Tag Archives: Job creation

California Leads Nation in Job Creation

State economy peers up

by Brian Leubitz

California has some very powerful assets. People really want to live here, the weather is great, the state is beautiful, and we have a lot of well-educated workers. That should make it no surprise that the state’s economy is growing now as the information economy rebounds.

Since February California has created almost 234,000 jobs, more than Texas, Oregon and West Virginia combined. (CBS)

While Rick Perry is busy trying to put a rosy spin on his corporate subsidy plan, California is building the economy of tomorrow.

Making More In America

America needs to make things again.

Stacey Lawson's "Making More in America" Jobs Plan

Why? Because the kinds of jobs that send kids to college and provide a secure retirement are not minimum-wage jobs. Creating high-wage jobs, middle-class jobs and steady year-round jobs will take revitalizing the American manufacturing economy.

The average wage for manufacturing work in America is 20 percent higher than the overall average wage – a premium that reflects the tremendous value added to our economy from the manufacturing sector. Each manufacturing job produces up to four other jobs and, according to a recent report, each $1 spent in manufacturing creates $1.43 in other sectors. That’s a “multiplier effect” nearly twice that of other parts of our economy.

When we make things, we keep vital skills in this country. We keep our balance of trade healthy – so we have control of our economic future. We keep the high-wage manufacturing industries that fund research and development, so our economy doesn’t fall behind.

And manufacturing isn’t just big factories anymore. The “buy local” and “maker” movements have shown the tremendous economic and creative energies released, and the environmental benefits gained, when we stay local.

Manufacturing is also one of the few sources of steady and secure jobs for those who do not graduate from four-year colleges – and that helps build a just economy that creates opportunity for everyone.

Of course, we are not going to bring every manufacturing job back. And we might not want to invest our national efforts in the very lowest wage manufacturing jobs. But we can target the kinds of jobs that will help create a path for American families to the middle class.

That’s exactly the path my own family followed. When I was young, we lived in a trailer in a logging town on the coast of Washington State. I watched my dad start a small trucking business with a single truck he drove himself. Through his hard work, I was able to go on to college, earn a degree in chemical engineering and then an advanced degree – and use my education to start a company that created technology to help U.S. manufacturers compete in the global market place.

Later, I co-founded the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at UC Berkeley – and today, I teach bright young engineers and entrepreneurs the skills they need to maintain America’s lead in technology.

All of my experience creating jobs and sparking innovation has led me to one simple conclusion. We can’t outsource our way to prosperity. We need to do more than just design, and then consume, products. We need to make things again.

As tough as the American economy is right now, there is reason for hope when it comes to Making More in America again. Over the past two years, the economy has added 334,000 manufacturing jobs – the strongest two‐year period of manufacturing job growth since the late 1990s. Manufacturing production grew 5.7 percent on an annualized basis since its low in June of 2009, the fastest pace of growth of production in a decade. But we still have a long way to go to recover from the more than two million manufacturing jobs lost in the recession.

Consider this math: if we could return to the level of the late 1970s when about 20 percent of jobs were in the manufacturing sector – we would create 12 million new jobs directly and spur another 30 million new jobs in downstream support services. Why is that number so important? Because that’s just about the number of jobs we need to restore and create over the next ten years to get back to full employment in the U.S.

To get there, we need more than promises.

That’s why I’ve published a detailed plan at www.StaceyLawson.com designed to restore the manufacturing jobs that sustain the middle class – manufacturing employment. It’s called “Making More in America,” and it lays out seven major priorities to get us there.

Restoring our manufacturing economy won’t be easy, and it isn’t the only thing we need to do – it is just a start. But if we care about restoring the middle class and creating the kinds of jobs that pay decent living wages – wages that help buy houses, pay college tuitions, fund decent retirements – this is exactly where we should start. So let’s get going.

Stacey Lawson is a Congressional candidate in California’s newly drawn Second District.  She is an educator and small business owner living in San Rafael, CA.

You can download a copy of Stacey Lawson’s “Making More in America” jobs plan here: http://staceylawson.com/making-more-in-america-jobs-plan/

POTUS Speak Up

Five Things to Say about Clean Energy in Your Address

It is that time of year again.  This Wednesday, January 27, 2010, the President will glide down the aisle in the House of Representatives, greeted by thunderous applause, and encounter the usually more dignified elected officials in a slightly teen-bopper, Beatles-esque-frenzy, practically climbing over each other to shake his hand.  

He will ascend the rostrum in front of federal government and the nation and proceed to tell us how our country is doing. Within the first five minutes of the speech, President Obama will say the health of our nation is strong – because what else can a President say?  The State of the Union address is largely an exercise in tradition.  So, why then does it matter what he says?

It matters because behind all the ritual rhetoric lies a pretty good indicator of what the president will focus on in the coming months.

Which is also exactly why so many political pundits have been theorizing about the President’s speech for weeks now.  Speculation has reached a fever-pitch with the stunning yet not surprising election of Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) and the equally shocking Supreme Court decision last week, which some have argued, gave corporations the right to basically buy Congressional seats. Every public interest group in Washington is hoping – praying really – that their issue will rise to the level of a “shout out” from the President.  We all desperately want the President to acknowledge (via his SOTU speech) that what we each work on is a top priority.  

You can be certain that is what the community working for clean energy and climate solutions is hoping for – a shout out.  

There have been many predictions in recent days about the death of a climate bill.  Those predictions could be turned on their heads and dispelled with just a few sentences on Wednesday.  In my ideal world, this is what President Obama would say:

1. “Investing in clean energy and climate solutions will generate jobs for Americans.”

President Obama has already hinted he will talk about job creation in his address. That’s no surprise: it is the most urgent priority for American families right now.

One of the best ways to get Americans back to work is to give them the job of building a clean energy economy and rebuilding American infrastructure. As soon as we set limits on global warming pollution, we will unleash billions of dollars in private investment for low-carbon solutions like energy efficient windows and batteries for hybrid cars.

That investment will create jobs–nearly 2 million, according to economists at the University of California.

2. “We are losing jobs to our overseas competitors everyday.”

We are getting the pants beat off us by our international competitors.  According to the Green, Inc. blog over at the NY Times, “At the beginning of 2009, Chinese solar companies supplied 21 percent of the market; by year’s end their stake had more than doubled.” They are winning in the pricing game: “A Chinese module maker with little name recognition in the United States, Yingli, has captured 27 percent of the California market thanks to low pricing, the report said. Suntech, China’s leading module-maker, has a 10 percent share in California.”  We need to get ourselves in gear if we are going to compete.  

3. “Our dependence on foreign oil is unpatriotic.”

I am a mom with an SUV (granted a Honda CRV, but nonetheless, a SUV.) I love my SUV – I can shove kids, tricycles, backpacks, extra clothes, groceries, and even a box for Goodwill in the back and still have room for a family dog.  But I can’t pretend that my choice has no repercussions to our national security.

Every time I fill up, I am lining the pockets of those who hate America.  Almost all of us “soccer moms and dads” in our SUVs are in the same boat.  We need to drive something functional that doesn’t feed terrorism.  I don’t think that means that we need to buy tinier cars (although that may be part of the solution) – I think it means that we must make more efficient, cleaner cars. And the best way to do that is to give Detroit and other automakers the incentives they need to get the job done.

4. “An energy bill alone is not enough.”

This weekend the NYTimes notes in an editorial about climate, “The jobs argument should impress the Senate. Yet many Democrats as well as Republicans seem willing to settle for what would be the third energy bill in five years – loans for nuclear power, mandates for renewable energy, new standards for energy efficiency. These are all useful steps. But the only sure way to unlock the investments required to transform the way the country produces and delivers energy is to put a price on carbon.”

We keep writing checks for clean energy investments but we aren’t getting the most bang for our buck.  If we don’t place a price on pollution, we will only see some of the benefit.  In order to get the most for our money, we need to let the market work – and that means making those who pollute pay for their fair share

5. “Addressing climate change must be more than just a sound bite – it must be a process by which we will commit to get a bill passed this spring.”

Luntz also found that the public overwhelming believes that climate change is occurring – even 66% of Republicans think that global warming is likely happening – so now it is time to stop fighting about it and do something.

If you look on most Senate websites, you will find a statement about how climate change exists and we should do something about it.  We need to turn that lip service into action.  

Is the President likely to say all of this?  Maybe not.  But if he even gets half way there, I think we will be able to repeat that great Twain quote when it comes to a climate change bill: “Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.”  

