Some Reasons for Guaranteeing Both an Income and Job

Two policy proposals receiving increasing attention are the job guarantee (JG) and basic income guarantee (BIG). The first would provide everyone of working age with the option of a guaranteed job. The second would introduce an unconditional income payment. To be clear, I would support either of these as standalone programs, whichever happened to be on the policy agenda. Nevertheless, I think there are a few reasons to prefer a combined policy that integrates elements (perhaps all positive elements) of both programs. In its leanest form, a ‘job or income guarantee‘ (JIG) could provide everyone with the option of accepting a job-guarantee position or, by opting out of the labor force, a means-tested but otherwise unconditional income payment. In expansive form, a JIG could provide a universal and unconditional basic income as well as the option of a guaranteed job for anyone who wanted one. Other intermediate variations on the theme would, of course, also be possible. The expansive form would be ideal, but even the lean version seems to offer some advantages over a standalone JG or BIG.

 
Enhancing Opportunities for Self Realization

The JIG would ensure two new freedoms:

1. Nobody would be denied a job if they wanted one.

2. Nobody’s survival would depend on taking a job.

A JG, of course, would ensure 1 but not 2. A BIG would ensure 2 but not 1. Each would be an improvement on the current situation in which neither 1 nor 2 applies but would fall short of a JIG on these criteria.

The significance of 1 and 2 can be viewed in the context of a future in which, increasingly, mechanization will present an opportunity to open up additional free time (to be used productively or in leisure at the individual’s discretion) while posing a challenge to employment policy.

There is nothing to prevent a currency-issuing government from meeting the jobs challenge, even in the face of dramatic sea shifts in employment patterns brought on by technical progress. But there still remains the question of whether employment levels should be maintained or increased as technology develops. In particular, it can be asked whether it makes sense to create jobs in cases where individuals would opt for free time if given the choice. To create jobs rather than provide basic income in such cases would not only constrain the affected individuals but occupy the time of administrators and coordinators of the JG program. The inclusion of the basic-income component in a JIG would mean that a job was only created when the individual desired it.

At the same time, many victims of mechanization have little desire to exit the labor force and settle for the lower income such a choice would entail. Many will feel ill equipped to shape their own activities and social networks after years, in many cases decades, of following work procedures laid out in a clearly defined role. They will continue to want jobs. The JG component of a JIG has this covered.

 
A JIG Would Have Built-in Safeguards

As standalone policies, both the JG and BIG appear to have certain vulnerabilities. In the case of a JG, there is a danger that opponents will succeed over time, if not immediately, in reducing it to workfare. The basic-income component of the JIG would build in an important protection against this. By giving individuals the power to say no, both to employers and to the JG provider, it would become difficult to impose workfare on anyone.

In the case of a BIG, there is some danger that the basic income payments would subsidize employers by enabling a reduction in wages. Although the effective subsidy could be taxed away, the effect, if any, on wages would remain. The extent of this danger is not clear, because the power of workers to say no introduces a significant counteracting influence and, in principle, minimum-wage legislation and centralized wage determination across various pay levels could prevent the erosion of pay and conditions. Considering the political feasibility of such regulatory policies varies from country to country, the danger may likewise vary. These factors make it difficult to predict the impact of a BIG on pay and conditions, leaving open the possibility of a negative outcome.

In contrast to the BIG, a well designed JG would be an effective protector of pay and working conditions. By setting a minimum standard, other employers would need to match or better it. A JIG, by including the JG component, ensures this same protection of pay and conditions along with the aforementioned safeguard against workfare.

 
A JIG Enables a Reduction in Aggregate Labor Time with Minimal Coercion

I suggested in a recent post that a JIG would facilitate a reduction in aggregate labor time with minimal coercion. Not only would it accommodate a transition to greater free time – for both productive and leisure pursuits – but it would do so without compelling anyone to work more or less than they desired.

