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Forum: Andy Stern's plan to create 12 million new jobs

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Late last week, I spoke with former SEIU president and current Georgetown fellow/fiscal commission member Andy Stern about hosting a series of pieces laying out different ideas to kick-start job creation. The idea here is not to see how many compromises can dance on the head of the congressional pin; it's to see what exactly different experts think needs to be done.

The first piece comes, naturally enough, from Andy Stern. In the coming days, there'll also be pieces from Moody's Mark Zandi, CEPR's Dean Baker, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's David Walker and others. Here's Stern:

It’s Time to Put America Back to Work

Andy Stern
Senior Research Fellow, Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Former President, Service Employees International Union

If we want to return the country to the kind of strong and stable economic growth that provides good jobs and decent wages -- not to mention is necessary to solve our long-term fiscal crisis -- we need to create 17 million new jobs. This would cut our unemployment rate by about half over the next two years.

But to create 17 million jobs, we need big, bold ideas. So, let’s come up with a plan. And let’s force our leaders and employers to act. My opening bid is 12 million jobs and I want you to call or raise me.

The reality is that job creation will cost some money. But in my plan, taxpayers either won’t have to pay a dime up front or all of their investment will be paid back and then some. In any case, the numbers should not scare anyone. If we can afford to pay nearly $800 billion to bailout out a few Wall Street banks, we can afford one-sixth of that amount to create nearly 12 million jobs.

My Jobs Bid:

Job Sharing Program.
Cost: $54 billion
Pay-for: Loans to Unemployment Insurance (UI) Funds to be repaid with a small UI surtax starting in 2013 on all employers.
Jobs created: 2.4 million

Infrastructure Bank.
Cost: $30 billion
Pay-for: One-time repatriation break for corporate earnings
Jobs created: 8.4 million

Youth Employment Programs.
Cost: $46.5 billion
Pay-for: Financial Speculation Tax
Jobs created: 3.1 million jobs

Total $130.5 billion 11.8 million jobs
Net Cost to Taxpayers = $0

The details:

1) Adopt Job Sharing

This is an idea, supported by Kevin Hassett from the American Enterprise Institute and Dean Baker from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, that could rally broad support from the left and the right.

Both experts testified earlier this year that Congress should consider a plan that enables companies to avoid shedding employees by reducing hours instead of firing workers. If hours and wages are reduced by 10 percent or more, workers would receive a federal subsidy for 60 percent of their lost salary. As the economy truly begins to recover, employers would be able to add new employees rather than increase hours for existing employees until the recovery is on a self-sustaining path.

Reducing the rate of job loss by just 10 percent would have the same effect on employment as if the economy generated an additional 200,000 jobs a month or 2.4 million a year. Germany’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.1 percent to 7.6 percent after implementing such a policy in January.

Congress should immediately take up one of several bills that take this idea to a national scale.

Jobs Created/Saved: 2.4 million
Cost: $54 billion
Pay-for: Loans to Unemployment Insurance (UI) Funds to be repaid with a small UI surtax starting in 2013 on all employers.
Ultimate cost to Taxpayers: Zero

2) Corporate Repatriation Dollars to Fund Infrastructure Jobs

U.S. multi-national corporations have parked an enormous amount of income overseas. And current tax rules and loopholes allow corporations to defer taxes on current income by storing it outside of the country. The end result is that these corporations have accumulated massive amounts of income overseas that have never been taxed.

There are many good arguments for corporate tax reform that make the United States more competitive on a global scale. Many argue that we need to lower rates and we need to close the loopholes. But, while we wait for this argument to conclude, workers sit home unemployed and the overseas money is not put to good use in the U.S. economy.

So, let’s revisit the idea of a one-time repatriation tax break. I’m talking about a tax on past foreign earnings with a twist. We put the government’s share of the money; say $30 billion, into an Infrastructure Bank. We could also put the money into a Green Bank or other long term job creation programs. That $30 billion would leverage $180 billion more in investment.

For every $1 billion in infrastructure spending, 40,000 direct and indirect jobs are created. Even without leverage, we could create 2.4 million jobs with this funding. With leverage, 8.4 million direct and indirect jobs could be created and we could create the 21st century infrastructure system we need in this country.

