Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/23/18

Thinking Beyond Trump: Why We Need a Federal Jobs Guarantee

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 47089
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Reich
Become a Fan
  (128 fans)

From Robert Reich Blog

We must not forget the economic frustrations that helped fuel Trump's election. For too long, too many Americans have faced lousy jobs or no jobs. One answer: A guaranteed job at a living wage.

The Republican answer won't work

Republicans continue to push for work requirements for recipients of Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing benefits. But the real problem is there aren't enough adequately-paying jobs to go around.

Even today, with a low official unemployment rate, millions who work part-time jobs want full-time work. Millions more are too discouraged to look for work, having endured the brutalities of job discrimination for far too long, or unable to move to where the jobs are.

And a large and growing number of jobs don't pay enough to get people out of poverty.

A federal jobs guarantee would work

At the same time, a lot of work needs to be done -- "greening" our nation's infrastructure, caring for the elderly, teaching in our public schools, adequately staffing national parks, you name it.

So why shouldn't the federal government create jobs and connect them directly to people who can't otherwise find one, with decent, predictable hours and at a living wage?

An added plus: The availability of such jobs would give more bargaining power to many low-wage workers to get better hours and wages -- because if they don't get them from their employer, they'd have the option of a public job. In this way, a federal job guarantee would raise the floor for job quality nationwide.

And a job guarantee would act as a giant economic stabilizer during downturns, when the first to lose their jobs are usually the most economically marginalized.

We can afford it

Can we afford a job guarantee today? Yes. It's estimated to cost around $670 billion in its first year -- $30 billion less than the defense budget.

But that tab would quickly shrink. With more people working at better wages, Americans would have more purchasing power to buy goods and services. This would lead to more hiring by the private sector, and eventually, less need for the federal job guarantee.

More people working would also generate more tax revenue, partially offsetting the direct cost of the job guarantee.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Reich Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Trump Cornered

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars