D H
Mar 11 · Last update 13 days ago.

Job Guarantees vs UBI. What’s the best way out of COVID?

Much of the world looks set to enter a post-pandemic recession, as unprecedented levels of unemployment and business failures will ravage many of the world’s economies. However most economies are expecting “K” shaped recoveries, whereby societies most affluent are barely affected as the poor face the brunt of economic hardship. Two of the most common solutions to this type of recession are a Universal Basic Income (UBI), where the government guarantees all citizens a basic level of income no matter their circumstances, or a national Job Guarantees, where the government will stimulate employment directly. However there is also a great deal of hesitancy around such policies, due to a reluctance surrounding both Modern Monetary Theory and Keynesian government-led economic controls, the theories that underpin these two concepts. So what really is the best way out of a post-COVID recession? Would UBI or Job Guarantees help save workers and economies? Or would other measures be more effective?
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Precarity and job sharing
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Wage subsidies would work better
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Both
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Neither
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UBI
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Job Guarantee
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Precarity and job sharing

In political theorist Albena Azmanova’s ‘Capitalism on Edge’, she argues that capitalism is not in crisis, but she critiques the levels of precarity in the modern global neoliberal capitalist system and blames it for the decline in the standards of living. Azmanova argues that a multitude of precarious economic norms in income, education, and professional occupations generates rampant insecurities in all modern capitalist states, even amongst most of the rich. But also Asmanova argues that ignoring or addressing inequality, the go to of the right and left respectively, while ignoring the problem of precarity is based on the wrong diagnosis of what is wrong with capitalism, and fighting precarity will much more effectively solve the problems of capitalism. Azmanov recommends both job creation, through job guarantees and fighting poverty through a UBI but points out both will fail to address precarity, for which she suggests job sharing programs and shorter working hours, to recognise leisure time for the priceless asset it is.

cup.columbia.edu/book/capitalism-on-edge/9780231195379 azmanova.com/books/capitalism-on-edge youtube.com/watch?v=Z2CsqAwb5is

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D H
Apr 2
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Wage subsidies would work better

While policies such as UBI and job guarantees are often discussed they are less often used and their efficacy is questionable, however during the pandemic countries all over the world have used wage subsidies to both protect employment and keep the economy going. While unemployment in the United States has been soaring during the pandemic, European countries, most notably Germany, have subsidised workers who work shorter hours and/or balance work with training programs to up-skill or retain employability through period of economic downturns. This has the added effect of keeping money going through the economy as the shock of unemployment is not effecting consumption. Studies have shown that such worker subsidies, even in America, are inexpensive, help to increase employment, and are subsequently most effective at helping low-income families in particular, especially single mothers [1].

salon.com/2019/06/13/the-economics-of-a-job-guarantee-wage-and-employment-effects voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/us-unemployment-soars-wage-subsidies-enable-european-workers-keep-their-jobs [1] frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2012/march/job-creation-policy-great-recession

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D H
Mar 31
Created

Both

Job guarantees and basic income plans are names for various policies that can help reduce unemployment and reduce poverty, so tarring them all with the same brush is disingenuous and ignores the data. These are just policies that serve an economic need and if you look at the needs that they serve and the extreme need to address issues such as pandemic job loss and rampant inequality it seems clear that after the pandemic both a UBI and job guarantees will aid recovery. Both need to be linked with importance on UBI, UBI has been shown in numerous studies (most notably the Roosevelt Institute) to be effective and not lead to the fall in employment or a rise in social problems as critics often claim. But more promisingly when combined with a job guarantee the floor of poverty can be lifted while everyone whose mental health depends on working and contributing to society can, the two policies used in this way can perfectly compliment one another.

greenagenda.org.au/2018/10/prioritise-ubi-over-a-job-guarantee theconversation.com/job-guarantees-basic-income-can-save-us-from-covid-19-depression-133997 inthesetimes.com/features/universal-basic-income-federal-jobs-guarantee-climate-change-inequality.html theweek.com/articles/700117/why-america-needs-both-ubi-job-guarantee rooseveltinstitute.org/publications/macroeconomic-effects-universal-basic-income-ubi

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D H
Mar 31
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Neither

There are inherent problems with both of these policies, one marks a return to the welfare state the other would mark a decline into communism, both would undermine markets and ultimately cause economic stagnation. David Card, an economist at the University of Berkeley, carried out a meta-analysis of over 200 labour market programs and found that programs that involved the direct employment, i.e. job guarantees, performed worst. These schemes are not much more popular in political circles, Germany's Angela Merkel has expressed concerns UBI would lead to a decline in employment, while the UK's Boris Johnson has said a UBI would reduce work incentives and be too expensive. Both are examples of utopianism policy that in reality would destabilise the labour market and could cause a spike in inflation, just worsening post-pandemic recessions.

aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/8/us-congress-set-to-pass-covid-19-relief-package economist.com/united-states/2018/05/10/a-jobs-guarantee-is-a-flawed-idea edition.cnn.com/2020/11/23/economy/universal-basic-income-europe-pandemic/index.html vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/6/16036942/job-guarantee-explained

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D H
Mar 24
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UBI

Jobs will continue to be lost to post-pandemic shifts and further automation, a Universal Basic Income policy would dramatically increase engagement in the economy in a period of acute economic recession. A jobs guarantee cannot answer the mass layoffs and under employment in the same way, economists David Card, Jochen Kluve and Andrea Weber carried out a meta-analysis of over 200 labour market programs and found that public employment programs performed worst. Investors can experience growth whether or not people are working, but industries still depend on consumers to keep businesses going. We need UBI and a modern and fair system of taxation to be able to afford it, too much inequality is bad for the system as a whole, those at the top will also suffer if no one can afford life in post-pandemic economy with shrinking job markets and an increasing cost of living.

vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/6/16036942/job-guarantee-explained weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/why-we-should-all-have-a-basic-income inverse.com/article/55590-universal-basic-income-vs-jobs-guarantee

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D H
Mar 22
Created

Job Guarantee

As the world approaches a near certain catastrophic recession there is a growing appetite for big ideas to address not just the recession but rampant inequalities, and many are looking to the lessons of the past, to the New Deal, and ideas like a national job guarantee and UBI. Policies such as a job guarantee scheme can deal with the problems of unemployment and inflation during a recession by creating full employment and price stability, with the state promising to hire unemployed workers to keep the economy moving. A job guarantee would be preferable to UBI as it would cover the same ground as a UBI but provide work that is vital for most people's mental health and self esteem. Margaret Weir, a professor of Political Science at the Watson Institute of Brown University, has expressed her interest in a universal job guarantee, arguing it would be more viable now as government and non-profits a much more capable now than in the past. Likewise politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Ed Miliband have supported some form of job guarantee programs.

vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/6/16036942/job-guarantee-explained bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26506522 huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/federal-job-guarantee-explained_n_5b363f4ae4b007aa2f7f59fc?ri18n=true

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Mar 11
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