Carlitos -- We are having this discussion of Basic Income versus Job Guarantee somewhat idealistically as we know both are non-starters in this political and divisive America where ignorance and misinformation rules. Nevertheless, I still see positives and negatives in both, but probably as you noted, the much higher cost of the Basic Income program is something that cannot be ignored. The costs go way beyond what even Bernie Sanders was proposing with free higher education for all.
Way, way beyond that. Like the costs of WW3.
Our American psyche is such that we have a hard time giving anything "free" to anyone. It has to be earned. It doesn't matter about all the positives on society, Republican hardliners will dig out the few gold diggers and put them on the front page of the media. Look how successful Ronald Reagan's fictitious "welfare queen" was to his candidacy. Look at how people struggling on food stamps are derided by Republicans.
The largest welfare queens on the face of the Earth and in all of human history are rich people in America.
From interest payments on government bonds, government support of the financial system, and the two-tiered system of justice, government support for rich people goes beyond anything that has ever been done for the working class.
We just have to talk about it. And fight for a government limited to serving public purpose and nothing else.
On that basis alone, and there are other reasons, I am of the view that a Job Guarantee is more sellable to the public as a whole, but even a JG will be a hard sell for those who want to shrink the size of government. Republicans seem to be able to twist the messaging on any issue, making mountains out of molehills and turning out fake news and conspiracy theories. Also, I also struggle with what might be the unintended consequences of a Job Guarantee when we seem to be driven more by emotions rather than critical thinking in putting together (i.e. compromising) a program acceptable to Congress, the President and the populace. Populism is a hard obstacle to overcome.
The quickest way to do a JG is just to let the existing federal agencies hire all those who want to work at the new minimum wage in the economy. Simplest way to implement, but wouldn't necessarily go all the way towards a job for everyone who wants to work, but it would be a damn good start without all of the difficult questions involved.
A job guarantee would reduce unemployment caused by government in the first place. The unemployed are in the public sector. Their wasted labor is lost output. That lost output is part of the government. A job guarantee can only make the government smaller, and the labor force available for the private sector more robust and ready to work. A bigger economy and a smaller government is what a job guarantee supports. It's a limited government solution that supports a progressive outcome.
The election of Donald Trump is the prime example of how at least half of the population can be so easily swayed (exploited) by those putting out populist fake news and other bullshit. Just look at how many people still believe that President Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya. Changing those brains and many like them might prove to be impossible.
The media turned into Trump TV 24/7 and a lot else went wrong.
The emails, Comey, Stein, Crosscheck, voter caging, and bad campaign strategies.....
All of that contributed to a perfect storm where Hillary could win by 2.8 million votes? and lose the Electoral College.
Trump is history's accident. Still, Democrats had to try to (bleep) this up, this bad.
I guess if you are following this, it sounds like gloom and doom for the future of American workers. Maybe it's far too early to start proposing such a program, but it is never too early to start the task of changing brains...promoting critical thinking. It may be that the best approach is progressive incrementalism rather than a political revolution. But for now with the election of Trump, we need to avoid going backwards rather then forward...holding onto what gains we have made under Obama. That could be very tough.
Democrats should abandon the New Democrats long war on the working class and fight to end decades of austerity policies.
This is good economics and politics. It's harder to win and do otherwise.