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Rep. John Conyers proposes a federal Job Guarantee

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    See "How to Guarantee a Job for Every American" by William Darity at PBS (link).

    Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has proposed The Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act.

    This bill would establish a federally funded "National Investment Employment Corps," which would make available a paid job in the public sector and training for anybody able and willing to work over the age of 18.

    Although the article does not explain this, this would create a new minimum wage in the economy, i.e. the wage of the Corps worker. So instead of using the regulatory state to enforce a minimum wage, this would allow market forces to drive the minimum wage policy most of the way. So instead of businessmen being 'compeled' by law to pay a minimum wage, they're forced to by market forces driven by government's ability to set the price at the margin. But in exchange, they would recieve a higher quality entry level workforce to pay the new minimum wage, and there would be a larger pool of better skilled workers available for hire, in general.

    Involuntary unemployment is the evidence that the government deficit is too low.

    In short, involuntary unemployment means that government spending is too low to fund the tax bill and residual attempts at net-saving by the nongovernment. The paradox of thrift is such that in order for any agent to save, another agent has to run a deficit, or there will be that much less spending, and that much less to save as a whole.

    A Job Guarantee would allow market forces (the floating size of the Corps) to determine the appropriate sized government deficit to keep us at full employment.

    Government's fiscal balance is a tool. It's the REAL CONDITIONS that matter. As George W. Bush said: "I don't worry about numbers on pieces of paper. I worry about JOBS!" (Spring of 2003).