Monday, March 5, 2012

Targeted opportunity

A recent report found that nearly all the gains in income made since the recession's worst years (2008-'09) went to the top 1% of wage earners, meaning 99% of the population divvied up 7% of total gains. The report indicates that America, despite the upheaval of a recession, has not steered off of the path of income disparity that it has been hurdling down for the past several decades.

The numbers out of America's working classes show that things are stagnant in terms of growth, income, jobs, and overall quality of life. The states are all ripping their balance sheets to shreds in order to stay afloat, and the Federal government is quibbling over social issues. Is there going to be any help for the low-to-middle income Americans and those who need jobs any time soon?

I think that there could be, but only if the federal government gets to work on it. Over the next few decades, we are going to need a lot of repair and modification to our infrastructure, including water, power grid, roads, bridges, rail, and runways. All of that costs money, and it will come from taxpayers, but shouldn't it be used to help those who are jobless? Why not focus initial infrastructure jobs in areas that have the highest rates of unemployment? Bring that money and those contracts into those areas, hire locals to do the work and put some money in their pockets, and get them moving to fix up their neighborhoods? It sounds to me like a win-win situation. Workers get a steady paycheck and updated utilities, and the government gets it's act together and helps the unemployment rate.

The wealthy should be wealthy if they have earned that money. But the poor should be not be left with nothing while the rich simply get richer. Federally-funded programs can help the unemployed get back to work, even if it's only temporary, and can help bring cheaper services to areas that need them.

No comments: