Everyone who wants a job, gets a job

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

Consider these two economies:

Our current economy with >5% unemployment, and many employed but working far fewer hours than they want to

Our current economy, but the government offers a minimum wage job to anyone willing

For the sake of argument, suppose there is always work to be done that is useful but unprofitable (will not compete with the private sector). Think public works, volunteer jobs, etc.

Which one would have higher real GDP?
Which one would provide more equitable outcomes for the working class?
Which one would provide better outcomes for broader society?
Which approach would better stabilize the business cycle?
Which would you prefer?

All urls found in this thread:
http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/10/spoons-shovels/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seisachtheia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seisachtheia
Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

@Fried_Sushi
http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/10/spoons-shovels/

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@Raving_Cute
Thanks Milton Strawman

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

@Fried_Sushi
Our current economy, but the government offers a minimum wage job to anyone willing

How will the government generate all these jobs?

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@Crazy_Nice
By directly employing anyone that wants a job.

Which part is unclear?

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@Garbage Can Lid
It seems similar to what you're suggesting, simply giving people a task no matter how inane to have lower unemployment figures.

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

@Crazy_Nice

By paying business consultants to set up the business conditions (i.e. a factory that produces widgets which are always in demand - lightbulbs or some shit) whereby all profits are re-invested in the business in order to maximise product quality and the number of full time employed workers.

And you don't even have to go full commie to do it. In fact, it would just create more competition. Government could sell these businesses to private organisations too.

Spamalot
Spamalot

@Lord_Tryzalot
By directly employing anyone that wants a job.
Which part is unclear?

So how will they create jobs?

Will they just make up jobs to "employ" people and pay them taxpayer money? Will taxes need to be raised for this?

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Lord_Tryzalot
By directly employing anyone that wants a job.

Actually... Now that i think about it you might be onto something.

This is fucking genius.

Why isn't every country in the world doing this to eliminate homelessness and unemployment???!!! Man people like you need to be in the UN or something, this is a genius policy that will surely solve the issue of unemployment in the world.

girlDog
girlDog

@Fried_Sushi
Which one would have higher real GDP?
The one where everyone has a job provided by the All-knowing, All-powerful Great Government.
Which one would provide more equitable outcomes for the working class?
The one where the Government has complete control over the economy and people's lives. The government always knows best and is the most efficient!
Which one would provide better outcomes for broader society?
Government has best interest in mind for people, I trust them fully
Which approach would better stabilize the business cycle?
Government knows all
Which would you prefer?
I want a utopia where everyone has jobs, no one is sad, everyone has lots of money (MILLIONS!!!) and there is no wealth inequality

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

@Sir_Gallonhead
Nah, that's not the goal. The goal is to ensure all labor available but not employed in the private sector can be put to some use.

You might scoff, but the current system (welfare) pays people a meagre amount to do absolutely nothing which is good for neither the individual nor society.

@Boy_vs_Girl
That's not the idea here. A job guarantee is supposed to contract and expand to accommodate the layoffs/hiring of the private sector over the business cycle.

@Spamalot
Do you consider any government job to be illegitimate by default? If so then I think your ideological biases are pretty clear.

@Soft_member
@girlDog
If you think the idea is stupid then you need only say it once.

askme
askme

@SomethingNew
Do you consider any government job to be illegitimate by default?

Not necessarily but what you're suggesting is creating artificial jobs even if no market or societal demand for them exists.

What you're saying is basically, "It doesn't matter if there isn't enough jobs for everyone, let's just make up fake job titles and give people fake jobs and pay them with money we take from people in taxes".

What field would these people employed in even? Would they be office workers just printing out papers with randomly generated words on them, shuffling them around for 8 hours a day of minimum wage?

This really sounds like a good idea man. You know what'd be better? The government could stop being such GREEDY GREEDY HOGS and just start printing out money by the trillion and giving out millions to people. What's the worst that could happen?

Playboyize
Playboyize

@askme
"It doesn't matter if there isn't enough jobs for everyone, let's just make up fake job titles and give people fake jobs and pay them with money we take from people in taxes".
Not one single part of that is what I'm advocating.

When someone is paid to do some work, that's a job. It's not "fake" just because you have low regard for public sector jobs.