It is true that other methods of reducing aggregate labor time would, on some criteria, be fairer, but they would come with greater coercion. For example, imposition of an equal division of labor time would introduce coercion in two directions. On the one hand, there would be workers who want more, not fewer, hours on the job. Equal division of labor time would require them to accept fewer hours and a lower income. On the other hand, other people would prefer to exit the labor force and accept a basic income payment, or cut back their labor time, which an appropriately designed job guarantee could accommodate. Imposing equal labor time on all workers would prevent a considerable degree of voluntary self-selection into free time and labor-force participation.

By ensuring the freedom to opt out of a job, but also the right to opt in, a JIG would enable everyone to choose the number of hours they desired, given the options available to them. And, for most people, these options would be significantly broadened. Individuals working longer than average hours would be choosing to do so. Such a choice would be evidence that they felt compensated by higher pay, enjoyment of their roles or both. If not, they would have opted for fewer working hours.

The pace of transition from labor force to free time could be managed partly through appropriate adjustments of the JG wage relative to the BIG. The JG-wage/BIG differential would provide a mechanism for enticing a greater or lesser number of individuals out of the labor force, as appropriate, without requiring a resort to more coercive measures.

The JIG, if implemented in its expansive form, could assist in a separation of labor time and income as well as withering away of profit income that, far from being utopian, could be achieved in a very gradual way (over decades, a century or even longer, if preferred). I touched on the possibility recently but will leave elaboration of the details to a possible future post. For now, suffice to say that it would be quite possible to design policy that distributed productivity gains increasingly to basic income and yet, due to labor-force exit, still had individual labor-force participants receiving pay increases over time. Whether ever increasing pay to workers in an ever diminishing labor force would be necessary or desirable is another question, the answer to which would depend on the level of productivity and attitudes. But the important point is that such policy designs are possible. The transition to free time in which production is increasingly undertaken on the basis of voluntary associations can be as gradual or rapid as we choose it to be, and would require very little coercion (and certainly far less coercion than is currently being exerted on the vast majority of individuals).

 
Closing Remarks

There are other, minor points that could perhaps be added in support of combining job and income guarantees. For instance, the effectiveness of the JG in improving workers’ employability might be somewhat enhanced in a JIG. The availability of the basic income would ensure that only those committed to a JG position would opt for one. The signal to employers that the individual was intent on obtaining a job in the broader economy would be somewhat strengthened. All in all, though, the points discussed in previous sections seem the most important: an easing of coercion alongside a positive right to employment; a safeguard against a JG being turned into workfare; and a mechanism for effecting a gradual transition to a society of freer and happier individuals.

18 thoughts on “Some Reasons for Guaranteeing Both an Income and Job

  1. Most JG advocates discuss a JG at minimum wage. At the same time, they talk about the JG as a reserve of employed (as a means of keeping intact their skill set) The two items are at odds with each other. On the one hand, they do not want the JG to compete with private employers, which they achieve by advocating the JG at minimum wage. They then engage in an act of hand waving – saying that this JG will keep a person’s resume alive, at the same time keep their skill sets. Just how?

    The New Deal job programs avoided this dilemma by offering a job at the going (median) wage rate for each different skill set, with the provisio that the job was only for 40% of the work week. The remaining time could be spent in looking for private sector jobs, or doing “something else” with their time. Thus the New Deal was able to accomplish much with these workers. Skill sets were in fact kept alive and enhanced. Writer, musicians, artists and even actors got a job. And in their chosen profession.

    As you, I am a strong advocate for a BIG – that should be the basic safety net for every individual in society, and a way to make sure that everyone can survive. The purpose for a JG and a BIG in my mind are different, but are complimentary in nature.

    Of course the wealthy are going to raise the canards of “moral hazard” and “encourages laziness”

  2. Mostly agree with you, PeterC.

    I favor a means-tested BIG because it would provide a safety net, something that America currently lacks.

    The BIG part of the JIG could replace SSDI. Right now applying for SSDI is a hellacious process, often taking over a year and requiring the services of a lawyer. Many individuals with legitimate health issues cannot qualify for SSDI. The only people who win the SSDI game are the lawyers.

    The BIG part could also replace (or supplement) unemployment insurance. Currently, only 25% of the officially unemployed receive unemployment insurance. Consider that the real number of unemployed is probably double the official number, and that means that only 12% of the unemployed receive unemployment insurance. That’s not much of a safety net.

    The BIG part would also help the self-employed, giving them something to fall back on when their business is slow. Currently the self-employed have no safety net at all.

    The BIG part could serve as an early retirement vehicle for those who desired early retirement.

    The BIG part could serve as paid maternity/paternity leave for parents who wanted to look after a young child.

    The BIG part could serve as paid vacation for the self employed and for all the temp workers and seasonal workers who don’t get paid vacations.

    The BIG part could serve as short term disability insurance if you break your leg, etc., and are off work for a few months.

    Both the means-tested BIG as well as the JG would function as automatic stabilizers. During recessions, more people would go on the JIG, increasing the budget deficit. During booms, job opportunities would entice people to leave the JIG, reducing the budget deficit.

    The JG sounds good at first glance but when you ask hard questions about the JG — what would I be doing, and where would I be doing it? — the answers are not there. The 80% wages funding formula and short term perspective would severely limit the nature of the work. For example, it’s hard to imagine a JG being able to create an appropriate job for a butcher, a cowboy, a logger, a mechanical engineer, or a machinist. It’s far easier to imagine JG’ers picking up trash.

    What if there is no JG near where you live? What if you don’t have transportation? What if you are willing to walk 2 miles to a JG, but you can’t drive 30 miles, and aren’t willing to relocate for a temporary minimum wage job?

    So it’s not just a question of whether the unemployed want to work, it’s also a question of whether the JG can truly match their skills, whether the job is something that truly needs to be done or just make-work, and whether it is feasible for you to commute to the JG. I suspect that in reality, much JG work would be CCC-type picking up trash. Appropriate for young people just entering the workforce, or for skid row bums, but inappropriate for skilled, older workers. The bottom line is that I’d like to have the BIG option, just in case.

  3. “So it’s not just a question of whether the unemployed want to work, it’s also a question of whether the JG can truly match their skills”

    Those skills are obsolete – by definition. If there isn’t any private or traditional public sector demand, then you don’t have the right skills. It is not the job of the state to prop up obsolete skills, any more than obsolete businesses. It’s to provide new ones that the economy requires.

    The JG provides socially beneficial work that primarily others perceive as useful, and that you can choose from to best match your skills. But if you’re a derivatives trader, then you won’t get to do that particular job on the JG, nor will you get the same payment – because it is an obsolete skill that serves no public purpose.

    The main reason you need a job guarantee, is that *you* have to be seen to be doing something useful by others if you wish to retain your wage. That is how human resentment works. Others won’t produce and share with you, unless you are seen to reciprocate.

    And it on that anvil that BiG fails. You can only receive income without ‘paying’ for it if you are seen as worthy by the majority of your peers (retired or disabled for example). If you don’t pay then they will vote for the other guy and have your income removed.

    The reality of the system is that you have no right to anything that isn’t granted by your fellow people in society. You have no right to have your ‘skills’ preserved or acknowledged, and you have no right to an income or resources. You have to earn the right in negotiation with your peers.

    I struggle to see why the fact that there are others in the room with you and you have to accommodate their needs as well as your own is so difficult for some progressives to grasp. We are a social animal. The group gets what the group wants.

  4. “At the same time, they talk about the JG as a reserve of employed (as a means of keeping intact their skill set) The two items are at odds with each other. ”

    That’s because you’ve got that wrong.

    The JG is a transition job, and that may mean taking people who by definition have an obsolete skill set and repurposing them elsewhere – to the point where the private sector will take them again.

