NEWS ITEM: As Donald Trump was criticizing Carrier’s decision to slash over 1,400 Hoosier jobs, Mike Pence only called it “disappointing” and couldn’t specify which federal rule was to blame for the decision to cut jobs in the state. – Indianapolis Business Journal, 2.12.16
The biggest issue surrounding American jobs is wages. 140,000 workers received pink slips during President Trump’s first six months in office, as companies continue to ship jobs offshore. This month, another 70 union workers in Wayne County lost their jobs as their employer cited "declining demand". Those who work hard everyday deserve economic security. We need to find a new economic future for Indiana and our country. A future that works for all of us
Hoosier workers are losing jobs due to outsourcing to Mexico or China, or by moving by other states, or due to improvements in automation, but the impact is the same, people are getting hurt. This puts a strain not only on the economy but also on social services and families. But it's not only the lost job that hurts, it's the job that doesn't pay enough to cover the increasing monthly bills or provide economic security for Hoosiers in the 6th District. They are working harder for less real money.
Wages have fallen by 1.4 percent nationwide and too many of the jobs available today in Indiana are low wage, low skill positions which just don’t cut it. Wages have failed to keep pace with increases in costs and productivity in this country. From 1973 to 2016, net productivity rose 73.7 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated—increasing only 12.5 percent over 43 years (after adjusting for inflation). This means that although workers are working more productively than ever, the fruits of their labors have primarily accrued to those at the top and to corporate profits, especially in recent years.
I support raising the minimum wage to become a livable wage. It now requires a job with a wage of over $21 an hour for a single person with one child to live above the poverty level in the 6th District. Raising wages should be our goal because it helps everyone unlike a tax cut for the very wealthy. We know that working people will spend and invest their hard earned dollars where it matters, right here at home.
The income, wages, and wealth generated over the last four decades in this nation have failed to “trickle down” to the vast majority because policy choices have been made on behalf of those with the most income, wealth, and power. The rich are getting much richer while everyone else is struggling. This inequality has prevented potential pay growth from translating into actual pay growth for most workers. The result has been wage stagnation. We don't have time to wait or hope for a paycheck to trickle down to those that need it most.
To do this we need to put our national focus back on helping people. We need policies that will help create jobs and reach full employment. This includes keeping interest rates unchanged until wage growth reaches 3.5 to 4 percent and enacting employment programs that target hard-hit communities in the 6th District to create good jobs. We need to increase public investment in research and development and work to reduce the U.S. trade deficit. Companies that outsource American jobs must face consequences for their decisions.
We need to foster the relationship between labor and capital and help them help each other. Eroded labor standards, and weakened labor market institutions have reduced workers’ individual and collective power to bargain for higher wages. We help to grow wages by raising the minimum wage; updating overtime rules; strengthening rights to collective bargaining; regularizing undocumented workers; ending forced arbitration; securing workers’ access to sick leave and paid family leave; closing race and gender inequities; awarding government contracts only to firms that adhere to wage, health, and safety laws; and tackling workplace abuses such as misclassification and wage theft.
We can also invest in infrastructure projects like transportation, and rural broadband, which would put more than thirteen million Americans to work in decent-paying jobs. Today, the U.S. spends less than 2 percent of GDP on infrastructure, less than at any point in the last twenty years. Meanwhile, Europe spends close to twice our rate, and China spends close to four times our rate. It is no wonder the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report now ranks our overall infrastructure at 12th in the world – down from 7th place just a decade ago. These are jobs in sectors of the economy that haven’t fully recovered from the recession, like construction, and they are jobs that cannot be shipped offshore or outsourced overseas.
Finally we have to make reaffirm our commitment to public education. Don't sell our public schools off to private investors or give up on them but make sure that they are fully funded and turn out the best graduates in the world. Indiana public schools in the past built a great state and created outstanding leaders. We need to recommit ourselves to that goal.
I believe that we have to do better at creating decent jobs with good wages for working Hoosier families. Right here at home. Because it is about people. All of us.
Together, We can make a difference. #LaneListens #Change2018