Sunday, February 28, 2010

AFL-CIO plan for "good jobs"

A little while ago, the head of the AFL-CIO spoke at the National Press Club. He talked about a plan to create "good jobs". He defined good jobs as middle class jobs.

The plan is:

1. Extend the lifeline for jobless workers

2. Rebuild America's schools, roads and energy systems

3. Increase aid to states and local governments for vital services

4. Put people to work doing what needs to be done

5. Put TARP funds to work for Main Street, not Wall Street

The end result of this and other proposed efforts in the economy is that all workers will end up in the middle class.

A couple of responses:

1. If they all end up in the middle class, who will end up in the lower class? Non-union workers? Farmers?

2. If wages increase, will America be competitive to sell its goods and services? The US is 8th on the list for cost competitiveness in the world, according to an article in CFO magazine. (No. 1 is Mexico, No. 2 is India. China is No. 6.)

3. If America is less competitive, it could mean fewer jobs. This seems counter to the AFL-CIO's objective of increasing "good jobs".

Instead we need to find competitive advantages and service or product niches that will mean more sales, and therefore more jobs. Security and good wages will follow too.

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