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Temporary Job Gains

$50 $40

This is a print I made for the show we did in Milwaukee in March of 2013 as part of the Southern Graphics Conference (an international printmaking conference). Justseeds had a show at the UW-Milwaukee Student Union Gallery which we called “Uprisings: Images of Labor”. The goal was to address the idea of labor from multiple angles, not just the traditional lefty union angle. So I chose to look at how often the environment is sacrificed in the name of job creation. This is a particularly timely issue in Wisconsin as the state government just altered its laws to loosened the restrictions on mining so a huge open pit mine can be opened in Northern WI. The legislation will dramatically reshape Wisconsin’s mining regulations to ease the permitting process for the open-pit mine Gogebic Taconite (a unit of the Florida-based Cline Group) wants to dig just south of Lake Superior. GTAC proposes to build what could become the largest open-pit iron-ore mine in the world (4 1/2 miles long, 1.5 miles wide and up 1,000 feet deep) to extract taconite, a type of low-grade iron ore. Environmentalists maintain the measure guts the state’s environmental protections, but Republicans claim it will help create thousands of jobs. Oh yes, it’s always in the name of job creation, which more often than not results in temporary jobs or jobs going to people not in the local area. When will sustainable jobs (environmentally sustainable and monetarily sustainable) be an actual topic of discussion with our policy makers? I’m not holding my breath.

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