Universal Job Guarantee Program

(Jesse Hermans) #181

The proposal prohibits make/busy work, this is a straw person argument.
Nor is the program going to take any resources away from BI, as it will be funded via expanding the deficit and increasing output. It is highly cost effective relative to benefit it provides to the most disadvantaged in society.

Your experience and ideological biases are meaningless in the face of actual evidence. You are completely ignoring countless empirical studies which demonstrate there are high non-pecuniary costs of involuntary unemployment.
Studies on unemployment and life satisfaction:

Blanchflower, David. 2007. “Is Unemployment More Costly than Inflation?” NBER Working Paper No. 13505.
Blanchflower, David and A.J. Oswald. 2004. “Wellbeing over time in Britain and the USA.” Journal of Public Economics 88: 1359– 1386.
Clark, Andrew E. 2006. “A Note on Unhappiness and Unemployment Duration.” Applied Economics Quarterly 52, no.4: 291-308.
Clark, Andrew E. 2010. “Work, Jobs and Well-Being Across the Millennium”. In E. Diener, J.Helliwell, and D. Kahneman eds. International Differences in Well-Being. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clark, Andrew. E. and Andrew Oswald. 1994. “Unhappiness and Unemployment.” Economic Journal 104: 648-659.
Clark, Andrew E, Yannis Georgellis and Peter Sanfey. 2001. “Scarring: The psychological impact of past unemployment.” Economica vol. 68, no. 270: 221-241.
De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and George Ward. 2017. Happiness at Work. Said Business School Working Paper 2017-07. University of Oxford.
Lucas, Richard, Andrew Clark, Yiannis Georgellis & Ed Diener. 2004. “Unemployment Alters the Set Point for Life Satisfaction.” Psychological Science 15, no. 1: 8-13.
Nordt, Carlos, Ingeborg Warnke, Erich Seifritz and Wolfram Kawohl. 2015. “Modelling Suicide and Unemployment: a longitudinal analysis covering 63 countries, 2000-11.” The Lancet, Psychiatry 2, no. 3: 239-245.
Sadava, Stanley, Roisin O’Connor and Don McCreary. 2000. “Employment Status and Health in Young Adults: Economic and Behavioural Mediators?” Journal of Health Psychology, 5, no. 4: 549–560.
Van der Meer, Peter & Rudi Weilers. 2013. “What makes workers happy?” Applied Economics 45, no. 3: 357-368.
Winkelmann, Liliana and Rainer Winkelmann. 1998. “Why are the unemployed so unhappy? Evidence from panel data.” Economica 65: 1-16. - “The non-pecuniary effect (of unemployment) is much larger than the effect that stems from the associated loss of income.
Young, Cristobel. 2012. “Losing a Job: The Non-Pecuniary Cost of Unemployment in the United States.” Social Forces 91, no. 2: 609:634


(Jesse Hermans) #182

Which is why there is no central planning in the proposal. Jobs will be decided at the most local level by communities, not bureaucrats in Canberra. Only the funding comes from Federal Government.

(Jesse Hermans) #183

Job Guarantee policy is ready for public review:

(Andrew Downing) #184

Hey Jesse, nice job.
Didn’t find a single thing to object to.
Loved the use of ‘precariat’.

(🔰‏ geoliberty.org {UBI + LVT = 42} ) #185

So another variation I proposed on twitter I think is to have the UBI and those individuals who want a JG can trade it for a JG. worth for worth, so if the JG paid less then the shortfall of UBI is still paid. If JG goes over then no need to pay UBI. This I think is a good middle ground.

(Jesse Hermans) #186

The problem (from what I can make of your proposal) with that is you are proposing an EMTR of 100% (which is what our negative income tax proposal aims to reduce).

In effect we already have what you are asking for though. Currently the way the 2 policies interact is the UBI is paid first regardless of income, and then if you choose to take up a JG job every $1 you earn is taxed at the marginal income tax rate (currently chosen as 37.5%).
So everyone still gets UBI regardless whether they enter the JG or not. However if they work enough hours and earn enough (irrespective of whether it is in the private sector or a JG job), the amount of income tax they pay will eventually exceed the amount received in UBI. In effect their UBI reduces to zero (after tax), and they become net income taxpayers.

People are not discriminated against regardless whether they work in a JG job or a private sector job. They will be treated equally under the system. I see no reason for this to change.

(Jesse Hermans) #187

If your suggestion was implying a much larger UBI that was closer to the amount a JG job would pay, then that is a bigger issue. The problem with UBI being raised to such levels is the cost blows out massively. With a JG the number you have to pay only = unemployed people who choose to take a job + the number of people in dodgy below minimum wage jobs who choose the JG + the number of underemployed people who might top up hours from the JG – the number of private jobs created by JG workers having more money to spend.

The total number of JG workers probably amounts to much less than 10% of the working aged population.
Whereas with a UBI you have to give money to the entire working aged population, which is a much larger number of people => either less money per person or a greater cost.

(twisty) #188

fyi …

(John Wilson) #189

Twisty. I am a supporter of the MMT concept as a means to understanding economics. However, there is a flaw (to my way of thinking) in their argument when touting for a Universal Job Guarantee.

In 10 or so years, there will not be one job from flipping burgers to eye surgery that Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will not be able to do.

This simply wipes the whole premise of the UJG out in one brush stroke.

(Alex Jago) #190

One of the motivations we have for the JG is to gradually change what gets thought of as ‘work’, in order to mediate that very transition.

(John Wilson) #191

Alex. If the State (government) is the negotiating party, then it will fail. Yes, there will be a huge transition. But into what?

Well this depends on who owns & operates the AI, Robotics, and High Tek Applications.

If it is China as an example, then the Robotics & AI etc will be used to enslave us completely.

(Jesse Hermans) #192

The benefits of automation tend to flow into the hands of monopolists and not “technology owners/operators” - for example it’s not like the inventor of the tractor has significant market power over the economy. Or take e.g washing machines, which enabled the biggest increase in human (female) workforce participation in history. The inventor of the washing machine didn’t capture those economic gains.

Monopolists include those who hold patents (which are temporary), but more importantly landowners. So it’s more important to capture their growing share of the pie. Tech owners generally don’t have much power if competitors can also use their technology and compete against them, lowering prices. Certain software companies are the exception; when they develop software that results in either market dominance from economies of scale and standardisation, or from networking effects that give them an edge. Those companies can be dealt with through anti-trust, codetermination, and possibly stronger consumer rights.

People have been declaring the imminent death of jobs and work for over 100 years now. What we are really talking about is the death of is a large category of for-profit jobs, but the concept of work itself is malleable. And even in this respect, a lot of automation that could take place doesn’t because businesses either don’t view the cost as worth it, or they lose business when they force consumers to deal with a robot instead of another human being. Even in the supposed online retail revolution, it’s mostly people in warehouses slaving away for Amazon etc.

The purpose of this program is to alter both the concept of work and actually kick start the automation of bullshit jobs. Once the massive pool of cheap below minimum wage labour dries up for business, business will be economically forced to automate the jobs that cost too much for human labour to do, and jobs that people don’t want to do.

You say 10 years others say 50 or 100 years. Whatever the case, I don’t believe that appealing to some unknowable date is a sufficient argument against setting up a UJG. In the time between now and when it happens, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering poor labour market conditions. We can easily address this issue, and then as the techonological revolution unfolds, manage it piece by piece and ensure both a just and orderly transition into a pure UBI system.

Take energy and climate policy for example. It’s been a disaster for coal based communities when coal power plants shutdown without any plan for the future. Yet there are plenty of things that could be done in organised and designated shutdown times of plants, industrial policy, and ensuring new replacement industries and transport links are made so those communities thrive from the removal of coal power plants, rather than become hollowed out.

(John Wilson) #193

Jesse, your points are noted and largely they stack up. But once again, who owns and controls the high tech make the rules. And this is not us nor the citizenry.

Insofar as my 10 years as an unknown - I suggest you dig deeper and look at what is being rolled out NOW!

(Andrew Downing) #194

I’ve spent the last two weeks at work researching the latest in autonomous vehicle tech.

The question of who owns the data coming out of those cars should be a Pirate topic of interest.

(John Wilson) #195

Andrew. I have a full team of researchers on this very subject. Talk to me off air & I will share my research.

(Alex Jago) #196

(John Wilson) #197

Alex. This is a complete & utter waste of time & resources by the Trade Union involved - as it would be if it were tried here in Australia by the Trade Unions. The Trade Unions here in Australia have a minimum membership base - about 15%.

Many of these are public sector workers - not private sector.

Any attempt by the Trade Unions to slow the introduction of Automation will see their unionised companies go broke - whilst the unrestricted companies would over take. It is called market forces. If this is the Trade Unions answer to what is now here & building, then they are finished. And I mean completely finished.

(pip linney-barber) #198

Trying to control automation is like throwing clogs into a loom. It’s a luddite facsimile. How did that work out for our 19th century comrades?

(milo) #199

@alexjago @Jesse_Hermans Hey guys, I’m a volunteer at GetUp. Good to see you taking this issue you up. I was going to try to send you a resource that we’ve put together, but it won’t let me upload. Is there another way I can upload / get someone’s email address?

Here’s another link in case you haven’t already seen it:

(Alex Jago) #200

@milo You can email me: alex.jago@pirateparty.org.au