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10 Ways to Rebuild the Middle Class

A group of national organizations have released an important report today on rebuilding the middle class in our country.  The report details 10 common-sense policies that can make sure that today’s jobs are better and tomorrow’s jobs are good.  The recommendations are based on the concerns raised by national analyses of declining incomes, growing costs and income inequality.  Similar to our own recent analysis for NC, the key finding is that the middle class, the great engine of the American economy, is sputtering. Here are 10 Ways to Rebuild the Middle Class:

1. Make Every Job a Good Job

2. Fix the Minimum Wage

3. Save good Public and Private Jobs

4. Assure Health and Retirement Security

5. Remove barriers to Unionization

6. Make the Workplace Pro-Family

7. Stop Wage Theft

8. Assure that your Boss is your Employer

9. Give Unemployed People a Real Fresh Start

10. Protect Workers’ Safety and Health

18 Comments

  1. Bob Geary

    September 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t think the link to the report is working.

  2. Frank Burns

    September 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Ten better ways to Rebuild the Middle Class

    1. If you have a job, it is a good job.
    2. There is nothing wrong with the minimum wage, it’s not broken and doesn’t need fixing. If you raise the minimum wage, you increase the cost of goods and services which hurts the middle class.
    3. Promote private jobs, keep public jobs to the bare minimum. Hint the middle class doesn’t need to pay more taxes.
    4. A strong economy assures retirement security. The 401k plans of the middle class are suffering due to incompetant presidential leadership. People who can’t afford to buy a house don’t need to buy a house, keep the government out of real estate!
    5. Increase the barriers to unionization. Union labor is a blight on productivity and cost to consumers (the middle class).
    6. Being in the workplace is pro family. Unemployment is not pro family.
    7. Stop fraud of government programs. There are too many people who fraudulently claim disability and are hurting the Social Security program. Waste, and fraud are common with Medicare.
    8. Every boss is your employer.
    9. A strong economy provides jobs to the unemployed which gives them a fresh start.
    10. Workers safety and health is already protected under OSHA, you better not be thinking of adding additional rules on business!

  3. Admin

    September 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Bob, the link has been fixed. Thanks for letting us know!

  4. jlp75

    September 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Frank,

    I agree about the 401k problems being due to George W. Bush’s incompetent presidential leadership. It is a good think that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has doubled from the 2009 lows under Obama’s first term. Hopefully he will get a second term so we can continue this performance. You are aware that the Dow is a good indicator of 401k performance aren’t you Frank?

    Hey Mitt, am I better off than I was 4 years ago? You betcha. After analyzing my financial position just last night there is no question that I am significantly better off than I was 4 years ago. But then again I don’t sit around and let politicians of either party control my destiny. Perhaps you should give that a try instead of blaming Obama for your problems.

  5. Frank Burns

    September 14, 2012 at 9:21 am

    JLP,
    The economic crash was due to the policies put into place by the Democrats (Bill Clinton), endorsed by then Sen Obama to loosen the credit for people who could not afford homes. Quit being so selfish, you may be better off but there are a lot of people suffering without jobs or working several minimum wage jobs to survive. Then there are those who don’t work and just collect the government dole. The country is not better off. Obama was a failed as a president. He’s a good campaigner though.

  6. jlp75

    September 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Well Romney can’t even campaign so I guess he is just an all around failure. Making more money off of Daddy’s money doesn’t impress me. Furthermore his foreign policy or lack thereof is frankly something to be afraid of. In the type of situation where politicians of both parties have historically rallied behind the President in solidarity as AMERICANS, Mitt decides to make cheap shots. This is not the type of leadership I would like to see.

    And the economic crash was due to crooks bundling those crap mortgages you speak of into bonds and getting another batch of crooks to stamp AAA ratings on them while yet another batch of crooks insured debt and pocketed the premiums instead of holding proper provisions for the inevitable default of said debt. This all made possible by deregulation of the financial industry passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Clinton. Plenty of blame to go around. To lay this all at the feet of Obama is partisan hackery at its finest.

