Why We Need a Federal Jobs Guarantee


YouTube has the video Why We Need a Federal Jobs Guarantee.

13 million people looking for living wage work is not a “full employment” economy.

Why should the federal government adopt a jobs guarantee? Just ask the 13 million Americans looking for living wage work.

That’s what Pavlina Tcherneva, economics professor at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, says in outlining the economic case for a jobs guarantee. Every day the U.S. forgoes half a billion dollars of output because of unemployment. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A jobs guarantee would not only employee millions and increase output, but would also strengthen communities and the safety net, giving people the opportunity to organize their human power for the collective good. And, it would do away with “the scarlet letter of the unemployed”—the career gap in one’s resume.


People don’t seem to notice that Bernie has started talking about a jobs guarantee as one of the programs he will institute. When people suddenly wake-up to what he is saying, here is an excellent explanation from one of the major proponents of the idea.

A jobs guarantee has always been a part of Modern Money Theory. Until recently, I did not understand why the founders of MMT consider the jobs guarantee to be an unseperable part of the policy side of MMT.

What Pavlina Tcherneva explains is that the traditional economic stimuli are not extremely focused toward eliminating unemployment. The traditional methods do tend to put people to work, but it is too indirect. The traditional methods still leave a substantial number of people unemployed. Having the federal government run a deficit and buy goods from the private sector to create employment will be more effective if the money is spent on the jobs guarantee. As Pavlina says, she envisions the jobs guarantee to be federally funded, but locally administered. This means that the money will go to where the unemployment is, rather than putting the money somewhere into the economy, and hoping that the money and the unemployed come together.

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