Widely shared prosperity does not happen by accident. It happens when we deliberately invest in the foundations of a strong economy—broad and equal opportunity to build knowledge and skills, adequate compensation and support for workers, and targeted investments in conditions that foster economic growth.
Washington state’s investments should:
- Provide opportunity for all. Opportunities that most Washingtonians need to prosper—access to high-quality education, health care, transportation, clean environment, and work supports—are cost-effective and improve long-term outcomes for families, communities, and the economy.
- Create better jobs. A thriving middle class is dependent on having enough jobs that allow Washingtonians to get ahead, and policies that reward workers for their productivity. In addition, jobs that maintain our physical infrastructure (construction and maintenance on schools, roads, bridges, transportation) and build knowledge and skills (teachers, job trainers, social workers) strengthen the foundation of a strong economy.
When more people have a chance to reach their full potential and enough economic security to make investments in their future, our economy will grow.
- Washington’s path to economic recovery and future prosperity is dependent upon the choices we make in the coming weeks. Our state budget is an essential tool for investing in smart choices that will uphold our values and put us on the right path. In the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, our state’s primary responsibility should be to make investments that will ignite the economy, put people back to work, and provide opportunities for future generations to prosper.
- State investments play a critical role in protecting Washingtonians against the continued economic downturn. Strong public structures- such as unemployment insurance, child care, housing, and food assistance – protect our families from poverty and deprivation when someone loses a job or faces a financial hardship. These types of investments are especially important when the impact of a downturn is as severe as the one we are experiencing now.
- By Kim Justice and Andy Nicholas Missing from the important debate about our state debt limit has been a frank discussion about Washington’s flawed revenue structure and its failure to meet the many needs of our state – from current demands for health care and education services to long-term investments in new schools and other public infrastructure.
- If Washington is going to be successful in securing our long-term economic prosperity, we must keep the economic engine of our higher education system running. Policymakers should strive to sustain a higher education system that embraces the following key principles: Accessibility, Affordability, High Quality.