a 21st century world. Beyond just creating jobs, we need to help people shift from jobs that are harmful or simply unproductive to jobs that address currently unmet needs. Examples include the tran- sition from jobs in mili- tary industries to jobs in environmental remediation and elder care. and from jobs guarding prisons to jobs rehabilitating ex-offenders. We need to shift the resources we're squander- (Continued on Page 15) Alan Barron, M.D. of Mount Auburn Healthcare at Medford, welcomes New Primary Care Physician Antonietta Mauri, M.D. Alan Barron, M.D. and Antonietta Mauri, M.D. Mount Auburn Healthcare at Medford 101 Main Street,-Suite 110, Medford, MA 02155 781-391-2705 Dr. Antonietta Mauri received her Medical Degree from of Naples Medical School in Italy. Dr. Mauri completed in Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Verona in Italy and her Residency in Internal Medicine at University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and speaks English and Italian fluently. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 781-391-2705. The University her Residency Affiliated with MOUNT AUBURN HOSPITAL by Sal Giarratani "For Our Country ... For All of Us'" Recently, while driving along South Street in Quincy by the old shipyard, I passed by a billboard sponsored by the US Marine Corps stating something too many of us seemed to have forgotten. The message short and sweet said, "For our country. For all of us." It sounds like the motto on our money which when translated from Latin into English states, "One out of many." With the way things are going in recent years, there are many who simply want to remain part of the many rather than the one. Even the way the new Boston Fire Chief was announced as the first Latino chief for the fire department. He was described as of Cuban, Spanish and Italian heritage. Before he is any of those things, he is an American first. The definition of an American isn't to be identified by his or her diverse roots. What we were yesterday and who our grand- parents were is not as important as was their dream that their family begin again in America. That was and still should be the American dream. It has been up until quite recently. Today, the latest generation of many immigrant commu- nities seem to have forgotten what was a given a hundred or more years ago. My father and his siblings considered them- selves Americans. They were all proud of their Sicilian roots but it was the future that mattered more than the past. My grandparents from Sicily and my grandparents from County Cork sought a better way of life for themselves and their families. Things weren't that good back over the Atlantic for them. They came here to start again. They dreamed of a future for their offspring that was an improvement over theirs. Many escaping from poverty in their homelands wanted more in life and that for their children, first-born Americans who eventually re-created this country through their suffering and hard work. Back in my college years, I traveled to Ireland, the home of my maternal grandparents. Back about 20 years ago, my late brother went back to Sciacca to our Sicilian roots. How- ever, we were Americans visiting those family homelands. Our home was America. Those today living here whose grand- parents came over from Europe over 100 years ago know who we are. Proud of our ethnic heritage we are but more proud of being Americans. Newer ethnic groups today appear too often to be tied to the past more and the future less. Government often seems to strengthen these old ties to an excess. My East Boston is now 52 percent Latino. Really it is not my East Boston because it is shared by many kinds of people. What I do resent is when folks who come here seem to refuse to become part of the many and even refuse the need to learn English. There is no excuse for older immigrants not attempting to learn English and encouraging their offspring to speak English. I often hear young kids playing in the schoolyards of East Boston schools yelling back and forth to each other in Spanish. My grandmother from Agrigento must be rolling over in her grave at St. Michael's Cemetery trying to under- stand this 21st century mentality. She used to say to her kids to speak "American" by which she meant be American. That message by the US Marines over in Quincy hit the point quite well. This country will remain strong and grow even stronger if we remember, this is OUR country and we are all in,this together and not separately. holiday cheer Elite Bostorr Landmark Realty]