Here at Big Think we like to talk about the basic income guarantee. While the basic income is an interesting idea, objections to it abound. Also, it isnt the only idea for ending poverty making the rounds. While the basic income gets a lot of press, there's another idea: the Job Guarantee.
What is it?
The Job Guarantee is a policy proposal that would have the state function as an employer of last resort; always having public works projects in action to assure that any person looking for work is going to be able to find a job. That job might not be glamorous or conveniently located, but it will exist.
Such a plan would not end unemployment outright, but would rather assure that the rate is always near a low target. While most proposals set the target unemployment rate near three percent, that rate has been as high as six percent in others. It is based not only on economic questions, but also on the pragmatic question of how many people would take the work offered.
Is this a new idea?
No, the idea was formalized by Bill Mitchel and Joan Muysken decades ago. However, the principle goes back to the New Deal in the United States when agencies like the Civilian Conservation Corps and WPA offered work to the unemployed when the market failed to provide it. In the United Kingdom it goes back to the work of William Beveridge, notably the book Total Employment in a Free Society, which reached the conclusion that the state could assure total employment by a variety of means consistent with a liberal, capitalist, society.
Has it been tried?
In the United States, the bill known as Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act states the Federal Government can institute this policy- but no action has ever been taken along these linesdespite unemployment often being above the bills suggested level of three percent.
Currently, India has the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which aims to provide work in impoverished areas. While criticism the projects has been made, independent studies show it does have a positive effect on the people and areas it serves. It is, however, less comprehensive than many theorists would have liked. Though it does employ many people and provide needed infrastructure work in isolated areas.
What are the upsides?
The benefits of attempts at job guarantees have included reduced poverty and the ills associated with unemployment, including issues with health, family problems, drug use, and high crime rates. Supporters also argue that it can lead to stability of both prices and economic growth by assuring the unemployment rate never spikes.
Well, this sounds pretty good, what are the downsides?
There are a few, one objection of course is that such a policy calls for major government intervention in the economy; an idea opposed by many people for various reasons. The project could also cause inflation if not managed properly. The risk of politicians using assured employment to create a pool of loyal voters has also been a hurdle to the creation of new projects.
There is also a practical problem to consider. While it may be possible to assure that there are more open job positions than unemployed workers at any time, it may prove impossible for that work to be useful, attractive, and accessible. While there will be a demand for people to pave roads in Northern Alaska at some point, it will prove difficult to get people to move there to do it at a low cost. At the same time, you could employ everyone digging and filling in holes, but would have a hard time selling it to voters as being useful.
And more recently, the question of how automation would influence attempts to have productive work for everyone is also currently unsolved.
How we are going to organize the economy is always a pressing question. With the pressures of automation and globalization becoming stronger all the time, the question takes on new dimensions. Will the right to have a job be the next freedom enjoyed by people all over the world? Or will the idea end up as a trivial notion in a history of economics class?
See the rest here:
- Artist Basic Income Take Me Somewhere - September 8th, 2022
- Universal Basic Income fails to get to the root of urban poverty - 2UrbanGirls - September 8th, 2022
- GROUNDUP OP-ED: Basic income grant separating the facts from the populism - Daily Maverick - September 8th, 2022
- What labour and trade union agenda should the new Colombian government and Congress pursue? Here are some proposals - Equal Times - May 12th, 2022
- Finland's hugely exciting experiment in basic income ... - December 27th, 2021
- Get creative to help artists through pandemic - The Guardian - February 11th, 2021
- BC has better tools than universal basic income to create a more just society, report finds - UBC News - February 1st, 2021
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- Why Kamala Harris VP pick could cost Biden the election - Fox Business - August 13th, 2020
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- Why We Should Turn to Earned Income Tax Credit to Aid Those Struggling Through Pandemic - The National Interest - August 8th, 2020
- Millions of America's working poor may lose out on key anti-poverty tax credit because of the pandemic - The Conversation US - August 7th, 2020
- Could $50 a Week Empower High School Students to Set and Meet Education Goals? This New Orleans School Aims to Find Out - redlakenationnews.com - August 7th, 2020
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- Job guarantee program could bolster economy more than ... - July 27th, 2020
- The Gray Market: Why the Entire Art World Should Back Canadian Arts Workers Push for Universal Basic Income (and Other Insights) - artnet News - July 26th, 2020
- Extra $600 unemployment benefits set to expire this weekend - WKOW - July 25th, 2020
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- ECLAC calls for urgent regional cooperation beyond the pandemic to foster more integration and avert a food crisis - Dominican Today - July 25th, 2020
- 'A recovery that puts people first': A group of young Australians is demanding a government job guarantee to fight both soaring unemployment and... - July 24th, 2020
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- Interviews: Punks on Politics: Checking in with Mel Gagarin - Punknews.org - June 22nd, 2020
- COVID-19: UN agencies warn against rising hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean - UN News - June 22nd, 2020
- Universal Basic Income: Andrew Yang Was Pushing for It Long Before Coronavirus Pandemic - PopCulture.com - May 9th, 2020
- Coronavirus is a crisis for the developing world, but here's why it needn't be a catastrophe - The Guardian - May 9th, 2020
- Starvation in the time of Corona: momentum for the Universal Basic Dividend - DiEM25 - May 9th, 2020
- Adam Schiff Says Trump's Cult of the President Has Infected the Republican Party - Mother Jones - May 9th, 2020
- Common Arguments Against Basic Income Don't apply to the Emergency BI - Basic Income News - March 31st, 2020
- How a Basic Income And Jobs Guarantee Can Save The Economy From Coronavirus - The National Interest - March 31st, 2020
- I've lived through plenty of social shocks this time we must learn the lessons - The Guardian - March 31st, 2020
- Coronavirus: Iain Duncan Smith says dont bring in universal basic income during pandemic as it would be disincentive to work - The Independent - March 26th, 2020
- Solidarity Economicsfor the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond - The American Prospect - March 26th, 2020
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- Find ways to improve the revenue of farmers: Congress - The Hindu - January 30th, 2020
- Eliminating Child Poverty With a Government Check - The New York Times - January 30th, 2020
- Andrew Yang Expects 'Many' of His Supporters to Back Sanders in Iowa: We 'Have a Lot of Overlap' - Newsweek - January 30th, 2020
- Trump to let states overhaul Medicaid for the poor, seeking to change Obamacare without legislation - Washington Examiner - January 30th, 2020
- P.E.I. groups say basic Income should not replace addictions, other supports - The Journal Pioneer - January 27th, 2020
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- WAYNE YOUNG: Island voices must be heard - The Guardian - December 15th, 2019
- The Guardian view on Finlands new PM: a different type of leadership - The Guardian - December 15th, 2019
- Basic Income as 40 Acres and a Mule - Basic Income News - October 16th, 2019
- 'Most Americans Don't Want To Work for the Federal Government' Says Andrew Yang, Trashing Federal Jobs Guarantee - Reason - October 16th, 2019
- Democratic debate highlights: best and most substantive answers of the night - Vox.com - October 16th, 2019
- Sanders: 'Damn right we will' have a job for every American | TheHill - The Hill - October 16th, 2019
- Assembly Elections 2019: Why is the Congress evasive about NYAY scheme this poll season? - Moneycontrol.com - October 16th, 2019
- Letter to the Editor: Universal basic income is inevitable as we head toward a fully automated society - The Post - October 16th, 2019
- Democrats focus on some Midwestern issues at Westerville debate, a departure from past three forums - cleveland.com - October 16th, 2019
- New book reviews the Namibian Basic Income pilot - Basic Income News - October 1st, 2019
- Quick notes from Basic Income Guarantee Panel - falicon.com - January 28th, 2019
- 'Hartz reforms': how a benefits shakeup changed Germany ... - January 28th, 2019
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - January 3rd, 2019
- Basic Income Guarantee - Your Right to Economic Security ... - November 8th, 2018
- The Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee ... - September 18th, 2018
- Is a Basic Income Guarantee the Right Choice for Ontario? - June 27th, 2018
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- 'Me too' and the basic income guarantee | Basic Income News - February 6th, 2018
- Food shopping at dollar stores | Brantford Expositor - Brantford Expositor - August 24th, 2017
- How Cities Can Rebuild the Social Safety Net - CityLab - August 24th, 2017
- After lifting minimum wage, NDP government prepares to consult public about reducing poverty - Straight.com - August 16th, 2017
- Universal Basic Infrastructure to help decrease India's poverty - Economic Times - August 14th, 2017
- New Zealand Fabians host Basic Income panel - Basic Income News - August 13th, 2017