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Even the best of the mainstream economists, people like Dean Baker, when faced with an 8% Demand Deficit, can look around the landscape of an economy consuming 1/4 of the world's oil production while only producing 1/10 of it, with roughly 1/6 of the world's oil production to run our transport system alone ~ and not find anything for the US Government to spend a big chunk of 8% of US GDP on.
So I look around and I see Spain with over 4 million unemployed (an official rate of more than 20%) and for the life of me I cannot imagine what I would employ 4 million people to do "if I were King"...
Not that I'm the brightest of mainstream economists, but I wouldn't even know where to start in order to manage a "job guarantee" programme on that scale.
So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
In that case I am left wondering why, precisely, you would want to increase employment rather than simply paying people a basic living stipend?
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
as for paying them a basic living stipend, good move.
or put 4 million spaniards on half time, so all can work.
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
Between environmental remediation, sustainable infrastructure provision and direct provision of increased social services, all budgeted on the basis of on-costs after labor cost and so strongly biased to be done in as labor intensive a way as practicable, employing 10% to 15% of the workforce with Job Guarantee jobs is do-able.
Of course, once a substantial fraction of the unemployed are provided with Job Guarantee jobs, there will be an increase in private employment as well, so its not as if the Job Guarantee has to employ the entire 20%.
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
I did my little tongue-in-cheek briefing to pose a dilemma- one I think is common today and growing more and more common. The dilemma of someone who has at least some of the levers to hand, and who gets it, but who is faced with the vast inertia of vested interests, denialists, predators, and a congress populated largely by manipulative, self-congratulatory dickheads, after a half-century of filtering out the last of the true old-style public servants.
Think Russ Feingold.
Don't know who would be comparable in Europe, but I'm sure they're there.
Whether you credit Obama with the wit to see the elephant isn't the point.
That dilemma occurs everywhere, at a time of paradigm shift, unless you see the "other" as just fools.
Who gets it?
How long ago did the light dawn?
What would be (has been) their possible courses of action?
Once the number of players who have made the transition grows beyond some critical mass, what happens? What's the range of likely outcomes?
Some of this is knowable.
My question was embodied in the title.
Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
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