As I continue to research the societal factors that influence our future, I’ve explored broad topics from Government Deficits to Modern Monetary Theory. Most recently, I’ve looked into something that lies at the heart of many societal ills; unemployment and underemployment. That journey led me to my most recent book titled: A Job Guarantee. I just added a book – written by Pavlina R. Tcherneva – to my Book Library. Ms. Tcherneva is an American economist of Bulgarian descent, working as associate professor and director of the Economics program at Bard College.
In her new book, she describes how a job guarantee is the missing piece of the Roosevelt Revolution. By securing a fundamental economic right, it would usher in a new social contract pledging that unemployment and poorly paid employment would no longer be used for the purposes of presumed economic stabilization. Additionally, with a federally funded Job Guarantee program, states would experience significant budget relief at all times (but especially in downturns), as the program would reduce the demands on states for social expenditures. In an era where societal unrest is accelerating – as predicted in The Fourth Turning – it is imperative that we attack the root causes.
This proposed job guarantee is tied to the above mentioned modern monetary theory and is partnered with proposals around a green new deal. All aspects of “thinking differently” should be on the table these days. So, another book that I recommend enters the library. The book Preface is included below.
In the blink of an eye, millions lost their jobs. Like an inferno barreling across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic shutters one economy after another. Labor markets are cratering and the wave of layoffs has already turned into a tsunami. The Federal Reserve forecasts that US unemployment will surpass its 1930s Great Depression levels. And on the heels of this pandemic will come another – the suffering and devastation that result from mass unemployment.
This book was written before the hemorrhage in the labor market began. Yet it enumerates the many ways in which unemployment behaves like a silent epidemic – even while the economy is humming near full employment – from the way it spreads, to its virulent nature, to the enormous social costs it inflicts on people, communities, and the economy. In just a few short months, these costs would be immeasurable.