Tag Archive | State of the Union

An Even Greater Society is Within Reach

By Melissa Young, Associate Director, NTJN

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Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared his “War on Poverty,” launching an ambitious federal effort to address the problem of persistent poverty in the United States. Lyndon Johnson’s vision was to create a “Great Society” in which enacting social reforms leading to the elimination of poverty and racial injustice would transform our nation. In the years following, policymakers created Medicare and Medicaid, boosted Social Security benefits, began to fund K-12 education, launched Head Start, and funded job training programs for adults and youth and urban renewal projects.  Policymakers converted food stamps from a pilot project into a permanent program and expanded housing assistance for low-income families among other economic and social reforms.

As President Barack Obama addresses the nation on January 28, 2014 during the State of the Union address, we urge him to declare a commitment to and articulate a vision for making our country an Even Greater Society. Through bold new policies and a steadfast commitment to policies, programs, and systems that have reduced poverty over the last fifty years, we can end poverty and achieve economic opportunity for all.
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6 Good Ideas to Fight Unemployment

By Melissa Young, Associate Director, NTJN

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Last week, President Obama put forward an ambitious vision for his second Presidential term in his State of the Union address, including six good ideas to fight unemployment, grow good jobs at home, and ensure that no one who works full time lives in poverty. Whether or not his vision will gain traction within the contentious ranks of our divided Congress over the course of the next four years remains to be seen. Meanwhile, in the coming months at the National Transitional Jobs Network, we’re poised to continue to fight for federal policies that get chronically unemployed Americans back to work.

Here are the six good ideas the President proposed last week:

1. Creating Pathways to Jobs For All Americans. The president put forward “an ambitious plan in his budget to support summer and year-round jobs for low-income youth and put the long-term unemployed and low-income adults back to work.” Read More…