Job-guarantee program would work better than basic income

Job-guarantee program would work better than basic income
Posted on February 24, 2021 | Larry Kazdan | Written on February 2, 2021
Letter type:


Toronto Star

    Re: No, a ‘universal basic income’ won’t lift Canadians out of poverty. Here’s why,

    Heather Scoffield, Jan. 28, 2021



    Rather than guaranteeing income, the federal government should guarantee opportunities to work. This can be achieved by direct job creation programs at the local level as have been successful in countries such as Argentina, India and South Africa. Our society has children and elderly to care for, youth to educate, houses and buildings to retrofit, rivers and parks to tend, and neighborhoods to beautify.

    A Job Guarantee program would not only assure that those able and willing to work could contribute to their communities while maintaining income and self-confidence, but would also set a livable minimum wage (with benefits) that the private sector would match to retain a satisfied workforce.

    For those who cannot work because of sickness or disability, generous guaranteed incomes should indeed by provided.  



    1.  You’re Hired! The Democrats are looking for a big idea? Here’s one: a guaranteed job for anyone who wants one.

            As Polish economist Michael Kalecki observed, the real issue is that full employment strips business owners and the capital-owning class of power......With full employment, the capitalists lose their leverage to depress workers’ wages and must give up more profits.

    2. What is a Job Guarantee?

            " .....the Job Guarantee is actually a macroeconomic policy framework designed to ensure full employment and price stability is maintained over the private sector business cycle.


            Job Guarantee workers would enjoy stable incomes, and their increased spending would boost confidence throughout the economy and underpin a private-spending recovery.

    3. The Job Guarantee (ELR) and Basic Income Synthesis

            "A job guarantee coupled with a basic income for the young and frail old (and disabled of all ages) is a promising policy alternative.


            Using the Argentinean experience with job creation, we demonstrate how ELR (Employer of Last Resort) can advance a sense of civic duty, citizenship, social cohesion, reciprocity, and community involvement while guaranteeing full employment—all without the harmful consequence of price instability.


            Even a colossal BIG [Basic Income Guarantee) program may not resolve issues such as inadequate housing, education, healthcare—all key components of a decent standard of living.  A BIG must be part of a more comprehensive social policy that includes other programs, but very little discussion is devoted to how we can ensure these other necessities - including jobs for those who desire them - are provided."



    Modern Monetary Theory in Canada

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Larry Kazdan has undergraduate degrees in history and sociology, is a retired Chartered Professional Accountant and runs the website
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