New jobs for New York, by the thousands

October 17, 2011 | | New York Daily News |

Our national economy is stagnant, and our state economy is no better. We have more people out of work and out of heart than in generations. The middle class seems out of reach to many, especially young people. New Yorkers face fundamental challenges to the dream of shared prosperity and economic opportunity.

Bitter ideological and partisan divides have created gridlock in Washington at the exact moment we need decisive leadership.
It's a lethal combination and it has created a wave of anger and hopelessness. New York can ride that wave or find ways to create employment and hope, within our state and within our means.
New York can lead by creating real jobs in the private and public sectors, good jobs that pay enough to allow a hardworking family to survive, and which in turn create demand for products and services provided by the private sector.
Even as our state economy falters, our physical and human infrastructure is deteriorating. The MTA, our roads and bridges, our schools, our parks are starting to decay. But we need to be prudent and to remember that we can't expand the activities of government without paying for it. The era of unrestrained expansion of debt in New York is over.
If we marry these concepts we can sensibly and responsibly create directly hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next few years and stimulate the creation of hundreds of thousands more.
Here's what will work:
New York needs a $5 billion jobs infrastructure bond act to fund road, bridge, mass transportation and flooding improvements. That will directly create 25,000 well-paying jobs while rebuilding our physical infrastructure and spur long-term economic growth.
New York needs a $1 billion youth employment program to provide constructive employment annually for 20,000 young New Yorkers in the private and public sectors over five years. It will create 100,000 median-wage jobs.