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Forget the deficit; people need jobs

Jesse Jackson @ The Chicago Sun-Times - The state of America's union is stark. The economic collapse triggered by the bursting of the housing bubble continues to take its toll.

We know the statistics. Nearly one in five American workers is unemployed or underemployed. That means wages are losing ground. One in three homes with a mortgage is under water. Millions of Americans are headed to losing their homes.

That will leave families adrift, children displaced.

We need another big jobs program. Aid should go to states and localities that now face brutal cuts that will lay off teachers, police and professors. Public jobs programs -- a green corps, an urban corps -- should target hard-hit areas like the Midwest and urban centers. We should invest in infrastructure by repairing schools, weatherizing public buildings and creating the projects that will hire construction workers.

Without these commitments, there will be no recovery. Businesses won't expand into an economy in which one in five people are unemployed. Exports won't increase -- particularly with the Chinese continuing to manipulate their currency. Consumers have taken a $10 trillion hit on assets, and are tightening their belts. States and localities are facing brutal cuts. Read more.

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