What is it? How is it meant to work? The below video summarizes it in a nutshell, and my comments put it in a larger perspective.
Having recently presented the combination of a universal unconditional basic income (citizen’s dividend) and a pay-with-assets economic scheme as a shared assets element of a just economy that would best also use a federal monetization of socially important non-market jobs via a Federal Job Guarantee, it is time to present the FJG:
A note about the video: not to worry, the shrill music only hits you in the beginning and end.
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: »“The Job Guarantee” featuring Pavlina Tcherneva«)
1. I agree that there are (A) many job-seeking, desperate unemployed people and also (B) many jobs needing to be done (care, wellness, housing, sustainable energy, sustainable farming…), and the conclusion that a Federal Jobs Program (or even Guarantee) could help a lot in solving both problems is plausible. In fact, the New Deal proved it, just as other programs presented in the video did.
2. Yes, widespread availability of federally funded public sector jobs would create an effective minimum wage in the form of an escape route for underpaid and abused workers from the private sector.
3. Yes, just like a UBI, federal job creation of this sort would be eminently affordable. (With so much income going to the idle rich, it’s just a question of altering the money flow (most easily by reassigning assets). We are a prosperous country and world. Poverty only exists because of the gouging by the rich.)
However, there are also problems with this proposal.
4. The proposed program focuses on un- or undereducated menial laborers. Where would that leave people like me, highly educated, highly experienced, talented, and skilled, but still highly unemployable in the private sector by now, due to age, a quilt-like professional past, and health problems that make me unfit for menial labor (aside from me loathing it)?
5. What about people who are unable to work for any reason, be it physically, mentally, because of (allegedly) lacking qualification (or because of bureaucratic hang-ups prohibiting them to work – oh, yeah, that happens!)?
6. My passion in this phase of my life is political and economic research and writing. Would such a program pay me for my econo-political activism? I doubt it. It might pay me for my caregiving to sick relatives, but financial compensation for my other highly time consuming activity in research and information dissemination would probably be denied (politicians don’t like activists), whereas a universal basic income would give people like me a safety cushion liberating us to do the work we want, whether some bureaucrat likes it or not. I will elaborate on the matter of choice a bit more in the next paragraph:
7. What about liberty and the pursuit of happiness? What if someone doesn’t wish to work a job? In the old ages of scarcity, social co-responsibility gave us grounds to call all hands on deck. In today’s surplus economy that has changed. And with the rampant job displacement of humans through automation (not just manual work but brain work as well due to the explosion in artificial intelligence), the only way to safeguard against widespread poverty and despair is to decouple income from work. A FJG doesn’t do that since it only creates replacement jobs, but a UBI does, as would a work-for-assets economy to some degree (by enabling early retirement). The latter would go even further in social redesign by turning us from paycheck or government grant recipients to owners of our world, no longer mere benefits recipients or serfs and tenants of the 1% of “owners” who usurped our world.
8. A wisely and benevolently well-run FJG would monetize a lot of good activities boosting them and even drive our society back into a more ethical, healthy, and sustainable state. That would make it a true boon. However, what if the people running the program were not wise, benevolent, or competent – or accountable to the citizenry? What if it were underfunded? Here a UBI would come in letting people decide for themselves what the best use of their time is (if the UBI were adequately funded). An adequately funded UBI would also make a minimum wage unnecessary, again liberating workers and small entrepreneurs by giving them more leeway. On the other hand, people lacking ideas could get useful direction from a FJP that a UBI would not provide them.
So, I conclude, as I have before, that combining both measures is far better than implementing only one of them. And if we added the pay-with-assets idea that Yanis Varoufakis mentioned in a speech and I elaborated on last week, we would be even better off by thereby creating earned residual incomes, eliminating the owner-worker divide, and on the whole taming the assets beast gone wild — as this would, when done thoroughly, eliminate our gross economic inequality that feeds money in politics and thus ruins everything for everybody save a few privileged rich.