Jobs Created: 8.4 million
Cost: $30 billion
Pay-for: One-time corporate repatriation tax break
Cost to taxpayers: Zero

3) Full Employment for Our Children: AmeriCorps and the Kennedy National Service bill “On Steroids”

The Great Recession might have severely negative consequences for generations to come if we don’t do something about youth unemployment. Unemployment is corrosive to one’s self-respect, and for our kids, it is an especially depressing way to begin their work life as they try to pay off student loans and gain professional experience. Unemployment during the first years of one’s career also has the potential to greatly diminish lifetime earnings and opportunity.

Today, 79 percent of parents believe their children will be less off, that the American Dream won’t be available for the next generation.

Young workers make up a disproportionate share of the unemployed. While 16-to-24-year-olds comprise 13 percent of the labor force, they account for 26 percent of the unemployed. That’s nearly 4 million unemployed young people.

We can restore the confidence of our children and inspire them to serve their nation by building on non-partisan ideas such as the Kennedy National Service Bill.

This program has already created opportunities for 250,000 Americans to be involved in full and part-time service to address some of our nation’s greatest challenges.

Assuming an average annual cost of $15,000 per person, for just $46.5 billion we could offer every 16 to 24 year old who wanted a job a national service opportunity.

They will still need to look for a permanent job. But in the meanwhile, they’ll gain valuable work experience, serve our country and avoid the consequences of my mother’s favorite adage -- an idle mind is the devil's playground.

We should pay for the program using a small portion of a Financial Speculation Tax — a small tax on all financial transactions. If designed correctly, the tax can generate revenue while encouraging investors to make long-term investments in companies that will grow over the long haul. Only a small portion of this tax — which could raise $150 billion annually — would be needed to employ our future generations in meaningful jobs.

Jobs Created: 3.1 million
Cost: $46.5 billion
Pay-for: Financial Speculation Tax
Cost to Taxpayers: Zero

That’s my plan. Call me or raise me!

By Ezra Klein  |  September 9, 2010; 2:16 PM ET
Categories:  Jobs forum  
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By all means, Andy, get Big Labor on board with jobs sharing. And then watch out for all those pigs flying around.

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 9, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

More of what he's smoking please.

Posted by: obrier2 | September 9, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let's please institute more teensy-tiny taxes and surcharges to allow Andy and Big Labor the opportunity to get their hands on more revenue streams. By all means, let's do this, and do it quickly. Andy/Ezra, that's not a plan, and it's not a particularly strong hand either. In poker parlance, I snap-call, because you're bluffing with air.

Posted by: bzod9999 | September 9, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Andy didn't have this idea to run with back in January of 2009. By my math it is over 20x as effective as ARRA.

1) Short work is probably even more cost effective than $54 billion for 2.4 million jobs.

In Germany about 500,000 jobs were saved at about 13,000 euros per job, which is roughly $18,000. That's $346/wk, which can't be far off unemployment insurance benefits.

2) 8.4 million construction jobs? That seems to be a bit much. We only have ~9.2 million construction jobs now, down from a peak of just over 12 million. So we'd have ~17.6 million people in construction for a period of time. What happens when the stimulus ends? The nice thing about short work is that if the full time job isn't coming back, another job can be found/trained for while working part time.

We'll have a lot of people who have construction experience and will need to work in very different jobs when the stimulus period is over.

Also, do we really need nearly 18 million people working on infrastructure? In my area, ARRA has repaved perfectly good roads over again. How do we know a lot of useful work will actually get done?

3) How about you use that money to fund otherwise unpaid internships and help get young people into careers? I don't see how make work national service jobs are going to make a dent in the 'lower lifetime earnings' problem. You show me a 23 year old who has had an internship in my industry or one who has been part of Americorps for a year and all else being equal I'll pick the first everytime.

Posted by: justin84 | September 9, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

This is lunacy. A massive gov't jobs program simply isn't sustainable or even that necessary especially considering there are smarter, much less expensive ways to do things. For instance, encouraging entrepreneurship and doing it in a mainstream way.

Note also that Stern doesn't mention immigration. And, that's perhaps because the SEIU profits from illegal activity: a large number of its members are illegal aliens, paying dues out of money they earned illegally. Stern isn't advocating for increased enforcement to free up jobs for Americans and in fact he's probably argue to include foreign citizens who are here illegally in his wondrous schemes. Stern isn't putting American workers first.

