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Job Guarantee Proposal

SUMMARY.  All nations will eventually require a Job Guarantee (JG) or Universal Basic Income (UBI) program because of the irreversible loss of jobs resulting from automation and globalization.  An advantage of a JG over a UBI program (besides possible cultural issues) is that the JG improves the stability of prices (ie., reduces inflation/deflation possibilities) by acting as a counter-cyclical automatic stabilizer, ie., JG spending increases automatically as private sector spending decreases, and vice versa.  The JG programs I've seen described range from wasteful to unworkable.  So I've taken a pass at one I believe is better.  Its advantages are:

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (LG) selects and manages the paid work offered.

LG Supervisor (LS) is an elected Local Government official.
Gives local people influence over local program.

LG Manager (LM)

LG Participant (LP)




  1. Compared with the Minimum Overhead of the Job Guarantee program we've outlined above, below is a quote from that proposed by The Levy Economics Institute.  They're proposing to spend almost 50% of funding on bureaucratic overhead.  While one can argue that funding is not a problem, I see it as simply encouraging private-sector bureaucracies to devise marginal 'make work' projects to capture a large share of these monies intended for the jobless.  In addition I see no attempt in their 56-page proposal of even considering Maximum Automation.
  2. "The program’s nonwage benefit costs are set at 20 percent.  In addition, we assume that the program’s materials and other costs are equal to 25 percent of wage costs."  Public Service Employment: A Path To Full Employment by L. Randall Wray, Flavia Dantas, Scott Fullwiler, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, and Stephanie A. Kelton, The Levy Economics Institute, April 2018

  3. I've been concerned that the Job Guarantee (JG) program outlined above covers only those willing/able to work whereas a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program would cover everyone.  Once government sets up an efficient, automated system for delivering money to some in need, it seems wasteful not to find a way to cover all in need with the same system.  I've seen proposals for adding an Income Guarantee to a JG program (at some fraction of the JG rate that ensures sustenance), but have not been comfortable with some fairness and operational issues.  Peter Cooper's latest update, Fairness and a 'Job or Income Guarantee', answers those concerns.
  4. Another Job Guarantee proposal I'm seeing discussed is government subsidizing private businesses to put the unemployed to work.  The proffered advantage is that private business managers know best how to create, structure and manage productive work.  My reservations are: (a) they have no incentive to do so other than lowering the cost of meeting their existing product/service demand and are unlikely to expand those products/services given that the program participants are "temporary" and (b) most participants will need to relocate to participate, which is difficult or impossible for many unemployed.

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