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Yehuda “YJ” Draiman - Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles 2017 YJ Draiman is the lead elected official for the Northridge East Neighborhood Council – NENC, he is also the liaison between the NENC and LADWP. As an Energy Efficiency Advocate YJ Draiman is known for his advancement in implementing... More
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  • 2012 Elections, Jobs And The Economy 7 comments
    Oct 15, 2012 1:19 PM

    2012 Elections, jobs and the economy

    It is easy to forget that not only is there a six-alarm jobs crisis going on in this country, but also that it won't be magically solved after the election.

    The American Dream is in danger. Over 28 million people are unemployed or underemployed. Six million Americans have been unemployed for six months or more. Among young people, the unemployment rate is 20 percent plus. We know that many of the destructive consequences of being out of work -- both to people's finances and to their health and well-being -- can be permanent. So every day that we fail to address the crisis, more and more Americans are not only suffering but also having their futures jeopardized. That is why we can not wait for Washington to save the day. That is not going to happen any time soon. But that doesn't mean that nothing can be done.

    The urgency of this crisis requires all hands on deck. Businesses, communities and individuals all have roles to play -- but especially businesses. Yes, every business needs to pay attention to the bottom line -- you can't create jobs if you go out of business -- but maintaining a healthy bottom line and making a difference actually go hand in hand.

    It is, of course, easy to focus on what is not going right in the country. But there is a real danger that by only seeing what is not working, we risk losing the chance to expand the benefits of what is working to millions of Americans. It is natural in a crisis to define things in negative ways -- in terms of deficits and shortages and scarcity. But the flipside of that are the surpluses we have of creativity, energy, empathy, ingenuity, and under-utilized resources that can be put to work putting people to work. We can develop our hydrocarbon resources and create millions of jobs over the next five years, while at the same time utilize some of the revenues to continue developing renewable energy and energy/water efficiency and conservation.

    "Opportunity: What is Working." By spotlighting all the innovative job creation ideas going on across the country, and helping to bring them the attention they need to scale up and bring relief to more Americans, we hope to change the narrative away from the fatalistic and passive acceptance of joblessness as the "new normal." It is an attempt to act on the belief that "what we have before us are some breathtaking opportunities disguised as insoluble problems."

    We should promote the recommendations of the best ideas for creating new jobs via small businesses --especially jobs for young people. "We believe in the entrepreneurial spirit of the American population."

    Other elements of the initiative should include:

    - Securing specific promises from companies, foundations and non-profits for actions to tackle the jobs crisis. For example, investing millions of dollars over the next 5 years to address three drivers of the jobs crisis: the skills mismatch, the geographic mismatch, and the asset gap.

    - Hosting jobs panels at both political conventions on "Solutions to the Jobs Crisis." The discussions should be moderated by economists and included participants from across the political spectrum to highlight non-partisan ideas that are already working and come up with more, like a new Bill for urban young people.

    In the spirit of the barn-raising impulse embedded in the American DNA, we should be launching a competition called Job Creation and opportunities, an innovative funding challenge to raise money for employment-boosting organizations.

    We should provide a platform for entrepreneurs, small business owners, mayors and other local officials, CEOs, thinkers, activists and ordinary citizens across the country to join the discussion, connect, and engage in innovation and job creation.

    "We are all part of the flow of history...And we take things out of that flow that other people have created. And that is why our lives are so great...you have got to put something back into the flow of history that is going to help your community, help other people, so that 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now, even if it is just a small pebble you put in, people will say, this person did not just have a passion, he cared about making something that other people benefit from."

    There are a lot of individuals and businesses out there putting their small pebble into the flow. If enough of us do it, we can end this jobs crisis. And that's the best thing for everybody's bottom line.

    YJ Draiman

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  • jdraiman
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    Author’s reply » "Don't make things, make things work". In short, making things is done by kids fresh off the farm. Fixing dilapidated power, water, and road infrastructure requires real engineering. The people that get convicted of stock market shenanigans should be sentenced to driving trucks on the Alaska haul road, where they do 'real work' and risk their lives - like 'normal people'. If schools are failing, we need to find ways to educate kids, using structures that bypass the institutions that are obstructing change when and where they won't cooperate. This is risky and controversial. Individual teachers should be 'escaping' the confines of their institutions. Instead, they are asking for taxpayers to pony up more and more. Foundations that are throwing money at schools are not going to spend money on 'bypass' alternatives. There is still very little evidence that people understand what is happened in the economy and workplace since the Internet took hold. We are still trying to solve yesterday's problems.
    15 Oct 2012, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • jdraiman
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    Author’s reply » The current job down turn was badly handles from the beginning and the government’s response to the crisis has, in some instances, made matters worse. The feds threw stimulus money at California which simultaneously cut its EDD staff precisely when the unemployed needed their help the most. Sacramento sent bailout money to local municipalities like Los Angeles, which used the money to save high paying government jobs only to subsequently eliminate those same jobs as part of the city’s cost saving measures. The state and federal government layered on large amounts of unemployment benefits that made people out of work feel good but did nothing to help them get back to work. The benefits have now run out and the unemployment recipients have been thrust back into the ranks of job seekers with no new work skills and no new job prospects. We have spent trillions of dollars and have nothing to show for it. What we need is a disaster plan and disaster response, which requires identifying those in need of critical attention from those who need minimal retooling of skills to reenter the job market. Is the consortium of people and foundations that we wrote about the answer to our critical need? Who knows but if they don’t address the critical steps needed to getting people back to work it will all be a waste of time.

