Guaranteed Jobs: 46% Favor This New Dem Big Government Idea

May 7, 2018 by

Big Government: “Guaranteed jobs” is fast becoming the latest rallying cry for Democrats. And a new poll finds that 46% of Americans approve of it. Don’t read too much into that poll result.

Last week, we noted that a liberal policy group urged Democrats at a leadership meeting to adopt “guaranteed jobs” as a pillar of their economic plan. In short order, Bernie Sanders said he would soon unveil his plan to achieve that. Under it, anyone who “wants or needs” a job but couldn’t find one on their own would be guaranteed a government job paying $15 an hour and generous benefits.

Other prominent Democrats have latched on to this plan, including those with presidential ambitions like Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker.

Maybe they are on to something? When Rasmussen asked about the idea in its latest poll, it found that 46% favor it.

The idea of government-guaranteed jobs isn’t exactly new. The Senate proposed such a guarantee in 1977. The far-left Nation magazine resurrected it in 2014, saying the country could “easily afford” to guarantee every American a job. That same year, the Huffington Post ran a poll and found that 47% favored the idea — with 22% strongly favoring it.

The only thing lacking here — besides common sense — is context.

Like, say, what would it cost those with actual jobs to support millions of guaranteed-for-life make-work jobs?

The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities figures the annual price tag at $543 billion — roughly equal to the entire defense budget. That would be enough to fund 9.7 million full-time jobs, which would cover those currently unemployed plus those “marginally attached” to the workplace.

That’s almost certainly a lowball estimate. In addition to the 9.7 million the CBPP counts as unemployed, there are nearly 10 times as many people who aren’t officially in the labor force because they aren’t looking for work. The prospect of easy money would no doubt bring millions, if not tens of millions, of them back. Nor does the CBPP factor in the likelihood of rampant waste, fraud and abuse.

Yet the pollsters don’t ask about cost, or the massive tax hike required to finance it. No doubt that would push approval rates down.

Nor do the polls — or the politicians pushing this idea — mention how the Fed might react negatively to the sudden surge in wage inflation generated by this jobs guarantee.

Inconvenient Context

But there’s another bit of context that Bernie Sanders and Co. would probably rather you don’t know about.

And that is the fact that the idea has already been tried — in the Soviet Union.

In fact, the Soviets wrote a jobs guarantee into the USSR’s constitution in 1936.

Article 118 said: “Citizens of the U.S.S.R. … are guaranteed the right to employment and payment for their work in accordance with its quantity and quality.

“The right to work is ensured by the socialist organization of the national economy, the steady growth of the productive forces of Soviet society, the elimination of the possibility of economic crises, and the abolition of unemployment.”

When the Soviet government updated its constitution in 1977, it moved the jobs guarantee up to Article 40, and rephrased it a bit to make it clear that they meant a right to “guaranteed employment,” with pay at or above the “state established minimum” wage.

We all know how well that experiment in guaranteed employment turned out.

Democrats’ Leftward Drift

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not trying to be red-baiting McCarthyites here. Everyone’s entitled to their beliefs, even if they are foolish. And, sure, just because something showed up in a communist country’s constitution doesn’t make it a bad idea.

But the sudden embrace by leading Democrats of a huge new government-guaranteed jobs program is yet another indication of just how far to the left the party has drifted. They’re now pushing ideas that even Finland has rejected.

It’s also an unfortunate indicator of how many people in the U.S. are ignorant of basic economics that — context or not — they’d lend any measure of support to this idea.


Source: Guaranteed Jobs: 46% Favor This New Dem Big Government Idea

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