by Jim Lane
DALLAS -- Upon the release of August unemployment statistics on September 2, activists hit the streets as they do every month to try to rouse the nation to action. North Texas Jobs with Justice targets the Bureau of Labor Statistics offices in the A. Maceo Smith building on Young Street in downtown Dallas. Nobody blames the statisticians inside, that would be "shooting the messenger," but it's as good a place as any for a monthly jobs vigil.
The leaflet for his month had a photo of humorist Will Rogers and his famous quote about nobody ever working to change the weather. The complaint is that not nearly enough people are working to overcome the jobs crisis. While the politicians were elected on programs of "jobs jobs jobs," they are actually pouring oil on the fire with direct, politician-ordered layoffs. The August statistics showed that the bosses in the private sector were once again failing to provide jobs, but the biggest layoffs are coming from the public sector. This month's Dallas leaflet said, "The public sector is contributing negatively as we begin to feel the state and local layoffs directly ordered by political leaders. The gargantuan effect of federally ordered layoffs is an oil pipeline aimed at the wildfire.
Future indicators, such as the average workweek and the number of people being forced to work part-time, say that the situation is going to get much worse.
Solutions aren't even discussed
Not discussed and not moving, solutions lie at hand. All of them involve government created public works jobs to repair our economy and our infrastructure at the same time.
* The AFL-CIO put forward a new six-point program for recovery while reducing financial speculation
* Representative John Conyers has a comprehensive bill that also addresses the racist aspects of the crisis
* Representative Jan Schakowsky's bill would produce 2 million jobs by taxing the rich and big oil
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and others are calling for an honest solution that really addresses our need. They point out that our federal government created over 8 million good jobs during the last great crisis through the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. This is what we must have.
Bring Back the WPA!"
Dallas activist sing a song created by local artist Dean Recklaw, "Bring back the WPA," and they are ordering his shirts with the same slogan.