Democratic Party Proposals are Meant to Help People

The State of Michigan is in real trouble. Faced with a the highest unemployment rate in the US (14%) and reeling from the continued demise of auto manufacturing in the state, it is refreshing to find some real-world answers to these daunting challenges.

Mark Brewer is the Michigan Democratic Party chairman, and he recently took the bull by the horns and came up with this 5-point plan to help struggling families and get the great State of Michigan back on track again.

From Mark’s Op-ed piece in the Michigan Oakland Press:

We’re facing record unemployment, a poor economy and an uncertain future. We need to be proactive in addressing these problems, and the Michigan Democratic Party believes its proposed ballot initiatives will not only help to get people back on their feet, but also stimulate our economy.  Our plan includes five proposals that put people first — ahead of the greedy, corporate CEOs who are responsible for our economic meltdown.

1. We’re proposing that all employers in Michigan be required to provide affordable, quality health care for their employees and dependents or pay a penalty. We have more than 1.2 million people in this state who do not have health insurance. Many of those people are employed but their employers do not provide health insurance.These uninsured and their children are either going without health care or are flooding our emergency rooms for health care, forcing those who are insured to pay significantly higher premiums. This proposal would not only save businesses money in the long-run, with better, healthier workers but would save all residents money and lower premiums.
2. We believe the minimum wage should be increased from $7.40/hour to $10/hour. A worker who is earning the current minimum wage while supporting a family of four is living below the poverty level. This is unacceptable. Someone who is working 40-plus hours per week should not be earning below poverty level wages. Study after study has proven that raising the minimum wage would not deter job creation in our state. These higher wages would allow businesses to save money long-term by having a less transient and more stable work force. Higher wages also would provide an economic stimulus.
3. We must increase unemployment benefits for those out of work through no fault of their own and close loopholes that prevent more than a quarter of a million people from receiving any benefits at all. Michigan’s unemployment benefits have not increased in years and are not keeping up with the rate of inflation. We believe increasing these benefits by $100 a week would provide more stability to our struggling families. We should extend the amount of time the unemployed can receive those benefits by six months. This gives these citizens more time to find jobs, or get training, and stay in our great state.
4. Cutting utility rates by 20 percent would be a significant savings to both consumers and businesses. Electric rates alone have skyrocketed more than 30 percent in the last six years. This is an unnecessary burden for our citizens and businesses and is hurting our economy.
5. A one-year moratorium on home foreclosures would address the emergency faced by tens of thousands of people who face foreclosure. Foreclosure depresses everyone’s property values and creates eyesores and havens for criminal activity. This freeze would allow banks and homeowners to work out problems.These proposals are just some of the ways we can help people in this state. We are all in this together and must unite to resolve this economic crisis.

And now you know why Michigan has the problems it does.