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Let's Put America Back to Work Hardcover – January, 1987

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

U.S. Sen. Simon (D-Ill.) calls for more resources in the private sector and for a federally guaranteed job opportunities program in outlining his political agenda should he become a presidential candidate. Claiming that the continued high unemployment rate is slowly eroding our economic future, he illustrates through actual cases the high costin taxes and human livesof crime, family dysfunction, illness and joblessness. He advocates tougher trade practices, deficit reductions through higher taxation, a lower rate of growth in defense spending and an emphasis on productivity and research rather than merger. His WPA-like Guaranteed Job Opportunity Program would be implemented by state-appointed district councils to fight illiteracy and retrain displaced workers, as well as create jobs. Such a program, he argues, would not only prove cost effective, but prevent a political confrontation between the very wealthy and the poor. (December 2
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This book by U.S. Senator Simon (D., Illinois) outlines his proposal for a guaranteed jobs program. His thesis is simple: it is better to pay people to work than to pay people not to work. His appeal is emotional more than substantive. To sell his program, he takes the reader along for a series of interviews with unemployed people. The stories told are sad, sometimes tragic, but generally incomplete. Simon's concern is humanitarian, but his account lacks objectivity. He does not tell his readers, for example, that the percentage of the adult population that is employed has risen even though the unemployment rate may be high. Nonetheless, there is ample reason to recommend his book in chapters 4 and 5, which present the essence of his program and its costs. J. Holton Wilson, Central Michigan Univ., Mt. Pleasant
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Bonus Books; First Edition edition (January 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0933893183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933893184
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,345,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Senator Paul Simon of Illinois wrote this book in 1987. He died in 2003.

The basic premise of the book is that Simon's proposed Guaranteed Job Opportunity Program will help reduce unemployment and stem poverty, by gainfully employing, in public works type projects, those without jobs who could and would work.

Simon compares and contrasts his proposal with the Works Progress Administration, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), and the Jobs Training Partnership Act (JTPA).

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the one we have now, came about after Simon's book was written, so of course it was not included in his book. WIA took effect in 2000, and is still the current "law of the land" as of 2006.

What you may learn from Simon's book is some of the history of public job creation programs, since the Depression years. Simon had some very good ideas, and many of them have already been incorporated into WIA and similar state programs.

The tenor of all these latter-day job and training programs is that of compromise and hybridism, between the political left and the political right.

Roosevelt's WPA started the ball rolling, and when unemployment rose alarmingly again a few decades later, CETA was enacted. But the political right did not like CETA: It was too much government intervention and not enough obedience to free market forces.

Thus, we pass through JTPA (a hybrid type program with something for private and public sectors) to WIA. WIA doesn't provide jobs, except to the employees of the WIA Work Source Centers (these Centers have different names in each participating state).
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