One thing people made abundantly clear during the election this year is that far too many hardworking people are not feeling the positive effects of the economic recovery. That needs to change. The current economy is not the one I grew up in and certainly not the one my grandchildren will grow up in. We need to help lead for the economy of the future, not the economy of fifty years ago. We need to do more now to prepare future generations of Americans to be full participants in this global economy.
Globalization and digitization have transformed where and how jobs are created, and as lawmakers, we need to rethink infrastructure, regulations, the tax code and export policy to best enable private-sector job creation. The New Democrat Coalition, a group of 52 pro-growth Democrats in the House of Representatives, is working to ensure that Americans can compete in our global economy. From Silicon Valley to rural Wisconsin to the city centers of the East Coast, we must come together after the grueling campaign and find constructive issues we can work on to help Americans across the nation.
Over the last two years, the New Democrat Coalition developed a plan to help hardworking Americans win in the changing global economy. The American Prosperity Agenda: Winning the Future outlines how we can grow our economy, preserve the American dream and make government work better for the people. We need to push forward more innovative ideas to help government increase its transparency and efficiency, such as the New Dem initiative Yelp for Government, which allows federal agencies to set up Yelp pages to be more responsive to public feedback.
The principles put forth by the coalition represent ideas anyone — Democrat, Republican or independent — can support. This will be imperative in an atmosphere where one major party controls all three branches of government.
The New Dems will be pragmatic partners for the president as long as he is willing to work with Congress to implement policy solutions that will work for everyone. The New Dems have been forward-thinkers while I have served as chairman, and they will continue to be under New Democrat Coalition Chairman-elect Jim Himes. Finding common ground and bringing good ideas to the table is more important now than ever before.
The New Dems, however, have every intention of continuing to strengthen and expand the middle class, fight for our most vulnerable and act as a check against President-elect Trump’s darker impulses. A large majority of New Dem members have already expressed concern about some of President-elect Trump’s picks for the White House. Now is the time for our nation to come together, and the White House must be prepared to serve the interest of all Americans — not just a select few. White House staff should reflect American core values of inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance.
For the United States to grow its economy and remain competitive, we need to cooperate to advance policies like those in our agenda. From help in finding early-stage capital for small businesses to increasing new market opportunities by writing the rules of trade to elevate standards and level the playing field for our workers, businesses, and farmers. We need to make robust investments in our transportation and energy infrastructure, to invest in innovative scientific research and make our education and job training programs more effective so everyone has the skills they need to succeed in the high-demand jobs of tomorrow.
Our agenda acts as a menu of commonsense options that will help solve some of the most pressing problems facing the United States. The New Dems are ready to move forward with the legislative plans that we have, and we hope that the president will work with us to do so.
It won’t happen overnight, but we cannot delay. We need to take action today to stay competitive tomorrow. The policies laid out by the New Democrat Coalition will help America shape the rules of globalization rather than allowing it to be done to us. Our economy isn’t going to stop changing, and neither should our efforts to find the most innovative, effective solutions for adapting to those changes, so we leave no one behind in the 21st-century global economy.
Rep. Ron Kind is a Democrat representing the 3rd Congressional District of Wisconsin.