Note 1: As for the Argentinian Jefes program analyzed in the above video, it is probably good to mention that this is not the only measure with which Argentina recovered from its severe economic crisis. Another big measure was performed by Argentinian workers themselves who took over the businesses their owners had closed. They turned them into successful worker co-ops, something U.S. company owners or CEOs like to forestall by actually razing their former factories to the ground, so the workers they laid off when they moved production to Asia can’t restore their paychecks and compete with their former employers.
Note 2: The Vimeo posting of this video comes with a textual description from which I would like to quote the first paragraph: “Millions of people in the United States need jobs. Of those fortunate enough to be employed, how many people stay in jobs they hate, exploited by management or doing unconscionable work, because they feel they have no choice? How many are struggling to support themselves on unlivable wages or juggling multiple jobs just to get by? Meanwhile, crucial public services get cut, local infrastructure decays, and people’s basic needs go unfilled. A federally-funded, locally-administered Job Guarantee could change all this almost immediately.” — Well, as I explained, the view of this as a panacea is too rosy. A FJG can help a lot, a UBI as well, and together they can do a lot more. Adding an earnable asset dividend economy would top it off and secure a bright Utopian future.
Note 3: A comment left on the Vimeo video calculates that creating 10 million jobs this way and taxing the 1% for it would reduce the average income of the 1% from their current $3.9 million to ”$3.6 million – big deal”. Indeed! Big Deal!
Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course offering, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Thanks. Only together can we change the world. 🙂
6 thoughts on “The Federal Job Guarantee — What is it?”
One other point worth mentioning is that a UBI does not meet the equality problems of our society. It is a program favored by the Right-Wing because it maintains the status quo without providing a rung on a ladder to climb out of poverty. But, it offers no means of mobility to those trapped in blighted areas, nor an incentive for local officials to renew the community. With a Job Guarantee, people could pack up and leave for a destination of their choosing, aware that a living wage job and benefits will be found at their destination. That provides the prodding for local officials to clean up the communities or face permanent loss of their tax base. Imagine the benefit to those in Flint, MI today. Also, that clean-up and renewal could be offered as jobs under the Job Guarantee.
Thanks for commenting, Mark.
A UBI does not meet the equality problems of our society at its root, for sure, the root being the original lopsided wealth distribution. There are two aspects to it, though. In the sense of reducing poverty, a UBI does actually reduce our income inequality in an important way. Financing it by recovering some of the loot from the top also recovers a bit of income or wealth equality. Doing so via taxation is a roundabout way, however (a second income redistribution following the original redistribution). Prevention is always better than the cure, which is why a reassignment of assets (wealth) from the super rich back to everybody is a more direct, fundamental, and safer way to finance programs like a UBI, FJG, and pay-with-assets, creating a shared prosperity economy with a fairer sharing of assets being the main instrument for greater equality not only in income but also ownership (wealth).
Yes, the rich and their right-wing puppets look upon a UBI favorably (just like left-wingers do, if for different reasons) because they wish to avoid the pitchforks from excessive social tension. They LOVE a high degree of social tension, especially material despair, because it drives slavish workers and frenzied political followers to them. But too much can result in revolutionary actions such as violent revolution or fervent political demands going beyond a limited compensation by the state for the grand theft by our economic setup. So, yes, these types see it as a way to save the status quo.
To a degree this is also true for a job guarantee program, though. Why else did FDR have success with his job creation programs?
All measures are not enough when they are not taken far enough to cure our economic inequality problem at the root, the root of the trouble being that most of our world “belongs” to the rich and they can leverage this to control the money flow (mostly into their vaults, of course).
As for being enabled to pack up and leave for a destination of one’s choosing, that may work for those relatively few folks who want to relocate to a place that luckily happens to offer the jobs they can get there (but leaving their social roots and extended family behind?). A FJG could increase the number of such jobs to a degree but not endlessly, especially if most of them are menial.
On the other hand, a UBI could allow people to move away from the (beloved by some, disgusting to someone like me) overcrowded cities into a jobs-deprived countryside where life is cheaper (and a lot greener and spacier). It would make for a much better use of our available lands, and give really more freedom of location than a FJG.
I can see how a FJG could be really helpful in cleaning up and generally improving communities when applied in this fashion.
