Friday, January 1, 2021

[NJFAC] 7 Reasons Why We Need Federal Direct Job Creation!! (Jan 2021 NJFAN Newsletter)

Jobs for All Newsletter #5, (January 2021) COVID, Jobs, Bailouts and more

News and Updates from the National Jobs for All Network (NJFAN)
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National Jobs for All Network
P.O. Box 96, Lynbrook, NY 11563 · · 
Issue #5, January 2021
In this issue of the Jobs for All Newsletter:

The Covid-19 Relief Package: Too Little and Way Too Late

The $900 billion coronavirus relief package passed by the U.S. Congress Dec. 21st—and finally signed by President Donald Trump six days later—will bring immediate assistance to  millions of desperate Americans and provide some stimulus to the economy.

But the package falls way short of what's needed to address the deep human suffering and economic loss caused by  this pandemic-induced recession. Moreover, Trump's stall—as he called for a $2,000 check for each family member that he knew Republicans would never approve—delayed even further sorely-needed relief to millions of American families. Withholding aid during the season of giving!

The relief package—appropriating less than one-third of the cost of the $3 trillion HEROES Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May—is simply not large enough to last until the pandemic is under control.

This legislation is seen by many as a stop-gap measure until the administration of President-elect Joe Biden crafts a more comprehensive rescue package. Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) called it a "down payment." However, whether the new administration can deliver substantial relief and economic stimulus depends on Senate approval—which is very unlikely if the upper house remains in the hands of a Republican leadership that is opposed to more spending. Much therefore hinges on the outcome of the Georgia special election which will determine control of the Senate.
Read More


Seven Reasons Why We Need a Major Federal Direct Job Creation Program, ASAP


Millions of Americans need help right now. They cannot afford food, rent, or other necessities. We need a generous CARES Act II. But we need so much more.

President-elect Joe Biden and his team talk about bringing real economic opportunities, but old approaches and half-way efforts will not suffice. Obviously, the United States needs more jobs now, but the goal cannot be merely to get back to where we were before the pandemic. That should be just the beginning.

Prior to the pandemic, there were a lot of jobs but still not enough and many of them were lousy jobs. Real wages for workers in the lower half were barely higher than they had been in the 1970s.

Coming out of the pandemic, a standard economic recovery and business-as-usual will vastly improve life for millions of people, but that won't lift enough of them out of economic insecurity and poverty or near-poverty. We need federal direct-job creation programs. 

Here are seven reasons why.

Read More

New York and Massachusetts Introduce Job Creation Legislation


Help Start a New WPA Public Jobs Program in Your State!

Legislators in New York and Massachusetts have introduced visionary legislation to create statewide, publicly-funded job creation programs to hire jobless workers. The two bills are modeled after the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the New Deal. The WPA employed 8.5 million workers from 1935 to 1943 in a wide range of public works, construction, environmental restoration, and arts and culture jobs, that met urgent human and infrastructure needs. 

The sponsors of the proposed New York and Massachusetts WPA bills are calling for the federal government to appropriate and pass-through grant funds to states to fund the state jobs programs, which would be implemented by their respective state departments of labor, to create many urgently needed jobs to in response to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis.  

The National Jobs For All Network (NJFAN) encourages advocates to reach out to legislators in other states to encourage them to introduce similar bills. This will help publicize the need for state and national public service jobs programs and increase pressure on state and federal governments to act to fund and implement them.

Please contact Chuck Bell of National Jobs for All Network if you would like more information and/or to arrange a briefing for an interested group or legislator. Contact: Chuck Bell,, 914.830.0639.

Read More about the New York and Massachusetts job creation bills

Gender Inequality and Covid-19


Men are more likely than women to die from Covid-19.

But in many ways, women are being disproportionately hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which is exacerbating gender inequality.

"The resurgence of extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic has revealed women's precarious economic security," said Antra Bhatt, co-author of a United Nations report "From Insights to Action."

"Women typically earn less and hold less secure jobs than men," Bhatt said. "With plummeting economic activity, women are particularly vulnerable to layoffs and loss of livelihoods."

The UN report estimates that the pandemic will push 47 million women and girls into poverty worldwide. This will bring the total number of women and girls living on $1.90 or less a day to 435 million in the global economy.

