Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Guaranteed income or guaranteed job?

Some economists claim a job guarantee program would better address both inflation and unemployment, writes Claire Connelly at the ABC.

This would make the public sector the employer of last resort to provide jobs for the unemployed population in areas of the economy and community where demands are not being met: aged care, child care, education, retail and small business etc. It would also establish the basic minimum standard for a decent job at decent pay in the public sector.

Connelly quotes Pavlina Tcherneva, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, who says a basic income program operates on the fantasy that somehow the market will provide things the recipient want or need.

A job guarantee program would connect income with things people - and communities - need and allow them to be part of the social contract, to participate in transforming their communities and their livelihood, Tcherneva argues.

"It would establish the basic minimum standard for a decent job at decent pay in the public sector, a standard which the private sector must match (at a minimum) to attract workers," she said.

Going further, Dr Steven Hail, lecturer at the University of Adelaide's School of Economics, argues it would enhance it by creating a pool of workers that private enterprise could hire from at any time to meet production needs.

Meanwhile, retired economist Ellis Winningham told the ABC a jobs guarantee would put a complete end to all involuntary unemployment while also gaining price stability.


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