As for the “rung on a ladder to climb out of poverty,” a UBI does provide such a rung. It adds to the income poor people can manage to earn. It provides a safety cushion during financial emergencies. It allows poor folks to run greater risks in job choices or entrepreneurship. It allows them to get an education they otherwise don’t have money or TIME for. (remember: jobs take time, and if we can have them done either by more eager voluntary workers or by machines instead of unwilling people forced by financial despair to take the first job they can get, no matter how much of a mismatch it is, everybody wins (except for our current plutocrats who want us to be desperate enough to rent ourselves out as their modern form of slaves))
So, as before, I keep thinking that a combination of a UBI and FJG are better than one of them by itself. One helps certain people more, while the other helps other people more. Many people can benefit from both for the biggest benefit. The same goes for communities. Additionally, I like a pay-with-assets for residual (passive) income growth as a better means for financial job incentivization than mere pay with dough since the former moves us away from our owner-worker division which is the root of our economic inequality.
My original comment addressed each point of criticism of the FJG you made but was deleted by either you or your editor, choosing to only post my additional comment. So, I’m not very confident that this reply will see the light of day.
The Federal Job Guarantee, proposed by actual academic economists, addresses the major issue of involuntary unemployment. One aspect of the Neoliberalism that is now in complete control of our government is to maintain a level of unemployment as a means of curbing inflation. This idea was first proposed by the father of Neoliberalism, Milton Friedman, by his “natural rate of unemployment” (NIRU) concept and taken to the present, and totally debunked, Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU) used by our Government today. NAIRU refers to inflation that rises below a certain level of unemployment. It is the reason we are being told that the nation has reached “full-employment” in spite of the numbers that show we have not. From this erroneous concept, Post-Keynesian Functional Finance economists, like Hyman Minsky, reasoned that better results could be achieved if those unable to find work in the private sector would be hired by the “employer of last resort,” the US Government, using a Job Guarantee program. That idea was improved by MMT economists and their Job Guarantee plan addresses all of your issues and misconceptions.
One misconception is that there exists no mechanism that would make “recovering some of the loot from the top” possible to finance a UBI or any other federal program. Federal spending is not funded by Federal taxes. I absolutely agree that the wealthy should be taxed heavily, but only as one form of narrowing the income gap, not as a form of revenue. Our system has never worked that way and only appears to because of the old rules set up under the gold standard that put a check on spending in relation to gold reserves. FDR took us off of that standard to enable deficit spending that allowed the government to spend the nation out of the Great Depression and was eliminated entirely with the collapse of Bretton-Woods in 1971. So, to be clear, the national deficit that we have been taught for decades to fear is not frightening at all when it is understood. The total of every US dollar spent into existence from the beginning, less every dollar removed from the economy by federal taxes equal what is called the deficit. How is that scary? It is if only one side of the double entry accounting is viewed. When viewed from the vantage point of the non-governmental sector, of which you and I belong, the government’s “deficit” becomes the national asset. Our problem today is not about how much is being spent, rather, it is about the things on which Congress is spending. The US Government is monetarily sovereign and is the monopoly issuer of its own fiat currency. That means that it can never run out of dollars to spend. So, why is Congress cutting social safety nets while increasing spending on the MIC? Why are Democrats and Republicans advocating austerity for the Middle Class and not addressing the causes of poverty and human suffering as they spend trillions on corporate welfare? NAIRU. Those in control prefer a “buffer stock of unemployed people” in lieu of a “buffer stock” of employed citizens. What We, The People, need to understand is that solvency is never an issue regarding Federal spending. Logic tells us that if it is achievable, it is affordable by our Government.
A UBI does not meet the equality problems of our society. It denies the idea that people need some form of “work” for a personal purpose. Being a flat hand-out, a UBI reinforces the conservative idea that the poor are that way because they are lazy and do not want to work and will be used by Neoliberals to further cut or eliminate social services. The “dole” sent to the already wealthy will not be spent back into the economy. Those checks will be put into savings or investment and become leaks from the economy. The middle class and poor might see a few months of joy until retailers react with higher prices on goods and services. More important is the fact that the UBI is not tied to labor. On a universal scale, this is extremely inflationary with no economic stabilizers. Does a UBI address involuntary unemployment? No, but it is sure to create and maintain levels of the unemployed. Back to that Right-Wing, Neoliberal, and pesky NAIRU.