    On a JG, the derivative trader is not going be doing derivative trading, nor getting the payment they were before. The job has no social purpose.

  5. “In the case of a BIG, there is some danger that the basic income payments would subsidize employers by enabling a reduction in wages.”

    That’s not the main danger. The main danger with any income guarantee is that the income guarantee is whittled away over time by your peers – who come to believe you do not deserve to receive it.

    Particularly as any permanent income guarantee naturally forces an increase in taxation – because it stops one half of the auto-stabilisers working. Therefore people who ‘work’ have even more reason to resent those who are seen as not pulling their weight.

    Some of the evidence from the UK:

    – state pension age raised, when unemployment suggests it should be lowered.
    – state pension restricted in size and ‘means testing’ introduced.
    – child benefit (at £20 per week) removed for ‘high earners’. If you can’t keep a £20 per week payment to children universal, how the devil are you going to keep payments to millionaires flowing at full wage under a BiG?
    – unemployment benefit restricted and run down over time. Certainly not keeping pace with wages – which is required to maintain demand.
    – TV programmes about ‘Benefits Street’ which castigated those receiving money, and who figuratively hang themselves by being made to appear ungrateful for what they receive.
    – Constant articles about what ‘the shirkers’ spend money on and moves to replace money with restricted tokens that can only be spent on certain goods.

    It’s not a matter of income guarantee vs. job guarantee. It’s a matter of demand protection against starvation. You have to have in place a system that the majority of people will support based upon their current prejudices and understanding, and it will have to sell itself constantly via PR campaigns.

    Even getting mothers recognised as actually doing useful work is going to be a challenge – even though it is obvious that a job of work is created whenever a child is born.

    Income guarantees have to be limited to those seen as sufficiently deserving by others. The rest have to be seen to ‘earn’ their income.

    Otherwise any system will suffer the fate of the post war consensus, where you had unemployment benefit and the implicit notion that the public sector would hire the spare people.

    After a generation people forgot how it was supposed to work and voted to have it removed. The results are still with us.

  6. I do like Peter C’s claim in his last sentence that he wants “a safeguard against a JG being turned into workfare”. Perhaps he can tell us what he thinks of Bill Mitchell and Randy Wray’s JG scheme as set out in their forthcoming text book where JG is workfare thru and thru. They say “We assume for the moment that the Job Guarantee policy does not offer an unemployment benefit..” See Ch18 here:

    http://www.mmtonline.net/chapters/Chapter_18_draft.pdf

    There is a fundamental point about JG which Peter C hasn’t grasped (and nor have Mitchell or Wray). It’s sometimes called “Calmfor’s Iron Law of Active Labour Market Policy”. (Postulated by the Swedish economist Lars Calmfors). The law goes like this.

    If JG is purely voluntary and the wage is enough to attract people to JG work, then the RELATIVE ATTRACTIONS for those people of regular is ipso facto reduced. Therefor labour supply to the regular jobs market is reduced which is inflationary. Therefor JG has to have a workfare element: i.e. “do this low paid JG job else your benefit gets reduced”.

  7. “Therefor labour supply to the regular jobs market is reduced which is inflationary”

    No it isn’t. Bill and Randy have explained many times – At worst there will be a one off shift, and that is unlikely to happen in a depressed market . In aggregate firms quantity expand first to defend individual market share and to service the increased effective demand.

    Labour supply is designed to be reduced to the regular jobs market. It gets rid of ‘crappy jobs’ by design, and allows better managed firm to prosper. You are weeding the field and thinning the forest.

    Farmers do it to increase yields from the better produce, Foresters do it to get better yield from the stronger trees and economist should do it to get better productivity from the better managed firms.

    And it ends the myth that private firms are automatically ‘good’ however they are organised. If they won’t pay the socially minimum wage, then they are not good and are eliminated by simple competition. And good riddance to them.

