Squeezed from all sides
The squeeze on middle-class and working-class families is
tightening from all directions. In addition to lost homes, skipped
meals and neglected medical conditions, the consequences now
extend to abandoned cars and abandoned pets.
More people have lost their jobs and can't afford the gas for a job
hunt. Rising energy prices contribute to higher food costs.
Foreclosures are shredding the American dream for many
homeowners and displacing renters as well. In one sad indicator,
animal shelters throughout San Diego County say they are flooded
with pets people can no longer keep.
And healthcare costs for the average family continue to climb
A new study estimates that 25 million insured Americans are
under-insured, with flimsy coverage that leaves them vulnerable to
huge deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
In May, the national unemployment rate made its biggest jump in
two decades -- 8.5 million workers are now unemployed, not
counting those forced into part-time work. Relatively high-paying
sectors like construction are particularly hard-hit, and the loss of
jobs drags down wages across industries.
The way out: Good jobs
There are lights of hope. In an inspiring commentary published in
the Los Angeles Times Wednesday, Radisson Hotel LAX owner
Peter Dumon admonished his fellow employers that the squeeze
on workers isn't helping the economy or their corporate bottom lines.
"The living wage is a profit-enhancing idea," Dumon writes.
He goes on:
Oddly, some businesses view their employees as costs to be
contained rather than resources to be nurtured. Are we really so
presumptuous as to assume that these men and women who
operate our hotels, clean our guest rooms and cook and serve
our meals should not benefit from the success they helped produce?
In San Diego, CPI is advocating local policies to create and
preserve living wage jobs with healthcare coverage. The
San Diego City Council will take crucial votes in the coming
As hearing dates are set, CPI will send alerts. Whether you can
attend the meeting, call your councilmember or send an e-mail, your
voice is needed! More than ever, we need strong local policies to
bolster our economic base of good jobs.
Affordable housing forum
On Saturday afternoon, June 28, a free public forum will address
potential solutions to the foreclosure crisis in San Diego County.
The high-powered panel includes:
Assembly housing committee;
City-County Reinvestment Task Force, which monitors lending
practices and promotes affordable housing;
the American Prospect
The forum will be 1-5 p.m. June 28, at the Tubman Chavez
Multicultural Center, the southeast corner of Euclid and Market
streets. Come ask your questions! For more information, contact
the Affordable Housing Coalition, email@example.com or 619-225-0377.
Good reads on the squeeze
A new book by Economic Policy Institute senior economist Jared
Bernstein, Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?, is an accessible
explanation of what has happened to the bulk of Americans
economically, with a prescription for repairing the damage.
In The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker,
New York Times labor and workplace reporter Steven Greenhouse
explores the stress on workers of all types has the social contract
between employers and employees has eroded.
Center on Policy Initiatives
3727 Camino del Rio South, Ste 100
San Diego, CA 92108 : (619) 584-5744
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