The middle class is the great engine of our economy, but today that engine is sputtering and as a result, both American families and the economy are struggling. Too many workers have jobs that don’t pay enough to support a family, and too many can’t find work at all. Meanwhile, the jobs that will grow the most in the next decade are expected to be low-wage and stripped of benefits. We’re on an unsustainable course and it’s time for U-turn.
Offering a way forward, more than a dozen leading national organizations that research the economy, advocate for good jobs and represent workers have come together to propose 10 steps to build the middle class. The guiding principles of the roadmap are values we all share: that work lies at the center of a robust and sustainable economy; that all work has dignity; and that through work, all of us should be able to support our families, educate our children and enjoy our retirements.
The report, (PDF) 10 Ways to Rebuild the Middle Class for Hard-Working Americans: Making Work Pay in the 21st Century, lays out a roadmap to turn things around.
Unless our nation focuses on making today’s jobs better and tomorrow’s jobs good, the long-term prospects for our families’ well-being and the national economy are bleak. But they don’t have to be if we stand up and fight for a prosperity economy that’s outlined in this report.
Some might think the jobs being created in today’s economy are being shaped by some kind of invisible hand – that there is little we can do to change that. But a strong middle class doesn’t happen by accident.
Rebuilding the great American middle class in the 21st century will once again require deliberate action by the American people, through our government and by businesses that understand that our mutual long-term prosperity depends on treating workers everywhere with dignity and giving them the means to a decent standard of living. It will mean taking a U-turn from the policies of the past 30 years, which have squeezed workers in the pursuit of short-term profits, slowly hollowing out the middle class on which our long-term prosperity is built.
Together, we can set a course that will honor work, help rebuild the middle class and drive us forward to a more powerful, sustainable economy.
Read the full report here and share the above image here. We need good jobs for America now.