It would seem that you have a large concern about the Job Guarantee being focused “on un- or undereducated menial laborers.” That is entirely not true. In fact, a JG allows for each individual to choose employment from private businesses that must elevate conditions, wages, and benefits in competition with the living wage floor and paid benefits of the JG. Entrepreneurship with a guaranteed income and benefits provided by the JG. Or, pursue a personal passion and provide a service to society in general through community-based employment that is considered non-profitable by private business. A Job Guarantee allows each community to redefine “work.” Dirk, you asked,”where would that leave people like me, highly educated, highly experienced, talented, and skilled, but still highly unemployable in the private sector . . .” Well, in your case, it would, if you choose, leave you where you are today. The only change that you would need to change is the removal of the “Ending Note” below your blogs.
I want to emphasize the feature of the Job Guarantee as an Automatic Stabilizer. That point cannot be stressed enough because it is extremely empowering to The People. MMT economist, Ellis Winningham, provided his “Bite-Sized” explanation that should be easily understood by all who read it. http://elliswinningham.net/index.php/2016/08/14/the-bite-sized-explanation-of-the-job-guarantee-as-an-automatic-stabilizer/
The Job Guarantee addresses and solves the government induced and maintained involuntary unemployment issue. It does not pretend to do anything else. Of course, it will lift low wage earners out of poverty and eliminate the term “starving artist” from our usage. But, it is a voluntary program. So, what to do for those unwilling and unable to join the Job Guarantee? On this point, there are a few differing opinions. But each has a basis in macroeconomics and each would provide a positive benefit to society. Some favor a Basic Income but limited specifically to those who need it. Personally, I have always had a sense of urgency concerning the ending of suffering and like the idea of using what is successfully in place. Social Security and SSI could be expanded to encompass the unwilling and unable and improved by payouts tied to the wages paid by the Job Guarantee. To leave room for an incentive to join the JG, those payouts should be less (say, two-thirds?) than the JG but an increase for those already receiving those benefits. Combined, that “Job & Income Guarantee” (JIG?) would leave no one behind.
Hello, Mark. Thanks for continuing to comment. And please accept my apologies for addressing your latest comments so late. My very brutal and exhausting family emergency keeps dragging out, robbing me of a tremendous amount of time and energy. Therefore the delay and also a suggestion: Since I plan to keep posting on the subjects of UBI, FJG, a shared assets economy, socially responsible economic design as opposed to greed-for-profit driven design, and similar topics for some time, it may be better if each comment made on these pieces focuses on a smaller number of aspects, namely those which the presented video or article stresses more than other videos and articles do. This may also make it easier for more people to chime in and make the whole series easier to digest for readers. I may then also be able to respond more quickly during my current crisis.
That said, I’ll get to work on your response to my first response now:
I have never yet deleted a comment from this blog, not even hostile ones, since I firmly believe that discussion is the mother of refinement of ideas and furthermore necessary for democratic (with a small “d”) people’s movements. I also haven’t found a new pending comment (wordpress.com seems to place comments that contain (multiple?) links into a pending loop, like once happened to you before to my own surprise). This only leaves wordpress.com employees or hackers — or a software glitch — as a possibility if you posted a comment here preceding the one that starts with the words “One other point worth mentioning” and it either never appeared on this page or subsequently disappeared. I have been active on the Internet since it became public, and from numerous instances when my content disappeared in cyberspace’s black holes I have developed a habit of copying into my clipboard before I post. Murphy’s law makes sure to always hit me with a glitch during those rare moments when I forget to do that, of course. Anyway, this can help in cases when a data transfer fails. For cases where a pending loop may make it unclear if the transmission was successful, it could help to save the text somewhere and contact me if the comment somehow doesn’t post in a timely fashion. We can sort it out then. Be assured, I value your comments.
> The Federal Job Guarantee, proposed by actual
> academic economists, addresses the major issue
> of involuntary unemployment.
