Whether we like it or not, we live in a globalized world, and change is happening at a faster pace than ever. New Jersey’s economy must catch up. This means reevaluating everything from jobs to education to fair trade.
In order to surmount the complex challenges facing New Jersey, we must address:
- UNEQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND OUTCOME: Entrenched big money lobbyists peddle legislation that directly inhibits social mobility. Simultaneously, wealth inequality has never been greater – Trump's first 17 cabinet picks have more wealth than the 43 million least wealthy American households combined!
- FOSSILIZED ENERGY POLICY: State bureaucrats and the oil and gas industry have lined up not one, but at least two pipeline projects. This is 2017: why are we building our economy on dirty fossil fuels?
- UNIONS ARE UNDER ATTACK: Corporations are making more money than ever before, yet workers put in more hours for less pay.
- RAPIDLY CHANGING JOB MARKET: Companies fail to train workers for advancement in a globalized world. Wages remain depressed as new economy skill development is neglected for short term profits.
- CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE: Shoddy infrastructure holds back investment – the negative effects of a deplorable public infrastructure policy and corrupt transportation state conglomerates has become painfully obvious in the last 8 years.
- RACIAL DISPARITY: Youth unemployment in New Jersey hovers around 12%—in line with the national average of 10%. While the unemployment rate is 10% for young whites, it more than doubles for young blacks. Economic racism must be expunged from our state.
BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE NEW JERSEY ECONOMY
We have a bold plan to create an equitable and prosperous New Jersey that will benefit business owners, workers, and the cities they live in, incentivizing the manufacturing and technology sectors to remain and grow.
Our state needs to fully engage with the new economy: the digital and environmental revolutions are underway and here to stay. Me must make sure New Jersey is not left behind.
CREATING JOBS THROUGH A RENEWABLE ENERGY ECONOMY
- Introduce a modernized carbon tax that ensures New Jersey companies build their businesses sustainably.
- Electric car, alternative energy, and energy storage manufacturing: New Jersey has not had a car factory for more than 25 years. Through a combination of state incentives, and public investment in green energy we plan to make New Jersey a focus state for key new economy energy companies: New Jersey has 127 miles of coastline - we have everything we need to become a leading wind energy state.
STANDING BY ALL NEW JERSEY CITIZENS
- We must safeguard the rights of workers; we can’t let companies like Uber continue to infringe on their rights. We will encourage unionization in order to rebalance the unfair market powers harnessed by stateless multinational corporations.
- Introduce a minimum wage in New Jersey of $15/hr to ensure all New Jerseyans receive living wages.
- We need to create jobs for young disadvantaged Americans by allocating public dollars to training and community development programs. Investment will go towards high paying and in-demand jobs boot camps, trade programs, etc. We will work with large companies to develop professional growth programs for disadvantaged youth, and impose a tax if large corporations do not comply.
- Encourage trades by introducing subsidies for taking on apprentices. We aim to work with companies and small businesses to implement more combined job-and-education apprenticeships.
- By exempting new companies and their employees that locate in Camden, Trenton, Newark or Paterson from all state and local taxes, we can bring real economic growth and cultivate an environment and culture of opportunity. Rebuilding our communities and cities benefits all New Jerseyans.
MOVING NEW JERSEY FROM AN OLD TO A NEW ECONOMY
- As companies increasingly rely on automation to drive core business operations, we must ensure that all New Jerseyans get access to skill-development through their career. We propose a set of tax incentives for organizations and companies that promote continuing education for low-skilled workers - as was typical not long ago - while imposing a penalty on large companies that do not live up to state standards. This will encourage cutting edge industries to come to New Jersey, as our state will have a top-notch work force.
- Everyone going through the New Jersey public education system should receive marketable skills and be readily employable. This means less reliance on the traditional 4 year bachelor system—we will increase state funding for short term education focusing on practical industrial and digital skillsets. This will be done through state and private co-funded learning and development educational opportunities such as ‘12 week coding bootcamps’.
- Reducing barriers to entry in middle-class professions: today it takes more than 1,200 hours of instruction in cosmetology and hairstyling to become a licensed cosmetologist-hairstylist. This is absurd.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE – INFRASTRUCTURE AND DIGITAL TRANSITION
- New Jersey infrastructure is sorely lacking: the port authority remains a complete mess and Chris Christie turned down billions of dollars in funding on the Arc Tunnel project just to save his yearly budget. Meanwhile public transport is severely underdeveloped. Our policy is based on the undeniable fact that New Jersey needs more investment in infrastructure.
- We will look to invest in infrastructure with a focus on efficiency and productivity
- Transition New Jersey urban development into the new economy era. Build out the state’s focus on smart cities and intelligent electrical grids.
- Expand the NYC subway over the George Washington Bridge to Fort Lee and into North Jersey. This will allow access to good jobs for middle-class New Jerseyans.