Issue: Employment and Jobs
There is considerable debate as to whether or not the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline should proceed. While one argument presented is that it would lead to more jobs, it appears that the greatest number of such jobs will be temporary, and could easily be surpassed by a focus in the U.S. on infrastructure renewal. In addition, it is not clear that the pipeline is essential to the profits of the oil industry. While moving crude oil across the U.S. might be a safer alternative then doing so by rail, its construction by itself at this time might not significantly reduce rail transport either. On balance, it is suggested that the construction of the pipeline not be approved.
A potential major solution is available to generate employment opportunities for young people. It is to develop jobs across the country via a major investment by government and the private sector in infrastructure renewal and development. This will result in the creation and expansion of small local businesses that will hire people at all levels of education and experience, and which will either provide direct services to the major infrastructure projects, or indirect services to the employees of those projects.
There have been a number of proposals for the establishment of a financial transaction tax (FTT). The funds generated by such a tax would be substantial, and could be designated to a specific use or uses. The tax rates proposed have been very modest, but would generate a substantial amount of money. As an example, proposals include a rate of 0.25 percent on each stock purchase or sale, and 0.02 percent on the sale or purchase of a future, option, or credit default swap. It is the position of the Forum that such a FTT such be instituted, and in particular, that the monies raised be dedicated to the funding of infrastructure replacement, improvement, maintenance and new development across the United States.