    In your language all jobs in the economy are ‘workfare’, because regardless of whether you have a choice of who you work for, you have to work for someone. You are compelled to work, or look for some private entity to support you.

    You have to work, because your peers require that you are seen doing something useful. Trying to smear the process with silly words won’t alter the fact that is what you will be required to do – something useful – not by bosses or leaders, but by the people in your own communities. They will cast their votes to ensure it.

    The best we can hope for over time is to expand what ‘something useful’ is accepted as being. Much as we have finally got Gay Marriage accepted, when only 50 years ago we were chemically castrating gay men.

    Peter is along the right lines with the JiG idea, but the universal income proposed is too wide to be accepted in current societies IMV. People who can work, will be required to show that they are working. And it’ll be that way for some time.

  8. Neil,

    You say “At worst there will be a one off shift..” Agreed: to the extent that JG jobs are relatively attractive compared to regular work, there will be a one off expansion of JG at the expense of regular work. But it’s hardly the purpose of JG to create JG work at the expense of regular jobs is it?

    As to your point that shift is “unlikely to happen in a depressed market” that’s also true. But that’s not of any great relevance: i.e. given grossly excessive unemployment I have no problem with JG creating loads of cushy well paid jobs. But the problem comes when AD is expanded as far as is commensurate with avoiding excess inflation, i.e. when the economy is at capacity. At that point, employers have a need for every type of labour they can get, and if JG discourages people taking regular jobs because JG pay is too high, then JG is counter productive.

    Re the “myth that private firms are automatically good” even where they pay below the legal minimum, I’ve never come across anyone promoting or adhering to that myth: apart (obviously) from a few rogue employers.

    Next: the fact that Mitchell Wray’s JG system equals workfare – you claim that in pointing to that fact I’m trying to “smear the process with silly words..”. Where do you get that from? I’m actually IN FAVOUR of a workfare element in JG (as indeed Mitchell and Wray seem to be).

    It tends to be the political left which uses the word workfare to try to smear JG type systems. Workfare (i.e. “do some work else you starve, or suffer a cut in income”) is a brute reality that has faced the human race since the dawn of time. There is nothing very controversial about the idea really.

  9. By your definition *all* work is workfare – given that you have to choose something to do in order to earn and live. So why bother with the final four letters? Because you’re trying to be pejorative.

    ” But it’s hardly the purpose of JG to create JG work at the expense of regular jobs is it?”

    Yes it is. Anything that doesn’t meet the social minimum – payment below minimum wage, bad hours, unpleasant conditions, no training, poor holidays. All ‘crappy jobs’ will be swept away by the simple competition of the Job Guarantee. Employers will have to make an appropriate offer to compete with the alternative. And that might be at a wage *below* the Job Guarantee wage for a really good job with great prospects and wonderful working conditions.

    No reason for extra restrictions in a truly competitive market with a floor. The floor sorts it out dynamically.

    “At that point, employers have a need for every type of labour they can get, and if JG discourages people taking regular jobs because JG pay is too high, then JG is counter productive.”

    Only if you believe the private sector is everything and that minimum wage doesn’t work. The evidence is against you there. Minimum wage clearly works as expected and the private sector is just as useless as the public sector. Once again the marginal argument doesn’t stack up in reality.

    The private sector is allowed to run its business cycle until it runs the JG down to its minimum size to act as an effective nominal anchor. At which point the private sector expansion would be halted with tax/spending measures.

    With the JG there is no need to push the private sector all the way to unstable ponzi destruction because you’re terrified of upsetting ‘confidence’. You can dampen the cycle much earlier – because everybody already has something productive to do.

    Plus of course restricting labour in the private sector forces it to consider replacing jobs with machines. And that’s what we want. Bring on the robots!

  10. Neil: We usually agree – but here are some small points of disagreement.
    Those skills are obsolete – by definition. If there isn’t any private or traditional public sector demand, then you don’t have the right skills.

