People whose livelihoods depend on supporting remote, multi-national corporations cannot be expected to support changing the system. There's plenty of work to do that does not jeopardize our future, does not widen the gap between the richest and the poorest in our society and that can enrich our communities. We must encourage the creation of these opportunities.
We propose a third alternative to "a job or no job." That is providing everyone a sustainable livelihood. The need of our times is for security, not jobs necessarily. We need security in the knowledge that while markets may fluctuate and jobs may come and go, we are still able to lead a rooted life in dignity and well-being.
The concept of a "job" is only a few hundred years old; and the artificial dichotomy, between "employment" and "unemployment", has become a tool of social leverage for corporate exploiters. This produces a dysfunctional society in various ways:
It is used to justify inserting harmful industries into rural communities. For example, extensive prison construction and clear cutting of pristine forests.
It has been used to pit workers (people needing jobs) against the interests of their own communities.
It has created a self-esteem crisis in a large segment of the adult population, who have been forced into doing work that is irrelevant, socially harmful, environmentally unsound, or some combination of the three.
The Green Party will also promote policies that have job increasing effects. Many people will still need jobs for their security. We need to counterbalance the decline in jobs caused either by new technology, corporate flight to cheaper labor markets outside our borders, or through the disappearance of socially wasteful jobs that will inevitably occur as more and more people embrace a green culture.
To begin the transition to a sustainable system, we support:
The creation of alternative low consumption communities and living arrangements, including a reinvigorated sustainable homesteading movement in rural areas and voluntary shared housing in urban areas.
Universal health care requiring coverage for all people in California.
The creation and spread of local currencies and barter.
Subsidizing technological development of consumer items that would contribute toward economic autonomy for individuals, such as renewable energy devices.
Setting up local non-profit development corporations.
Providing people with information about alternatives to jobs.
Reducing taxes of labor. This will make labor more competitive with energy and capital investment. [see Taxation above]
Solidarity with unions and workers fighting the contracting out of tasks to part-time workers in order to avoid paying benefits and to break up unions.
Adopting a 30-hour work week as a standard. This could translate into as many as 26 million new jobs.
Subsidizing renewable energy sources which directly employ 2 to 5 times as many people for every unit of electricity generated as fossil or nuclear sources yet are cost competitive. Also, retrofit existing buildings for energy conservation and build non-polluting low impact transportation systems.
Supporting small business by reducing tax, fee and bureaucratic burdens on them. The majority of new jobs today are created by small businesses. This would cut their mortality rate and help them create more.
Changing our foreign trade policies to minimize the exportation of jobs to other countries. [see International Trade Agreements plank]