What Each Of Us Can Do To Create Jobs in AmericaPosted: October 25, 2011
If you’ve read my blog at all or watched my videos, you know that I’m making one big point with everything I’m saying: We can create jobs right now, and turn our economy around. But knowing that it’s in the realm of possibility and having an immediate access to making this happen are two different things. So here are a whole bunch of different things you can do, right now, to support job growth in America.
1) Directly contact your elected officials. This is one of the most useful and easy things you can do. Many people don’t bother because they think that letters or phone calls are ignored, or that their message would get lost among millions. They aren’t and it won’t. Millions of people vote, but in a given week only hundreds or at most thousands of people call your senator or representative. Most of these offices track how many calls, letters or emails they get on which side of a given issue.
To let your senators and congressman know that you support immediate policies to directly put people to work, while rebuilding our infrastructure and our economy, simply go to the Contacting the Congress website linked to here. At that site, you simply put in your address and it gives you the phone, fax, and online submission numbers for both of your senators and your congressman. Faxing tends to be better than just submitting a comment on line – it’s more visceral and real – but if you have the time, do both. If you fax, handwrite it clearly – that makes it less likely that it will be viewed as ad spam. Of course, the best way to give your opinion weight is to get your friends to write or call along with you.
Direct contacts really do matter and are often more important to elected officials than polls. Polls can tell a congressman what percentage of people feel a certain way, but they don’t track passion. Letters and phone calls do. A minority of people may support a given issue, but if its supporters are passionate enough they may get their way anyhow, because what’s important isn’t to a congressman isn’t necessarily how many people agree with them; it’s how many people will change their vote if they disagree with them. I’ll say it again – offices of elected officials do pay attention to the amount of calls and letters they give in support of a given issue.
2) Spread the idea that we really can create jobs now to as many people as possible. Email people, talk to people, share things on Facebook. Pass along this blog and my Youtube videos.
3) Get involved with organizations supporting job creation – there are dozens of organizations actively working towards creating jobs and a new deal for the 21st century – look them up and get involved. Rebuild the Dream is one of my favorites.
4) Join the protests! Been following the Occupy Wall Street protests on TV? Then jump right in. If you are wondering if Occupy Wall Street is about job creation, I can assure you that it is, and that its message is the message of those who bother to show up. Make a strong stand for job creation – Google ‘occupy wall street’ in your city and get involved!
5) Support a political candidate who supports a New Deal for the 21st Century! I didn’t put this first, because I think sometimes we can get too caught up in the illusion that if we elect the right politicians, then they will create the jobs for us, when the truth is that politicians are much more likely to take bold action when we have created a grassroots groundswell for a big jobs program. Also, the purpose of this blog is not to tell you how to vote. However, if you have candidates that are promoting a bold new job creation plan like I’ve been talking about here, by all means, go contribute and volunteer for them, and be sure to tell them that their stand on creating jobs is why you are doing so.
6) Get involved in unconventional job creation efforts, such as Starbucks’ Create Jobs for USA Program. I’m not usually much of a fan of Starbucks, but on November 1st the coffee chain is launching a microlending program to create jobs for small businesses, and anyone will be able to easily contribute at all of its stores.
7) Fire your bank! This isn’t directly a job creation idea, but given that the big banks in this country helped cause the financial crisis that put so many people out of work, took trillions of dollars in bailouts, and thanked us by laying off tens of thousands of workers while instituting new bank fees while raising old ones, if you’re still banking at one of these ‘too big to fail institutions’ – Bank of America, Citibank, Chase or Wells Fargo – I recommend on celebrating ‘Bank Transfer Day‘ on November 5th along with tens of thousands of other Americans. Research reputable credit unions in your area – here’s a good place to start looking – and see how much better you sleep when you’re not contributing profits to these companies.
8): Continue to get yourself educated on these issues – find our more details so you can clearly articulate these ideas to others. Here are some great articles and websites.