The Job Guarantee, Explained (in <15 minutes)

The surprisingly large (and often comical) media reaction to Jesse Myerson’s Rolling Stone piece “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For” inspired me to put together this video. It’s a condensed version of a fantastic lecture by economist Pavlina Tcherneva on what a job guarantee is, its economic impact, and what we can learn from her research on the Jefes (“Heads of Households”) Program in Argentina.

Jacobin Magazine was kind enough to let me use my new bully pulpit of Multimedia Editor to publish the video, along with a few remarks. I hope you’ll check it out, especially in light of a new poll released today that finds 47% of Americans would either strongly or somewhat support “a law guaranteeing a job to every American adult, with the government providing jobs for people who can’t find employment in the private.” Tchernerva’s lecture makes a strong case that a federally-funded but locally-administered job guarantee is both feasible and desirable. A job guarantee would not only spur economic recovery from the bottom-up, but also free workers to refuse exploitative or unconscionable work in favor of public service jobs that provide genuine benefit to their community.

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