    Nonsense. Capitalist economies can be unstable, and have sudden mass unemployment. This assumes private + traditional public sector infallibility. Many, many doctors and dentists were unemployed during the Great Depression A JG should take people as they are – and most working age people are not extremely inflexible. Matching jobs to skills should not be a terribly difficult thing.

    The main reason you need a job guarantee, is that *you* have to be seen to be doing something useful by others if you wish to retain your wage. That is how human resentment works. Others won’t produce and share with you, unless you are seen to reciprocate. Here and elsewhere, perception and resentment is overemphazed rather than reality. And the rationality of that perception and resentment. The Job Guarantee does socially beneficial work. It isn’t inflationary like money for nothing, or unemployment, but the opposite. Humans and other social animals reciprocate – because reciprocation works. It is not merely perceived to work, perceived to be anti-inflationary, resented if not done, etc.

    After a generation people forgot how it was supposed to work and voted to have it removed. The results are still with us. Alas, alas. 100% agree. And an economics academy with increasingly defective understanding of, ever diminishing interest in economics and ever increasing pseudoscience ended up producing hardly anything but nonsense and fakery.

  11. Musgrave’s objection to the JG is predicated not only on the validity of the ***neoclassical/monetarist*** notion of NAIRU; but on the NAIRU having a short-run impact on inflation (which not even monetarists in general accept!).

    And he does all that within a Post-Keynesian demand management framework, creating a strange hybrid of post-Keynesian doctrines with neoclassical/monetarist overtones.

    But you don’t need to take my word for it. Musgrave himself:

    “Assuming unemployment is anywhere near NAIRU, the effect of this reduced aggregate labour supply will be inflationary, which means that demand will have to be reduced, which in turn means that the jobs created by the make work scheme will be, at least to some extent, at the expense of regular jobs.”
    http://ralphanomics.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/calmfors-iron-law-of-active-labour.html

    In fact, what Musgrave for some reason calls “Calmfor’s Iron Law of Active Labour Market Policy”, at least as presented above, is a well-known direct property of the NAIRU:

    “If U* is the NAIRU and U is the actual unemployment rate, the theory says that:
    “if UU* for a few years, inflationary expectations fall, so that the inflation rate tends to slow (there is disinflation); and
    “if U=U*, the inflation rate tends to stay the same, unless there is an exogenous shock.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAIRU

    The case when U=U*, is the symbolic representation of Musgrave's objection.

    Note two things from the above: (1) in order to have effect on inflation, the difference between the NAIRU (U*) and the actual unemployment rate (U) has to last for "a few years" (i.e. even on its own terms, it's not an unqualified effect, as Musgrave would have us believe); (2) if the NAIRU acts as the comparison benchmark (as it explicitly does above and implicitly in Musgrave's quote), there is no point in following Keynesian activist demand management policies: just let the freaking market forces determine the return to equilibrium.

    In simpler terms: let wages fall, because left to itself the labour market will clear.

    Or even simpler: you don't need Keynesian fiscal policies. Period.

    ———-

    So, instead of defending some kind of genetically engineered hybrid of cow and coffee beans as the best way of having a capuccino, perhaps people should decide first whether they believe in neoclassical economics or whether they want to follow PostKeynesianism.

  12. PS

    Well, the symbols for “larger than” and “smaller than” do not appear, at all, for some reason.

    In any case, check the Wikipedia quote directly, because the quote itself gets cut.

  13. “Many, many doctors and dentists were unemployed during the Great Depression”

    You won’t have a Great Depression when you’re managing the demand right via a Job Guarantee.

    The reduction in the private sector *will* come from over-stretch and business failure via the business cycle, and from public sector altering its skill requirement as it finally adopts five year old technology and methods 🙂

    So the people coming onto your books will largely be skills obsolete and largely from the secondary unskilled job market. Anybody else will be in a tiny minority.

