Jesse Ventura on Jobs

Former Independent MN Governor; possible Presidential Challenger


Improve the Competitive Position of Rural Minnesota

Agriculture is a critical segment of Minnesota’s economy. Our farm and rural families are an important part of Minnesota’s identity and culture. Today farmers face many economic, social and environmental challenges. State agencies should work with farmers and the rural communities to help them share in the economic growth that is experienced in the rest of the state. State agencies should also help farmers by reducing unnecessary obstacles that limit their ability to be competitive in the world marketplace, while at the same time, helping to safeguard the environment and our food supply. Likewise, we need to help make our rural communities centers of economic activity to provide employment opportunities to keep young people in their communities and to provide off-farm employment for families that need to supplement their farm income.
Source: The Big Plan: Healthy, Vital Communities , Dec 10, 2000

Make Agriculture Competitive Anywhere in the World

We are in a global economy whether we like it or not. As such, we can either bemoan those factors (i.e., prices) over which we have no control - or we can work together to make our farm families the most competitive we can by lowering the cost of production or adding value to the raw products before they leave the state. We need to give attention to taxation policy, overly burdensome environmental regulations and land-use laws, access to capital, financing and organizational structuring options, and adequate transportation infrastructure.

We need to work to “level the playing field” in both international trade and national farm policies so that our farmers and agri-businesses can compete in a fair, competitive arena. In addition, we need to improve and increase marketing opportunities, both domestic and foreign, not only for our major commodities, but also for unique specialty crops and products.

Source: The Big Plan: Minnesota: World Competitor , Dec 10, 2000

Training and retraining to resolve workforce shortage

Eight years of economic growth has done us a world of good. Minnesota’s overall unemployment rate is lower than ever. But now we face a workforce shortage, which makes us less competitive in a global marketplace. It’s vital to our ongoing economic health that we have a well-trained, flexible, and healthy workforce that allows us to be quickly responsive to the opportunities that globalization presents. That means training and retraining constantly during a person’s working life. It means looking after displaced workers to get them back into the game with salable skills. It means providing adequate medical care and benefits to injured workers, so that they can return to suitable work as soon as possible. It means finding new workers. When someone says, “We need good people who can do X, Y, and Z. Do you have them for us?” We want to be able to say, “You bet we do!”
Source: The Big Plan: Minnesota: World Competitor , Dec 10, 2000

Subsidize ethanol like we subsidize oil

I think our policy toward the environment should strive for a happy medium. We should be sensible about the way we treat our environment, of course, but [people] take priority.

There are some things we ought to be doing, both for the environment and for our own best interests. I think we should encourage and subsidize the use of ethanol, alcohol from corn, as a gasoline alternative. Why not? We subsidize the use of foreign oil by keeping a military presence in the Persian Gulf.

Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p. 153 , Jul 2, 2000

Unions support Democrats even when interests are elsewhere

The politics of deal-making & influence-peddling [requires] sticking with your political allegiance, even when it holds back your cause.. Who cares about the original issue, the actual cause, when there’s political power to be had.

[My running-mate & I] were the only vested union members [in our race], yet we couldn’t get one union endorsement because all the union leaders were in league with the Democrats. We had union members supporting us, but union leaders would have nothing to do with us.

Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p. 45 , Jul 2, 2000

Supports prevailing wages but not living wages

When bidding out government contracts, the prevailing wage supports unions and what unions stand for. It makes sense for the government to set a fair wage for government work. It’s good business.

A living wage, on the other hand, does nothing but make government grow and the economy suffer. With a mandated living wage, the government dictates to businesses what they have to pay their employees. If the government tells your employer to pay you more, guess who’s going to get [more tax revenue out of the additional pay]? The government! And what happens when government gets more money? It grows! We have to avoid policies that blindly make government grow.

Moreover, there’s evidence to show that a rise in the living wage costs jobs. I think this issue should be left up to the employee. If you don’t think a job pays enough, don’t take it! it’s called individual choice. No one makes you take that job or accept a wage you don’t think is suitable.

Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p. 48 , Jan 1, 1999

Strongly pro-union; and a union member

[Running-mate] Mae Schunk and I are very strongly union: She’s Teachers’ Union, I’m Screen Actors Guild. But in spite of our pro-union positions, we couldn’t get one single union endorsement. We had tons of support among rank-and-file union people, but none of the upper echelons were interested in us. The union officials were in the Democrats’ back pocket.

We were on our way to speak at Hibbing Community College when the union goons showed up. When Mae and I started to walk into the auditorium, they formed a line across the entry to stop us. I walked up to the biggest one; I got nose to nose with him, looked his straight in the eye, and said quietly, “I suggest you get out of the way.” He stepped aside and let us in.

But the goons were so disruptive once we got inside that it was impossible for us to speak. They scared the students away and kept shouting us down. I shouted back, “Mae and I are vested union members. This is how you treat union brothers and sisters?”

Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p.228-9 , Jan 1, 1999

State instead of federal rules for animal operations.

Ventura signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:

Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on AFOs 99-MGC3 on Nov 22, 1999

Other candidates on Jobs: Jesse Ventura on other issues:
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Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
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Page last updated: Mar 20, 2021