As far as the federal government is concerned, money taxed away is not spent on anything. It's just a misconception you and most people hold about how the monetary system works. Governments spend and tax some back, not the other way around.

Whether you agree with the reality of how the system works or not, the government almost always taxes less than it spends in a given period and this is fine. What matters is that the economy performs as we want it to.

What field would these people employed in even? Would they be office workers just printing out papers with randomly generated words on them, shuffling them around for 8 hours a day of minimum wage?
No, the government would identify areas of need that are not suitable for private sector employment. Much of what is currently done as volunteer work, for example, is understaffed but nonetheless valuable to society.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@Playboyize
When someone is paid to do some work, that's a job

Yes, when there's market demand for it.

If the government just builds an office, puts 200 people in it and gives them something to do that accomplishes absolutely nothing of value and pays them money to do it, that doesn't make it a real "job".

Whatever your idea is retarded anyway and there's a reason no one does it. Pretty sure the Soviet Union tried to do this and it didn't pan out how you imagined it to

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

If people aren't employed in the first place, then isn't their market value already less than minimum wage? If the government employed them for the sake of reducing unemployment, wouldn't that still be a waste of money, even if they produced stuff? This feels like a broken window to me.

Nojokur
Nojokur

@Deadlyinx
It's just strawman after strawman with you, isn't it?

@PackManBrainlure
No, because the government can set the price floor on unemployed labor using this program (does it better than the minimum wage we have now btw) and doesn't care about profiting or whatever. It's not a business/household.

Broken window is yet another pathetic strawman constantly brought up by people willing to defend our policy of tolerating mass unemployment. It's not a question of breaking windows. It's about making use of what we have: idle labor.

w8t4u
w8t4u

@Nojokur
How is broken window a straw man? I was just mentioning an analogy.

We have some idle labor, I agree with that. So let's say we hire a thousand people for some project that takes 5 years to complete. If we pay them $30k/yr each, that's $30m/yr, or $150m total. If the project doesn't add $150m of value, then it was a waste of money that hurt the economy more than it helped. Why? Because that $150m to pay for it came from taxes, which at some level came from profitable businesses.

Methshot
Methshot

@w8t4u
If the project doesn't add $150m of value, then it was a waste of money that hurt the economy more than it helped. Why? Because that $150m to pay for it came from taxes,
You're looking at this completely the wrong way.

First of all, governments don't tax money and then spend it. It's the other way around and governments tax for reasons other than to raise revenue. So it's not spending some money that was taxed in the past.

Secondly, the $150m is spent on a useful project that otherwise wouldn't be built, it provides an income and stability to the employees, and it also has a fiscal multiplier as that $150m is spent by the employees in the economy.

Now if you think the private sector spends money more wisely than the government you're not alone. It's a perfectly reasonable view and I'm inclined to agree with you. Tax the private sector less and they can spend the money instead - hiring a whole lot of people and reducing the pool of people employed in the job guarantee.

Whether you want smart policy that would lead to non-government job growth (fiscal expansion), or stupid policy that would cause unemployment and deflation (austerity), a job guarantee is still better than the alternative. See the picture in the OP. The best outcome is the one on the right, but even the middle is far better than the left.

Snarelure
Snarelure

@Methshot
the private sector spends money stupidly: jacking up short term profits to the detriment of long term growth, or the health of the company in general.

privitize the profits, socialize the losses as chomsky likes to say.

SniperGod
SniperGod

looking for wageslave position
apply for several
no response back
remain unemployed even if I want to work
And this is the story how my life got flipped turned upside down

eGremlin
eGremlin

@Boy_vs_Girl

State owned enterprises are not competitive and usually failures.
The professionals required to make them profitable are in the private sector, making money.

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@Methshot
$150m might be too small to notice, but think of the cost of a nation-wide jobs program. If unemployment is 5-10%, that's 15-30m people. Using the 30k/yr figure from earlier, that's 450-900bn/yr. Spending for 2016 is 4tn, so that's a pretty hefty price tag.

