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Investing in Jobs and the Economy

    Smart investments by the state will put people to work and stimulate the economy.

    In the current economic crisis, many Minnesotans have lost their jobs, and with that, their health care, and sometimes even their homes. Unfortunately, rather than create jobs, recent budget cuts and unallotments have made the unemployment lines even longer. In addition to thousands of teachers, police and firefighters, and many other state and local government employees, recent budget cuts have and will lead to additional layoffs in the private sector. The disinvestment and gimmicks of the past decade have not been good for Minnesota, our jobs, roads, bridges, schools, or important social services.

    John Marty will work to create jobs immediately, and will focus on investment. There are many opportunities to invest in Minnesota that will stimulate employment and the economy.

    Invest in public infrastructure.

    The state can provide a powerful stimulus for the economy through public infrastructure projects. During the Great Depression, when times were toughest, the state and federal government made huge investments in public infrastructure. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) put thousands of unemployed people to work, stimulated the economy, and providing lasting benefits to the community. When unemployment is high and interest rates are low, the state can put people back to work and accomplish needed infrastructure work at a lower cost.

    • Address affordable housing needs by rehabbing senior and low income public housing.

    • Make cost-saving renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements in schools and other public buildings.

    • Address environmental problems by rebuilding wastewater infrastructure.

    • Help the U of M and Minnesota colleges and universities by construction, repair, and maintenance of higher education facilities.

    • Improve health and promote access to Minnesota's natural resources through and construction and maintenance of state park bridges, trails, and buildings.

    The backlog of needs is great and will take years to fully address, but these investments will immediately create jobs in the construction industry where there is high unemployment. John Marty will work to put Minnesotans back to work, not by using public funds to subsidize private business developers, but by making these critical investments in meeting public needs.

    Job creation through direct investment.

    John is working for passage of his MEED (Minnesota Emergency Employment Development) jobs bill, a simple but effective program that assists small businesses in hiring the unemployed. MEED helps businesses expand by providing a six month wage subsidy when the employer creates a new position and hires an unemployed worker. If the job becomes a permanent position, the employer is not required to reimburse the subsidy. Because the program avoids complicated red tape, it is easy for even small businesses to participate. John is author of the current MEED legislation, which was first instituted during the Minnesota recession in 1983. It has won praise from national economists and been described as the most effective job creation program in the entire country in the last 50 years, and is now being promoted at the federal level as well.

    Increase wages.

    Paying workers a living wage is the most important action that can be done  to reduce poverty and welfare costs. John Marty's legislation would make work pay. By increasing the minimum wage, making affordable childcare available to all workers who need it, and doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit, working people will be able to make ends meet. This is a moral issue as well an economic one. John believes that every worker should be able to meet their basic needs, and that good jobs, with good wages, are good for the economy as well.

    Remove the burden of health care from the backs of businesses and families.

    John will continue to fight for the Minnesota Health Plan (MHP), a single-payer plan that covers all Minnesotans for all their medical needs. The MHP would be funded by all Minnesotans, with premiums based on the ability to pay. In addition, the MHP would:

    • Be substantially less expensive for individuals and businesses.

    • Keep workers healthier and more productive, increasing business productivity and reducing workers comp and sick leave costs.

    • Hold down costs by saving employers and individuals from the annual burden finding and negotiating a new health plan, and the continual burden of insurance forms and red tape.

    • End the economic "Catch 22" where people with disabilities are unable to work, not because of their illness or disability, but because they would earn too much to keep their health care.

    Passage of the MN Health Plan will do more to attract new businesses and help existing businesses expand than any other stimulus action we could take.

    Invest in education.

    Minnesota and the nation became international leaders through education. The G.I. Bill in Washington after World War II, and state investments in schools and higher education drove our innovation, our creativity and our economic success. John is author of the New Minnesota Miracle, and will ensure that Minnesota invests in early childhood education, K-12, and higher education to make Minnesota thrive in the 21st Century.

    The bottom line.

    John Marty knows we need to invest in the future. Investments today produce jobs today and tomorrow. John Marty will work to protect our investment in both physical and human infrastructure, because in the long run, we create jobs by building a strong infrastructure, strong schools, comprehensive health care, and vital social services.

    Senator Marty has a long record of courageous and outspoken leadership on issues facing Minnesota. Perhaps the best way to illustrate his vision and leadership is to use his own words. Click on the links below to see John's columns on some key issues facing Minnesota.