There are about 6 million people classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the long-term unemployed, and another million classified as "discouraged workers." (See http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm). And, of course, the larger unemployment and under-employment problem is even more immense, with somewhere between 14 and 25 million people without full-time jobs (depending on which measurements are used).
We at WPA Today (www.wpatoday.org) believe there is a better way to help the long-term unemployed. Instead of calling them "lazy," or cutting off their unemployment benefits after some arbitrary time period, or waiting for the private sector to rescue them at some unknown future time, or simply ignoring them as if they are no longer valuable to the country, we believe that a nationwide public works program is needed. We believe that such a program would give the long-term unemployed hope, would help preserve our country's environment and heritage, would enhance our nation's infrastructure, and would be beneficial to the private sector (see our website for more details).
If you agree that there is a better way to help our fellow Americans, who have been unemployed for 6 months, a year, or more, then please sign our petition.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 6 million long-term unemployed Americans. And the number may be even higher than this, as current statistical methods do not necessarily count all those who have been jobless for extended periods of time.
Evidence abounds that the public works programs of the 1930s and 1940s not only gave the unemployed work, but also helped preserve our environment & history, improved our nation's infrastructure, enhanced our national defense, and helped private businesses by injecting money into the economy. Indeed, the benefit to private businesses provided by these work programs extends even to the present. For example, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce markets the state parks of western Maryland to attract vacationers and tourists, which in turn benefits business in the area. The CCC created and improved many of these state parks. This is just one of thousands of examples across the country.
We can do better for our fellow citizens, and our country. Please help create a nationwide public works program for the long-term unemployed. It's a win-win policy, as history clearly shows. Thank you.