From Safety Net to Springboard

The following is commentary from Elisabeth Mason of the Huffington Post. 

Millions of Americans have cycled through a series of “miracle” diets (I’m one of them). Most promise quick but lasting results. And often one diet’s sacred premise is another’s sacrilege.

After a while you may (like me) conclude that the radical weight loss solution is… exercise more and eat less.

Our thinking on jobs has become a little like our thinking on diets. It has certainly provided a bunch of empty calories to the national discourse. The problem is that, in our zeal for magic fixes, we sometimes ignore obvious choices.

Don’t get me wrong: We’ve generated some great new ideas for finding the right training programs for employees, and matching them with the right jobs.

But, with due respect for these new ideas, are we forgetting a few old ones?

Let’s not just answer the question about what new ways we can come up with to address unemployment. Let’s question the question: Is there anything out there that can help solve our jobs crisis and also propel us to the 21st-century version of broad-based progress that we enjoyed in the middle part of the 20th? Can we use the overlooked architecture of the last century’s prosperity to lay the foundation for success in this one?

There is indeed. In fact there are two powerful forces that could do great good.

First of all, there’s the series of economic supports that kick in to help the needier among us: the Earned Income Tax Credit, TANF, SNAP ( better known as food stamps), Medicaid, and other federal and state programs. (Read more.)

Posted in Commentary, Community College (13-14), Funding. Comments Off on From Safety Net to Springboard
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