Reflections on the Debate

The Rev. Michael Livingston |

I wanted to cheer when the first segment on the economy was a focus on simply, “Jobs.”  Jim Lehrer made the wise decision to begin with the most critical issue facing the nation.  To end poverty we need jobs—good jobs for American workers that pay enough to support our families.  But it was all downhill from there. 2012 voter's guide

It’s unfortunate that beginning with the right subject didn’t evolve into detailed proposals on plans for creating new jobs and employing millions of workers. Even more troubling was the absence of debate about the critical concerns for worker justice that are at the center of the focus of IWJ. There was no discussion of collective bargaining, no discussion of immigration and the plight of the immigrant worker, no discussion of the desperate need to raise the minimum wage, very little discussion and especially concrete detail about creating new and well paying jobs with benefits that enable security for individuals and families. 

If our presidential candidates can’t talk about these things how can we expect to create a legislative climate in which real solutions to these problems can be constructed? People of every faith need to remain vigilant in our strong advocacy of jobs and justice for working people. We need to continue to organize, educate, and advocate for individuals living in poverty, for unemployed and underemployed people struggling to make ends meet.

Download the Vote You Values voter's guide for information on issues impacting working families.