When succeeding with 100% coverage despite of possible mismatches between workers’ abilities and the work needing to be done, that would be so. However, it doesn’t properly address the similar issue of involuntary employment! In fact, I doubt that it can. Any tying of pay to any kind of work contains within the requirement to convince a gatekeeper (a boss or bureaucrat) that one is doing the work that merits the conditional pay.
> One aspect of the
> Neoliberalism that is now in complete control of
> our government is to maintain a level of
> unemployment as a means of curbing inflation.
Inflation can be controlled by other means as well. I rather think the establishment loves unemployment as a means to keep the people submissive and desperate enough to accept lousy jobs.
> It is the reason we are
> being told that the nation has reached
> “full-employment” in spite of the numbers that
> show we have not.
I rather think they play down the true unemployment rate to keep the public pacified.
___FJG, the Panacea___
> … Hyman Minsky, reasoned that better results
> could be achieved if those unable to find work
> in the private sector would be hired by the
> “employer of last resort,” the US Government,
> using a Job Guarantee program. That idea was
> improved by MMT economists and their Job
> Guarantee plan addresses all of your issues and
Well, no. For example, as I just mentioned, it doesn’t address involuntary employment, a modern form of slavery.
> One misconception is that there exists no
> mechanism that would make “recovering some of
> the loot from the top” possible to finance a UBI
> or any other federal program.
Luckily, that is a bogus concept neither you nor I buy into. 😉
> So, to be clear, the national deficit that
> we have been taught for decades to fear is not
> frightening at all when it is understood.
I totally agree.
> Our problem today is not about
> how much is being spent, rather, it is about the
> things on which Congress is spending.
___Purpose from PAID Work___
> A UBI does not meet the equality problems of our
> society. It denies the idea that people need
> some form of “work” for a personal purpose.
Some people are so immature or mentally limited that they need someone to tell them what to do, but this is not true for everyone. Many, in fact the majority, can figure out purpose for themselves. Placing that decision in the hands of bosses or bureaucrats goes against our founding principle of the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I agree that we are in a period of major economic and social transformation where the government should fulfill its duties of ensuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare by playing an active role in social re-engineering, away from a society run by private greed to one much more social in aspirations. Well designed federally monetized programs along the lines of a FJG can help a lot there by redefining “work” from mere money-making-toil to socially useful or personally fulfilling activities, but so can a UBI by freeing people to take on this task at the grassroots level, as opposed to depending on the good intentions of a government that tends towards a top-down system. I see a benefit in both approaches and truly believe that together they will be more effective. Additional programs and rule-changes are needed as well, such as to keep entrepreneurship flourishing, even boost it, but pull its inequality-generating teeth.
___Purpose from PAID Work___
> Being a flat hand-out, a UBI reinforces the
> conservative idea that the poor are that way
> because they are lazy and do not want to work
> and will be used by Neoliberals to further cut
> or eliminate social services.
I don’t think so because:
1.) This fib is alive and well, has been for a long time, and will continue to be without a UBI.
2.) The universality will pull some of the sting out of that lie. It’s precisely the advantage a UBI has over a means-tested basic income.
3.) Many middle-classers are a-holes in their regard of the poor anyway, and will probably always be that way. Don’t count on them for change. They live in a privilege bubble until they begin to slide downward and look into the abyss themselves.
4.) The poor will be greatly empowered by extra money and a solid financial security they have never had and thus can become a major force for positive change.
5.) The proper way to frame a UBI is as a citizen’s dividend, not a charitable government hand-out. This, in turn, can help getting people out of their serf mentality and become more self-conscious, self-assured citizens ready for a real democracy as opposed to our current dog-and-pony show.
___Dole for the Wealthy___
> The “dole” sent to
> the already wealthy will not be spent back into
> the economy. Those checks will be put into
> savings or investment and become leaks from the
That’s exactly what we have already going on and which has driven us into the current disastrous inequality and poverty. A properly financed UBI would reduce much of the current free money for the rich by a lot. As would a FJG if it were likewise financed by redirecting the currently lopsided money flow. And as I have mentioned on various occasions, the best way is not retroactively through taxation but proactively by redistributing plutocrat-horded assets. (the very opposite the current estate tax repeal is doing) —- The point is, the wealthy are ALREADY receiving a gigantic dole. This tiny dole would make no difference, and — when properly financed — would be one side of a coin the other of which would be clawing back a lot more from the rich than they would get from the UBI.
