I have been reading about various proposals to provide guaranteed government jobs and trying to understand the concept, trying to see how it would work and thinking about the consequences.
I don’t think I have ever heard any idea that better displays the convoluted, naive, short-sighted thinking of the American left.
But you see it’s not about jobs at all. What we are seeing is a backdoor way to increase the minimum wage and move closer to Medicare-for-all … without regard to the consequences.
When you lower your standards to fit jobs to people instead of people to jobs because the people are not qualified, the outcome will not be good.
When you pay working couple a wage that is greater than the US current household income, you distort the economy, raise prices for everything and then you have a new definition of “livable wage.” Nothing will stay static.
Let’s look at what they say here
🤔 It would benefit people marginalized from the workforce. That means poorly educated, marginally qualified and perhaps a dash of poorly motivated to find any of the current available jobs.
🤔 You take the worker the way they are and you fit the job to the worker. You don’t have to meet certain requirements. Okay, so no qualifications needed to do a job the “community wants and needs.” Let’s jump to the example jobs
🤔 “jobs in infrastructure, teaching, caring for the young and elderly, environmental restoration or green energy, to name a few.” Is it only me that sees a major mismatch here; not a mismatch an absurd naivety. Do you want your teaching jobs, child and elder care jobs tailored to fit a marginalized, unqualified worker? On the other hand, according to Sen Sanders they are doing productive, needed jobs, they are “serving their communities and their country.”
🤔 Then think of the impact on current workers and their employers and the prices for goods and services across the board. You better think about it, no one else appears to be doing so.
🤔 Then we learn “The government will pay for it.” Is there even any need to comment on such a statement?
🤔 But not to worry, more naive, pie in the sky thinking will take care of costs. Such a program will pay for itself through “reduction in crime, better health, better social and economic stability and reductions in Social Security spending.”
I have other questions. Where does it end? Do people keep these jobs for life? Is there a limit to the number of made up jobs? What size bureaucracy does it take to manage such a program?
I won’t even bother raising the matter of job performance, or evaluations. If your job is guaranteed, who cares?
And there is one critical point. The Levy report cited below repeatedly calls $15.00 an hour plus Medicare and other benefits a living wage, and assumes the program will lift millions out of poverty. But won’t the broad impact on the economy and existing jobs simply raise the standards for poverty and soon make $15.00 an hour not a living wage? How will the $15.00 be adjusted or will people be content to remain federal employees at the lowest level? The report also calls for the $15.00 to be uniform across the Country? How is that practical in lower cost areas?
Wouldn’t a joint public/private job training, skills training, apprenticeship program provide more lasting benefits sustainable by individuals and provide unlimited growth opportunities? Oh, and maybe we ensure everyone is qualified to graduate high school.
The premise is that everyone should be entitled to a good job, one that pays at least $15 an hour and comes with benefits such as health care, family leave policies and child care. (The Sanders version calls for retirement and health benefits on par with other federal employees).
It’s not exclusively tailored to address a certain section of the population ― “it’s the whole gamut of potential people who come through the door,” Kelton says ― but one benefit would be the chance to address people marginalized from the workforce, who are disproportionately women and people of color.
“You take the worker the way they are and you fit the job to the worker.” “It’s pretty simple at its core level,” Kelton said. “You don’t have to prove anything, you don’t have to meet certain requirements. It’s just an open-ended offer of employment for anyone seeking work, and that’s the end of it.” Professor Stephanie Kelton
The wage and benefits package would set a minimum standard for private businesses, supporters say, as they would have to match the government offer. But the policy would not compete with the private sector beyond setting that minimum floor, suggests Kelton, who says that the program would be elastic depending on the state of the economy ― growing in downturns and shrinking during recoveries.
It would be for the community to determine the type of jobs they want and need. These could be jobs in infrastructure, teaching, caring for the young and elderly, environmental restoration or green energy, to name a few.
In Sanders’ draft proposal for a jobs guarantee, he writes: “People working under the federal job guarantee will be serving their communities and their country, uniting us together in a common purpose, rebuilding the social fabric of our nation.”
“It would be funded the way everything else is funded,” Kelton said. “The government will pay for it.” The Levy report doesn’t include new taxes to fund the project, but analyzes what would happen to the economy if the government simply cut a check for the program. “What the models show is that you can do this without creating an inflation problem,” Kelton said, “and therefore why would you pay for it with tax increases of one kind or another?”
The program could even “pay for itself,” the Levy report says, taking into account reduction in crime, better health, better social and economic stability and reductions in Social Security spending.
Because there are various schemes, the annual cost runs from $158 billion to over $1 trillion. But the unknown implications for the economy, the existing workforce and the cost of goods and services is most concerning.