For a much less expensive, less complicated, pro-American jobs program see this open letter I sent to the employer of Ezra Klein's friend Matt Yglesias:

You won't see Ezra, MattY, Stern, the WaPo, CAP, or all the rest supporting pro-American plans like that because they have other priorities.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | September 9, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think some of you are missing the point. In the middle of an ungodly recession, the main thrust has to be getting people back to work, period. People need money from whatever work they can find to pump demand back to functional levels. And if someone works in Americorps or construction, that may not be relevant to their chosen profession, but it's better than a blank resume. I was laid off twice in my mid-20s, and there's always a question mark when you have gaps of several months between jobs.

Besides, I seriously doubt Stern believes this proposal has a snowball's chance in hell of even being considered by some rep's staff aide. It's more an "If I Were King" idea, and I'm sure the follow-up posts will feature more of the same.

As for that "pro-American" plan, they actually ran an experiment here in California where a hard push was made for workers on unemployment to come out and work the fields. Three people showed up. Americans don't want those jobs. Maybe it would be different if illegal immigrants had never entered the picture; as it stands, the price increases that would be necessary if growers had to supply sufficient wages to get 100% legal workers out in the fields would destroy those businesses (not to mention, to some degree, public health).

In theory, I'm actually not that opposed to the idea. Let a business that's doing wrong rot. But when we're talking about drastically increasing the price of food in this economic climate, there's a definite lesser of two evils dynamic at play. You might still think those increases are the better option; personally, I don't.

Posted by: spiffymcbang | September 9, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Great freaking idea..go to a nutjob communist and a man who has made a life of forcing the closure of hundreds of businesses in for ideas about creating jobs??

Ezra is truly one of the stupidest people around.

Better idea would be shun and ban all the communists like these idiots.

Posted by: LogicalSC | September 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like a a minimum it would help but help me with this math,

the ARRA had $140B in infrastructure spending, at 40,000 jobs per billion spent, that should be

5.6 million jobs

Now count all the other stimulus money that was spent and the experts still say it has created 2-3 million jobs. It shouldn't be that easy to pick these things apart.

Posted by: pemlewis | September 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse


Ah, lousy, stinkin', horrible math!

It could well be true that $1 billion in construction spending creates 40,000 jobs. It might also be the case that the alternative use of that $1 billion would have itself supported a similar number of jobs. Seen and unseen and all that.

That said, the German experience suggests short work/job sharing to be fairly effective at holding down unemployment despite a brutal decline in GDP, and given that it is relatively cheap / offsets UI benefits it might be worth trying.

Posted by: justin84 | September 9, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"As for that "pro-American" plan, they actually ran an experiment here in California where a hard push was made for workers on unemployment to come out and work the fields" Posted by: spiffymcbang

They ought to try that one again....a few months after the unemployment runs out.

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 9, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The "experiment" spiffymcbang refers to is actually an anti-American, pro-abuse *publicity stunt* from the UFW, another union with divided loyalties:

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | September 9, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Did Andy Stern sleep with Ezra Klein to promote this tripe? Because neither Stern or Klein knows anything about how to create jobs.


"Total $130.5 billion 11.8 million jobs
Net Cost to Taxpayers = $0"


Total: $130.5 billion
# of jobs: 0
Net Cost to Taxpayers = $130.5 billion, plus interest.

How much does anyone want to bet that none of the taxes Stern is proposing would come out of his own pocket? In fact, I wonder when he last paid any taxes, if ever.

Posted by: steve_tsouloufis | September 9, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

1) Mr. Stern has clearly never read "The Mythical Man-Month." Splitting a fixed amount of work among more people than necessary imposes additional costs for training, management, and benefits. Anyone who imagines that any surtax Congress passes would be "small" should be laughed out of the room. Nor do I see any indication that the surtax would be temporary.

3) And finally the coup de grace, programs to ensure that young American citizens learn as soon as possible how to suck on the government's teat. The first hit's always free, kids! I am also greatly curious how Mr. Stern defines "speculation."

2) Is there anyone left for whom "leverage" isn't a dirty word? The last thing the country needs is more government debt.

Posted by: mike_w_long | September 9, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

bg: It's a nice theory, but even if we remove the human nature component (that is, very few people used to the relative comfort of break time and indoor or at least occasionally shaded settings will go to the fields and stick around unless they see zero other options for survival), the fact is people who would work the fields still have to get out there. When you look at where those are located relative to the population centers of California, getting to the jobs would be a fair hassle even if they were no better or worse than any others. The government could spend to get workers there, but in that case they might as well just sink a little more into getting jobs to the people where they already are.

