3.25.2004

Wage insurance: a way to ease outsourcing angst? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (3/24)
"The political debate over outsourcing has been dominated so far by sweeping generalizations. Free trade is either "good for America," or companies that ship work overseas are run by "Benedict Arnold CEOs."

But at some point, someone has to suggest some real-world solutions."

Okay, our solution is that we vote the CEOs off the island

"Unlike unemployment insurance, wage insurance would take effect only after a laid-off person finds a new job. If the new position pays less than the job he lost, he would get half the difference between his new and old salaries, up to $10,000 annually, for two years. He would also qualify for subsidies on health insurance premiums until he found new work."

No, no: tribal council and we vote them off the island... trust us.

"Besides expanding wage insurance, both Democrats and Republicans have started discussing the possibility of adding white-collar workers to the traditional Trade Adjustment Assistance Act.

That bill provides unemployment benefits and training tuition to manufacturing workers who lose their jobs because of foreign competition, and there has been talk of adding certain service workers like call center employees or engineers to those who qualify.

Senate Democrats also plan to seek additional tax credits for domestic manufacturers who promise to create jobs in the United States."

Well that sounds reasonable, but not as much fun as voting them off at tribal council.

"If wage insurance were universal, who would pay for it?

Litan said if the recent tax cut were repealed just for the top income bracket, it would generate $400 billion in recaptured revenue over 10 years, or eight times as much as the wage insurance plan would require. Others, he noted, have suggested a tax on imports to help pay for the program."

Yes! We'll ask the RICH! They love to just give away money, plus they didn't want that tax break to begin with (especially doing away with the 'Estate tax' that was a total mistake).

"On top of that, he said, a wage subsidy would in effect pay for any retraining a worker might need to learn his or her new job.

But he also knows there is only one way this issue will enter the public consciousness.

"It has to be publicized. If people know it's like unemployment insurance but better, and it's available, it's not going to eliminate your anxiety, but it's at least going to make you feel like the government cares about you."

Everytime we see Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rice or DeLay on TV we know that our government DOESN'T care for us.

Do you want any of this happen? You gotta write and call your representatives in Congress with clear, logical arguments and remind them that you vote... and then you have to do that. And stop voting Republican! Isn't it clear to you that they've been hijacked by folks that only care about restricting your civil liberties and helping the rich?

Vote: because it matters.

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