Universal Job Guarantee Program


Ooooh. this is one I haven’t seen proposed before. And fits with my generally Georgist values. Like!

(Edwin Waters) #62

How soon will the members of the Pirate Party vote on whether they will support a Job Guarantee policy or won’t support it? and then make it an official party policy.

(Alex Jago) #63

Standard timeline is to update each year at Congress. National Council can make policy if it’s urgently required for some reason, but it still goes to the following Congress to be voted on.


(Jesse Hermans) #64

We just had last year’s congress a week ago. So next congress is 12 months away.
As Alex mentioned the policy can be voted on earlier if needed, but we still need to make it and flesh it out. That will take at least a few months given work is done voluntarily as a side project by various members including myself.
I’ll submit it to the forums for feedback before we take it to next year’s congress, in conjunction with a bunch of other policies.

(Faye Adams) #65

Personally, I am leaning towards a hybrid JG rebate +UBI…But with the role of job creation residing with employers…both for profit and not for profit …and a JG tax rebate offered for permanent full time and part time staff hires. So essentially, all jobs funded to the ‘minimum wage level by govt = JG rebate +UBI’ and for profit sector taxed on ??? At the other end. Distributed guaranteed livelihood plus distributed employment creation. Distributed 21century economics approach :slight_smile:

(Jesse Hermans) #66

Faye wage subsides are fraught with problems and do not work.
While one could implement a for profit wage subsidy alongside a JG, it would inherently go against the mechanism of using the policy as a bufferstock of jobs which functions in a counter cyclical fashion. There so many problems involved here given either the government would be subsidising every job (massively inflationary and inefficient), or it would be using some sort of means test for different firms which would be ripe for exploitation and crony-ism. Such a policy would massively interfere with basic operations of the market, far beyond anything critics of the minimum wage argue.
I agree that burdens do need to be lifted off of private enterprise, and a simpler policy to alleviate burdens on private employers/enterprise would be to abolish/reduce company tax, payroll tax, GST and employer superannuation contributions, while replacing these with taxes on economic rents and Universal Basic Pensions.

Not to mention the idea of subsidising for profit enterprise seems inherently in antithesis of what is trying to be accomplished. The point is to incentivise firms to either automate bullshit low paying jobs - since no one will voluntarily work in them (since there is a JG), or boost productivity to make hiring a worker at the current minimum (JG) wage viable. In a climate of strong and consistent sales/demand, I’d argue a firm which fails to do this should not be propped up by the government - nor should any private for profit firm be indefinitely subsidised on any basis as a general principle. If maintenance of an industry/firm required those sort of subsidies to survive and it was critical to maintain, it should be nationalised e.g. like we have with ASC Pty Ltd or AusPost (required to keep rural service provision viable). This is actually a case for nationalising the banking sector in the extreme (although there are some alternative models/proposals), but that’s a discussion for another day.

The reason NFPs are potentially incorporable in the JG design is many of these organisations are performing services which are public goods/services, but have been outsourced by the government to perform these tasks in lieu of them doing it directly e.g. food insecurity (Hotham mission), or other organisations like St Vinnies and the Salvos, other environmental groups etc. As such turning these volunteer based service providers into paid public service providers/employers is less problematic given the nature of the work they do. That said even this is not without issue, and needs to be carefully considered in the policy design as to what NFP qualifies for incorporation into a JG scheme. Otherwise anyone can set up a NFP organisation and obtain free labour, including political advocacy groups (which in the extreme includes fascists and neo-nazis). On that basis there would need to be some sort of charter, evaluation and assessment framework to determine whether a NFP is providing a community/public good/service. Something which could be potentially done by e.g. a local citizen’s jury.
Presumably something like “charity status” would also be sufficient.

(Jesse Hermans) #67

Bill’s blog post today provides more insight into horrendous Work for Dole system put in place since the scraping of the de facto job guarantee program (CDEP) which was originally in place. As well as the absurdity of wage subsidies:

Previously, residents in these areas depended on so-called Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP), which was a Federal job creation program that provided necessary work and income where private labour markets were scant.

In effect, the CDEP provided an employment guarantee for indigenous Australians in remote areas.

The first Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1960, H.C. Coombs, who had previously been a major player in the creation of the White Paper on Full Employment in Australia, was also a major proponent of the CDEP.

On the scrapping of the old CDEP and replacement with the abhorrent CDP and work for the dole - abuse of wage subsidies:

But then we learn more.

In fact, this scheme which pays what I would consider to be illegal wage rates, is now being used to subsidise profit-seeking operations.

Sally McManus said that:

People are working, some of them in jobs they were once paid award wages for and often for for-profit companies. The employers are getting CDP workers for free.

An example she provided concerns “a for-profit fencing company working in remote areas”.

McManus added:

That work clearly needs to be done but they’ve got workers on CDP to do it. If it wasn’t for CDP they’d have to pay people proper wages for it. It’s not like these are made up jobs. They’re jobs that have to be done.

The reality is that there are thousands of such activities being performed right across remote Australia that generate profits for the ‘providers’ and replace what would otherwise be paid employment in private sector with cheap, forced CDP labour.

Local councils are offenders in this regard as well. They use CDP labour to perform civic functions (including bus drivers, parks and gardens staffing, etc) which would otherwise be done by workers (skilled and unskilled) who would be paid the legal wage relevant to their category of employment.

In those situations, crying poor – ‘there is no money’ – is just a lie. The Federal government could hire all these workers at the correct legal wage and extend their working week to improve the incomes received by the families and then, through spending, the wider community.

The federal government should not be subsidising private profit-seeking companies by providing them with free labour (under the CDP scheme the ‘providers’ do not pay the benefit payment) paid by the government at below, legal minimum wages.

This is just a neo-liberal obscenity. Australia, further, loses any claim to decency as a result of this sort of program.

A key player in the sector (from Jobs Australia) was quoted in the ABC report (October 3, 2016) – Remote work for the dole scheme ‘causing more harm than good’ – as saying:

Wherever possible, Indigenous and other Australians should be helped into work, and for Indigenous people who suffer higher rates of unemployment, absolutely … But the reality of the labour markets in remote communities is there are not enough jobs to go around.

Even if every job being performed in those communities was being performed by an Indigenous person, there would still not be enough jobs to go around.

The arrangements for CDP need to take account of that, rather than pretending that by requiring people to turn up for five hours a day for five days a week, it’ll get them ready for work that actually doesn’t exist.

Pretty sound logic.

The solution is obvious.

Instead of a racist CDP and the other ‘work-for-the-dole’ program, the Federal government should announce the introduction of a Job Guarantee, where any worker, no matter where they live or the colour of their skin etc could access a minimum wage public sector job if they were unable to find work elsewhere.

None of these jobs would serve to provide ‘free’ labour to private, for-profit firms.

(Emphasis added)


Not in response to anything specific but I think relevant to this thread and how we need to reinvent our relationship with “work” :slight_smile: been following Yonatan Zunger for years and he regularly makes quite insightful commentary.

“On work” @yonatanzunger https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/on-work-bdf4ff422006

(Jesse Hermans) #69

Former RBA staffer setting the record straight on how policy makers deliberately shifted the economy from “high full employment” to “low full employment”. Humorous albeit long read, with a hilarious ending to reward:

(Edwin Waters) #70

@Jesse_Hermans I was thinking that a Job Guarantee could be delivered similar to sites like airtasker, fiverr and gofundme. Jobs that the local community needs to be done are posted on a JG website with details of what the job is and how long workers are needed for that job.

(Jesse Hermans) #71

Yeah a direct local voice to suggest work and services would be the aim, although how that is implemented is where the devil is in the details. Obviously you’d need proposals to be reviewed by some sort of committee, which could probably be made up of a citizen’s jury.

(Jesse Hermans) #72

For all those in Sydney who are interested, the Right2Work Coalition and Australian Unemployed Workers Union will be hosting an event which will have Prof Bill Mitchell and Eva Cox discuss Job Guarantees, UBI etc.
Admission is free
Time 2-5pm Thursday 24/08/17
Location : lvl 3, 4 - 10 Goulburn Street Sydney, Australia 2000

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #73

Im new here. Looking for a Georgist inclined party. Pirates seem to be the only ones for UBI which was traditionally Georgist policy so it makes sense that Georgism is popular here. So, does LVT come into Pirate Party policy?

(Alex Jago) #74

Welcome to the discussion!

Yep, we certainly want to do more with LVT - at a minimum, it can replace stamp duty, and it also does Good Things in terms of value capture for transport improvements (not a panacea, but it at least means the incentives are positive).

(Andrew Downing) #75

Hi Julias.

I think this is what you are looking for: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform#State_reforms:_housing_affordability_and_the_land_value_tax

(Jesse Hermans) #76

Hi Julius,

I’m the policy development officer for the PPAU this year. I am also a Georgist and as of last week now an employee of Prosper Australia.
This year we are looking at expanding our policy platform to include a broader range of rent collection policies, as well policy material from Dr Cameron Murray’s recent book “Game of Mates”. If you would like to get involved in this process, you can check out the PDC Working Groups page.
General PDC Meetings happen on the second Tuesday of every month, 8:30pm AEDT. Meetings for the Rent Collection Working Group haven’t been scheduled yet but probably will be in the future. At the moment crunch time is approaching with uni exams for me, so there will probably be a lot more work happening on it in November rather than October.
The Job Guarantee policy discussed in this forum is near completion, so once it is out of the way I’ll also have more time and resources to throw at Rent Collection and other policies.

(UBI + LVT = 42 🔰‏) #77

only requires login over the ssl (secure socket layer). remove the s in the http(s) and you can access it.

(Edwin Waters) #78

I would be interested in having a list of what jobs are suitable and what jobs are not suitable for inclusion in a job guarantee policy.

(Jesse Hermans) #79

If you want specific examples, there will be citations of the papers which already provide examples. The general policy document doesn’t need to get that specific. Others have already done the foot work (e.g. Bill Mitchell, Pavlina Tcherneva etc.) and so their work shall be referenced accordingly.
In the policy text I referred to the types of jobs by the technical term which is “provision of public goods/services”. Beyond this, I will also likely reference other JG type (direct job creation) programs that have and do work, some of which are still in operation.

(Edwin Waters) #80

I found this on page 258 or 264 depending on your pdf viewer: https://i.imgur.com/wCl2t9L.gif

Here is the link for the pdf of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity’s Jobs Australia paper for anyone who may not be aware of it: http://e1.newcastle.edu.au/coffee/pubs/reports/2008/CofFEE_JA/CofFEE_JA_final_report_November_2008.pdf

For the purposes of this discussion, I thought that it would save time to have a direct link to the list of jobs for people to read. But was wondering if YouTube content creator is suitable to be added to the list?