Commentary | Wages Incomes and Wealth

“We can’t afford not to act.”

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[Lawrence Mishel at the White House Jobs Summit, Dec. 3, 2009]EPI President Lawrence Mishel (pictured) attended the White House Jobs Summit on December 3, and issued the following statement:

“I’d like to thank President Obama for hosting the jobs summit today and for inviting me to participate. Once again, I think the President’s eagerness to hear a range of perspectives reflects his thoughtful approach to making good policy. A lot of ideas were laid on the table today, and now the Congress and the American people will have a chance to weigh them and decide on the best way forward. I’m confident that Congress will take strong action to put people back to work, and that the Administration will be supportive of Congress’ efforts.

“It is hard to overstate the severity of the jobs crisis — the nation is facing its worst unemployment situation since the Great Depression. People who say we can’t afford to take action to create jobs have it all wrong. The fact is that we can’t afford not to act. If high unemployment is allowed to persist, it will push millions more families into poverty, put a drag on the nation’s economic growth for years to come, and do serious damage to the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook.

“Creating jobs is a moral and economic imperative — and for members of Congress, frankly, it’s a political imperative as well.”

Earlier this week, the Economic Policy Institute released the American Jobs Plan, which would put at least 4.6 million people back to work in one year.


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