FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Memo To The Nation Magazine: The Government Does Not Owe You Employment.
Self-Respect And A Role In Society Cannot Be Given
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
I read something really hilarious. It almost convinced me that all the really good comedians were leftists. “…the US government can easily afford a Job guarantee (JG) program, becoming our employer of last resort.” Says The Nation Magazine. Man, those writers at The Nation are funny. I’ll bet that The Nation is one step below Major League Comedy. First you put in two years slogging away, and then it’s off to Comedy Central to work for the likes of John Stewart. Oh, wait, they aren’t kidding…
Experts advising The Nation Magazine, and professional economists as well; see the massive rise in part-time workers replacing full-time help.
The number of “Part-Time For Economic Reasons” workers shot up to 9 Million in 2009, and has been sticky in the last 5 years. The decline back towards lower, more historically common values has been about 320K workers per year. This has been exacerbated by the rapid increase in Temp Hires in preference to full-time employees that has happened since AD2009. (OCARE Year Zero).
So rather than trying to figure out why human beings have become too expensive a form of Capital to risk as a long-term investment, the geniuses at Nation suggest that the USG just buy the entire labor pool. In fact, legal scholars like Cass Sunstein seem to prefer a system where people can sue the USG anytime they fail to provide them a job. This would churn aggregate demand sayeth the Gospel of Keynes.
In 1977, the Senate proposed legislation guaranteeing employment, allowing residents to sue the US government should it fail to provide it. The litigation provision was cut, but the final Humphrey-Hawkins Act authorizes Uncle Sam to “create a reservoir of public employment.” According to legal scholar Cass Sunstein, in 1990, an overwhelming 86 percent of respondents expressing an opinion wanted that reservoir. This January, the JG still polled high at 47 percent—even higher among people of color—despite its relative unfamiliarity.
They claim it’s worked miracles in Argentina!
Economist Pavlina Tcherneva has extensively researched Argentina’s decentralized strategy, which emphasized childcare, eldercare and community gardening, empowered women in particular and swiftly slashed extreme poverty by 25 percent.
This idea was obvious in its brilliance, the Job Guarantee was written into the stunningly Progressive, and eternally forward-looking Constitution, of…The CCCP.
Article 40. Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society. This right is ensured by the socialist economic system, steady growth of the productive forces, free vocational and professional training, improvement of skills, training in new trades or professions, and development of the systems of vocational guidance and job placement.
So by legislative fiat, completely independent of the current economic conditions, and with no reference whatsoever to the will and ability of any individual in question; the USG can enact 0% Unemployment. And they can print more money! They can use Keynesian Stimulus to force economic growth. And they can redistribute it all fairly to prevent income inequalityand centralize all power in Panem – The Glorious Capital City!
In the end, a government job guarantee would work about as well here as it did in the USSR. There is no American Exceptionalism in the form of a “Get Out of Stupid Free Card.” Policies that were stupid in Russia under Khrushchev will be equally stupid in the US under Obama, Hillary or even John Boehner. There was nothing wrong with Russians that isn’t equally wrong with Americans. Communism failed in Russia because it is stupid and evil. If we adopt it here, ipso facto, we become the stupid. We become The Evil Empire. The wages of Piketty are death. The government doesn’t owe unless it also owns you. I was under the impression that we did away with that particular difficulty by ratifying and enacting the 13th Amendment.