LW: I'm not inclined to debate someone with, to be polite, an agenda, but I do want to pull one piece of data off that link. "Farm workers" does not equate to "Southwestern field pickers". Those U.S-born workers are generally elsewhere, like the Midwest. I'm sure there are a good number of legal workers in the fields, just like I'm sure the only difference between them and the illegals is their status. They're not belligerent criminals; if they were they could find much more comfortable ways to make a living.

I'll point out again that there's nothing wrong with wanting workers to have legal status. And yes, you'll find Americans are willing and able to work the fields- if you pay them enough. But we've allowed ourselves to enjoy the cheap goods that come with this illegal labor for so long that the industries reliant on them will get blasted if we deport all their workers, and prices for those goods will skyrocket. If you want legal workers, then in this case the most efficient solution (not to mention best for the American consumer) is to reform immigration to make them legal, not throw them out and hire a whole new workforce.

Posted by: spiffymcbang | September 9, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

spiffymcbang doesn't know what it's talking about.

If labor costs doubled tomorrow, produce prices would only go up a few cents because labor costs are a small part of the cost of production. Growers are some of the biggest crooks around: exploiting workers in order to profit as much as they can and then turning around and propagandizing.

Many people will have seen articles like the ones discussed at the following link, without realizing they're part of a propaganda campaign that's been going on for *decades*:

For more on the price of produce, see:

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | September 9, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Too bad he didn't actually have the nuts to work with business on these ideas when he headed up the SEIU.

Do you really think union bosses are going to support the Job Sharing Program? No way.

And do you think the demonzizer in Chief will backtrack from his rhetoric that casts businesses as the root of evil and accept Corporate Repatriations? Sadly he has invested too much of his "ending partisanship" into, well "inflaming partisanship", to accept anything as sensible as this.

As far as National Service goes, why would the majority of kids work for $7/hour?

I think Mr. Stern should just do an interview for how to destroy 12 million jobs. Unions such as the SEIU have plenty of proven experience in destroying jobs. And none whatsoever in creating any.

Posted by: NelsonMuntz | September 10, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Is this article another one of Ezra's jokes? Asking a committed union thug/socialist on how to create jobs??? That's insanity. A $30 billion "infrastructure bank"?? I assume a large percentage of that will be siphoned off by union theft, I mean "dues".

Ask Mr. Stern how well his policies have affected the unemployment rates in pro-union states, i.e. Michigan, Ohio, etc. That should be your answer as to how well his policies would work nationwide.

Ezra, you've hit a new low.

Posted by: Jake43 | September 10, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Andy Stern talking about jobs?

oh please, Stern is a Marxist radical and rabblerouser, why would WP print anything this commie moron has to say?

Posted by: shoey77 | September 10, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant. Andy Stern, the SEIU skullcracker, lectures American's about jobs. That would be as stupid as giving the UAW ownership of the auto companies they helped destroy. Oh wait, the politburo already did that.

Posted by: scomo1 | September 10, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This guy Andy Stern is very miser.

His JOBS created estimates are unreasonably low.

I say, the $130.5 Billions should easily create 50 (FIFTY) million new jobs!

Also, he forgot to mention who pays for those jobs, CHINA!

Ezra and Andy would make a great tag team at a COMEDY CIRCUS.

Posted by: vatodio | September 10, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure, let's follow the advice of a totally corrupt Marxist union thug. While we're at it, let's make all pyromaniacs fire chiefs as well. Then we could make serial killers hospital administrators and pedophiles can run day care centers.

Andy Stern is an enemy of America every bit as much as Osama Bin Ladin. Ezra Klein is merely a fool.

Posted by: samadams25 | September 10, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

How about SEIU advancing the money and IF your ideas are as successful as you claim, the Treasury will pay SEIU back with interest. In other words, put YOUR money where your mouth is.

Posted by: usr105 | September 10, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"But to create 17 million jobs, we need big, bold ideas. So, let’s come up with a plan. And let’s force our leaders and employers to act."

Let's see here, we start with a big, bold government plan and then we force people to submit to it. Where have we heard that before? Il Duce, maybe? Juan Peron?

Poor Ezra. He works so hard on his writing that he doesn't have any time for thinking.

Posted by: ktcat | September 10, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

SADLY, it is union thugs like Stern - that are the problem.

Vote anti-union --- vote pro USA!

Posted by: neal4 | September 10, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Don't we look silly for not doing this 18 months ago? Seems Andy had the solution to all our problems and just never mentioned it to the Prez!

