1. The Job Guarantee: A Government Plan for Full Employment
"The benefits of full employment include production of goods, services and income; on-the-job training and skill development; poverty alleviation; community building and social networking; social, political and economic stability; and social multipliers (positive feedbacks and reinforcing dynamics that create a virtuous cycle of socioeconomic benefits). An “employer of last resort” program would restore the government’s lost commitment to full employment in recognition of the fact that the total impact would exceed the sum of the benefits."
2. Keynes quote:
“The Conservative belief that there is some law of nature which prevents men from being employed, that it is “rash” to employ men, and that it is financially ‘sound’ to maintain a tenth of the population in idleness for an indefinite period, is crazily improbable – the sort of thing which no man could believe who had not had his head fuddled with nonsense for years and years…".
3. Public service employment programs – what really have we got to fear?
"Boondoggling and leaf-raking – it is the term that invokes the ultimate put down by the conservatives who laud the virtues of the private sector as they create hundreds of thousands of low-skill, low-paid, precarious and mind-numbing jobs but hate, with an irrational passion, the idea that the public sector could employ workers that the private sector doesn’t want and get them to work on community development projects at a minimum wage. And to put a finer point on it … on projects that can leave massive positive legacies to all that follow."
....a JG program embodies special features that dissolve the apparent contradiction between
employment and the environment: between economic and ecological prosperity.
Under JG, employment rises, socially useful production rises, and ...... some of that production is dedicated to the benefit of the poor, providing goods and services at the local level that the private sector has not provided, and thus it absorbs part of the wage. In other words, both supply and demand rise.
The poor and the unemployed want to work...... Why do BIG advocates presume to know what’s better for the poor than the poor themselves? BIG does little for those who want to work.
"If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with bank-notes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coal-mines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is."
"Further, persistently high rates of labour underutilisation (that is, high rates of long-term unemployment) also reduce the capacity of the economy to produce. Not only do idle workers not contribute to income generation but they also develop related pathologies (sickness, substance issues etc) which reduce their productive potential."
"The BIG proposal is a compassionate but paternalistic policy that does not ultimately deliver the jobs that those at the bottom of the economic ladder want. The JG proposal by contrast is based on several core considerations
1) it acknowledges what people want and accommodates those needs;
2) it designs a program that delivers greater macroeconomic stability, and
3) it helps redefine the meaning and nature of work, helping transform the economy to a more just and humane system.
"But in general, there cannot be inflationary pressures arising from a policy that sees the Government offering a fixed wage to any labour that is unwanted by other employers. The JG involves the Government “buying labour off the bottom” rather than competing in the market for labour. By definition, the unemployed have no market price because there is no market demand for their services. So the JG just offers a wage to anyone who wants it."
11. The Social Enterprise Sector Model for a Job Guarantee
"Imagine 25 million people with no income or precarious forms of income. Now imagine 25 million with a decent base wage. The effect on the private for-profit sector would surely be more stable demand, ringing cash registers, increasing profits, growth and, yes, a lot more better-paying private sector jobs.
The experience of the New Deal and Argentina’s Plan Jefes shows that such programs can be up and running in 4 to 6 months and useful tasks can be performed even by the least skilled and least educated citizens."
12. L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Research Director with the Center for
Full Employment and Price Stability and Senior Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute.
"Well it’s very easy to reduce the inequality that results from low income, from poverty, from low wages; all you have to do is offer jobs. Minsky did a calculation [in] 1974 and Professor Kelton and I did one around 2000. We showed that if you just give a job to anyone who wants to work you will eliminate two thirds of all poverty, even if you pay only the minimum wage. We would like to see the job pay more than that, but even at a minimum wage you eliminate two-thirds of all poverty. So most poverty is due to joblessness. People who cannot get jobs or maybe they get jobs that last a few months and then they are unemployed again. We need permanent jobs that pay a decent wage and you’ll eliminate most poverty. You’ll still need some kinds of anti-poverty programs but the jobs are the best anti-poverty programs there are, then you need something else to fill the gaps."
more on Job Guarantee: