Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mark Paul, William Darity Jr, & Darrick Hamilton — Why We Need a Federal Job Guarantee

Giving everyone a job is the best way to democratize the economy and give workers leverage in the workplace
Jacobin
Why We Need a Federal Job Guarantee
Mark Paul, William Darity Jr, & Darrick Hamilton
Mark Paul is a postdoctoral associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University and holds a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. William Darity Jr is the Samuel DuBois Cook professor of public policy, African and African-American Studies, and economics; and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. Darrick Hamilton is associate professor of economics and urban policy at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and the Department of Economics, New School for Social Research.

6 comments:

Ryan Harris said...

There is so much to like about a JG, I wish the government would at least try it. Maybe one county, state or city could enact in the modern economy, with fed support just to see how it goes.

Matthew Franko said...

Baseball has an amateur level, a minor league level, and a major league level... as the players develop... they develop and become qualified for the higher level... until they break down and have to (the way baseball is run...) "retire"...

so the BI could be the equivalent of the amateur level... the JG could be the minors... and a "real job" grind could be equivalent to the MLB level (while it lasts...)

I dont see it as an either/or...

Noah Way said...

Problematic in implementation. I visualize welfare offices on a vast scale, located in warehouses and operating in a bureauracry that makes health insurance look transparent. And where the very best job is of course being a welfare officer.

Then you get into job locations, transportation, education/training/suitability, etc., etc.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a profundacy of jobs, and good pay for doing them, but we also need to support independent workers and the arts - writers, musicians, artists and so on. I support guaranteed living wage and job guarantees and think the jobs should be focused on those making communities more self-sustainable.

For example: What's yellow and white and sleeps three? A town highway department truck. Basic labor, supported by a powerful union, well paid with tons of benefits, and understaffed to minimize expense and encourage privitaztion of government services. Leaves remain uncollected, snow unplowed, roads unrepaired, etc., and this is the norm that we are conditioned to accept. Jobs abound here, but the entire structure must be changed to make room for them. "Protected" civil service jobs that seem to violate the 14th amendment by creating a protected class (that receives benefits paid for but not available to others) are a major hurdle.

A guaranteed living wage completely eliminates welfare from food stamps to housing subsidies, social security, etc. It can be assumed that it would have a substantial positive effect on blue collar crime (and incarceration, police, and health costs as well, especially with a single payer system).

dilbertgeg said...

A former libertarian I know -- 20 years in the Libertarian Party -- opposed an IRS-run Basic Income Guarantee via sending out checks PRECISELY because this Milton Friedman approved idea is designed to wipe out the social services bureaucracy.

I think the point of Friedman, and, therefore, the point of opposition, to get rid of or scatter the constituency that is committed to quality social outcomes, and a bureaucracy to maintain it, one that provides jobs "caring" for people, and to replace that with accountants and computers at the IRS who arise from no such social services ethic and are merely interested in numbers & issuing checks as told.

I also know a retired manager of regional "welfare" services going back decades to when "food stamps" were really stamps. He was both cynical at times and compassionate at times. He was human and would go out of his way to make things work.

The cynical Friedmanite view of people is "rational expectations" and ultra-utilitarian, such that social services workers and bureaucrats exist ONLY to take care of themselves and feather their own nests, and would gladly worsen the lives of people for job security.
I'm sure there must be some such types in the system, but this Friedmanite approach reminds me of Reagan putting James Watt in charge of Interior because Watt believed in the Biblical view of Man exploiting nature, and since Armageddon and Christ's return was imminent anyhow, there was no sound reason to protect the environment vs boost the profits of environmental exploiters ... a scorched earth kinda policy.

My ex-libertarian friend didn't spell all this out in as much detail, but I'm extrapolating from what he did say, from witnessing the personalities in libertarian circles.

His inroads into that Libertarian Party movement were interesting too: "natureopath" medicine and herbal cures via Health Food stores (partly good, of course) that aligned with far-right John Birch Society movements to be allowed to sell bogus health treatments and bogus cancer cures to the desperate public without Big Govt interference trying to ban them and put them out of business or throw them in prison for fraud.

Ralph Musgrave said...

"I wish the government would at least try it" says Ryan Harris. Er - governments have been “trying it” for centuries. There was the WPA in the US in the 1930s which employed millions. Dozens of JG type schemes have been tried in North America and Europe since WWII. And the earliest example was put into effect in Ancient Greece by Pericles around 2,500 years ago.

Trouble with most advocates of JG is that they haven’t bothered studying the history. There’s plenty of evidence out there as to what to do and what not to do when it comes to setting up JG schemes.

Calgacus said...

Ralph:Trouble with most advocates of JG is that they haven’t bothered studying the history.

Trouble with many opponents is that they haven't studied the history, but crazy, impossible slurs and fabrications.

Grosso modo, the JG has been tried innumerable times everywhere, on a worldwide scale in the postwar era. The corresponding policies are the universal way that any precapitalist, premonetary society is organized.

The history of the JG is that it is always successful, everywhere, according to human moral norms and definitions of "success": This makes sense, because it follows from "The Doing Stuff Theorem":

More stuff is done by doing stuff (the JG) than not doing stuff (no JG).

And doing stuff can and often is a good idea! QED

What a JG fails at is in keeping a class on top that orders everyone else to obey their insane and disgusting whims. This class keeps on top - and deserves to be there - because it manages to deceive everyone else into idiotic, illogical, disgustingly anti-mathematical beliefs based on illogical non-arguments. Once hoi polloi stop believing 2 + 2 = 5, starts being logically, philosophically, mathematically revolted by the idea and finally arrive at "4" the class on top deserves to lose and will lose. Not before.