Posted by: mgsorens | September 10, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Creeps like Stern are the primary reason jobs are fleeing the country. The scam goes like this:
1) Convince a bunch of people that heartless management types live to screw them out of a few bucks, and that you're the only gang that can protect them.
2) Once installed, demand more and more and more compensation, whether based on merit or not. Back your demands with the threat of violence -- implicit or explicit, whatever works.
3) Now that you've made the cost of US labor is ridiculously expensive (and divisive), the cost of goods rises. Consumers quit buying the product because the cost has gone up to cover labor expenses.
4) Pi$$ and moan when CEO's, backed into a corner by unions, move operations to another country to reduce costs. Say stupid things like, "Greedy CEO's want to keep you poor!" And completely ignore the fact that unions force enrollment and make tons of dough themselves without producing anything tangible.

And Stern is the guy who's going to fix the job situation?! Fat bloody chance.

Posted by: HypnoToad | September 10, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The funniest part is not in these let's-give-the-store-away ideas. It's that this guy is on the Fiscal Commission. And you thought Jimmy Carter was a lousy President.

Posted by: bobroyfills | September 10, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Great reading in the comments. Is there a single person left in America who is willing to defend Andy Stern, or Ezra Klein for that matter. The jig is up for you charlatans.

Posted by: scomo1 | September 10, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Being a Marxist, which Andy Stern is, means never having to apologize for Marxism's horrible outcomes.

Posted by: federale | September 10, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

On the first Job Sharing idea, how can you say zero cost to the taxpayer? You are asking every working american to take a 10% reduction in hours/pay, and then only getting 60% of that back through a federal subsidy? Which means ever worker is taking an across the board 4% salary reduction. How is that a "zero cost" to the taxpayer? You cut the entire country's wages by 4% through this central planning scheme and you'll sink the economy for everyone. The rest of Andy's plan is pure wealth distribution; plain and simple. It won't do anything long term, it's all short term and won't work anyway. And this guy is the one that was bending the President's ear with more visits to the white house than any other person while he served the president? You gotta be joking........pffftt. Come on 2010 & 2012, vote out the socialist!

Posted by: usagoingbroke | September 10, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

This is why we must elect republicans. Maybe some investigation into the corruption in these union and the inappropriate lobbying that has been done in the last two years will create some jobs for jail guards who can watch over the union bosses thrown in prison.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | September 10, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Andy Stern and SEIU are a big part of the employment problem. Why would anyone listen to what he says?

Posted by: ajedrezlevon | September 10, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Andy Stern and SEIU are a big part of the employment problem. Why would anyone listen to what he says?

Posted by: ajedrezlevon | September 10, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Stern, please get yourself drug-tested. The first two proposals would have no such effect, and the third proposal, would be temporary at best, and at worst ruin a bunch of kid's potential work ethic. Implementing the first idea has some merit, but without the government payments, and in either case would have no appreciable effect on jobs. Even if it worked in Germany (since our employment structures are different). Get off the crack, Mr. Stern.

Posted by: Daniel_Canales | September 10, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Now I know why Andy Stern was visiting the WH so often over the last 18 months.
He's Obama's dealer. Judging by this article, he's consuming his own "product" at a pretty hefty rate, too.

Posted by: OttoDog | September 10, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Plan A, Andy... The barrel of the gun argument? You turning soft in your old age, man?

Posted by: jchu591 | September 10, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

What would a union bureaucrat know about jobs? Other than how to most efficiently destroy them, that is.

Look at the bang-up job the UAW did the THE ENTIRE STATE OF MICHIGAN.

That's exactly what the country needs: Walmart being run with the efficiency of Government Motors. lol

Posted by: TheMSMControlsUs | September 10, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

>>> And let’s force our leaders and employers to act.

See, this is what the union socialists don't get. Anything you have to *force* an employer to do can only destroy profits and hence jobs. Like the Wagner Act *forcing* GM to use UAW labor no matter what. We all sqaw how well that worked out for the company and its employees, eh?

If it was a good idea, you wouldn't have to FORCE them to do anything. They would just do it.

Posted by: TheMSMControlsUs | September 10, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Andy Stern has spent more time in the White House, than an average U.S. citizen.
No regular Joe's and Jane's had thier say about TARP, Obamacare, Illegal Immigration etc. Working middle-class, and working poor are "expendable". To the Elite class, or the "Ruling Class" it doesn't matter what party.. If it's Bush II, or Obama!

