Creating full employment is the real Job Guarantee

There was an interesting discussion on Universal Basic Income here form the ‘Basic Income Conversation’ and in particular, of course how it would be paid for.

Actually, I have already discovered that a straightforward basic income is simple to ‘pay for’ when conventionally required.

But this discussion was especially with regard to new monetary thought – particularly Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and Sovereign Money.

We know, I think, quite a lot about MMT on ProgressivePulse, so I shall not go through the arguments with too fine a tooth comb but I do think that one contributor, Frances Coppola, gave too much importance to the Job Guarantee.

As I’ve already suggested there are distinct problems with the Job Guarantee, which is actually logically pretty inconsistent with both MMT philosophy and practicality. MMT says that we are able and should, use all available resources for everyone’s needs. So on that basis policies that employ people as widely as possible for the general, greater good are absolutely essential.

The idea that is promoted by some that we need a store of workers, stymied until private employment conditions become better, sweeping the streets or something similar, is just nuts. MMT I’d suggest, needs to create not a Job Guarantee (which can in any case only, in effect, be a Job Offer) but general and overall full employment. Full stop.

That is a real Job Guarantee.

And initially for just four days a week. We should think of reducing the working week. With the current employment crisis we really do not need to be overworking the majority of the population while the remainder do less than they would wish.

We were always told that weekends were impossible to afford and now allegedly even a shorter working week is impossible.

Neither is true and Basic Income is possible…

More to follow – I’m finding ‘Sovereign Money’ is more radical than MMT – which as we know, is just really how the monetary system currently operates…


  1. Michael G -

    Stephen Hawking
    “If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

    1. Peter May -

      He was spot on there…

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