The lackluster jobs and unemployment numbers released Friday contain a warning for America that is being missed by a media obsessed with their impact on President Obama's election chances, according to Jill Stein, presidential nominee of the Green Party.
"Our economy is indeed floundering. It's not delivering for the American people. Mitt Romney is right on that. But we need to start a serious discussion that goes beyond whether this gives an edge to Mitt Romney in attacking the President. The sickness of our economy is directly attributable to misguided economic policies pursued by Republican George Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, who both consistently favored an economic system that is driving America into poverty."
"Romney doesn't have a single credible solution. He just urges blind faith in trickle down policies that have failed time after time. And President Obama's approach is to keep the whole failing system going toward an ultimate meltdown that we won't be able to fix. We are in serious trouble if we don't recognize that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are leading us toward disaster."
Stein explained her economic approach as follows: "Unemployment is a cancer that is destroying communities and sapping the lifeblood of our economy. The urgency to deal with it just isn't there in Washington. Both Democrats and Republicans fire public employees and cancel government contracts. Then they endlessly wait for some rich person to create decent jobs. It's not just the delay that is disastrous. A lot of the money going to the wealthy investors is used to move jobs overseas or to automate factories to eliminate jobs. This trickle-down thinking has to end."
"In contrast, our Green New Deal uses direct job creation to end unemployment. We will create 25 millions jobs. We will give communities that are hardest hit by unemployment the green light to create the type of jobs they need in the quantities they need. Every unemployed person that we put back to work in this way will give a stimulus to the economy. The immediate result will be to end the Bush/Obama recession immediately and decisively."
"It concerns me that the Obama stimulus plans are not effectively targeted to the urban areas where rampant unemployment is undermining the health of communities and creating social decay that will take generations to repair. This is an emergency. Building bridges in suburbia is fine, but if we lose these communities we will be paying the price for decades. The Green New Deal goes directly to where unemployment is worst with enough new jobs to stop the bleeding. The Obama/Romney approach leaves the targeting of investments up to self-serving CEO's, and that is usually a disaster for our distressed communities."
"We also need to start talking about wages, a topic that you'll find in Green Party discussions but which is carefully avoided in the Obama/Romney dialogue. Americans deserve a pay raise. Worker productivity has risen, but the increased wealth thus created has gone into the pockets of the economic elite, and hasn't been reflected in increased wages. Younger workers are struggling under two-tier wage systems which amount to intergenerational discrimination. As the cost of living rises, Americans are being pushed out of the middle class."
"Obama broke his promise to raise the federal minimum wage. As a result, inflation has reduced the effective minimum wage by over 27%, which is a cruel burden on low income workers. I support an immediate increase of the minimum wage to $10/hour, which would just about make up for the pay cuts imposed by inflation. And I support movement toward a national living wage guarantee, so that the minimum wage becomes a wage on which everyone can earn a livelihood. It's time for a President who will stand with workers and with organized labor as they seek a fair share of the wealth that their work is creating. I will be such a President."