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Kuster Urges House Colleagues to Pass the Bring Jobs Home Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) today released the following statement urging her colleagues to pass the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would help American companies bring back jobs that have been sent overseas. Kuster is a cosponsor of the legislation:

“I’m very disappointed the Bring Jobs Home Act has not yet advanced in the House. This common sense bill would eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas, and instead provide a tax credit to our great American companies working to bring jobs back home. I’m a proud cosponsor of this legislation, which would help create more vitally important jobs for New Hampshire workers. I urge my colleagues in the House to put aside petty party differences and vote to pass this legislation now.”

A member of the U.S. House Small Business Committee, Congresswoman Kuster has prioritized efforts to grow the economy and create jobs here at home. She helped unveil a “Make it in America” agenda that puts forth common sense proposals to help revitalize our manufacturing sector and help American companies succeed. She included the Bring Jobs Home Act in her Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Agenda, a blueprint based on meetings with Granite State residents, families, business owners, and others, that outlines a plan to foster innovation and create jobs in New Hampshire and around the country. Kuster also routinely visits small businesses and economic development projects across the state through her Congress-At-Your-Company series to hear how she can help support their success, and she’s hosted a series of job fairs in New Hampshire to match employers with job seekers.

The Communication Workers Of American (CWA) Are Pushing To Bring Jobs Home and Raise Support For Call Center Bill

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. This is what everyone is talking about. Politicians are blaming each other for not bringing the unemployment numbers down.  Labor organization across the United States are working to pressure legislators to increase American Jobs.

The Communication Workers of America (CWA) along with the AFL-CIO have been working on the Bring Jobs Home Act.  This important piece of legislation would drastically reduce our unemployment and greatly increase our economy.

CWA has posted these two videos putting real faces to the Bring Jobs Home act and how it would be beneficial to millions of Americans.

We must continue to focus our attention on those people who are struggling to find work and ensure that our elected officials are truly fighting for us not corporate interests.

This bill will be brought back to the US Senate on March 22nd.  Call your Senator now! Capitol Switchboard – 202-224-3121

It Is Time For Us To Take America Back From Wall Street And Reinvest In Main Street

It seems the more I listen to the election coverage the more disgusted I get.  Almost every poll is saying the most important thing on people’s mind right now is jobs and the economy.  That might be because that is also all we are talking about.  For example, do not think of a pink elephants on parade.  It is a fact that we continue to think about this things long after the moment is gone.  (Let me know if your singing pink elephants on parade later.)  This is the same reason why the most popular songs are so easy to sing.  This also why they get stuck in your head.

I am not saying that we need to stop talking about the jobs, I am suggesting that we change the record.  Of course if I wanted to hear the opposite of reality I would tune to Fox News, but I do not want to do that either.  We need people to start talking about the solutions not just repeating those 30 second ads they see.   We need to shift the conversation back to the people not the “Corporation People”.   We need to move away from this myth that without corporations the world would fall apart!  Corporations and wealthy millionaires like Mitt Romney are using the GOP to further line their pockets at our expense.

Why are people not talking about the facts that our current elected officials in the House and Senate have yet to pass a Jobs Bill. No not just the Presidents American Jobs Act, but the Bring Jobs Home Act, and the Call Center Act to name a few.  Republicans in Congress have responded to a massive jobs shortage and weak economy with obstructionism and dishonesty.  These bills would add new jobs in multiple industries and provide Americans with the spending cash to bring our economy out of the dumps.  We have seen 20+ months of job growth. Now imagine where we would be if Congress actually worked together instead of fighting all the time.

So now it time for us, the workers, to start taking control.  We need to elect policy makers that will work to get Americans back to work and stop sending jobs overseas.  We need to elect policy makers who will stand up the the middle class and reject the Bush Era tax cuts.  Even now there are bills that would raise the minimum wage and would bring workers pay more inline with their productivity.

We as the workers in American need to work to take America back from the Wall Street gamblers and start reinvesting in Main Street.

Prosperity for America Part Two: Our Economic Security

This is the second part in a three-part series taking an in-depth look at the Prosperity For All recommendations.

To refresh, Prosperity for All is a list of recommended policy changes that would help bring our nation out of financial ruin, lifting up the middle class and restoring the American Dream to everyone.  The Prosperity for All campaign is broken into three main parts: Growth, Security, and Democracy. In this section we will look at the Democracy recommendations.

In this section we will look at the Economic Security recommendations.

Economic Security: “Security for workers and their families, the environment and government finances“.

Ever since we were in grade school we have been taught about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is the theory that before we can become the ‘self-actualized’ person we have to meet the our other needs first.   The most basic of all of these needs is the physical.  This would be food, water, breathing, and sleep.  The second level is ‘safety / security’.  This is security in employment, finances, health, and property.

With our economy so unstable many people have been concerned about just meeting these most basic human needs.  People have been forced out of work. People have lost their homes.  Some have lost their health care due to being laid off or being forced to change jobs.  This creates a mountain of uncertainty in their lives and we need a solid foundation if we plan to build.

Property for All has come up with some policy recommendations to help with this area.

1. “Build on the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option with the clout to push back against insurance companies so everyone has access to affordable, quality health care“.

Healthcare is a must.  While millions of American are lucky enough to receive healthcare from their workplace, there are millions who go without.   The Huffington Post reported that only 44.6% of Americans get health benefits from their employer. The worse part is that this number continues to decline every year.  This leaves 17.1% of Americans with no healthcare at all. Millions are one broken bone away from financial bankruptcy.  To add to this stress, most of the people without healthcare avoid seeking medical advice due to the cost leaving them more apt get preventable diseases.

2. & 3. “Increase public investment in research and development for clean energy technologies by $15 billion per year” and “Take action to reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases to mitigate climate change.”

I am not expert on the environment or greenhouse gases however I do believe the research that global warming is real and we need to work to reduce our carbon based emissions to slow these effects. By investing in ‘green’ energy we will put people to work and help save the planet at the same time.   The Obama for America website says the current investments in solar energy alone have helped to create 12,500 jobs and power 1.3 million homes.

4. “Provide a simple, universal mandatory pension for all that would guarantee a lifetime benefit to provide real retirement security to workers, and strengthen and expand Social Security.

Retirements and pensions have become one the biggest fights between workers and business owners in the last few decades.  People want the security of a defined benefit plan and companies are pushing people to a defined contribution (401k) style plan to save money.  For example in 2007 only “21 percent of all private-sector workers were offered traditional pensions” while “70 percent of private-sector union workers successfully negotiated for solid retirement benefits”.  Once again the process of collective bargaining works to help employees.

The problem with 401k style retirements is that there is no guaranteed monthly income and there is a risk in losing your retirement.  401k plans take your savings and invest in the stock market in hopes of a huge reward.  However as we have seen in the last few years the wall street gamblers are not always right. This could lead to you losing your retirement savings in a stock market crash.  The combination of a strong social security program would benefit everyone.  For those millions who are not even offered a retirement it allows them to retire with dignity.   Add that to the your 401k savings and rest assured your needs will be met for as long as you live.

The rest of the Economic Security recommendations talk about changes to the financial markets and tax structure.

5. & 6. “End the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. The Bush tax cuts are the largest single contributor to our current revenue shortfall” and “Implement a financial transaction tax to discourage short‐term speculation and reduce the chance of financial crises. The tax would be invested publicly and fund job creation.

Both of these are currently being evaluated in Congress. The Bush Era Tax cuts just passed the US House and will move to the Senate where it will likely fade away under the Democrats control.   These Bush Era tax cuts do offer some relief to middle class families however the ultra wealth are the ones who are reaping the benefits.  To help pay for all of these things we must do to move our country forward we must end these tax cuts to the top 2%.  By ending the tax cuts to the top 2% the middle class would be protected from a significant tax increase.

 

Prosperity For All Part One: Economic Growth

Continue to part three: Protecting Our Democracy

Prosperity For All Part 1: Rebuilding America Through Economic Growth

This is the first part in a three-part series taking an in-depth look at the Prosperity For All recommendations.

Ever since workers began to speak together with one voice, unions have been working to bring everyone to a more prosperous place.  The idea that a person can be born into poverty then raise themselves up to be a millionaire is the ultimate American Dream.  For many this is dream is slipping further and further away.  America is stuck in a rut.  Good jobs are hard to come by.  Workers are making less than they did 40 years ago (after inflation).  Our country is literally falling apart.   While this may seem gloomy, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We can fix all of these with a few simple steps and restore the American Dream for all Americans again.

Where do we begin?

In a new report called Prosperity For All, by Professor Jacob Hacker and Nathaniel Loewentheil of Yale University, explain some of the small incremental changes we, as a nation, can do to bring ‘Prosperity for all’.

“Prosperity economics is built on three pillars: growth, security and democracy. These three pillars support a strong, secure middle class and reinforce one another. To rebuild the three pillars of shared prosperity, we must take bold, immediate action.”