Even if it "doesn't come from taxes", it still has to come from somewhere. When more money is loaned from the federal reserve, that could lead to an increase in interest rates or inflation.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, only that it's probably not "good" for the economy. It would be a social program, and should be labelled as such.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

@eGremlin
the professionals making a profit off of stateowned enterprises are in the private sector; eg military contractors.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@Fried_Sushi
was bailing out wall street "good for the economy".
i'm curious where you draw the line on who deserves to be helped.

happy_sad
happy_sad

@Fried_Sushi
cost
So? The economy needs the spending. When the economy doesn't need it, the JG automatically pulls back (because the private sector takes the workers back).

When more money is loaned from the federal reserve, that could lead to an increase in interest rates
Not sure how you think the government spending more would RAISE interest rates. I think you mean a decrease?
or inflation.
Demand-pull inflation would only happen if aggregate demand (spending) is too high. Mass unemployment is evidence that the entire economy is spending too little, and the slack should be picked up by government if nobody else is willing to spend at the moment.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, only that it's probably not "good" for the economy. It would be a social program, and should be labelled as such.
Who ever said social programs are not good for the economy? Welfare automatically kicks in when the economy is doing poorly and it helps the recovery, even without the actions of a dumbass president or congress.

Bidwell
Bidwell

@Fried_Sushi
Hitler's Germany didn't last very long.

Playboyize
Playboyize

@Crazy_Nice
Chain gangs

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@Fried_Sushi
jobs shouldnt be the endgoal.

Methnerd
Methnerd

@Playboyize
ok i like this answer

Skullbone
Skullbone

the problem is soon these people doing these made up jobs will want 75k a year plus nice benefits and will be in a union. then the state will say OK with no way to pay for it and then boom you get things like the chicago teachers' union

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

@Deadlyinx
We can have a more prosperous society if we use the labor that is currently going to waste. Of course jobs for their own sake aren't the end goal. Prosperity (or equity, or stability, etc.) is the end goal. Jobs are an essential means to that end.

whereismyname
whereismyname

@Garbage Can Lid
Was bailing out Wallstreet good for the economy
Yes because many companies would've defaulted, causing even more problems. Nearly ever company has payed back the loan plus interest.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@LuckyDusty
We could be more prosperous if labor doesn't go to waste

Your whole thread is premised around the erroneous assumption that we can lower unemployment to nearly 0%. There are people who are unemployed are receiving government aid through programs like disability, and would prefer to not work. The reason why is that working for these underpaid programs isn't a good tradeoff. Why would they work when they could be unemployed and receive more or just slightly less money (you never outlined cost).

On the topic of cost, it is the main reason why this is a bad idea. This program would lead to more people at reduced wages and would be detrimental to society. These programs wouldn't offer any opportunity for advancement (from what I've read so far), and would lead to a lower class practically forced into a perputual cycle working for lower wages. An increased GDP is the only benefit that I can see.

Emberburn
Emberburn

@Garbage Can Lid
disabled people are not considered part of the labor force idiot.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

Featherbedding is is already rampant, and you want to expand the waste? And don't think I don't know you're the same neet whos been making minimum wage threads every 6 hours.

Spamalot
Spamalot

@Stark_Naked
How is that an amazing observation if he wants to draw as much attention and as possible to the topic? And how that makes him a neet?

Skullbone
Skullbone

@Garbage Can Lid
Your whole thread is premised around the erroneous assumption that we can lower unemployment to nearly 0%
The user who wrote this didn't explain it correctly, but his point is valid. At approximately 4.9% unemployment in the U.S. currently, most economists believe we're within a few tenths of a percent from "full employment" in America: the point where every able-bodied person who wants a job has a job. It's somewhere between 4.4-4.8% according to most experts.

There always going to be some unemployment, as people change jobs, transition jobs, upgrade (or sometimes, downgrade) jobs to meet their circumstances. The labor market is mostly, but not entirely, efficient. Even in perfect condition, a small percentage of people are going to be between jobs at any given moment.

OP's plan is indeed premised on the fallacy that 0% is possible or even desirable. The reality is that like inflation, the best level is a small, slow positive percentage.

It's sad that people like OP are proposing ideas like this now. We're literally on the cusp of full employment in the U.S., and morons think there's a problem.

Flameblow
Flameblow

@Skullbone
This guys gets it.
The US is essentially fully employed. The problem in this country isn't unemployment so much as underemployment.

