Saturday, March 24, 2018

Job Guarantee in the news

Amid a recent upsurge in support for a national job guarantee program, L. Randall Wray, Stephanie A. Kelton, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler, and Flavia Dantas outline a new proposal for a federally funded program with decentralized administration. Their Public Service Employment (PSE) program would offer a job—paying a uniform living wage with a basic benefits package—to all who are ready and willing to work. In advance of an upcoming report detailing the economic impact of the PSE, this policy note presents an overview of the goals and structure of the program in the context of current labor market trends and the prospects of poverty reduction.
Levy Institute
Guaranteed Jobs through a Public Service Employment Program
L. Randall Wray, Stephanie A. Kelton Pavlina R. Tcherneva Scott Fullwiler Flavia Dantas

The idea that the federal government should serve as an employer of last resort — by guaranteeing a public job to any American unable to find work in the private sector — has a long history on the Democratic left. In the 1930s, the populist demagogue Huey Long popularized the concept as part of his Share Our Wealth plan — a far-left alternative to Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Three decades later, Martin Luther King Jr. called on the government to provide either guaranteed jobs — or a guaranteed basic income — to all unemployed Americans. And in the late 1970s, as U.S. workers suffered from the unholy combination of high unemployment and runaway inflation, the idea nearly made its way into law. But the proposal proved to be too left-wing for the Carter administration, and the Reagan Revolution banished it from the realm of “reasonable” debate — until New York senator (and presumptive 2020 presidential candidate) Kirsten Gillibrand announced her support for the policy this week....
New York Magazine
The Radical Proposal That Moderate Democrats Should Be Running On
Eric Levitz

In the wake of the long and disappointing recovery from the Great Recession, some liberals have drifted towards more radical policy ideas. Two getting notable attention and a jobs guarantee (JG) and a universal basic income (UBI). Both are bad ideas, we should not do either of them. But the jobs guarantee is much worse.…
Forbes — Modeled Behavior
Which Radical Liberal Policy Proposal Is Worse?
Adam Ozimek | Contributor

ht Yves Smith at Naked Captialism


Calgacus said...

The Forbes article is worth noting. As I have been saying, elitists prefer Basic Income to a JG. They know Basic Income would ultimately change nothing. But they are right about "It [the JG] would drastically change the nature of the U.S. economy." And that's a good thing.

The Matt Bruenig quote echoes Herbert Hoover - not such a bad guy or administrator and perhaps even a "top business genius". Hoover said that programs like the WPA etc were literally impossible; they could not be organized and done. History proved him wrong, but "historians" have been busy since then rewriting the history of that period to pander to elite prejudices.

NeilW said...

Basic income is always a transfer in real terms from some worker somewhere using a money illusion to try and dress it up as fair.