In Yes! magazine, Sara Van Gelder interviews Van Jones on several subjects, including how green investments could also yield new jobs. Jones is smart and practical. He points out that the U.S economy is still twice as large as China’s. Then Jones boils his point on jobs down to a simple formula: “It’s not a question of wallets but a question of will—whether or not we connect all the people who need work with all the great work that needs to be done in our country.” I strongly recommend this interview and everything else published by Yes!.
It’s interesting that so much of our politics is negative and angry. Yes! and Utne are magazines that present thinkers like Van Jones who look at the world with more open, optimistic eyes. We need a change in our political and social lives. Too much is negative, conflict-driven. It’s time to do what Jones calls the “great work,” a task we all should share.
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis wrote those words in today’s Huffington Post. The Secretary was describing “Pathways Out of Poverty,” a program to help the poor transition to green jobs.
I have nothing against this particular program. However, given the number of good jobs that have been lost over the past couple of years (to say nothing of the past couple of decades), Secretary Solis seems overly optimistic about a program that is promoting employment in a new industry. Will green jobs be good jobs? Will they be good jobs that last?
More importantly, we need to do something to spur manufacturing in this country. Some of the green jobs will be industrial. That’s great. But what about other types of new industries and new technologies? The federal government needs to do more to encourage companies to keep good jobs in this country.
To read Secretary Solis’s post, click here.