  7. Frank Burns

    September 14, 2012 at 9:53 am

    JLP,
    What I lay at Obama’s feet is his failure to deliver a strong economy. We don’t need to get angry, just admit he couldn’t do the job. Sure he can blame all sorts of things for his failure, but good leaders never behave that way, do they? Do you consider this mess in the middle east as good foreign policy? Is Egypt our ally or aren’t they? If they’re not we are giving them billions of dollars for nothing. The State Department said that they were but Obama claimed that they are not. I wish Obama would quit shooting from the lip. I begin to wonder who is in charge? It looks like Hillary Clinton is running the show. I don’t know of any leader worth spit who leads from behind.

    I applaud Mitt for his comments. I’m tired of the US helping everybody in the world and we get attacked, American citizens get killed and we apologize. That Florida pastor may well be a nut, but he is entitled to say what he wants about Mohammed. It’s the Arabs that have the problem, not our right to free speech.

  8. jlp75

    September 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    No president would have pulled a miracle out of his backside in order to “deliver a strong economy” in 4 years after the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. This was not a typical business cycle recession. To characterize it as such is disingenuous. Nearly every measurable economic indicator has improved since 2008. Things are not where we all would like, but they are a hell of a lot better than what they were. Do you have an economic background? Do you even know how to read indicators or data. It is apparent that you are unable to judging your little quip about 401k(s). If you are unable to understand that the Dow in the 6000’s is a hell of a lot worse than the Dow in the 13000’s then you need to do a little research. The Dow is a leading indicator in estimating 401k performance. If your 401k did not have similar results, perhaps you need to rethink your investment decisions.

  9. Frank Burns

    September 14, 2012 at 11:36 am

    JLP,
    Forget about the Dow, look at the unemployed fellow citizens. Have you no heart? We are at a point where more citizens get on disability in a month then are hired. Please don’t make excuses for Obama as this being the greatest economic crisis since the Depression. When the president puts policies in place to fix the situation that doesn’t work, he gets credit. Most of the flawed stimulus simply went into state and local coffers to help them pay their inflated budgets. How in the world would that have ever helped our economy? It’s the private economy that needed help, not the government sector.

    Do you have no comment on Obama’s foreign policy? You gave him credit for having a good foreign policy. Do you still feel that way in light of events in the middle east? Is appeasment ever a good foreign policy? Do strong leaders ever lead from behind?

  10. jlp75

    September 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    And what do you think that money going into State coffer’s was used for. To continue to EMPLOY AMERICANS. You can’t even make an argument that the stimulus failed. We do not know what the alternative would have been. Do you think if nothing was done things would have been better. The states would have immediately had to lay off more AMERICANS. Have you no heart?

    Again the math alludes you. The unemployment rate peaked at 10%. Are you unable to comprehend that 8%, while still not ideal, is an improvement over 10%. There is no way to argue that this is not the worse economic crisis since the Great Depression. You are just a partisan hack who fails to see that your party is just as complicit if not more to the situation.

    Furthermore when your party states its number one goal is to make the president fail, do they not deserve some blame? The number one priority of every elected official should be to serve their country. Seeing that the country fails for political gain is borderline treasonous.

    The reason I focused on the Dow is because you claimed Obama tanked everyone’s 401k. Seeing as the Dow is one of the leading indicators of 401k performance it was the ammunition necessary to refute your bogus claim. Now that you have been refuted, instead of conceding you chose to deflect. Not sure if you are an idiot or a liar but you are dead wrong on that point.

    I was going to address your foreign policy lies, however I decided that this is not the forum considering this article is about domestic issues.

    I see no issue with Obama’s foreign policy in this incident. I condemn the actions of both the protesters and the individuals responsible for this film. The statement that the embassy made that Mitt embarrassingly latched on to was a heat of the moment attempt to quell a tense situation and was in no way an official statement from the White House. It is easy for you to criticize them from your safe and comfortable couch. If you were in the belly of the beast you might have sang a different tune as well. Even if this were an official statement from the White House there would have not been a freedom of speech issue. The government is free to disagree with speech and state that it does not share the opinion of the speaker. The 1st amendment only protects one from government action (i.e. being arrested or harassed). Since no government action has been taken against these film makers, there is no 1st amendment violation.

  11. Frank Burns

    September 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    JLP,
    Your head is in the sand. To reach a satifactory level of employment, measures would be taken to stimulate private industry not the government. When the private economy grows, government revenues grow as a result. Obama didn’t care, he only was focused on his constiuency, teacheres unions and labor unions. So we kept a few government workers on the payroll for a couple of years longer. This does nothing for our economy.

