Statement on Jobs

We are economists who think that the economy should serve people, the planet and the future.

Today one in every twelve Americans is unemployed. If you include people discouraged from looking for work, and those who only have part-time jobs but want full-time work, it’s nearly one in six. This is a terrible waste of human resources, and it inflicts untold damage on human lives.

Some claim that we can solve the problem by cutting taxes for the top 1%. They believe that feeding the appetites of those who already have much will encourage them to invest more in our economy, with job creation as a by-product.

This trickle-down theory has been tried and it has failed. After 30 years of rising inequality, instead of a booming economy we have massive unemployment. Tax breaks for the 1% can no more solve our unemployment crisis than bailouts for big banks could solve our housing crisis.

Some claim that we cannot afford to sustain public spending on education, health care and public safety. They think that layoffs of teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters in the midst of a recession will help the economy.

They’ve got it backwards. The greatest need for public spending is precisely when unemployment is high and interest rates are low.

Real solutions need to be based on sound economics.

We call for real job creation policies that channel the nation’s wealth into productive investment, not into offshore tax havens.

We call for redirection of public spending toward education and energy efficiency, to generate more jobs per dollar than expenditures that bloat the military-industrial complex or subsidies that fatten oil company profits.

We call for requiring banks to lend to small businesses in return for access to Federal Reserve Bank funds at near-zero interest rates.

We call for a new construction and conservation corps that will guarantee employment in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring damaged lands, learning from the successful policies adopted during our last episode of mass unemployment, the Great Depression of the 1930s.

We extend our support to all who are working to build an economy that provides productive jobs and living wages for everyone who wants to work.

Gar Alperovitz / University of Maryland College Park

James K. Boyce / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Omar S. Dahi / Hampshire College

George DeMartino / University of Denver

Gerald Epstein / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Gerald Friedman / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Eban Goodstein / Bard College

Juliet Schor / Boston College

Douglas Smith / Econ4

Nurul Aman / University of Massachusetts Boston

Voxi Heinrich Amavilah / Glendale Community College of Arizona

Hannah Appel / University of California Berkeley

Michael Ash / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lee Badgett / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ron Baiman / Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

Scott Baker / Common Ground – NYC

Erdogan Bakir / Bucknell University

Benjamin Balak / Rollins College

Radhika Balakrishnan / Rutgers University

Fabian Balardini / Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY)

Deepankar Basu / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ahmet Baytas / Montclair State University

Marc Bilodeau / Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Cyrus Bina / University of Minnesota

Peter C. Bloch / University of Wisconsin-Madison

Elissa Braunstein / Colorado State University

Antonio Callari / Franklin and Marshall College

Martha Campbell / SUNY Potsdam

Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Kimberly Christensen / Sarah Lawrence College

Jens Christiansen / Mount Holyoke College

Jennifer Cohen / Whitman College

J. Kevin Crocker / University of Massachusetts Amherst

James Crotty / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Anita Dancs / Western New England University

Susan M. Davis / Buffalo State College

Hans G. Despain / Nichols College

Carmen Diana Deere / University of Florida

Geert Dhondt / John Jay College, City University of New York

P.K. Dollar / Gem Communications

Laura Dresser / Center on Wisconsin Strategy

Mathieu Dufour / John Jay College, City University of New York

Amitava Krishna Dutt / University of Notre Dame

Justin A. Elardo / Portland Community College

Bilge Erten / United Nations, DESA

Joshua Farley / University of Vermont

Susan F. Feiner / University of Southern Maine

Kade Finnoff / University of Massachusetts Boston

Heidi Garrett-Peltier / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Barbara Garson / Author “Down the Up Escalator: How the 99% live in the Great Recession”

Armagan Gezici / Keene State College

David Gold / The New School

Jonathan P. Goldstein / Bowdoin College

Ilene Grabel / University of Denver

Mark E. Haggerty / The University of Maine

Doug Henwood / Left Business Observer, “Behind the News”