"For the first time since 1964—the advent of modern U.S. employment statistics for women—this economic downturn, which began in February, has seen women lose jobs at a higher rate than men," Michael Madowitiz and Diana Boesch write in a report released in October by the Center for American Progress. "Women's employment and labor force participation rates have both fallen to levels not seen since 1986."

Read More

Debate and Discussion

Could a Resurgence of FDR's Tree Army Be on the Horizon?

By AMY KUBIS, Digital Editor
The Allegheny Front

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in the midst of the Great Depression he was facing record unemployment and a host of environmental problems. Sound familiar? In response, FDR established the Civilian Conservation Corps, as part of his New Deal. He introduced the idea to the nation in his second fireside chat broadcast by radio across the country on May 7, 1933.

During the Civilian Conservation Corps era, from 1933 to 1942, close to 200,000 Pennsylvanians served in camps across the country. The value of the work completed by the CCC nationwide is estimated at $8 billion.

Calls for a New CCC for the 21st Century

Now, some congressional Democrats are talking about a resurgence of the program to tackle both unemployment and environmental issues, including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

"I think not only is it a great idea, it's an idea whose time has come," he said on a Zoom call with stakeholders recently. "It's an idea whose urgency is upon us. Maybe without the pandemic but ever more so in the aftermath of the pandemic." 

Casey is currently drafting legislation for a 21st Century CCC program that he's planning to introduce soon and thinks there is potential for bipartisan support for it. Once the legislation is finalized, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would provide an estimate of the total cost.

"I can hear the howls from some in Washington saying, 'Oh my goodness, you mean you're going to use federal dollars to hire people?' " Casey said. "And I say, 'Damn right. You gotta do it.' There's no way we can wait for some package of incentives to kickstart a full, robust recovery." 

Editor's note: H.R. 2358, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Act has been introduced in the House of Representative by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). See January 2020 Jobs for All Newsletter.

For the complete Allegheny Front article, go to
Movement News

Corporate Fat Cats Get Bailouts, Workers Get Pink Slips as Retailers File for Bankruptcy Protection

Retail giants hit by the Covid-19 recession are filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections, letting go workers while giving bonuses to corporate executives.
Meanwhile, bankruptcy filings have allowed the companies to protect their assets and provide leveraged bailouts to their executives arranged by parasitical private equity firms.

Clothing retailer J.Crew filed for bankruptcy in May. As of mid-August, the number of its stores was down to 170, compared to 500 before the Covid-19 recession.

Just a week after J.Crew's. bankruptcy filling in early May, Neiman Marcus filed for Chapter 11 protection, threatening the livelihood of its more than 13,000 employees. The company told the bankruptcy court it planned to close 21 locations permanently. In February, Neiman Marcus paid its CEO a $4 million bonus, and a week before the bankruptcy filing, other executives received $25 million.

"In a perfect world, we would prohibit LBOs because they are primarily predatory and often destructive of value and jobs," writes Bill Barclay, a Democratic Socialists of America organizer, member of the of Chicago Political Economy Group, and NJFAN board member, in an article on the DSA's website, Democratic Left. "In this world, we could at least put restraints on the LBO market."                                                   
For the full story, click here.

Helping Mexican Folk Artists Market Their Work

A GoFundMe drive raised $21,000 to help artists in the Mexican state of Oaxaca who are facing financial hardship because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Shown here are examples of submissions to a competition of folk art on the Covid-19 theme that was organized to create interest in the fundraiser.  
"Fundraisers are important," says Alan Goldberg, an architect who initiated the project, "but long-term solutions are needed."

Goldberg, in partnership with associates in Oaxaca, will soon  launch the Mexican Folk Art website (MFA) to enable these artists to access national and international markets. The organizers feel MFA is the best way for these folk artists to cushion themselves against the financial effects of future pandemics, natural disasters, and other hardships. 

Currently, Goldberg is completing a book on Oaxacan Covid-19 folk art. Sponsored by the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, the book gives the artists an opportunity to share their work and culture with a wider audience.


Palliative Care Bill Advances

Health-care advocates are fighting for legislation that would ensure medical professionals are trained to provide more humane and coordinated care of patients.

