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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/27/18

Dems' Job Guarantee Isn't Nearly as Easy as It Sounds

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Most of us won't shed any tears for the "hard to get good help" crowd, but if we haven't taken steps to weaken their economic power -- which won't be easy because they are powerful -- we can expect to see doctors, lawyers, and other high-end earners getting pay hikes to protect their living standards. This is a story of serious wage-price spiral, unless we introduce other measures.

None of this means we should reject a job guarantee out of hand. We can start with a lower wage and limit the program to long-term unemployed, or in other ways restrict the size. But we should also look to measures to weaken the economic power of those at the top. It is government policies, like restricting the entrance of qualified foreign doctors and allowing pension funds that pay private equity partners to lose them money, not laws of economics, that gives us a situation where doctors get $260,000 a year, hedge fund boys over a million, and CEOs more than $20 million. Reversing these policies will open the door for much higher pay and living standards for those lower down the income ladder.

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Dr. Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. (more...)
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