Each one of these areas alone with drastically help rebuild our sluggish economy but when add together, the sky is the limit.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

To rebuild our economy we need to invest in our economy. There is an old saying, ‘you have to spend money to make money’.  This is true when you talk about the local and national economy.  The idea is simple, if you spend money then that money will eventually come back to you when the workers spend the money you have given them.   Prosperity For All lists their policy recommendations to help spur our economy.

1. “Invest $250 billion per year for the next six years to rebuild our nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, ports, airports and public transportation systems.”

Our nation is falling apart. Bridges are unusable, roads are un-drivable, buildings are condemned for safety risks, and some areas do not have adequate power to sustain their growth. This is especially true here in New Hampshire.  New Hampshire is “one of the worst states in the country for the poor conditions of its bridges”.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):

  • 51% of the states bridges are structurally deficient
  • 27% of New Hampshire’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition
  • New Hampshire has $570 million in wastewater infrastructure needs
  • New Hampshire’s drinking water infrastructure needs an investment of $596 million over the next 20 years

  We need to start by rebuilding our roads and bridges, then move on to water supplies and repairing our schools.

2. “Restore America’s manufacturing base by ending the trade deficit and tax incentives for offshoring.

This is one that I have talked a lot about. (see also To Preserve Our Freedoms, Bring American Jobs Home, Its time to bring jobs home, and CWA Call Center Bill).  We must stop sending our jobs overseas.  We need to rebuild our manufacturing base. This will in turn put people back to work at the same time.  New Hampshire is continuing to try to add jobs however some parts of the state lack the infrastructure to handle these new jobs.  NH Governor Candidate Jackie Cilley noted in her interview with the NH Telegraph, that a company wanted to build a call center in Berlin, NH but the ‘infrastructure’ could not sustain their needs.  They had a lack of power and internet access.  While it is important bring jobs back we need to rebuild our infrastructure at the same time.

3. “Provide help to states and localities to hire back teachers, first responders and other public servants.

In May the Wall Street Journal cited that if the public sector had retained the nearly 600,000 jobs that were cut since 2008 our Nations unemployment would be at 7.1%. This is over one full point lower than the current unemployment rate.   This leads right into the #4 point.

4. “Provide every child with an excellent education, every working family with affordable child care and every student with an opportunity to attend college.

The education system in American has been discussed at great length, and NH is no different.  Many people have claimed that NH Schools are ‘failing our children’.  This is a complete lie.  NH has six public high schools that are ranked in the top 2000 nation wide by US News, and seven more that were nationally recognized.  Education Week research showed the NH was average in their rankings of public schools.  In the same research, when they looked at a child’s ‘chance for success‘ rankings, NH ranked in the top three (1. MA and 2. NJ).

Contrary to what you may see in the local papers our schools are not failing our children it is us who are failing our schools.  NH has a very lean budget and with the massive cuts in the last budget schools were the first to lose funding.  Programs were cut.  Teachers were laid off.  Class sizes will continue to increase.  If we want to make the schools in NH better, we need to start by bringing back those teachers that were laid off and pushing more state (and federal) funding to our public education system.

5. “Ensure decent wages and job quality by guaranteeing that workers have the right to form unions and to collectively bargain.

This is an absolute must! Wages in America have been flat for nearly four decades.  To fix this we need to pass legislation to increase the Federal Minimum Wage Law.  (see also In 1968 Minimum Wage Should Have Been $10 per hour, Why Is It Only $7.25 Now?, What Can We Do To Help 50,000 Granite Staters At Once?).  Currently there are a few different minimum wage proposals in Congress.  One is the “Catching Up To 1968 Act of 2012″ that will bring wages up to $10 per hour in the next couple of years.  Raising the wages is an absolute must!

We also must preserve the rights of working people and encourage the collective bargaining process.  These rights are inherent to all workers and have benefits every worker.  Without the collective bargaining process we would not have weekends, overtime, healthcare, vacation time, or OSHA.  The collective bargaining process allows all workers to have a voice in their job.  Who knows better what is happening at a job than the people who are doing it.  The collective bargaining process help ensure that the workers are treated fairly and with respect.

Continue to part two: Economic Security

Continue to part three: Protecting Our Democracy

Guinta faces difficult choice of voting down most common-sense jobs bill yet

What’s more outrageous: that companies get a tax credit for shipping jobs overseas, or that Congressmen Guinta thinks this isn’t a problem?