Grassroots activists are calling on U.S. senators to pass the Palliative Care Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA). The U.S. House of Representatives approved its version of the bill last year.

Sen. Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (D-WI) is the sponsor of the Senate bill (S. 2080). Currently, S.2080 has 37 bipartisan cosponsors. If the Senate fails to approve the bill in the current session, PCHETA will need to be reintroduced in both houses.

The House version of PCHETA was approved on Oct 28, 2019. 

The legislation would require training for medical professionals on how to provide more humane and coordinated care.  Currently, they don't get this palliative care training as part  of their medical education.

Book Nook

A History of Unemployment and the Search for Solutions

American Unemployment: Past, Present and Future
Frank Stricker
University of Illinois Press
Hardcover $125
Paperback $19.95
Ebook $14.95
ISBN-13: 978-0252043154
ISBN-10: 0252043154


There are some books that all members of the jobs-for-all/right-to-work/full-employment/job-guarantee advocacy movement should have on their bookshelf or in their computer library. Frank Stricker's new book, "American Unemployment: Past, Present and Future," is one of those.

Stricker is an historian, and the primary purpose of the book is to provide an account of the nature and extent of the unemployment problem in the United States since the beginning of the industrial era following the end of the Civil War.

The theme of this history is that there has always been a lot more unemployment in the United States than people realize. During economic contractions, the problem is clearly visible, as is its link to business cutbacks and outright failures. But when "good times" return and the economy is "booming," it's hard to see unemployment for what it is. Instead, individuals and groups that lack work are much more likely to be blamed for their own joblessness. Stricker's book provides a powerful retrospective antidote to that assumption.
Read More

An Appreciation

Helen Lachs Ginsburg, Scholar-Activist and Leader in Advocacy of Living-Wage Jobs for All


Helen Lachs Ginsburg, life-long advocate for full employment and a Job Guarantee, died on Oct. 8 at the age of 91. She retired some years ago as professor emerita of economics from Brooklyn College. Professor Ginsburg gained distinction in a field that was dominated by men, particularly some 70 years ago when she launched her career as an economist.

As a founding member of the National Committee for Full Employment, led by Coretta Scott King, Ginsburg wrote and lectured around the country in the 1970s in support of the full employment legislation proposed by Rep. Augustus Hawkins (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Sen. Hubert Humphrey (D-MN).

The original legislation would have given everyone a decent job who wants one
a key policy to reduce inequality and poverty. As a tireless promoter of full-employment legislation, Ginsburg came to be a link between those like her who fought for full employment 50 years ago and the young activists now pressing for a job guarantee, a $15 minimum wage, and a Green New Deal that would include a right to living-wage work. 

The Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978, a much watered-down version of the legislation originally proposed by Rep. Hawkins, guaranteed neither full employment nor balanced growth.
In the wake of her disappointment with the legislation, Professor Ginsburg began her study of Sweden's successful, sustained full employment policy.  
Unemployment Data
The Full Count: November 2020

Officially unemployed: 10.7 million (6.7%)

Hidden unemployment: 13.8 million
(Includes 6.7 million people working part-time
because they can't find a full-time job;
and 7.1 million people who want jobs,
but are not actively looking)
Total: 24.5 million (14.6% of the labor force)

There are 3.7 job-wanters for each available job!

For more information and analysis, visit:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Support NJFAN

Dear Friends,

We write to you with hope that 2021 will be a much better year than the one that is coming to a close—with control of the coronavirus and large steps toward economic, racial, and earth justice. 

Healing Our Divided Nation

President-elect Joseph Biden aspires to govern for all Americans. Full employment—a guarantee of living-wage work for all—is essential to unifying this country and repairing the economic policies that have damaged and divided us. A Job Guarantee is a universal measure and, as such, a unifying measure—available to all and at the same time benefiting most those who suffer disproportionately from unemployment and its consequent ills. We continue to believe and to advocate forcefully for a Federal Job Guarantee—an essential foundation for a just and equitable society.
A 21st Century Job Guarantee  will not only solve the scourge of unemployment but will rebuild our depleted resources—just as New Deal government job creation did.  Soon, a high-profile member of the U.S. House of Representatives, whom we have been advising, will announce new legislation for a Job Guarantee featuring the creation of jobs that expand our human services, repair our depleted infrastructure, increase affordable housing, and help to sustain our endangered planet. We look forward to bringing you details of this initiative in upcoming issues of our newsletter and on our website 

