Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is promoting three bills in Congress that would go a long way toward bringing unemployment under control in short order. ADA calls it their “Vote for Jobs” proposal and plans a campaign this fall to put pressure on Congress to consider these bills. These are ideas well worth considering.
The first “Vote for Jobs” proposal would revive the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which in the 1930’s matched up willing workers with needed public projects all across the country. Sponsored by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), the new CCC would immediately put people to work restoring our environment and improving our transportation infrastructure.
The second bill would increase employment by spreading it around more evenly. Since those who still have jobs are often overworked, the Shortening Hours and Retaining Employees (SHARE) Credit Act addresses both sides of the employment crisis. Introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the SHARE act would offer tax credits to employers who shorten hours (without reducing pay), thus creating more work for the unemployed. Work-sharing has been a success in Germany and other countries, and was an idea raised at the ADA Education Fund policy symposium at Harvard last year.
The final legislative measure deals specifically with youth unemployment. It is a resolution introduced—at ADA’s instigation—by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) that calls for doubling the budgets of three public service programs that chiefly serve youth: the Job Corps, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. ADA recently hand-delivered a letter to every member of the House urging them to co-sponsor the resolution; the letter was signed by ADA National Director Michael J. Wilson and Reese Neader of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, another organization focused on the youth jobs crisis.