By Sarah Treuhaft and Angela Glover Blackwell
Skyrocketing inequality and persistent racial inequities are erasing the American dream for all but the lucky few and hobbling true economic prosperity. Tackling this toxic inequality must be the fight of this decade, and doing so requires breaking up the stranglehold of wealth at the top, growing the largest and most diverse middle class in history, and ensuring that no person or family falls below a standard of living that affords them economic security and dignity.
One crucial tool that would go a long way toward establishing a new baseline of economic security for all is a Federal Job Guarantee: a public option for a good job that pays a living-wage and offers full benefits on projects that address long-neglected community needs and produce public benefits.
Environmental restoration and energy efficiency retrofits to address our climate crisis; sidewalk and street repair, public art, and greening projects to reinvigorate disinvested neighborhoods; and new teachers’ aides, child care workers, and elder care workers to create a care infrastructure are just a few examples of the community-building work that would become possible with a job guarantee.