___The Enemy: Price Gouging___
> The middle class and poor might see a
> few months of joy until retailers react with
> higher prices on goods and services.
That is a good and important point. However, I think we have to fear monopolies (e.g. Walmart where it has eliminated other retailers) and low-competitive markets (like housing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals) in this regard. Competitive markets should not be able to do that, especially when the suddenly empowered poor come for them with entrepreneurial competition as soon as prices are greedily jacked up. A UBI definitely must be accompanied by government protections like rent control, drug price control, universal free healthcare, and breaking up of monopolies. Additional government programs can help make it even more successful. Example: a cheap house engineering program and social housing programs, since the private construction market always tends towards luxury homes for greater profit margins. But once everybody can get themselves a decent house built for $30,000 or less (and optionally on really cheap land in the countryside when they no longer have to stick close to a city job), those money-chasing developers are gonna have a bad awakening.
___What about the Holiness of Labor?___
> More important is the fact that the UBI is not tied
> to labor.
So what? I am not a Calvinist. Are you?
> On a universal scale, this is
> extremely inflationary with no economic
No. Not so. More spending at the bottom will grow the economy which (A) will absorb much of any extra money (if extra money was created at all to fund the UBI), and (B) generate more sales tax, payroll tax, and earned income tax driving money back out of the market. Government’s balancing the available amount of money with the size of the economy is the primary stabilizer. That’s where taxes come in as the twin of government spending.
___Which is the Problem: Unemployment or Poverty?___
> Does a UBI address involuntary
> unemployment? No, but it is sure to create and
> maintain levels of the unemployed.
Experiments show otherwise. Work doesn’t have to be linked to pay. In fact, a lot of work isn’t. A UBI would free more people up to do the work they WANT to do. Besides, unemployment isn’t the problem. Missing income is. Ask the idle rich. They are all unemployed and LOVE it.
> It would seem that you have a large concern
> about the Job Guarantee being focused “on un- or
> under-educated menial laborers.”
I was referring to the Jefes program where this was the case.
> That is entirely
> not true. In fact, a JG allows for each
> individual to choose employment from private
> businesses that must elevate conditions, wages,
> and benefits in competition with the living wage
> floor and paid benefits of the JG.
Similarly, private businesses must make jobs attractive enough to lure in workers who have the freedom to refuse job offers when a UBI keeps them financially secure. Right now we don’t. That’s why we have so many awful jobs.
Also, the presence of a FJG doesn’t make businesses create jobs that match the skills and interests of workers. There is no connection there. Businesses only create jobs to meet consumer demand which can be raised (but not shaped) both by a FJG and (with 100% coverage) a UBI.
___The Overlooked, Skipped, Marginalized, and Outcast___
> Dirk, you
> asked,”where would that leave people like me,
> highly educated, highly experienced, talented,
> and skilled, but still highly unemployable in
> the private sector . . .” Well, in your case, it
> would, if you choose, leave you where you are
> today. The only change that you would need to
> change is the removal of the “Ending Note” below
> your blogs.
Absolutely not. Nowhere in this solar system would a government pay me to be free to criticize it.
What we sometimes get is a government paying people to criticize OTHER governments. That’s why we can get otherwise covered-up news about the U.S. form sources like RT. (against which our establishment is now fighting back spreading a Russia-gate hysteria and forcing RT (and maybe anybody paid by it?) to now register as “Russian agent”)
___Automatic Currency Stabilizer___
> I want to emphasize the feature of the Job
> Guarantee as an Automatic Stabilizer. That point
> cannot be stressed enough because it is
> extremely empowering to The People. MMT
> economist, Ellis Winningham, provided his
> “Bite-Sized” explanation that should be easily
> understood by all who read it.
