Make 2013 a Year of Renewal, Not Ruin

After a contentious election year and a polarizing debate surrounding the fiscal cliff, the Rev. Jesse Jackson writes in his Sun-Times column that America needs to buckle down and begin to rebuild its cities, fight crime and tackle unemployment.

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Capitol Hill (Brendan Smlalowski/Getty Images)

After a contentious election year and a polarizing debate surrounding the fiscal cliff, the Rev. Jesse Jackson writes in his Sun-Times column that America needs to buckle down and begin to rebuild its cities, fight crime and tackle unemployment.

The new year begins with a bad hangover from 2012’s inane debate over the “fiscal cliff.” The furious debate focused only on how much damage would be done to the economy and who would pay the price, how much and what would be cut, who would pay higher taxes and who would suffer the most.

But this headache can’t define 2013, which must be a time to renew, not to ruin. Whatever final agreement comes out of the fiscal cliff will slow an economy already struggling to grow. The challenge is to turn to what can be done to rebuild, to put people to work, to boost, not cripple growth.

The challenges we face are great. Many neighborhoods in our cities are suffering unemployment rates of 40 percent. That is a recipe for disintegration. Chicago just mourned the 500th murder victim. Millions of homes are still underwater. Wages are still declining, not rising. Inequality, already at extreme levels, is rising, not falling.

Read the Rev. Jesse Jackson's entire piece at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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