.....the Job Guarantee is actually a macroeconomic policy framework designed to ensure full employment and price stability is maintained over the private sector business cycle.
The Job Guarantee jobs would ‘hire off the bottom’, in the sense that minimum wages are not in competition with the market-sector wage structure.
By not competing with the private market, the Job Guarantee would avoid the inflationary tendencies of old-fashioned Keynesianism, which attempted to maintain full capacity utilisation by ‘hiring off the top’ (i.e. making purchases at market prices and competing for resources with all other demand elements).
Job Guarantee workers would enjoy stable incomes, and their increased spending would boost confidence throughout the economy and underpin a private-spending recovery.
The non-profit and social enterprise sectors produce original, innovative and sustainable solutions to seemingly intractable socio-economic problems, which the private sector has failed to solve. Their mission and reason for existence is to create social value and address very specific problems like poverty, hunger, homelessness, environmental degradation, community blight, inadequate care and education for all, and other. The work of this sector is perhaps the one bright spot in our economy today. Yet delivering large-scale solutions to these problems remains a challenge for two reasons: 1) its work is always underfunded and 2) it is always understaffed. The Job Guarantee solves both problems—it provides funding and labor.
Since the JG guarantees a job at a base wage for everyone, irrespective of skill or level of education, the program would in reality fit the job to the worker (rather than the worker to the job). One way to do this is, after assessing the needs and resources in a community, to permit the non-profits, SEVs and (through them) the unemployed themselves to propose the types of work that they wish to do in those communities. This is a true bottom-up approach—powered by communities, localities, and the individuals themselves.
Non-profits and SEVs already work to produce sustainable and reproducible low-cost solutions for the most overlooked and blighted areas in our nation, such as low cost urban fisheries, community clinics, farms, aquaponics, youth mentoring projects, veteran services, and many other. Many support community sustainable agriculture initiatives, work to address the dual challenge of homelessness and AIDS, provide internship opportunities for at-risk-youth, or renovate and beautify decrepit urban spaces with murals and art projects.
Consider just one problem of many that countless U.S. communities face: the food desert problem. A food desert is an area with little or no access to healthy and affordable food. Many rural and urban such areas rely on gas stations or convenience stores for food. There are no gardens, farmers’ markets, or other sources of fresh produce. Areas suffering from food insecurity also have the highest health-related and other social problems. Addressing the food desert issue in the U.S. alone can generate millions of jobs. And this is just one example.
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.
.....there will always be children and the elderly to care for, sick people to minister to, citizens to educate, cities to clean, neighborhoods to beautify, and parks to tend. This work would be the backbone of the job guarantee.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Jefes program was the number of women who joined up. Given the chance to participate in their local communities and economies, and not just perform domestic housework, these women reported striking changes in their sense of self-worth—like they had “grown wings.”
As Polish economist Michael Kalecki observed, the real issue is that full employment strips business owners and the capital-owning class of
power......With full employment, the capitalists lose their leverage to depress workers’ wages and must give up more profits.
In defiance of this economic regime, the job guarantee asserts that, if individuals bear a moral duty to work, then society and employers bear a reciprocal moral duty to provide good, dignified work for all..... Not a paternalistic aid, and not some tribute to aristocratic virtue, but a right to be claimed and exercised.
Learn about the Job Guarantee:
Interviews about the Job Guarantee and related monetary issues
The Job Guarantee in practice:
The Costs of Unemployment
The intergenerational disadvantage is becoming worse and the children in poverty today are the low productivity workers of the future who inherit the disadvantages of their parents.
The evidence is very clear – children denied a chance to realise their potential tend to lead difficult lives with unstable work attachments (even when there are jobs on offer), unstable family lives, and higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, mental ill-health and other pathologies.
When the neo-liberals lecture us constantly about the burden that government debt will (allegedly) place on the grand kids and the need for surpluses to “save up” to accommodate the demands of an ageing population, they ignore the most obvious.
Apart from completely misunderstanding the monetary side of the discussion, before their very eyes are growing number of future workers losing attachment with society by being denied adequate education and training and the hope that impels us to achieve higher attainments.
Sure enough the grand children are going to bear a dreadful burden and the future is bleak enough – but that is all the making of the neo-liberal policies.
.....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.
And, relatedly, persistently high rates of underemployment and a trend towards part-time casualised labour markets in response to neo-liberal styled deregulations of working conditions reduce the incentive of workers to invest in sophisticated skills. The lower rate of human capital accumulation reduces the potential labour productivity growth.
For all these reasons, aggregate supply movements are intrinsically related to the evolution of aggregate demand. A fully employed, high pressure economy is much more productive and conducive to high rates of investment than an economy that maintains a persistent slack due to deficient aggregate demand.
The Social Enterprise Sector Model for a Job Guarantee
It’s time to change the conversation from creating jobs for the jobless now, to creating jobs for the jobless always. The Job Guarantee provides the solution. ..... neither the private sector nor the flawed bastard Keynesian pump-priming policies can get us there.