I can see how that can look charming to an economist with a macroeconomic fascination. However, as someone who has been bounced from job to job and career to career all my life, I can assure you that’s no joy. Personal financial stability is much more precious than automation of macroeconomic stability.
___Both Work Best Together___
> The Job Guarantee addresses and solves the
> government induced and maintained involuntary
> unemployment issue.
Whereas a UBI solves the government- and capitalism-induced and maintained involuntary employment issue. Both issues suck. Boith need to be solved. Both measures complement each other.
> Combined, that “Job & Income Guarantee” (JIG?)
> would leave no one behind.
Cool name suggestion for the combination of the two measures in this discussion.
In closing, as I mentioned before, many of these issues will come up again in future articles on this here site. They will be discussed in video-taped panel discussions, in my comments and articles, and are welcome to be further discussed by you and anybody else willing to chime in. One thought I am having is that us “little guys” can add to the discussion by talking about the boots on the ground, the individual benefits and downsides of measures under discussion. I have already hinted at how I would be affected and may go into more detail (in fact, I did some more of it in my Friday article: https://beanstocksworld.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/ubi-and-fjg-are-baby-steps-towards-a-great-future/ ). You, and any other visitor to this site, can do the same and thereby make the discussion become less theoretical and esoteric. That would be a really good thing, I think.
There was a wonderful presentation on the Federal Job Guarantee by Professor of Economics and President of Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, Fadhel Kaboub. The full lecture can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OljG4oYmcE
During that presentation, the question about the types of jobs that might be part of, but not limited to, a Community-based Job Guarantee.
Environmental cleanup, seashore cleanup. Anti-deforestation, dune fixation. Anti-salinization, flood control, storage of runoff waters. Creation/expansion of public parks, low-cost housing, improvement of public infrastructure. Recycling projects, installation of solar energy projects. Construction and maintenance of small-scale irrigation systems, soil conservations, small-dam construction, etc.
Skilled jobs could include: Public school tutors, Public school and/or community musicians/artists, community health care consultants, recycling consultants, community historians, community ethnographers, community web developers, national translation agents, etc. These projects would involve higher education graduates with degrees/specializations in history, anthropology, sociology, computer science, geology, psychology, architecture, art and art history, etc.
> Environmental cleanup, seashore cleanup. Anti-deforestation, dune fixation…
May I mention the m-word again? 😉
> Skilled jobs could include: Public school
> tutors, Public school and/or community
> musicians/artists, community health care
> consultants, recycling consultants, community
> historians, community ethnographers, community
> web developers, national translation agents,
> etc. These projects would involve higher
> education graduates with degrees/specializations
> in history, anthropology, sociology, computer
> science, geology, psychology, architecture, art
> and art history, etc.
Community historians already exist, but the demand is very small. One person’s art is another person’s garbage (hence it may be excluded). I wonder how many folks we could force into being recycling consultants (and storming people’s homes to consult them every day) in order to create enough jobs. I have been a web developer in my long chain of careers, but nowadays I am considered completely obsolete several times over. Now, if a FJG were coupled with re-education programs and willing to apprentice an old guy like me in up-to-date web development or computer security, someone like me could get back into the IT life he liked and was pushed out from by Wall Street (although the private sector would remain forever barred — they only hire younglings). But, then again, I have evolved to a new passion: societal change, the writing I do right now, and — as I said above — I very seriously doubt that would ever be paid for by a FJG.
There are other issues, like part-time. Tutors only ever get to work part-time because their students are available only part-time. So, how to earn a living wage with a part-time job from the FJG? OTOH, if a UBI would provided the financial safety floor, then unemployed educators could earn additional income as tutors. The whole gig economy could become more of an asset than a plague that way, like back when I earned necessary extra income delivering pizzas when I was a starving musician. 😉
You see, individual circumstances are far more complex than can be all taken care of via jobs, guaranteed or not. That’s where a UBI provides a much needed reduction of financial pressure, and when combined with a FJG, retraining programs, public apprenticeships, work-pay-with-assets, time banks, worker co-ops, free universal healthcare, and so on can combine into a lot of quick relief and also a path toward a bright future.