Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Work Job Creation
SECTION TITLE: 5 MILLION GREEN JOBS
SECTION SUBTITLE: Green jobs for everyone who wants one
OUR POSITION: Greens want to help millions of Americans obtain a green-collar job that pays a living wage while helping to build a brighter environmental future.
5 million Green jobs will help us stabilize our national economic crisis and the global climate. Green jobs can conserve energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Green jobs are union jobs and created in communities that really need them. Green jobs nourish our communities because they can't be outsourced overseas cheaply. Green jobs grow local businesses and foster community development.
1. Support massive public investment to create 5 million green jobs in fields such as energy conservation, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green building and the construction of mass transportation.
2. Create an inclusive program to train women and workers of color for the new, clean energy economy.
3. Prioritize the creation of green jobs in communities of color and low income communities.
4. Support union organizing at all workplaces.
5. Adopt a reduced-hour 35 hour work week as a standard.
6. Establish more federally funded programs for Green jobs development and skills training.
2004 PLATFORM ON WORK JOB CREATION
There is plenty of work to do that does not jeopardize our future, does not widen the gap between the richest and the poorest in our society, and that can enrich our communities. We must encourage the creation of these opportunities. People whose livelihoods depend on supporting remote, multi-national corporations cannot be expected to support changing the system.
The Green Party proposes a third alternative to a job or no job dichotomy: that is to provide everyone a sustainable livelihood. The need of our times is for security, not necessarily jobs. We need security in the knowledge that, while markets may fluctuate and jobs may come and go, we are still able to lead a life rooted in dignity and well-being.
The concept of a “job” is only a few hundred years old; and the artificial dichotomy between “employment” and “unemployment” has become a tool of social leverage for corporate exploiters. This produces a dysfunctional society in various ways: (1) It is used to justify bringing harmful industries to rural communities, such as extensive prison construction and clear cutting of pristine forests. (2) It has been used to pit workers (people needing jobs) against the interests of their own communities. (3) It has created a self-esteem crisis in a large segment of the adult population who have been forced into doing work that is irrelevant, socially harmful, or environmentally unsound.
We will also promote policies that have job-increasing effects. Many people will still need jobs for their security. We need to counterbalance the decline in jobs caused either by new technology, corporate flight to cheaper labor markets outside our borders, or the disappearance of socially wasteful jobs that will inevitably occur as more and more people embrace a green culture.
To begin a transition to a system providing sustainable livelihood, we support:
1. creating alternative, low-consumption communities and living arrangements, including a reinvigorated sustainable homesteading movement in rural areas and voluntary shared housing in urban areas.
2. Universal health care requiring coverage for all. [See section F. Health Care on page 30 in chapter II]
3. The creating and spreading local currencies and barter systems.
4. Subsidizing technological development of consumer items that would contribute toward economic autonomy, such as renewable energy devices.
5. Establishing local non-profit development corporations.
6. Providing people with information about alternatives to jobs.
For creating jobs we propose:
7. Reducing taxes on labor. This will make labor more competitive with energy and capital investment. (See Taxation above.)
8. Solidarity with unions and workers fighting the practice of contracting out tasks to part-time workers in order to avoid paying benefits and to break up unions.
9. Adopting a reduced-hour (30-35 hours) work week as a standard. This could translate into as many as 26 million new jobs.
10. Subsidizing renewable energy sources, which directly employ 2 to 5 times as many people for every unit of electricity generated as fossil or nuclear sources yet are cost competitive. Also, retrofit existing buildings for energy conservation and build non-polluting, low impact transportation systems.
11. Supporting small business by reducing tax, fee and bureaucratic burdens. The majority of new jobs today are created by small businesses. This would cut their failure rate and help them create more jobs.
12. Opposing the trend toward “bundling” of contracts that minimizes opportunity for small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses.
13. Reducing consumption to minimize outsourcing – the exportation of jobs to other countries – thus reducing the relative price of using U.S. workers.