Executing the Main Street Economic Recovery Program Equitably
By Susan Ozawa
December 22, 2008 - 5:14pm ET
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Given the male dominated nature of construction and heavy manufacturing involved in infrastructure projects Eileen Appelbaum, at the School of Management and Labor Relations and Director of the Center for Women and Work recommends that proposals pushing infrastructure investment include construction of child care centers and additional space to accommodate expanded pre-K programs. Appelbaum also recommends including in this investment funds targeting training historically marginalized workers and incentives alongside other mechanisms to ensure these jobs are distributed equitably.
A petition along these lines can be signed here. Progressive economists highlight the importance of the quality of the jobs created, pushing for those receiving recovery funds be held accountable to create jobs with livable wages, health insurance, paid sick days, paid holidays and vacations. Monitoring and oversight to ensure transparency is fundamental. Provisions are outlined by the National Partnership for Women & Families here.
Endorser of the Main Street Recovery Program, Randy Albelda, professor of economics and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Social Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston, highlights the need to address our severe deficits in social infrastructure as well as physical infrastructure. The Main Street Economic Recovery Program emphasizes spending on education, health care and child care, recognizing these should be down payments on larger reforms in our domestic budget priorities.
Signatory, Robert Drago, Professor of Labor Studies and Women's Studies at Penn State University further highlights the economic benefit of child care funding. The multiplier effect embodied in services is stronger than pure construction partly because child care workers earn less, but also because infrastructure investment is capital intensive and can involve foreign inputs although the Main Street Recovery Program emphasizes procuring domestic supplies. You can find Drago’s full argument here.
Following this lead, the Direct Care Alliance has laid out a series of recommendations to President-Elect Obama here. To avoid the kinds of jobs created after Katrina, to begin to set in order our ailing economy and to redirect our comprehensive infrastructure priorities these recommendations offer sound guidance on executing a progressive Main Street Economic Recovery Program that can benefit us all.
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