“It was obdurate government callousness to misery that first stoked the flames of rage and frustration. With unemployment a scourge in Negro ghettoes, the government still tinkers with half-hearted measures, refuses still to become an employer of last resort. It asks the business community to solve the problems as though its past failures qualified it for success.” –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his last letter requesting support for the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”
In recent days, the Job Guarantee has been thrust into public discussion, thanks in large part to Jesse Myerson’s Rolling Stone article—see here.
Slate’s Matt Yglesias is out with another caricature ofpost on the Job Guarantee (JG) and, guess what? He still doesn’t like what he sees. He’s all for guaranteeing income to people who can’t find jobs, but he’s opposed to making receipt of that money “conditional on performing make-work labor for the government.” As one of the leading proponents of the JG, let me say this for the nth time: THE JOB GUARANTEE IS NOT ‘MAKE-WORK.’ This is not a reaction to Yglesias but a core principle of the earliest literature on the Job Guarantee (e.g., here, here and here). There is no way that anyone familiar with even a sliver of the vast collection of books, articles, essays, working papers, policy briefs and blog posts on the JG could, in good faith, continue to claim that the JG is “make-work.”
Matt Yglesias has written a post that has the words ‘Job Guarantee’ (JG) in the title but has nothing to do with the actual JG proposal.
He begins by asking readers to imagine that:
“…instead of handing out welfare checks and food stamps to these bums, we should make everyone who wants public assistance show up daily at a rally-point to be contracted out to do street-cleaning work. Think parolees sentenced to community service…”
Unfortunately for him, that’s not the Job Guarantee and we have debunked such silly caricatures many times (e.g., here, here and here). Unfortunately for his readers, he is either unfamiliar with the most basic literature on the JG, or is deliberately misleading them. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s the former.
NEP’s Pavlina Tcherneva appears in the following video by Rebecca Rojer. The video condenses a lecture by Pavlina explaining what a job guarantee is, its economic impact, and what we can learn from her research on the Jefes (“Heads of Households”) Program in Argentina.
Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Yes, jobs!
For the civil rights leaders, the fight for justice was not limited to providing equal voting rights for all Americans and abstaining from discriminatory practices against African Americans. A federally funded Job Guarantee program was a central theme articulated by Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin (the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and one of this year’s recipients (posthumously) of the Presidential Medal of Freedom).
Responding to a Post at Naked Capitalism by Michael Hudson with some additions by Yves Smith, a commenter, objecting to the criticism of the President’s Knox College speech, issued the challenge ”What would u have him do?” in connection with his promised effort to restore prosperity to the middle class and the poor. In this series I’m giving my answer to that question. In Part I, “Necessary First Moves,” I offered and described two of these. Ending the filibuster, and using High Value Platinum Coin Seigniorage (HVPCS) to fill the Treasury General Account (TGA) with $60 Trillion in reserves. Continue reading →
NEP’s Marshall Auerback appears on the Thom Hartman program, 20 February 2013, discussing limits on banksters’ salaries and bonuses. There is some discussion of jobs guarantee near the end of the segment (near 9:00 mark).