Building a Job Guarantee Movement: The Jobs for All Newsletter

During this grim year, NJFAN moved vigorously ahead with its on-line Jobs for All Newsletter, proposing programs of Relief, Recovery, and Reform in response to our nation's acute health and economic crisis. The Jobs for All Newsletter (all back issues available at our website, is a clearinghouse for information about a wide range of economic justice issues and initiatives and an effort to increase communication, cooperation, and unity among the forces for economic and social justice. 

Every issue features Movement News, such as articles in a recent edition on the proposed National Infrastructure Bank and the Poor People's Campaign Digital Rally. We urge you to send us news about your actions on behalf of economic justice so that we can encourage more such ideas and actions.

Every issue contains NJFAN's signature Full Count—not the official unemployment undercount but the actual number of jobless Americans and the number of job seekers in relation to available jobs. The official undercount discourages action on this serious social problem because it underestimates the number of individuals and families that suffer from unemployment. The Full Count is a movement-building tool for supporters of full employment and economic justice because it shows that the problem is widespread. 

Please send us your email address (if you haven't done so yet) so that we can send you the Jobs for All Newsletter.  And please share it with other actual and prospective advocates for Jobs for All.                                                                                                                                                         
NJFAN Co-Founder Professor Helen Lachs Ginsburg

Among other dispiriting occurrences this year was the death of Helen Lachs Ginsburg – our co-founder and a leading intellectual and activist force in our movement. Helen's 1983 book—"Full Employment and Public Policy: The United States and Sweden"—was an important influence on the thinking of those who advocate full employment—or as Helen referred to that goal in the title of a 1978 article in "The Nation": "Jobs  for All." 
Please read our own reflections about Helen in the newsletter, which includes a link to her obituary in The New York Times. We celebrate her contributions as well as mourn her loss to our group. In doing so, we recognize her continuing influence on those of us who had the privilege of working closely with her.  

A Rebirth of Economic Justice

We know there are many calls on your generosity this year.
A Job Guarantee is a centerpiece of the nation's economic recovery and rebirth of economic justice.  Presented with an idea for reform, FDR reportedly replied that it was a good idea, saying. "Now go out and make me do it."

Your tax-deductible contributions will help NJFAN to make our new leaders "do it." They need us!

Warm regards,

Trudy Goldberg

Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, Chair

P.S. -  Please make out your checks to National Jobs for All Coalition or pay via PayPal on our website:

Get Involved!!

 Join/Donate!  Subscribe!

The National Jobs for All Network is dedicated to the proposition that meaningful employment is a precondition for a fulfilling life, and that every person capable of working should have the right to a job.  As part of our mission, the NJFAN promotes discussion, encourages networking, and disseminates information concerning the problem of unemployment, the struggle for workers' rights, and the goal of guaranteeing decent work for everyone who wants it.

NJFAN relies on your support. If you find our material useful, please make a tax-deductible donation. We are all volunteers, except for a part-time coordinator and a part-time administrator.

We are publishing this newsletter to provide a public forum where the multiple groups and countless individuals interested in promoting this goal can learn what others are doing to promote the Job Guarantee idea, build public support for it, and pursue legislative initiatives to implement it.

We invite our readers to:
  • Help us to establish a Jobs for All Action Clearinghouse by informing us of publications, actions and events that promote a Job Guarantee or related economic justice goals so we can share the information with other readers
  • Comment on the contents of this issue of the Jobs for All Newsletter
  • Submit ideas for articles in coming issues of the Jobs for All Newsletter
  • Provide names and email addresses of individuals to whom we may send a subsequent issue of the Jobs for All Newsletter
Please send your updates and contact suggestions to: Thanks so much in advance for your help in building this important social movement.

Newsletter Committee: Gregory N. Heires, editor; Chuck Bell, production manager; Trudy Goldberg, Philip Harvey, Logan Martinez (Action Updates); June Zaccone (the Full Count and NJFAN Website).

National Jobs for All Network
P.O. Box 96
Lynbrook, NY 11563
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