RumChicken
RumChicken

@Emberburn
Disabled people aren't part of the labor force
My post was addressed to peoplethat were capable of working, but instead would rather try and get disability benefits. While they may not be counted apart of the labor force (like the terminally unemployed), there are still many that are fully capable of working, and instead go on disability. They were likely counted apart of the labor force, and many apart of the 5% unemployment statistic before they wound up saying that they were "disabled"

TechHater
TechHater

@LuckyDusty
We can have a more prosperous society if we use the labor that is currently going to waste.
Prosperity (or equity, or stability, etc.) is the end goal.
you've lost me.... at what point in history can you give me as an example where more people in the labor force led to a more prosperous society?

all of our greatest scientific advancements have either been made by individuals from rich families who didn't have jobs or from researchers working for rich governments that gave copious amounts of money with broad goals and minimal oversight (war funding) that essentially amounts to giving those people the same levels of freedom as those rich neets to pursue their interests.

i can not think of a time where slaves advanced prosperity, merely maintained it... and not equitably.

5mileys
5mileys

@Flameblow
The problem in this country isn't unemployment so much as underemployment.
I don't believe there's an underemployment problem either.

Usually when people talk about underemplyment, they're talking about two things: (1) the decline in industrial manufacturing, and (2) the quality of starting positions for college grads.

As to the former, the country has simply matured. The days are over when millions of high-paying union jobs allowed workers with no more than a high-school education to purchase homes and save for a comfortable retirement. It's been proven untenable in industry after industry (steel, auto, airlines, coal). No one, not even the government, can hold back the flow of time.

As to the the latter, the problem isn't the jobs, its the job seekers. Millennials are largely a spoiled, entitled group. They're not good workers, they're not committed employees, and they're delusional about economic realities. They want the lifestyle of their parents without doing the work that their parents did to get it.

And as to the "good" Millennials, their problem is their student debt. The jobs are there and they pay exactly what a college grad deserves to get. But when you factor in the blooming student debt levels, real wages and standards of living are falling for recent college grads.

But how do we fix that? Raise wages? Why? Today's college grad is no more valuable in the labor market than the last generation's college grad (arguably less so, considering the decline in the quality of college education). If Millennial workers aren't worth more, why would we pay them more? Again, the problem isn't the jobs -- it's the job seekers.

The solution, if any, needs to come on the student debt side. I won't pretend to have the answers for this situation, but I do know its not a problem that can or should be "fixed" by businesses.

WebTool
WebTool

@Fried_Sushi
Bad idea. Guy A gets a shitty job that's not producing value. Instead of being able to/attempting to find new, productive work he's content working that bullshit job. = Loss in productivity either directly or over the long-run.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@5mileys
I won't pretend to have the answers for this situation
student debt problem isnt even hard.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seisachtheia
the government is the one who decided students would have near-predatory interest rates and most critically, not be able to default... which is a power only the government has and for some reason it chooses to only exercise it on the vulnerable.

girlDog
girlDog

@TurtleCat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seisachtheia
Typical Millennial. No, debt cancellation is not the solution. Also, stop placing all blame on the government for a loan that you, in a free market, decided to take. Your inability to take any level of responsibility for your decisions is part of the reason why there's little popular or political sympathy for your plight.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@Garbage Can Lid
@Skullbone
Sorry but you're delusional. The NAIRU can't be observed or calculated accurately and anyone who tells you otherwise is just a groupthinker economist.

The full employment situation, where everyone who wants a job has one, is not at x% unemployment. It's simply what it sounds like. No person wanting a job is unemployed.

Why should we tolerate 5% unemployment (and, presumably, ignore underemployment) just because we think the NAIRU is thereabouts? That's just intellectual laziness. We can do better by replacing that unemployed buffer with an employed buffer in the form of a job guarantee, and still pursue whatever "unemployment target" you think is appropriate, be it 5% or 2% or 10%.

It's better to let 15% of labor force sit idle than to give them basic transition jobs
If you disagree, you're a moron
ok buddy

w8t4u
w8t4u

@Lord_Tryzalot
Why should we tolerate 5% unemployment
Close the book and open your eyes. In the real world, the job market isn't 100% efficient. While you may be able to transition from your old job at McDonald's to your new job at Burger King in a day, the average white-collar job seeker needs time to find the right fit. Indeed, the greater your expected level of compensation, the longer it typically takes to find a new job.

