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More Questions About the Job Guarantee

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Martin Diebel | fStop | Getty Images
Help Wanted

I have taken a hiatus from raising questions about the job guarantee component of Modern Monetary Theory, mostly because I discovered that no one has the answers to the questions I was raising.

But others are still carrying on the debate. For those of you still interested, I'll periodically provide links to the debate.

1.Rogue Economist asks how government administrators will determine which jobs are worth doing. This is a vital question since they won't have reference to market processes to check their theories about what needs to be done. R.E. also points out that a lot of the work done by the private sector would likely be priced out by a Job Guarantee that paid a living wage with benefits.

2.Roger Mitchell points out that Randall Wray claims that the government wouldn't create the jobs. It would be government funding for private sector jobs. Which only raises the question: how do you determine which jobs are worth doing without having reference to market processes?

3. In this post, Mitchell raises a lot of practical questions about the job guarantee. None of them receive persuasive answers but the discussion in the comments is worth wading through. Notice that almost every job someone proposes is something that is already being done (such as, cooking food in schools). Apparently, there just aren't a bunch of tasks that need doing that our current mix of public and private sector work isn't handling.

4.Over at Daily Kos, I get taken to task for "bias towards private sector employment." Well, yes. I certainly do have a bias toward that.

But, as Randall Wray's comments to Roger Mitchell make clear, so do the MMT economists. So does everyone who knows anything about economics and politics. Except, it seems, this guy at Daily Kos.

5. Finally, in this post Mitchell explains that in an increasingly globalized economy, the idea that labor shortages--that is, very low unemployment--lead to general inflation is not really applicable. So who needs a "price anchor" for labor?

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