It may seem nonsensical to allow companies to fund the outsourcing of American jobs with federal dollars at a time when millions of Americans are still out of work and rumblings over the federal deficit threaten to capsize Social Security and Medicare. But Congressman Guinta has wavered between doing nothing to address our jobs crisis and actively making it worse – so his choice may not be so easy.

Guinta voted for the Panama, Colombia and South Korean free trade agreements even though they will severely hurt American manufacturing and drive hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas. At home, Guinta isn’t much better. His “jobs fairs” have produced more photo ops than jobs for laid-off workers, and he’s voted repeatedly to cut unemployment benefits and stymie jobs bills in the House.

Now, he’ll have a chance to redeem himself with what has to be the most common-sense jobs bill ever. In the next two weeks, Congress will vote on the Bring Jobs Home Act – a straightforward bill that prohibits companies from claiming a tax credit for moving expenses when they relocate to another country. It’s that simple.

On Tuesday, we’re asking Guinta to finally say YES to jobs and sign on to this common-sense bill – and you can too!  Click here to sign a petition to Guinta asking him to support the American Jobs Act and we’ll hand-deliver it to him when we visit his office next week.

Make This Fourth Of July A Day To Remember and Reinvest In America


One of my favorite movie lines is Bill Pullman as the President in the movie Independence Day.  He said:
“We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”
That rallying cry lead the charge to the climatic finish of the movie.

Well today is Independence Day, but this time we are not fighting aliens threatening to destroy of home.  Now we are fighting other countries for jobs.  One little thing you can do to help your fellow Americans this Independence Day is to buy American Made products.

The AFLCIO put together a great list of American Made products and here are just a few:
Budweiser, Coke, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Hebrew National, and many more.

Today the NH Labor News will be tweeting all morning reminding people to buy American Made Products today.  If you are on Twitter be sure to follow us @NHLabor_News.  Help share the message to buy American.  When we buy American we are not only helping our country, we are helping our neighbors keep their jobs and fighting against the war of outsourcing jobs.

Share you message of support via twitter:
I support American Workers on this 4th of July by Buying American Union Made Products for my BBQ
Click to Tweet

What Would Six Million Jobs Do To Our Economy?

The economy has been the biggest talking point of the last four years.  In 2008 the United States entered into the largest recession since the great depression.  Millions of people were out of work. At the height of the unemployment 15 Million Americans were out of work.   Most of this economic disaster has been blamed on Wall Street however they were not the only people pushing Americans out of work.

For many years now companies have been moving jobs overseas to save a few pennies on labor costs.  For example in 2009 New Hampshire lost 23,600 private sector jobs due to companies closing and taking those jobs overseas.

 Category   2009 
Unemployment Rate 6.3%
Nonfarm Jobs Lost -21600
Manufacturing Jobs Lost -8000
Information Jobs Lost 0
Private Sector Jobs Lost -23600

Graph Source

 All and all over the last ten years the United States closed 50,000 manufacturing facilites.  This resulted  in a loss of over 6 Million Jobs. SIX MILLION JOBS!  What would happen if we added six million jobs to our current economy?  Lets take a look.

This chart show the number of Americans who are out of work.  Currently we have 12.5 Million Americans out of work.  This leaves the United States with an unemployment rate of 8.2%.  Now what if we were to bring those 6 Million jobs back?   Our number of unemployed would drop to 6.5 Million, and our unemployment would be around 4%.  That would be astounding!

Lets not stop there, before we can bring those 6 Million jobs back we need to find places for them to work.  I am talking about manufacturing facilities.  We would need to build new facilities to handle all of the manufacturing.  CHA-CHING.  Thats right were are adding more jobs now.  Construction workers would be needed to build these new facilities.  We would also need to hire more staff, like janitors, telephone operators, payroll accountants, and managers.  CHA-CHING! CHA-CHING! More Jobs!

All of these jobs would not only bring our unemployment down it would also provide much needed capitol (money) to push into local economies.  When people are working they will be able to take that paycheck and spend it on food at the grocery store, or shows at the local theater, or dinner at a local restaurant.  This boost to our economy would be astronomical.

So what can we do to bring these jobs back to America? We need to start with Congress.  We need our Congressional leaders to stop giving tax incentives to companies who are taking good American jobs overseas.  In July, the Senate will take up the “Bring Jobs Home Act” (S. 2884/HR 5442) that will eliminate tax deductions for companies that move jobs overseas.   We must push Senator Ayotte and Senator Shaheen to support this vital piece of legislation.

Politicians have talked for four years about how they are working to rebuild our economy and now they have a chance to make a real difference.  By changing this legislation we are telling American companies to Bring Jobs Home, America Wants To Work!

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