Skip to comments.Democrats’ Jobs Guarantee: Bernie Sanders Is Mainstream Now
Posted on 04/27/2018 9:00:41 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Progressive senators are rushing to align themselves with an idea everyone knows is bad policy.
Within the last month, three Democratic senators have announced their support for a federal jobs guarantee program. In reverse chronological order, they were Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand. One by one, the rising stars of the Democratic party are all trying to position themselves as Bernie-adjacent: first, single-payer; then, free college; now, the jobs guarantee. Such policies were once considered too radical for anyone other than independent Vermont socialists, but ambitious Democrats sense a trend and are racing to get ahead of it.
Sanders, Booker, and Gillibrand say they want to guarantee every American a job that pays $15 an hour and confers health benefits. Drawing on an existing jobs-guarantee literature, the senators propose to guarantee jobs mostly in the health-care, child-care, infrastructure, and environmental sectors. From a conservative perspective, these proposals are ludicrous: They would risk runaway inflation, be colossally costly, involve a massive amount of inefficient central planning, cannibalize the free market, and nationalize a huge chunk of the economy.
But its not just conservatives who have pointed out that these proposals are deeply unworkable. Jobs-guarantee advocates say the jobs will 1) be socially beneficial, so taxpayers arent funding ditch-digging projects; 2) not require much in the way of skills, so anyone could indeed take one; 3) be distinct from existing public-sector jobs, so as not to undercut unionized public servants who make more than $15; and 4) be inessential enough that the program can grow and shrink as needed to provide a buffer for bad economic times. But as economist Hugh Sturgess points out, this is an impossible quadrilateral: There are ineluctable tradeoffs between any two of these criteria.
Most jobs that are socially beneficial, for instance, also require a moderate level of skills — and by definition, there will be some negative social consequences if such jobs go unfilled. Of course workers will leave their $15-an-hour child-care jobs for the private sector when the economy is roaring. Of course it will be impossible to teach millions of newly unemployed people the basics of civil engineering when the economy turns down. Existing jobs-guarantee programs have left policy writers even from left-wing think tanks such as the Economic Policy Institute and the Peoples Policy Project cold. This is bad policy, and everyone knows it.
So the idea has to be gaining purchase among prominent Democrats for political reasons. These days, no Democrat wants to risk being outflanked from his left, especially if he has designs on running for president in 2020. The unofficial primary for the partys nomination has already begun, and left-wing critics of moderate Democrats, like right-wing critics of moderate Republicans, tend to be especially influential in the primaries. Its a race to the left: As Jeff Spross points out in The Week, Democrats are taking the basic building blocks of Sanderss political philosophy and running with them. There was talk that Trumps rise heralded a rightward shift in the Overton Window, but Democrats unencumbered by the possibility that their policies will become law are widening it on the other side as well.
Ambitious Democrats are terrified of being called Progressives in Name Only.
Enough Democrats apparently decided that their problem in 2016 wasnt that Trump voters were sick of being berated by their cultural betters, but rather that they werent offered a genuinely progressive program. Whether this is a sound political strategy remains to be seen: Sanderss popularity was no fluke, but there are limits to how far free-bread salesmen can go. (The popularity of single-payer health care, for instance, tends to decline as its consequences become clear.) But the rhetoric of contemporary progressivism, steeped as it is in the language of justice, makes resisting the tide a risky proposition. When the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that has historically been aligned with the Clinton family, came out with its own proposal for an attenuated jobs-guarantee program, economist Sandy Darity criticized the policy on the grounds that it really repressed racial issues. When liberal writers Kevin Drum and Jonathan Chait said the jobs guarantee was a bad idea, they were vilified on social media for being old white men.
Had Booker not signed on to Medicare for All, progressives aware of his past support for charter schools might have declared him a traitor. Had Gillibrand not supported the jobs guarantee, progressives reminded of her former support for William Jefferson Clinton might have deemed her insufficiently righteous. If theres one thing we can learn from the rush to embrace bad left-wing policies, its that ambitious Democrats are terrified of being called Progressives in Name Only.
old soviet proverb
We pretend to work, they pretend to pay us....
Actually it is the last gasp of the dying 1960s Leftist who feverishly worshiped the Soviet Union. This isn’t a “new” idea it is the re-hashing of a very old failed idea.
This is terrifying to me. The leftist control of the education system over the last 60 years is starting to bear fruit in the form of mindless 18 - 25 year old voters.
I’m telling you, I believe jobs are the reason Trump won.
This is a very important issue to Americans.
We as a country have watched as company after company, after company, after company, after company after company ... have closed operations in America, and moved to China.
This is a very important issue to a lot of Americans.
Trump is right. But the rest of the GOP seems like they are mostly of the opinion that exporting jobs is aok.
It is not aok. America needs to be for America once again.
Trump is. If the democrats unite in this (which they seem to be doing) this will be a very powerful message for them to run on, if the GOP doesn’t unite behind Trump.
“jobs guarantee program.”
Talk about dusting off the old Dem playbook.
Democrat party bankrupt. “Jobs for all” narrative is a cost free strategy guaranteed to attract attention
IOW, the Dems endorse submission to The Bell Curve: most of their aggrieved groups are too stupid to compete in the real world.
Does this mean we can all quit our jobs and work for the government? Bernie, what a great idea. We can all push paper from one desk to another all day and accomplish nothing that we can sell to anyone else.
Quite true !
Any wonder why Ayers, the former "Underground Terrorist" got into the education industry,
and the organization of his labor are showing in the NEA,
and evident in the recent graduating classes of 'snowflakes'.
Conservatives should go along with this and tell people that they too could live like the inner city folk.
[the senators propose to guarantee jobs mostly in the health-care, child-care, infrastructure, and environmental sectors.]
Like we need entitled morons in these sectors.
Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941)
We’ll all work part-time selling pizza to each other. Life will be grand!
Bernie’s a socialist... or as the folks in Chicago call them - a communist.
Democrats Jobs Guarantee: Bernie Sanders Is Mainstream Now
Old Bernie has been a main stream communist for years. Never had a real paying job in his life.
Will any republican candidate have the essential stones to bring up the denocrat’s last guaranteed jobs program?
I seriously doubt it.
its a shame that after NY and CA’ young adults get done with their *free* college no one will hire them.
Cradle to Grave government dependence.
So, their sales Schtick is a guaranteed income or job but, NOT, Opportunity?
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