Untill TAXPAYERS control the Government, and not special intrest and other goons who destory are economy... more harm will come to the USA.

Put an end to BAILOUTS, STIMULUS etc...
Let the FREE-MARKET take care of the economy!

Let companies go under, they will be sold.
Then when the economy gets back in shape.

Posted by: ReddStripe | September 10, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Unions are supposed to protect workers against unscrupulous capitalists. So who do public sector workers need to be protected from? Taxpayers?
Andy Stern wants ideas to create jobs: here's one. Ban all public sector unions and their parasitic leaders who confiscate fees from members then give it to politicians who work to give unions sweetheart contracts at taxpayer expense. Workers be protected from making involuntary campaign contributions, and lower taxers would enable businesses to expand and hire more employees.

Posted by: CowboyDiplomat | September 10, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Unions put people OUT of work, they promise more than they can ever deliver and then fall back on hard working Americans to pay off their "bad" deals. Perfect Example is GM whose new CEO is getting 9 million a year AT OUR EXPENSE. At least Wall Street uses it's own money or money from people who volunteered it.

Posted by: kalamere | September 10, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Ezra... "fox/henhouse".

You really are as young as your photo portrays you.

Posted by: fourbuttons2003 | September 10, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Still no takers defending Andy Stern even at the Post.
Bueller...Bueller...Bueller? Anybody?

Posted by: scomo1 | September 10, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

One can only wonder how many other journalist Ezra Klein has coordinated this piece with? His uncle Eugene going to talk about the wonders of unionism next?

As for Andy Stern... hey Andy! Instead of pretending at creating jobs, why don't you just suggest that the government mail checks out to everybody? That is more direct, and checks get here faster than make-believe jobs.

The country is going to pot very quickly... and Ezra Klein and Andy Stern have their foot on the accelerator.

Posted by: wilsan | September 10, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm 48, unemployed, and my eye doctor says I can't drive a car safely,so I appled for disability, only to be informed I don't qualify because I don't have enough work credits. My husband and I live on his SSI check- someday,when my husband passes on, I'll be a burden to society. Will SSI even exist by the time I'm 70? Probably not.

Posted by: ofhistory61 | September 10, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Andy Stern, you are a piker. If we can create 12,000,000 jobs for 130 billion (without cost to the taxpayer), why not create 120,000,000 jobs for 1.3 trillion (without cost to the taxpayer).

Posted by: blahblah27 | September 10, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Of course each new employee "created" will be a new dues paying SEIU member.

Posted by: InYourRearviewMirror | September 10, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

remember trumpka saying 'we crammed healthcare down republicans throats"? and stern saying we'll use force". they are all stinkin communist and the media puts a picture up of stern like he's a thoughtful,regular american instead of the disease he's sickening what obama and these cancerous tumors are doing to us.we need the house unamerican activities committees ,and a wall to put these fellows up against like they would do us.

Posted by: dharc | September 10, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't this guy in prison?

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | September 10, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

"I think some of you are missing the point. In the middle of an ungodly recession, the main thrust has to be getting people back to work, period."

Brilliant, if the real economy isn't working, create a fake one.

The reason we got into this mess in the first place is that we created a fake economy. An economy based on hiring people to dig holes and then fill them back up again is even worse than an economy based on building houses to meet an illusory demand based on mortgages that create a mirage of affordability with a time bomb attached.

But with the houses, at least eventually most of them will be of some use.

Posted by: bot_feeder | September 10, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Who's more naive, Ezra who has never made a payroll or union boss Andy who has no clue?

Posted by: belowme | September 10, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Where's this guy come up with the idea of $0 for the tax payer in his options? Federal programs are funded by taxpayers. All government jobs are paid by taxpayers. Here's a good idea. Andy Stern, you cut your salary (that you STEAL off the backs of union workers) by 75%. That will but you close to the workers salary. Then, just phase out your job completely. You're a one world government marxist.

Posted by: kenema69 | September 11, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

So the JournoList guy, cover up the truth about the guy running for Pres and make up lies about those who oppose him, and the SEIU guy, pretend grassroots, threaten those who are not O guys, have a plan?


We've seen what you both do as well as we know where it leads. Nothing good can come from people who spend their lives planning corrupt systems to fool the people.

Nope. No takers here.

