Dick Gephardt on Jobs
Former Democratic Representative (MO-3); Former Democratic Candidate for President
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Other candidates on Jobs:||Dick Gephardt on other issues:|
George W. Bush (GOP)
V.P.Dick Cheney (GOP-V.P.)
Sen.John Kerry (Dem.)
Sen.John Edwards (Dem.V.P.)
Ralph Nader (Reform)
Peter Camejo (Reform V.P.)
David Cobb (Green)
Michael Badnarik (Libertarian)
Michael Peroutka (Constitution)