“…Such nations, however, are so miserably poor that, from mere want, they are frequently reduced, or, at least, think themselves reduced, to the necessity sometimes of directly destroying, and sometimes of abandoning their infants, their old people, and those afflicted with lingering diseases, to perish with hunger, or to be devoured by wild beasts. ” – Adam Smith, ‘Wealth of Nations‘ 1776 (emphasis mine)
I recently asked a fairly right leaning coworker of mine what he thought about the idea of a National Jobs Guarantee in the U.S. I specifically wanted to ask a CONservative their opinion about a jobs guarantee because I believe the idea should be fairly appealing to CONservatives/NeoLiberals and progressives alike. I will post various links to documentation about what a National Jobs Guarantee would look like at the end of this post, but for now, here are the highlights of such a program:
As employer of last resort, the Govt will guarantee a job to everyone who wants to work.
The wage paid by the Govt will set and maintain the minimum living wage in the U.S.
Folks who are able to work and refuse to participate in the Govt jobs program and are not otherwise employed will lose access to various govt assistance until such time as they find employment in the private sector or join the Govt jobs program. [CONservatives should have a raging hard on over this]
And obviously, the creation of millions of jobs. A nationwide childcare program, the training of doctors and nurses to care for our aging population, and training for all types of needed skills could be part of a Natl Jobs Guarantee.
**Control of the program would be divided between local, state and Federal Govt with a basic minimum level of requirements from the Federal Govt and wide flexibility to the states and cities as long as those minimum requirements are met. ** [Also should give CONservatives a warm and fuzzy]
When I described this to my right leaning coworker he did exactly what I expected he would do….he immediately dismissed the idea outright. However, to his credit, once I began to explain in detail and particularly when I highlighted the fact that the Jobs Guarantee would essentially act as the qualifying criteria for access to the Welfare State, he warmed to the proposal considerably. By the time we were done he pretty much agreed that a National Jobs Guarantee was a solid idea and entirely superior to our current state of rampant unemployment and underemployment with what little jobs that are being created having NO semblance of an adequate living wage.
All of this was pretty much what I expected. Because a Jobs Guarantee just plain makes sense. And it is one of those rare bipartisany proposals that would actually work to NOT screw the working class for a change.
Q. So how about a National Jobs Guarantee? And more importantly, why aren’t we hearing ANY such proposal coming from the Dimocrats or the Rethugs?
A. Because Dimocrats and Rethugs are essentially CONservative/NeoLiberal criminals. They have NO intention of ever proposing, much less passing an idea as fair, as workable and as good for the working class as a National Jobs Guarantee would be.
You may wonder why I began this post with a quote from Adam Smith, the so called ’father of modern capitalism’ and Super Hero to many CONservatives and NeoLiberals alike. Well, like so much that makes up the doctrine and rhetoric of CONservative/NeoLiberal ideals; most of what they have to say about Adam Smith and his signature work is complete rubbish. For instance, you will never hear a rightwinger mention; let alone expound upon the above quote from the introduction to Smith’s classic work. To do so would require thought, particularly to the obvious belief by Smith that to abandon the old, the young, and the sick to die of hunger, neglect, and untreated disease was a bad thing, something allowed to happen only in a society of savages.
To reference the quote from Adam Smith…..We are NOT reduced to the kind of low wage, failing economy we currently have. We HAVE THE MEANS to institute a National Jobs Guarantee today, tomorrow, next year, 5o years from now and on and on into infinity.
The Deficit is a NON ISSUE as relates to our ability to provide jobs, health care, and humanitarian living standards to ALL citizens of the U.S.
In closing, CONservatives and NeoLiberals love to talk about and to completely misrepresent Adam Smith’s phrase ‘the invisible hand’. To CONservatives this is the magic fairy that makes it ok for corporations, banks, and any other type of business or industry to operate without any regulation whatsoever. [Note: CONservatives conveniently never mention the several times Smith warns that private enterprise MUST be regulated and kept in check, as the nature of joint stock companies (corporations) are to put profit over ALL else, with no regard to a given society]. I would suggest to the ‘invisible hand’ fairies simply to wait until about 5 to 7 years after
the JOBS Act Free Fire Securities Fraud Act has taken full effect. After the job losses, losses in private retirement accounts and overall contraction of the economy that will surely take place…..no one will have to look very far to find out where the ‘invisible hand’ is.
In reality, CONservatives and NeoLiberals exist to serve and represent the wishes and the will of the wealthy and powerful. Those wishes quite simply are for the rich and powerful to remain rich and powerful, regardless of how much undue hardship and suffering is endured by the poor and working class folks of society.
They don’t give a damn whether you or I have a job or not, let alone a job at a living wage. A very important part of the con game is to keep the working class earning just enough to where we will not take the necessary steps at the voting booths to bring about real and lasting change.
In the meantime, the response of the ruling elite is the familiar “Screw YOU! I got mine!” Out of work? Screw YOU! I got mine! Can’t afford to take your kid to the doctor? Screw YOU! I got mine! Your boss making you work overtime and NOT paying you for it? Screw YOU! I got mine! Work as many hours as the boss will give you and still qualify for food stamps? Guess what? We’re cutting them! ha! Screw YOU! I got mine!
And as I’ve expressed many times before; it is my sincerest belief that if we continue to play in the rigged UniParty system, NOTHING will change. 3rd party progressive now please!
Please Sign the Jobs Guarantee Petition!
* a few articles from FDL and billyblog on a National Jobs Guarantee