Tag Archives: job guarantee

Why Democrats Lost: It’s Not All About Millennials

By Joe Firestone

Carl Gibson, a writer blogging at Reader Supported News, provides an “Open Letter to the Democrats” giving his view of why they lost the Congressional Elections of 2014. He endorses the President’s view that people didn’t show up to vote because their choice of politicians didn’t motivate them. And to this view he adds that the Democrats did not get his generation’s support because they didn’t “. . . get populist.” And he goes on to say:

2014’s low voter turnout was historic. Voter turnout actually hasn’t been this low since the 1940s. As Mother Jones pointed out, voter turnout for people under 30 was dismal. In this election, people like me only made up 12 percent of those who voted, while people aged 60 and older made up almost 40 percent of total voters. In 2012, when President Obama was re-elected and Congressional Democrats made gains in the House and Senate, millennials made up almost one-fifth of all voters, and voters 60 and older made up just 25 percent of the electorate, bringing us a little closer to a tie. It isn’t hard to see the difference – this year, Republicans steamrolled you, Democrats, because most of us stayed home and let our Fox-watching uncles and grandparents decide on who was going to represent everyone else.

So how do older people pick who runs Congress? Like every other voting bloc, they pick the ones who run on issues most important to them. And as Vox reported, data consistently shows that younger people want their tax dollars spent on education and job creation. Older voters want their money spent on Social Security and war. The Republicans who swept the U.S. Senate ran largely on fear campaigns over ISIS, promising to be more hawkish than their opponents in an eagerness to pour money and troops into Iraq and Syria to snuff out America’s newest boogeyman.

Contrast the unified Republican message with the profound silence from you Democrats on addressing the trillion-dollar student debt crisis, rampant inequality and underemployment, and your collective fear of openly embracing economic populism, and you cook up what we saw on Tuesday night. Older people showed up, highly motivated to elect war hawks. Younger people mostly stayed home, disillusioned with the only alternative on the ballot who didn’t even talk about the issues affecting our lives every day.

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An Open Letter to Don Beyer, VA – 8th Candidate for Congress

By Joe Firestone

My Congressman, Jim Moran, is retiring this year and his seat is up for grabs in the VA – 8th Congressional District. This is a solidly blue district made even more solid by the Republican gerrymander following their win in the disastrous elections (for poor people, for women, for the middle class, and for minorities) of 2010 in Virginia. So, the question is, which of the eleven candidates who are running in the primary will win it, and become the heavy favorite to win the Congressional election in November.

The heavy primary favorite is Don Beyer, a noted auto dealer in Northern Virginia, who has served as Lieutenant Governor twice, and also as Ambassador to Switzerland. My impression of Ambassador Beyer has been favorable. I have a friend who bought cars from him over many years and who had his Volvos serviced at his dealership all the while, and he had nothing but good things to say about the integrity of the service he received.

That said, however, and personal characteristics aside, I’d like Beyer to clarify his positions on the issues. So, I’m addressing this open letter to him.

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Guaranteed Income? How About Guaranteed Job?

NEP’s Pavlina Tcherneva appeared on David Packman’s show yesterday (1/21/2014) discussing job guarantee programs. You can view the video below.

JOBS FOR ALL: THE MISSING BUT ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF DR. KING’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON

By L. Randall Wray

“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.

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16 Reasons Matt Yglesias is Wrong about the Job Guarantee vs. Basic Income

By Pavlina Tcherneva

Slate’s Matt Yglesias is out with another caricature of post 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.”

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Dazed and Confused: Matt Yglesias on the Job Guarantee

By Pavlina Tcherneva

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.

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The Job Guarantee

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.

The Social Enterprise Sector Model for a Job Guarantee in the U.S.

By Pavlina R. Tcherneva

Jesse Myerson created a firestorm over mainstream media with his Rolling Stone piece “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For”. I’d like to address the very first of these reforms, the Job Guarantee (JG), as Myerson references my proposal for running the program through the non-profit sector and discussed it in several interviews on Tuesday.

Last month, I did a podcast with him about this program. Let me focus on some questions that keep popping up about the proposal, e.g., Josh Barro’s Business Insider piece.

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Guaranteed Income or Employment: Economic Rights for the 21st Century

Video from the Modern Money and Public Purpose series. This is Lecture 8 on economic rights and features Pavlina Tcherneva and Philip T. Harvey

Honoring Dr. King’s Call for a Job Guarantee Program

By Fadhel Kaboub

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).

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