+The state must concentrate on finding HIGH paying jobs, NOT $10 an hour call center jobs.
+State leaders need to recognize the obvious--fossil fuels are a dying industry and tourism and outdoor recreation are Utah’s play for the future.
+Utah needs an immediate raising of the minimum wage to $12 an hour.
+Utah also needs to find a way to deal with oppressive student debt if we are going to prosper as a state. Students with a 10-year large loan payback will not be buying a house or a new car for a long, long time.
Despite the state continually touting the Utah economy (the Republicans say it has never been better), many Utah workers, small employers and entrepreneurs face serious obstacles to success. Despite continued huge economic expansion for the richest 1%, the Utah economy has delivered weak wage and salary growth in contrast to the growing costs of living, even during the 2001-2007 economic expansion that preceded the Great Recession.
Ongoing globalization will continue to change the nature of our economy and labor market, but the new reality in which we will work and live does not provide our policy-makers an excuse for inaction. Utah families of all shapes and sizes must have the opportunity to work for a rewarding career, a safe retirement and a legacy for the next generation.
Utah needs a diverse economic base and a healthy, educated workforce to maintain, attract and retain good paying businesses and employers. Continued insufficient funding for education, social programs, and a lack of public investment diminish our future capacity for growth and social equity.
Changes to our state tax code (most importantly the implementation of a flat income tax) have exacerbated inequality and have limited our state budget. We must go through more than a billion dollars of state tax loopholes, special deductions and corporate incentives. Taxes must be FAIR. Our state's system is NOT.
Moreover, ignoring issues of environmental degradation and pollution likewise risk not only the health of our society, but also the tourism and recreation business the vital cornerstone to Utah’s future economy and quality of life.