    You will use people’s *transferable* skills as best you can and there main skill where that can be repurposed. As I said the derivatives trader will not be trading derivatives on the Job Guarantee, and they won’t be getting the same wage. But if JG happened to get a lawyer, then supplying them to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau on the Job Guarantee wage would happen.

    This is why Mosler calls the JG a *transition* job. It is there to catch the fallout from private sector retrenchment, give them useful work and maintain them in the hiring pool that the public sector and private sector use. No more long term unemployed that nobody is going to hire.

  14. Hi,

    “In the case of a BIG, there is some danger that the basic income payments would subsidize employers by enabling a reduction in wages.”

    I do not think that have to be true. It depends in which way you implement BIG. For example, for the people how have a job, you can do not tax the amount of received salary equal to the BIG, and the rest of the salary tax as normal. But the contributions pay for the employer remain equal.

    Here the effect is just the opposite. Instead a reduction of wage could appear a rise of them. For example, job the people don’t want to do, as garbage collector, the wage pay for this job would rise until compensate the bother of take a job as that, instead live with the BIG.

    great blog!

  15. Peter, the consolidation of our exchanges in “Proposal for an Interim Society Prior to Utopia” happened before Jesse Myerson’s Five Economic Reforms piece. It appears he has become a JIG advocate, though the piece didn’t tie the two reforms together (much less rolled them into one).

    When I argued my five points against UBI in our exchange, I definitely argued against it by itself. It’s nice to see your blog here mention structural unemployment (whether via mechanization or something else), and especially acknowledge and concede the “danger that the basic income payments would subsidize employers by enabling a reduction in wages.” In our original exchange, researcher Francine Mestrum’s more detailed argument about this UBI problem had yet to be made:

    http://www.globalsocialjustice.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=491:the-unconditional-basic-income-a-solution&catid=10:research&Itemid=13

    (Don’t be misled by the dates, because she made her argument in September 2013)

    On “expansive forms” and “lean versions,” I suppose I’d fit in as a JIG-er as well, though openly expansive on the JG / ELR component and lean on the BIG component.

  16. As mentioned elsewhere, though Yves Smith pointed to the Speenhamland scheme as an excellent case against a standalone basic income (certainly in its “lean” form), unintentionally he might have also put forward an argument against the “lean” form of the job guarantee / employer of last resort, no matter how different it is from “workfare.”

    The Speenhamland scheme provided basic income with a clawback mechanism, that being based on wages earned during the period. It may sound too similar to “the option of accepting a job-guarantee position or, by opting out of the labor force, a means-tested but otherwise unconditional income payment.”

  17. Philip Lawn may have shot himself in the foot by arguing for precisely a “lean” JIG:

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=Lkx9AgAAQBAJ&pg=PA371&lpg=PA371&dq=%22income+and+job+guarantee%22&source=bl&ots=ha3P0yQu9Y&sig=o-_q_0ieMBA2UpXnA20SkGBFsdg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mzQrVeTpOMzaoAT774HIBQ&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=%22income%20and%20job%20guarantee%22&f=false

    “The Basic Income Guarantee should be set at around 40 per cent of the minimum liveable income and be paid in the form of a demogrant (negative income tax) or non-transferrable vouchers and food stamps. Should a system of vouchers and food stamps be the chosen option, it ought to be designed to provide individuals with basic health and dental care, staple food items, essential accommodation, limited use of public transport facilities, and access to post-secondary education services.”

    “Clearly, if a Basic Income Guarantee is providing 40 per cent of the minimum liveable income, the Job Guarantee need only cover the unmet 60 per cent.”

    “Assuming that the private sector can attract low-skilled labour by paying an hourly wage equal to that of a Job Guarantee occupation, the minimum hourly private sector wage would also be 40 per cent lower under the above-suggested arrangement. In this case, the modified Basic Income would serve as a private sector wage subsidy […]”

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