Center for Working Families

NYC proves it: Less isn’t more

June 21, 2012

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When it comes to creating jobs, less isn’t more. You can’t create jobs by laying off workers. And you sure can’t end a recession that way.

What if, instead of slashing government programs, we expanded them? The public would get the services they need – and private business would grow because of the extra cash in the economy.

That’s the guiding principle of a new Center for Working Families report, Job Creation and Public Investment.

Focused on New York City, our proposals would restore teachers to the classroom, child care workers to day care centers and library aides to the stacks. But we also say that it’s time to jumpstart plans to rid toxic PCBs from the schools, offer universal pre-kindergarten and make sure more teenagers get summer jobs.

The city’s proposed 2012-2013 budget goes in the opposite direction. It would eliminate 6,000 positions – on top of the 11,400 city jobs cut here since the recession began in 2008. But with city unemployment stuck at 9.7 percent – more than double the rate before the recession – that seems like a flawed approach.

It’s not easy to close tax loopholes or fashion a more progressive income tax to raise the money for the kinds of public jobs we suggest. But it’s time to try.

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© 2012 Center for Working Families

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The Center for Working Families creates and implements innovative policy ideas to improve the lives of working and low income New Yorkers.

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