    A good leader who understands the need to compromise would have achieved better results from the opposition party. Unfortunately we have stuck with Obama who couldn’t lead himself out of a paper sack. You have kind things to say about the Dow, are you as equally effusive about the real estate market? This full blame goes to the Democrats.

    What I stated on the foreign policy is the truth. Obama did say that Egypt is not our ally, the State Department said that they were. The middle east is in shambles, what part of a lie is that? I thought Obama was supposed to be good at foreign policy? We should have known better that a community organizer could actually accomplish anything but organize protests. The film makers have a right to make fun of Mohammed, it’s the Arabs problem that they foam at the mouth when somebody does that, not our problem. We have been attacked again on 9-11, by the Arab mob and what does Obama do? He goes to a campaign event. He cannot even make himself meet with our staunch ally, Israel, but goes to the Letterman show instead. Do you reckon Obama’s priorities are a little our of whack? You darn right they are. He is an empty chair.

  12. Frank Burns

    September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    And, let’s not forget how the price of gasoline has doubled under Obama’s term. Obama deserves full credit for his anti coal and anti drilling attitude and policy. The EPA is like “girls gone wild.” They are out of control.

  13. jlp75

    September 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Well don’t blow a gasket so soon Frank, it’s looking like you are going to have four more years to stew about it. Mitt the twit can’t even go overseas without offending our closest ally. Then again what would you expect from an entitled buffoon who is still fighting the cold war. Too bad daddy isn’t around to buy the Presidency for him. You have wasted enough of my time so I think I will sit here and argue with the wall. Probably be a bit more productive.

  14. Frank Burns

    September 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Indeed, this is often said when you run out of arguments. I understand, how can any rational American citizen defend the piss poor performance of Obama?

  15. jlp75

    September 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Frank, you have no clue what you are talking about. I am just sick and tired of arguing with someone who believes everything Fox news tells him to believe. Most of the crap you spew is no where near grounded in reality. I don’t argue with liars. It is a losing proposition. It is easy to win an argument when you can make up your own facts. Not a game I wish to play. So believe what you want. Others of us will choose reality. You notice no one else took your bait. I guess that was my mistake.

  16. Frank Burns

    September 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Ok JLP, stick to generalities, you can’t site anything that I’ve said that is not true.

  17. jlp75

    September 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    It’s futile. When you are called out on a lie you deflect and move to another lie. I called you out on the 401k lie, I called you out on the stimulus lie, I called you out on the unemployment lie. You never conceded or admit you are mistaken (or lying) and you deflect and move to another bogus claim. Debating means sticking to the topic that is being debated with a back and forth of facts from both sides. When your “facts” are proven to be myth, distortion or out right lies you move to another claim. There are several other claims in your diatribes that I could pick apart but it is pointless. I’m not going to waste my time with you anymore. You are clearly a partisan hack who believes that Republicans have never made mistakes and have all the answers. Meanwhile I live in a place called reality where I know that both parties are complicit in the position we find ourselves in and neither party has any clue as to how to improve it. What we are faced with in this election is a choice between the lesser of two evils. At the end of the day your opinion and my opinion are only as relevant as the one vote we each hold. It is up to the voters what happens and nothing you or I say will change that.

  18. Frank Burns

    September 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    JLP, you are clearly the partisan hack and repeat the Obama talking points. You keep watching MSNBC and that’s what you get. All of you Dem partisan hacks keep making excuses for Obama. It’s always somebody else’s fault. Very simply it’s due to the lack of Obama leadership. The fact that he can’t get anything accomplished in Congress is due to his own failure to work with the opposition party, a good leader would have worked with both parties. The fact that not a single Democrat voted to pass the Obama budget tells you something. It was not a budget but a joke. You make the claim that the economy is better off because the volatile stock market is higher right now then it was 4 years ago which is a questionable claim. How does the stock market help the people that are unemployed? How does the stock market help the price of gas, the price of food, etc? What I stated on the stimulus are facts and you refuse to acknowledge them, you made that decision, not me. Face it we elected a failure, it won’t happen again. The tactics of the left are to malign, not debate, then run and hide. Go ahead and hide.