Posted by: letscheck | September 11, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

"The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan."
- Ronald Wilson Reagan

Posted by: BigMac4 | September 11, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Didn't the SEIU contribute $60 million to Obama's campaign? Assume that's why the union expects to be heard.

Posted by: judithod | September 11, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

This communist Stern is one of the country's biggest problems since he is one of Obama's advisers. Why is the Washington Post giving this moron a forum?

Posted by: WJStephens | September 11, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Communists like Stern need to be unemployed. We don't need central planning, we need to get rid of Demo-commie-crats. If you have any Democrats working for you , fire them. If you are hiring, don't hire a Democrat. Split the country, and move all the commies-crats to their own little marxist utopia. They can take the national debt and all the freeloaders along with them.

Posted by: doctorfixit | September 11, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse


You really need some smarter trolls.


Posted by: Patrick_M | September 11, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

We can stimulate the economy and create job growth simply by voting out the democrats in November, will save us billions.

Posted by: KM63 | September 11, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

"Workers of the World Unite!"
-Andy Stern, Karl Marx fan

Indeed, Workers of the world unite ... against the bloodsucking, job-killing UNIONS!

Public sector unions should be OUTLAWED!!

Think about it: Who is their boss? It's YOU the taxpayer. Originally unions were supposed to protect the working man from "robber barons" in the last century. Now who is the "robber baron"? Is it you the taxpayer or loathsome, greedy socialists like Andy Stern and Richard Trumka?

Public employees now get twice the compensation that their "bosses" in the private sector earn.

Why should taxpayers who make far less, pay taxes for the benefit of unionized public employees with their obscene, bloated salaries and their morbidly obese defined-benefit pension plans? Time to put them on a diet.

Now the "haves" are the unions; the "have-nots" are everyone else.

Taxpayers of the world unite! Throw out the unions!

Posted by: FreedomFan | September 11, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Do the opposite of anything that this socialist says.

Here's my jobs bill:
1. drill for oil. Drill baby drill. Establish a minimum price for domestic oil.

2. Re-establish our mining and industrial sectors by setting maximum import levels based on national security concerns.

3. Balance the federal budget and only allow the sale of T-bonds to domestic buyers.

4. Forbid the sale of domestic gold to foreigners. Force foreigners to buy our goods and not just our bonds and gold.

5. Disallow federal employees from belonging to unions. The average federal worker now makes twice as much in total compensation as a private sector employee. Restrict the ability of private unions to strike so that unions would not have an unfair advantage against employers and would not drive jobs offshore.

6. Come down like a hammer on the border and illegal immigration.

7. Temporarily suspend the minimum wage.

8. Pass a constitutional amendment limiting the size of the federal government to 20% of GDP in piece time.

That program should provide for stability and diversification of the workforce. But it will never happen because we continue to listen to the socialists.

Posted by: EnergyCzar | September 11, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

At first I couldn't stop laughing at these ideas. How does paying someones unemloyment create a job? Guess we call them employed for sitting on their a$$.

repatriation - So why are coprs parking cash overseas? One is they made the money over there. But the big one is we have to 2nd highest Corps tax in the world. Think lowering that rate might help Andy?

Youth Employment - Yea, let's teach youth how to do make work, just like you do in the unions. They want jobs! not make work.

This from the most frequent visitor to the WH. Lovely Andy and Joel, just lovely.

Posted by: mntmaniac | September 11, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Gee, Ezra, get the idea yet?

Posted by: OttoDog | September 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Interesting comment from Lonewacko:
If labor costs doubled tomorrow, produce prices would only go up a few cents because labor costs are a small part of the cost of production. Growers are some of the biggest crooks around: exploiting workers in order to profit as much as they can and then turning around and propagandizing.

so, if Lonewacko wants to stop greedy business owners from taking excessive profits instead of providing adequate pay and benefits to workers, maybe he/she should join a labor union?

Posted by: mgittlemanc | September 11, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with [Patrick_M | September 11, 2010 5:43 AM].

These trolls are clearly on the Koch payroll (so to speak).

The reasonable reader will conclude: Ezra is on to something if he scares the right-wing this badly.

Posted by: ghotiheir | September 11, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

What a crock!

If we had been able to restrict immigration of unskilled people, our kids would have the summer and part-time jobs they need — forget Americorps.

Everything that Andy Stern proposes would steer even more money to the unions for their propaganda and extortion purposes without helping the overall economy.

Posted by: NJmom77 | September 15, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

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