Create Good-Paying Jobs
Progressive voters know that nothing is more important than creating good-paying jobs that can support a middle-class life—from nurses, firefighters, and teachers to construction workers, factory workers, and small business owners. That is why we are committed to doing everything we can to build a full-employment economy, where everyone has a job that pays enough to raise a family and live in dignity with a sense of purpose. Progressives will build strong, sustained, shared economic growth. We know that when Americans come together, we can do amazing things. In the last century, our leaders came together across the aisle to electrify the nation, build the Interstate Highway System, support groundbreaking research in medicine, science, and communications, and send a man to the moon. When we are bold and ambitious, we can do big things and make our economy stronger for decades to come.
Building 21st Century Infrastructure
If we are serious about reversing the decline of the middle class, we need major federal investments to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and put millions of Americans back to work in decent paying jobs in both the public and private sectors. The climate emergency and the need to expand the middle class demand that we make the most ambitious investment in American infrastructure since President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system. We will put Americans to work updating and expanding our roads, bridges, public transit, airports, and passenger and freight rail lines. We will build 21st century energy and water systems, modernize our schools, and continue to support the expansion of high-speed broadband networks. We will protect communities from the impact of climate change and help them to mitigate its effects by investing in green and resilient infrastructure. We will address the backlog of deferred maintenance in our four key public land management agencies. And we will protect public health and safety by modernizing drinking and wastewater systems. These investments will create secure, good-paying middle-class jobs today and will substantially increase demand for American-made steel and other products manufactured in the United States. And by boosting economic growth in a fair and equitable way, and strengthening our long-term competitiveness, these investments will create many more jobs in the years to come.
Progressives will also create an independent, national infrastructure bank that will support critical infrastructure improvements. This bank will provide loans and other financial assistance for investments in energy, water, broadband, transportation, and multi-modal infrastructure projects. Progressives will continue to support the interest tax exemption on municipal bonds and will work to establish a permanent version of Build America Bonds as an additional tool to encourage infrastructure investment by state and local governments.
Furthermore, progressives will fight to ensure resources and programs are adequately targeted to provide economic development, job training, and critical infrastructure investment in areas of the greatest need.
Fostering a Manufacturing Renaissance
Progressive voters believe one of the best ways to innovate, prosper, and create good-paying jobs is to make more in America, which is why we firmly support American manufacturing with a “Make it in America” plan. We must revitalize hard-hit manufacturing communities; create thriving hubs of manufacturing and innovation throughout the country; and claw back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, using the proceeds to reinvest in communities and workers at home instead. Progressives are proud of rescuing the auto industry from collapse, which saved more than a million jobs, and led the auto industry, which is at the heart of American manufacturing, to record sales. Progressives will defend the Export-Import Bank, which supports good-paying jobs across the country and allows American workers and manufacturers to compete on a level playing field. Donald Trump may talk tough, but he has consistently outsourced his own products. American workers deserve better.
Creating Good-Paying Clean Energy Jobs
We must help American workers and businesses compete for jobs and investments in global clean energy, high-tech products, internet technology products, and advanced manufacturing and vehicles. We must make American manufacturing more internationally competitive by making it the greenest and most efficient in the world, including by investing in industrial energy efficiency.
Pursuing Our Innovation Agenda: Science, Research, Education, and Technology
Progressive voters support ambitious public and private investments in science, technology, and research. We are focused on creating good jobs in communities across America. Entrepreneurship and innovation are fundamental to our future economic growth—in the information technology (IT) industry as well as energy, manufacturing, transportation, health, retail, services, and countless other sectors. We will nurture the next generation of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, especially women and people of color, to make sure America continues to out-compete and out-innovate the rest of the world with our bold innovation agenda.
New technologies are already transforming our economy, and they have the power to generate trillions in economic output. We must harness these forces so that they create higher-paying jobs across the country, bring more people into the workforce, and reduce inequality. To do this, we need to educate our people and train our workforce; support entrepreneurship and promote inclusion in the digital economy; attract and retain talented people from all over the world; and invest in research and development, innovation hubs, as well as in getting ideas to market. We also need to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn computer science by the time they graduate from high school.
Progressives believe we must harness the promise of technological innovation to promote community participation and enhance opportunities to achieve greater economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. We will encourage technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and small business creation throughout the country and in all types of innovation sectors.
High-speed internet connectivity is not a luxury; it is a necessity for 21st century economic success, social mobility, education, health care, and public safety. Despite considerable progress and private investment in the last eight years to close the digital divide, there is more work to do. Progressives will finish the job of connecting every household in America to high-speed broadband, increase internet adoption, and help hook up anchor institutions so they can offer free WiFi to the public. We will take action to help America widely deploy 5G technology—the next generation wireless service that will not only bring faster internet connections to underserved areas, but will enable the Internet of Things and a host of transformative technologies.
Progressive voters support a free and open internet at home and abroad, and will oppose any effort by regressives to roll back the historic net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission enacted last year.
Progressives value American innovation and believe it is one of our country’s great strengths. We will protect the intellectual property rights of artists, creators, and inventors at home and abroad. The entire nation prospers when we promote the unique and original artistic and cultural contributions of the women and men who create and preserve our nation’s heritage.
Progressives will fight against unfair theft of intellectual property and trade secrets. We will increase access to global markets for American intellectual property and other digital trade by opposing quotas, discriminatory measures, and data localization requirements.
Pushing beyond the boundaries of what we know is core to who we are as Americans. Progressives are immensely proud of all that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has done—through its achievements in science, technology and exploration—to better understand our place in the universe and inspire and educate generations of young people in this country to pursue careers in science. Space exploration is a reminder that our capacity for curiosity is limitless, and may be matched only by our ability to achieve great things if we work together. Progressives believe in continuing the spirit of discovery that has animated NASA’s exploration of space over the last half century. We will strengthen support for NASA and work in partnership with the international scientific community to launch new missions to space.
Supporting America’s Small Businesses
Progressive voters will make it easier to start and grow a small business in America, unlike Donald Trump, who has often stiffed small businesses—nearly bankrupting some—with his deceptive and reckless corporate practices. By supporting small business and entrepreneurship, we can grow jobs faster in America. We will cut the red tape that holds back small businesses and entrepreneurs. We will open up access to credit because we know that small businesses are some of the best job creators in our country. We will provide tax relief and tax simplification. And we will expand access to new markets because every American small business should be able to tap new markets — whether across their city, across their state, or around the world. Progressives will provide targeted funding and support for entrepreneurship and small business growth in underserved communities. Progressives also realize the critical importance of small businesses as engines of opportunity for women, people of color, tribes, and people in rural America, and will work to nurture entrepreneurship.
Creating Jobs for America’s Young People
Progressive voters will make investments to spur the creation of millions of jobs for our young people. Roughly one in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 is unemployed, more than twice the national average. The unemployment rates for African American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), and American Indian teenagers and youth with disabilities are far too high. That is why progressives will provide direct federal funding for a range of local programs that will put young people to work and create new career opportunities.