Friday, September 26, 2014

Peter Cooper — Technology Paves the Way for Basic Income More than a Job Guarantee

Regular readers will be aware that I would support either a basic income guarantee (BIG) or job guarantee (JG) as standalone programs, whichever happened to be on the policy agenda, but ideally would prefer a program that combined the positive elements of both into some form of ‘job or income guarantee‘. Much of my reasoning to date has been outlined in previous posts archived under the category Job & Income Guarantee. I won’t revisit those considerations in this post. The present focus is instead on which of the two programs — a BIG or JG — should be seen as primary.…
Technology Paves the Way for Basic Income More than a Job Guarantee
Peter Cooper

1 comment:

Dan Lynch said...

As usual, Peter and I think alike, particularly his point that there is no clearly "politically viable" program to help the poor.

A BIG or a JG would be steps forward. Ensuring an overall step forward will take social and political struggle, as always.

I would only add we should not be so fixated on the BIG vs. JG debate that we ignore other possible programs to help the poor and to ensure full employment:

-- index the SS retirement age to the unemployment rate

-- reduce the work week

-- a big increase in the minimum wage

-- replace court-ordered child support with a national child credit (either universal or means-tested with the usual pro and con arguments)

-- free public health care and free public K-PhD

-- index the FICA tax rate to the unemployment rate

-- mandate functional finance budgeting by mathematical formula

-- mandate the Fed to mail everyone a check when the Fed fails to achieve its employment mandate

-- Congress should maintain a punch list of "public purpose" projects that need to be done. Hire people to do them and pay the prevailing wage. This could be part of the functional finance budgeting mandate, where project appropriations are gradually released as needed to maintain full employment.