Last week, after AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka led 2,000 people on a march to a Philadelphia Bank of America branch as part of the Good Jobs Make Wall Street Pay mobilization, Dan Pedrotty, director of the AFL-CIO Office of Investments, told the national syndicated radio show “Building Bridges“:
We really sensed that was the beginning of something. There is a sense that we can really make changes in this country but also that we need to hold accountable those people who gambled with our economy and gambled with our future.
Hosts Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash asked Pedrotty what was behind the Good Jobs campaign, and he put it this way:
Millions of people are out of work today because Wall Street played Russian roulette with our economy and our future and we are now learning that unregulated greed and letting the markets govern themselves really failed our economy.
We’re calling on Wall Street and the biggest banks to do three things. First to pay to replace the jobs they destroyed. We need a nationwide movement to create 11 million good jobs. Second that they stop fighting financial reform, and third that they start getting credit flowing and lending to communities and small businesses.
He also explained two of the measures Congress could enact to make Wall Street pay to create good jobs and address the damage Big Banks wrecked on our economy. A financial speculation tax aimed at the risky practices that drove the economy into the ground not only would raise billions in revenue but also could
change the speculative short term behavior that got us in this boat in the first place.
Another revenue raiser that could fund jobs programs is requiring that managers of private equity firms and hedge firms “who play with other people’s money”
pay the same rate on their income as the people who clean their offices or serve them food. Right now, they pay capital gains tax [a much lower rate]. We want to see that loop hole closed.
Pedrotty also discussed the AFL-CIO’s Five-Point Jobs Program and explained why our jobs plan makes economic sense by calling for using TARP money to allow community banks to begin making and providing credit. He says providing the money to community banks and credit unions to help create jobs “eliminates the middleman of the Wall Streets banks.”
Get the money to credit unions and community banks. Banks that are close to their communities and know their needs.
Click here for an archived broadcast of the March 22 show.