We tolerate 4.8% unemployment because its unrealistic to assume that any government initiative or monetary policy is going to make it lower without more harmful consequences.

employed buffer in the form of a job guarantee
That's the role of unemployment insurance. It provides that buffer, without needing to throw the free market and capitalism out the window and become communists, as you would suggest. Jesus.

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@Stark_Naked
I don't know what guy you're talking about because I don't live on Veeky Forums 24/7. Maybe you should follow your own advice and get into study or a job?

@TechHater
After WW2, governments worked toward ensuring everyone willing to work could have a job. This brought about a golden age.

I'm not talking about forcing people to work. I'm talking about giving people the right to work.

@5mileys
Whatever you say grandpa.

@WebTool
In a JG job he is required to work and gets minimum wage. If a job offer, better than the bare minimum, comes along then he will take it. We already have minimum wage and other laws dictating what employment is acceptable. This policy does the same thing but more effectively.

@w8t4u
You're blinded by ideology. It's just too tiresome and time-consuming to argue. Have fun circlejerking over this stuff with your libertarian friends.

Emberfire
Emberfire

@kizzmybutt
Starts thread
Posts continuously for 24 hours
Encounters someone who can refute his bullshit
Gets #rekt
"Um, guys, I'm too tired to reply."

5mileys
5mileys

@Fried_Sushi
OP's arguments in this thread

The basic problem with your idea is that involves reallocations of scarce resources. By resources I don't mean money, by the underlying resources which money can be used to purchased for a certain price. Economic activity can generally be split into two categories; consumption and investment. Consumption is the consumption of current resources without replacement (for example, today's dinner). Consumption can be immediate (dinner) or drawn-out (your TV which might depreciate over a few years before it breaks). Investments, on the other hand, is the consumption of current resources to produce replacements - consumed resources are used to produce new resources of greater quality and/or quantity (for example, using resources to build a machine for a factory - the machine might last a few years before breaking, but will hopefully manage to yield outputs of resources greater than its resource cost). Like consumption, investment consumption of resources can be immediate (eg. man-hours put in to produce said machine) or drawn-out (the factory machine which lasts a few years).

Now what does this JG programme mean? Basically, it means that the government, by taxation or borrowing (it doesn't really matter to underlying current resources if they're bought with taxes or borrowed money), forces itself into the economic system and crowds out resources which could have been used differently. You might argue that the underutilized unemployed workers are an idle resource - and you would be correct. However, in a modern economy a worker is certainly not utilised in isolation - he needs to be furnished with equipment, factories, etc etc - essentially different kinds of capital assets - in order to be even remotely efficient. That in itself is a drain on otherwise employed capital resources. In addition, once the government uses its (taxed or borrowed) funds to pay the workers, these workers go into the rest of the economy and (cont)

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

@5mileys
(cont)
start making their own claims on scarce resources using their newly acquired means of payment. Productive workers in the private sector, who are paid in the same means of payment, thus start being crowded out at the marketplace (imagine that high demand for a certain product might increase its price), which in effect means that they are hit with real wage decreases (stemming from price-inflation).

So, to sum up:
A) The private sector gets crowded out of capital assets on the production-end through capital price inflation
B) Private workers gets crowded out on the market-place end through consumer goods price inflation

It leads, in the end, to a less productive economy as a whole, with inbuilt reallocations of income from productive agents (those in the private sector) towards unproductive agents (those in the JG programme).

girlDog
girlDog

@Fried_Sushi
Our current economy, but the government offers a minimum wage job to anyone willing
Only possible in countries which still have central banks backing their currency.

Not possible in Eurozone countries.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@eGremlin
State owned enterprises are not competitive and usually failures.
I live in chile. we have lots of experience with this meme. the truth is, private companies are usually not really better, and the real problem with govt is corruption, not efficiency.
ironically, the most corrupt fuckers are the ones spreading this bullshit, neoliberal economists.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

how hard is it for a 22 neet to get a part time job? i have no experience at all. i just think why would anyone hire me

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@Fried_Sushi
government
Here is where you are stealing from the people, communist

iluvmen
iluvmen

@Fried_Sushi
government offers a minimum wage job to anyone willing

With what money?

Disable AdBlock to view this page

Disable AdBlock to view this page