20 Jan 2017

"We don't allow the price of corn to drop to zero, or coffee, yet we allow the price of wages and labour to drop to zero."

Image result for Corn commits suicide cartoon 
Corn doesn't commit suicide when it's unemployed!
Based on an article by Claire Connelly
 What is a job Garantee Program, could it really work?

A job guarantee program would act as a "Buffer Stock Mechanism" - a term coined by Australian economist Bill Mitchell, Professor of Economics at the University of Newcastle - to describe stabilising the cost of labour.
"To paraphrase Bill Mitchell, corn doesn't commit suicide when it's unemployed," said Professor Kaboub.
"Corn doesn't increase the divorce rate. But there are serious negative economic, social consequences and costs associated with unemployment. Yet we have a buffer stock to keep these commodities fully employed regardless of conditions."
Basically, corn gets more market protection than you do.
Pavlina Tcherneva, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, says a basic income program operates on the fantasy that somehow the market will provide things the recipient want or need.
"The market already doesn't provide the things that well-paying customers want: People with incomes and want affordable childcare, for example, and it's not there," Professor Tcherneva said.
Affordable health insurance that doesn't discriminate against pre-existing conditions also comes to mind.

What is a job guarantee program?

A job guarantee program 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.
The program would also 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.
It also has the added benefit of discouraging 7/11-style operations where companies conspire to pay workers below-poverty level wages, (exploitation we are likely to see more of if the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement goes ahead).
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.
"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.
"That would include decent working conditions, a basic retirement income and wage benefits. The job guarantee is an institutional vehicle that guarantees the right to work and provides a floor to income for the economy as a whole."
"It means you're not just a passive consumer getting basic income. It gives you a right to serve - and spend."

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