The Electrical Worker online
June 2012

Main Street Austerity, Or Shared Prosperity?
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Around American kitchen tables, too many working families are still trading anxieties. Never mind that Wall Street and corporate profits have come roaring back — Main Street still grapples daily with an uncertain economic picture and a collective worry when the monthly bills come due.

Some progress has been made. The U.S. auto industry, once on life support, is reclaiming its status as a force in American manufacturing. Unemployment is at the lowest point since early 2009, shortly after President Obama took office. Banks are increasing lending, and a cautiously improving climate for electrical contractors appears to be on the horizon.

But everyday Americans know that we're still not where we need to be. Far too many brothers and sisters are still on the bench or have seen their plants, which sustained their families and communities, get shut down.

Pitched battles in statehouses over the future of public employees' negotiated benefits grab headlines and shift the blame away from the perpetrators of this economic calamity to its victims, such as firefighters, teachers, nurses and others in the helping professions.

Our roads, bridges and schools continue to crumble, while infrastructure spending — once one of the best bipartisan success stories of government accord — has become a nonstarter amongst politicians who believe that austerity will solve all of our problems. And while some private sector jobs are coming back, are they the kind of jobs that will offer workers a path to the middle class?

In this issue of the Electrical Worker, we analyze the lingering effects of the recession and highlight some recent victories. With elections around the corner, we hope this discussion helps our members make the best choices for their families — choices that uphold the values of fairness and shared prosperity that have made our nation great.

Have suggestions about what we need to do to spur the economy and sustain the middle class? Join the conversation at our Facebook page,

Read more: For More Americans, Low Wages are the New Normal For More Americans, Low Wages are the New Normal

Read more: Q&A on the Economy Q&A on the Economy

Read more: Companies 'Re-Shore' in the South. Is This Good? Companies 'Re-Shore' in the South. Is This Good?

Read more: What Congress Can Do What Congress Can Do


Unemployment is waning and many construction workers are back on the job site — but working families nationwide are still feeling the aftershocks of the recession.