Numbers Game

Tell POTUS That This Is Our Moment

In case you are tired of making your own New Year’s resolutions, President Obama would like you to help him set his. He is inviting Americans to tell him what we think the administration’s priorities should be for 2010.  

I love that the president of the United States is asking us for our opinions. How refreshing is that? You can share your ideas by clicking here.

I instinctively knew what I wanted to tell him, right away. In fact, it took much less time to figure out his resolution than it did to decide on no new spandex for myself.

I want the White House to focus on getting clean energy and climate legislation passed in the Senate as soon as possible.

We need to get moving on climate solutions NOW. I believe this as a mother–I don’t want to my children to deal with acute water shortages or flooded homes. I need this as a taxpayer–clean energy investments and domestic manufacturing jobs are just the kind of jumpstart our economy desperately needs.  I understand this as a Christian – we should be good stewards of the planet that God gave us.

And as a political junkie my gut also tells me that we will never have a better political environment for passing a clean energy and climate bill than the moment we have right now.  This is our moment.

What could be gained by putting off climate change legislation?  Are the issues going to change?  Is climate going to become an easier problem to solve?  Are big polluters going to stop opposing action?  Are Democrats going to control more than 60 seats in the Senate?    

This is a wake up call, one that I hope the handful of senators (featured in a recent Politico story) hears. These folks would like to delay the bill to some indefinite time in the future. Can someone please explain to me exactly how it is going to get easier in the future?  .

A few senators have said they think we should delay the climate vote in favor of a jobs bill, but the effervescent truth is the climate bill is a jobs bill. According to a recent study from the University of California, we will generate nearly 2 million additional jobs by investing in clean and sustainable energy.

These smart opportunities will be spread across all 50 states. Let’s take Ohio. UMass has estimated that Ohio alone could produce almost 70,000 net new jobs–opportunities for steelworks who build wind turbines, construction workers who retrofit buildings to make them more energy efficient, and software engineers who do energy audits.

We need these jobs now, not in 2011.

Americans want progress. That’s what we voted for in the last election, but we need to see some signs of movement and success. Saving the planet and creating jobs at the same time sounds pretty darn successful to me. We might just be inspired to reward the senators who deliver that success with our votes come November.

In the meantime, tell the White House what you want it to achieve this year.

I am resolved.

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Election 2008: Sen. Barack Obama’s Plan to Strengthen U.S. Economy

Portions XPosted on MyDesert.com

Former-President Bill Clinton, during his initial race to the Presidency, had a saying, “It’s the economy, stupid.”  The focus on the failings of the Bush economy lead to Clinton’s election and swept the supply-side Republicans from office for eight years.  Eight years of Democratic-lead prosperity, balanced budgets, and a peace-time economic bonanza for small business and working class families.

Now, America is faced with another economic debacle thanks to another member of the Bush family and to supply-side Republican economic policies that only benefit the rich and big business.  Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), presumptive Democratic nominee for the Presidency in Election 2008, has a detailed plan to strengthen the U.S. economy and to deliver us from eight years of mismanagement.

Obama’s plan is especially needed in the Coachella Valley with California one of the states hardest hit by the housing crisis, predatory lending, and rising commodity prices, with Riverside County one of the hardest hit counties, and with the Inland Empire, the San Gorgonio Pass, and the Coachella Valley as some of the hardest hit local regions.

More below the flip…

Over the course of the next few days, I will review Obama’s plan with a focus on:

  • jumpstart the economy
  • provide middle class Americans with tax relief
  • trade
  • job creation
  • support small business
  • labor
  • protect homeownership & crackdown on mortgage fraud
  • address predatory credit card practices
  • reform bankruptcy laws
  • work/family balance

On September 17, 2007, Obama stated:

“I believe that America’s free market has been the engine of America’s great progress. It’s created a prosperity that is the envy of the world. It’s led to a standard of living unmatched in history. And it has provided great rewards to the innovators and risk-takers who have made America a beacon for science, and technology, and discovery…We are all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to factory workers, we all have a stake in each other’s success because the more Americans prosper, the more America prospers.”

– Barack Obama, New York, NY, September 17, 2007

Unfortunately, Obama’s Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has stated that he has little to no knowledge concerning things economic.  Lucky us if McCain is elected as President of the United States.