Wolfgang Hoeschele / Truman State University

Sue Holmberg / The Roosevelt Institute

Julio Huato / St. Francis College

Jonathan Isham / Middlebury College

Mary C. King / Portland State University

Robert Kirsch / Virginia Tech

Mark Klinedinst / University of Southern Mississippi

Tim Koechlin / Vassar College

Kazim Konyar / California State University, San Bernardino

Philip Kozel / Rollins College

David Laibman / City University of New York

June Lapidus / Roosevelt University

Joelle J. Leclaire / Buffalo State College, SUNY

Frederic Lee / University of Missouri Kansas City

Fernando Leiva / University at Albany (SUNY)

Charles Levenstein / University of Massachusetts Lowell

Margaret Levenstein / University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Patricia J. Lindsey / Retired

Sean MacDonald / New York City College of Technology, City University of New York

Arthur MacEwan / University of Massachusetts Boston

Stephanie Martin / Allegheny College

Peter Hans Matthews / Middlebury College

Elaine McCrate / University of Vermont

H. Neal McKenzie / Retired

Michael Meeropol / John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

John D. Messier / University of Maine Farmington

Peter B. Meyer / University of Louisville, The E.P. Systems Group, Inc.

John Miller / Wheaton College

Fred Moseley / Mount Holyoke College

Tracy Mott / University of Denver

Ellen Mutari / The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Léonce Ndikumana / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Julie A. Nelson / University of Massachusetts Boston

Eric Nilsson / California State University San Bernardino

Richard B. Norgaard / University of California Berkeley

Jennifer Olmsted / Drew University

Ozlem Onaran / University of Greenwich

Shaianne Osterreich / Ithaca College

Aaron Pacitti / Siena College

Timothée Parrique / Uppsala University

Eva Paus / Mount Holyoke College

Karl Petrick / Western New England University

Robert Pollin / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mark A. Price / Keystone Research Center

Thomas Michael Power / University of Montana

Paddy Quick / St. Francis College

Stephen Resnick / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Meenakshi Rishi / Seattle University

Leopoldo Rodriguez / Portland State University

Frank Roosevelt / Metropolitan College of New York

Nancy E. Rose / California State University San Bernardino

Luis D. Rosero / Fitchburg State University

Héctor Sáez / Holy Names University

Blair Sandler / San Francisco

Harwood D. Schaffer / University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Helen Scharber / Hampshire College

Ted P. Schmidt / SUNY Buffalo State

Markus P. A. Schneider / University of Denver

Eric A. Schutz / Rollins College

Elliott Sclar / Columbia University

Ian J. Seda-Irizarry / Bucknell University

Barry Shelley / Brandeis University

Laurence Shute / California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Thomas Simmons / Greenfield Community College

Bryan Snyder / Bentley University

Peter Spiegler / University of Massachusetts Boston

Howard Stein / University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Masao Suzuki / Skyline College

Pavlina R. Tcherneva / Bard College

Frank Thompson / University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Renee Toback / URPE

Zdravka Todorova / Wright State University

Mariano Torras / Adelphi University

Mayo Toruño / California State University San Bernardino

A. Dale Tussing / Syracuse University

Hendrik Van den Berg / University of Nebraska Lincoln

Valerie Voorheis / University of Massachusetts Amherst and Marlboro College Graduate Center

Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji / University of Massachusetts Amherst

James Wagner / John Burrough Schools, Webster University

Scott A. Weir / Wake Technical Community College

Thomas E. Weisskopf / University of Michigan

Maggie Winslow / University of San Francisco

L. Randall Wray / University of Missouri-Kansas City

Yavuz Yaşar / University of Denver

Lyuba Zarsky / Monterey Institute of International Studies

Jeff Zink / Morningside College

Barbara Zoloth / Retired




“nearly one in six”: U-6 measure of unemployment. See U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-15: Alternative measures of labor underutilization.

“30 years of rising inequality”: U.S. Census Bureau, Selected Measures of Household Income Dispersion.

“jobs per dollar”: Pollin & Garrett-Peltier 2011.

“subsidies that inflate oil company profits”: Koplow 2010.

“successful policies initiated during our last episode of massive unemployment”: Levine 2010.