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Dick Gephardt on Jobs

Democratic Representative (MO-3); Former Democratic Candidate for President


Ask the WTO for an international minimum wage

Q: What is the an acceptable number of unemployment?

A: My target would be zero. At the end of the Clinton administration we had unemployment in the country down to 3 percent. We did things that really got people to be employed. We increased the minimum wage, and that's the first thing that I would do. I'd also ask the WTO for an international minimum wage. My health care plan would create 750,000 new jobs by getting everybody covered with health care insurance.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

AdWatch: claims Bush did worst on jobs-but Reagan did worse

GEPHARDT: I'm Dick Gephardt, and I approve this message because I want to stop George Bush and fight for America 's middle class. George Bush has lost more jobs than any president since Herbert Hoover. He's lost more jobs than the last 11 presidents.

ANALYSIS: Te economy shed just over 2.7 million payroll jobs in the current slump. But that's 124,000 fewer jobs than were lost than between July, 1981 and December, 1982, when Ronald Reagan was President. And at that time the economy was much smaller. It now seems likely that Bush will end his term with the economy employing fewer payroll workers than when he took office. If that happens, Bush's critics will be able to say correctly that he's the first since Hoover to have ended an entire term with a net job loss. But it's premature to say that now. Even Reagan's bigger job loss was erased less than two years after growth resumed. And [it's possible] that job gains in the next 12 months that would leave Bush with a net gain in jobs.

Source: Ad-Watch in Iowa by FactCheck.org Dec 4, 2003

Supports safe genetically modified food

Q: Do you support genetically modified food?

A: I do support safe genetically modified food. It holds the promise of doing away with pesticides and dangerous substances in the production of food. But we must determine that genetically modified food is safe for human consumption.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 3, 2003

My presidency will have three goals: jobs, jobs, jobs

Q: To what do you attribute the economic turnaround and how soon do you think before job growth follows?

A: The statistics that came out last week are promising but it is not yet clear that whatever recovery is happening includes the creation on new jobs. I believe the president's program is deficient and ultimately will not lead to the creation of new jobs. Everything I am proposing in the campaign is designed to create new jobs. My presidency will have three goals: jobs, jobs, jobs.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 3, 2003

Fight for unions & working families is in my bones

Q: You have a lot of union support.

GEPHARDT: Well, the fight for labor unions and working families is in my bones. My dad was a Teamster and a milk truck driver, and I'm very proud of what he stood for and represented in my life and in my family's life. And I'm proud to have the support of working families.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

How many Americans lose their jobs before Bush loses his?

This economic program is not working. The tax cuts, which is the only idea he's ever had for the economy, are not working. He only has one idea in his head: tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, followed by tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, followed by tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. How many Americans have to lose their jobs before George Bush loses his?
Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate Sep 9, 2003

Represents hard-working labor union people

I come from a labor-union household. My dad was a teamster and a milk-truck driver in St. Louis. He told us that because he was in a labor union, we had food on the table. I've tried to represent people like my parents, the hard-working people like you, who make this country what it is and make it great. And when I'm in that Oval Office, you will have a president that cares every day on every issue about the hard-working people of this country, who are in labor unions, who work hard every day.
Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Establish international minimum wage

Q: What measures do you support to bolster the economy?

GEPHARDT: Health care for everybody is the best way to stimulate this economy. To do it we've got to get rid of the Bush tax cuts. Secondly, a minimum-wage increase for the American people would be a great way to get this economy moving again. And finally, I'll go to the WTO and ask for an international minimum wage. We've got a race to the bottom going on. Jobs are going from Mexico to China. It's time to bring those jobs back here.

Source: AFSCME union debate in Iowa May 17, 2003

Workers need to be paid a living wage

[Working-class] jobs don’t receive the respect accorded to financiers, attorneys, or physicians. And on the most basic, most important level, they don’t always pay a living wage. It’s just not fair.

My thinking about the minimum wage starts with this premise:No full-time worker should have to live in poverty. Unfortunately, during the past few decades, our adjustments in the minimum wage have been so few and so inadequate that inflation has greatly outstripped them. It’s almost impossible to live on a minimum-wage salary in most parts of the US today. Yet 10 million workers have to try.

In 1996, we passed an increase in the minimum wage that went a long way toward restoring its value. Much more is needed. We’ve introduced legislation calling for an additional two-step increase in he minimum wage-to $6.15 per hour by the year 2000. Even that is only a start. We need to promote a true “living wage,” including adjustments for local economic conditions.

Source: An Even Better Place, by Dick Gephardt, p. 32 & 72-73 Jul 2, 1999

Require companies to invest 1% of payroll in worker training

We need standards regarding training workers. Technology is changing at an accelerating rate, and we need to make sure that everyone has the skills to keep pace. Several years ago, Senator Ted Kennedy and I introduced legislation to mandate that a minimum of 1% of payroll be dedicated to training. And these expenditures would be tax-deductible to companies.
Source: An Even Better Place, by Dick Gephardt, p. 69 Jul 2, 1999

Employees must “think like owners” to compete globally

Americans must dramatically change the relationship between employers and employees. The traditional hierarchical structure that may have been appropriate for the industrial age is now inadequate. Instead, we need more democracy in the workplace, greater access to information by all employees, and more cooperation and collaboration between managers and workers. If we can achieve this, more employees will be empowered to think like owners, putting their heads and hearts into every minute of every workday as owners do. Such a change will unleash our nation’s true potential, helping us not only to maintain our high standard of living but also to lead the world in the same direction.

The defeat of communism has put our economic and political system to the test worldwide. If we can make it work to its full capacity in the face of global competition, it will truly be the system everyone on earth will want to emulate.

Source: An Even Better Place, by Dick Gephardt, p. 39 Jul 2, 1999

Voted NO on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports.

Vote to authorize $167 billion over ten years for farm price supports, food aid and rural development. Payments would be made on a countercyclical program, meaning they would increase as prices dropped. Conservation acreage payments would be retained.
Bill HR 2646 ; vote number 2001-371 on Oct 5, 2001

Voted NO on zero-funding OSHA's Ergonomics Rules instead of $4.5B.

Vote to pass a resolution to give no enforcement authority or power to ergonomics rules submitted by the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration. These rules would force businesses to take steps to prevent work-related repetitive stress disorders.
Reference: Sponsored by Nickles, R-OK; Bill S J Res 6 ; vote number 2001-33 on Mar 7, 2001

Rated 100% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-labor voting record.

Gephardt scores 100% by the AFL-CIO on labor issues

As the federation of America’s unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America’s workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Jobs: Dick Gephardt on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Environment
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Foreign Policy
Free Trade
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Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
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Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts