By L. Randall Wray
In recent weeks the Job Guarantee proposal has gained supporters, and the arguments for an increased government role in ensuring full employment have become stronger. (See here, here, and here.)
In this piece, I examine why. Bear with me because I will tie together four threads. First, we have the return of the stagnation thesis; Second there’s growing evidence that the US labor market is not recovering, and many are arguing that this is the “new normal”; Third, the Fed has (re)discovered what many of us have known all along: low interest rate policy does not stimulate investment; and Fourth, our “thought leaders” are finally discovering that Americans want government to do something about involuntary unemployment. All of these threads strengthen the case for the Job Guarantee.
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.”
By J.D. Alt *
I’m most appreciative of the comments and suggestions that followed my recent post. The comments were so encouraging I decided to expand the essay slightly and turn it into a small eBOOK available on AMAZON. I did my best to incorporate many of the commentary’s suggestions. For example, I tried to minimize the problem of reinforcing the “wrong” ideas in my effort to debunk them—a problem rightfully and forcefully pointed out not once, but twice, by Bob Eisenberg! I did not go so far as I think he would have liked, but I did incorporate a warning, just prior to the “incorrect” diagram, advising the reader not to get too enamored with it because it was INCORRECT, and the purpose of the eBOOK was to explain why.