     

    Regardless of our own personal beliefs and values; we must join together and address this unemployment issue before our great nation is permanently damaged. This is perhaps due to the greed and pettiness of some of our leaders; but now is not the time to be pointing fingers. We have a duty to help our fellow citizens. It is easy to point out what is wrong; harder to develop and implement solutions to problems and issues.

     

    I agree that working together in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration; we can address and resolve any challenge. I support and look forward to contributing and getting our country contributing solutions, ideas, approaches, and resources to our communities, our country and our world.
    15 Oct 2012, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • jdraiman
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    Author’s reply » It's extremely difficult to rebuild a nation that is literally divided in politics; religion and his/her own philosophy of turning the United States of America back into a self-sustaining nation. Notice the word "United". We're not keeping the seams together: 38% of our eligible voters in 2008 didn't vote. 52% of the votes went to Democrat and 46% to the Republicans. In 2004 the numbers were tighter than those of 2008. Additionally, of the 221MM population that was 18 and over, only 200MM were citizens. However, it is expected that some 18MM Latino's will be eligible to vote this year. So, this will be a very interesting 2012 election. So, 60% actually cared to vote but some 72% were registered AND of those that do vote, well, painting a grim picture on our people being a "United" country. Perhaps over time this will change. Meanwhile, we need to step back and accept that "we" (man/woman) are not naturally good or evil. And there are so many humane things we do in our life we don't account for that is good. Yet, those things we may have done that are perceived as evil is in the forefront of your mind. I don't know. Everything is subjective. Everyone has opinions and beliefs. The way I see it the more people we have in our country is both good and bad. Good that we have the resources available to do great things for one another, for ourselves. Bad that because of the higher population you have more personalities which can complicate coming to terms on voting or helping in unity because, well, statistically people are left to their own devices to act, ignore or even care. I saved this analysis on man naturally being good or bad and have reread it many times. Read it and the reason for our "uphill battle" may illuminate the path of our destiny, or not.
    15 Oct 2012, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • jdraiman
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    Author’s reply » • I like the positive message and agree that charities can help in many ways, but misses a HUGE point. The statement says basically Americans are hurting, so, "That's why we can't wait for Washington to save the day." Ridiculous! We haven't been waiting! At least half the country is screaming for Washington to JUST PLEASE STOP the counterproductive and damaging policies that are preventing recovery, such as threatening to raise taxes, increase costly regulation, and taking the people's money and spending us into debt crisis oblivion on cronies such as Special interest groups. Meanwhile preventing jobs growth in energy in America seems to be a current administration priority along with increasing health insurance premiums on families. The article is devoutly partisan, so I wouldn't expect it to point this out, while trying to preach a positive message to encourage charity and business participation. But just because it won't own up to what Washington has done to slow growth & jobs, doesn't mean we need to fool ourselves...
    15 Oct 2012, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • jdraiman
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    Author’s reply » I have been in the trenches of every recovery since 1978 and we know one thing for sure. Recovery is not about trickle down economy, it is about bubble up job creation. Most of the millions of under-employed and unemployed are actually striving to be "self-employed" and they need help. In every past recovery entrepreneurs have had credit cards as the foundation of capital for their start up ideas. But this time the only credit available comes at all to high a price. We need to look at the ways other countries give their micro-businesses a helping hand. Worldwide every nation subsidizes their smallest designers and artisans to come HERE to sell at trade shows. We have no such opportunity for our start-ups... and the result is that our trade shows in every sector are filled with foreign companies and foreign products. We need to develop micro-lending through small groups attached to our SBDC organizations. Get those SBDC offices out of the University and into "incubator facilities". That's what was done in 1986... They built a 110,000 sf. studio business incubator that led to 310% increases in the real estate throughout the entire zip code. The investment was.... $550,000 federal loan. Not a grant! We have bailed out Wall Street... now it is time to help Main Street. But the White House keeps putting the wrong people on "small business" projects, committees etc... We don't need Jack to tell us how to create jobs! 1/4 of all new jobs are created by immigrants. 75% of all new jobs are created by micro-businesses... not small businesses. We need our government to re-define the term Small Business... it's not 600-1100 employees!
    15 Oct 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • jdraiman
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    Author’s reply » Economic and the political landscape: What we were experiencing as a nation through the 70s and early 80s shrouded our country with a darkened feeling of hopelessness and despair in many corners of our land.
    If you are 50 years old or younger you probably don't remember the mess America was in at that time - but here are some tid-bits of facts that existed back then - they tend to put some of today's problems in a different perspective:
    * In 1979 Inflation was 11.3% and peaked at 13.5% in 1980
    * Unemployment reached 10.8% in December 0f 82
    * Mortgage interest rates hit 18% APR
    ****Goods and services purchased for $1.00 in 1979 would cost $3.20
    15 Oct 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • jdraiman
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    Author’s reply » In your wildest dream did you think you would ever see a 3 1/2% 30 year loan??? Or a 2.75% 15 year loan???

     

    In January 1979 rates were 7% and by December they were 18%. I would hate to think they will go that high, but I never thought they would be this low, either.

     

    These low rates are good for those who can take advantage of them. If you are in a position to buy a house, buy an investment property, or refinance your house, you need to consider it.
    15 Oct 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
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