GROWING THE ECONOMY, PEOPLE FIRST
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- Older residents frequently tell me they’re disappointed that their young adult children choose to leave Michigan after college. In fact, Michigan is tied in ranking at fifth-lowest nationwide in the proportion of the population aged 26-34.
- Automation and machine learning are set to rapidly change the way we work and jobs that are available, especially in the manufacturing and service sectors. However, research indicates that the rise of artificial intelligence will actually create more jobs than it eliminates, particularly in areas like healthcare and education.
- This year, the legislature repealed the Prevailing Wage law in Michigan - a law which required workers be paid union-scale wages on public construction projects. A recent effort in neighboring Indiana showed that not only did such a repeal reduce worker pay, it did not generate any cost savings on projects overall.
- Proponents of so-called “right to work” laws, which allow workers to benefit from the collective bargaining of unions without paying union dues, have argued that it would increase opportunity for workers. However, “right to work” laws nationwide have resulted in lower wages for workers, a lower likelihood of healthcare, a failure to create jobs or lure businesses - and overall have hurt workers with no impact on economic growth.
- While unemployment numbers may be down, research shows that nearly all new jobs created since 2005 are temporary or “gig economy” jobs. This benefits: more flexible work schedules. The downsides: workers operate without a sense of job security and often lack benefits like health care of paid time off.
- Young people are big supporters of unions. With rising job insecurity, a high percentage of students graduating college in debt and more temporary jobs versus full-time work, workers are looking for unions to fill that gap and ensure benefits and job security.
WHAT WE CAN DO
- Invest in education, infrastructure/transit, and renewed revenue sharing to encourage local municipalities to develop more walkable “urban” city centers and green spaces to attract and retain young professionals and entrepreneurs to stay in or move to Oakland County
- Provide grants or tax incentives to small businesses and entrepreneurs to create an “innovation economy” hub in Oakland County
- Encourage public/private partnerships with major corporations in the automotive, healthcare and design/tech industries to create programs to build talent pipelines locally
- Restore prevailing wage laws to attract and retain skilled laborers when we need them most
- Repeal so-called “right to work” laws to protect and grow union support
- Support unions’ right to collective bargaining
- Support legislation to raise the minimum wage and require employers provide earned paid sick time to ensure people earn a liveable wage and have the time needed to get well to ensure optimum productivity
- Eliminate the “retirement tax” to ensure retired residents receive the full amount of money from pensions or retirement funds they’ve planned for in retirement