Guaranteed Jobs

I have written a lot about economic injustice in our society. At this point we basically have virtual economic concentration camps, where many who would like to work cannot find jobs. Many of the jobs that are available pay poverty level wages, and are very unfulfilling.

Our economic system worked pretty well at times of nearly full employment and good wages. But jobs have long been disappearing to either automation or using cheap labor from other countries.

I’ve written to my congressional representatives, suggesting the creation of a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the highly successful public work program of the 1930’s.  “Enrollees of the CCC planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America; constructed trails, lodges, and related facilities in more than 800 parks nationwide; and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.” http://www.ccclegacy.org/

“Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has a big idea: give 15 local areas federal money so they can guarantee all their residents a job.

The Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, announced by Booker on Friday, would establish a three-year pilot program in which the Department of Labor would select up to 15 local areas (defined in the bill as any political subdivision of a state, like a city or a county, or a group of cities and counties) and offer that area funding so that every adult living there is guaranteed a job paying at least $15 an hour (or the prevailing wage for the job in question, whichever’s higher) and offering paid family/sick leave and health benefits.” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/20/17260578/cory-booker-job-guarantee-bill-full-employment-darity-hamilton

The proposal is basically a pilot project for a “National Investment Employment Corps (NIEC)”  written by Mark Paul, William Darity, Jr., and Darrick Hamilton.

“The NIEC would be administered by the Department of Labor and overseen by the Secretary of Labor.[33] The Secretary would administer employment grants to eligible entities, including state, county, and local governments, as well as Indian Nations, to engage in direct employment projects. These projects should be designed to address community needs and provide socially beneficial goods and services to communities and society at large.

In addition, the Secretary shall work with federal agencies to identify areas of needed investment in the U.S. economy, including goods (examples: infrastructure, energy efficiency retrofitting) and services (examples: elder care, child care, job training, education, and health services). If projects at the local, county, or state level are inadequate to maintain full employment in the region, the Secretary shall intervene in the locality to provide adequate employment opportunities. Projects will be designed to assure full employment in all localities.

The NIEC can be deployed to cover a wide scope of activities including, but not limited to, the repair, maintenance, and expansion of the nation’s infrastructure, housing stock, and public buildings; energy efficiency upgrades to public and private buildings; assistance with ecological restoration and services to reduce the country’s carbon footprint; engagement in community development projects; provision of high-quality preschool and afterschool services; provision of teachers’ aids; provision of high-quality elder care and companionship; rejuvenation of the nation’s defunded postal service; support for the arts; and other activities that shall support the public good.”

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