The Government Should Guarantee Everyone a Good Job

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
The Nation

The idea of a good-jobs guarantee is, after being lost for decades, returning to the limelight. Scholars, led by William Darity and Darrick Hamilton, are articulating updated and concrete versions of the vision. Mainstream news outlets are reporting on their work. And ambitious politicians—most notably, Senator Kristin Gillibrand, a presidential aspirant, and Richard Winfield, a congressional candidate in rural Georgia—are recognizing its political appeal.

One element of this appeal is the proposal’s simplicity: Any US resident who wants one can get a job, funded by the federal government, that pays a fair wage and provides good benefits. Darity and Hamilton estimate that the program would employ approximately 13 million people for a cost of approximately $650 billion a year. That is to say, this transformative intervention into American society and political economy would cost less than our current military budget.

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