Thinking Ahead with William Darity Jr.: A Public Option for Jobs

Thinking Ahead with William Darity Jr.: A Public Option for Jobs


How are you all doing? well thanks for taking
some time with us during your lunch time and your busy summer schedule. hope
everything is going well. so my name is Mark Gomez and I’m with the Haas
Institute for a fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, and we bring together
academics, students, policy makers, community activists, labor activists to
think and figure out what we should do about extreme inequality and all its
manifestations. I head up what we call the leap forward project which is trying
to think about and honing in on wage income and asset policies, how do we
dramatically improve people’s lives. Got some ideas on that coming up and so the
thinking ahead series, this is the eleventh one we’ve done the first one
were actually bringing someone from across the country hopefully eventually
around the world because good ideas happen everywhere and so thinking ahead
really is for all of you to be able to take a step back from the day-to-day
work that you do and get to hear about provocative ideas of how we can
dramatically improve people’s lives not just do the usual critique on extreme
inequality but figure out what the path quo it is and I know this is hard to say
during the years of President Trump but we really are in this especially here in
the West Coast from Oregon Washington State in California had a place where we
can really begin to move progressive policies and the responsibility is for
us to set the example and create the programs into politics that will
what was the rest of the country so very excited to have professor sandy
guarantee we’ll figure out the technology effective and but first I
want to introduce so it’s part of the hots program we’re lucky to have so much
of summer fellows with us and some person that has EJ tell you what we’ll
move out himself and then I’ll introduce professor Deborah good afternoon
everyone my name is EJ Chopin like Mark said I’m a summer fellow at the hospital
seduced by a very inclusive society I’m also a rising second-year student at the
Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley my area of interest is racial
justice policies looking at systems of oppression that create and perpetuate
disadvantage and looking at how to uproot and dismount those through policy
making which is why I’m very fortunate to be at a place like the hops Institute
this summer I thought working on displacement in Richmond California and
water practice in Detroit Michigan both issues are highly racialized so very
fortunate to be out with to do that type of working and that type of thinking you
know particularly having to be here with Professor dirty talk about his work with
the federal job guarantee and addressing racial disparity in employment thank you
okay so I’m studying giving the size of the crowd that you all know the table
leader more about capacity didn’t I do but I’ll give you the basics is that he
is a professor of public policy and economics at Duke University in the
other Silicon Valley the triangle as they call it and so I’m going to give it
over to Sandy to talk about the ideas that he wants to lay out for us today
you’re going to focus on income inequality and poverty today and I’m
going to do that by trying to provide you with some insights without a policy
proposal that we refer to as the creation of a national investment
employment board which would in effect provide a public sector option for
employment for all Americans premise here is that every American citizen
should have the capacity to find work at decent pay and that that type of social
insurance and assurance would be provided by the commitment on the part
of the federal government to ensure that it’s as an employer of last resort so
that any citizen who could not find adequate work in the private sector
would be able to find a quality job our premise is that the lowest level of
compensation for one of the jobs under a federal job guarantee should be
approximately twenty three thousand dollars so that we would ensure that
everybody would have a level of income above the poverty line now that twenty
three thousand dollars would be the base compensation but there would also be
benefits including the type of medical insurance that is currently received by
federal civil servants and for that matter by federal elected officials um
in fact we think that this would be a way of providing a high degree of
empowerment or for America’s workers in a number of ways the first is that the
job guarantee and its compensation would set the floor on the type of
compensation that would have to be offered by the private sector so in fact
there could not be any significant number of private sector jobs that would
not offer at least the same terms of employment
not offered under the National Investment Employment cool so so that’s
the first thing in fact we would really be mandating mandating an effective
universal minimum wage the difference between this and existing minimum wage
and living wage laws is that a federal job guarantee would ensure that everyone
would have the opportunity for holding a job and also for holding a job with a
sufficient number of hours of work so that they could have on property incomes
in contrast minimum wage laws while they ensure a certain level of wages for
folks who have jobs they do not guarantee that everyone will have access
to a job and they do not guarantee a certain number of hours or so so so we
think that this is in some sense a more effective way of setting a floor of the
quality of compensation that would be provided for all Americans in addition
this is also a way of implementing the humphrey-hawkins Act or what was
formerly called the full employment and balance bro back to 1978 that’s a piece
of legislation was passed almost 40 years ago that directs the US government
to preserve full employment and to maintain price stability simultaneously
now what’s what’s interesting about the humphrey-hawkins Act is that it has been
in existence for close to four decades but it remains an unfunded mandate and
so what what the federal job guarantee could do is it in fact put meat on the
bones of the humphrey-hawkins Act it could it could guarantee or could ensure
that we would always have conditions of full employment the United States with
the existence of a federal job guarantee anybody who wants the work would be able
to find work and that’s that’s a sharp contrast would see the historic
conditions and the current that we experienced on state where there
is customarily a shortfall of quality jobs relative to the number of people
who are seeking seeking employment so this is why we refer to the federal job
guarantee is a direct route to full employment and I think that’s a critical
dimension and it’s a way of actually making the humphrey-hawkins Act have
have substance and meaning I’d also like to indicate that there are precedents
for this type of program in the American experience in particular in the 1930s
with the introduction of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works
Progress Administration these are critical critical programs
that were introduced in the midst of the Great Depression for the purposes of
trying to find employment for many Americans at a stage where the
national unemployment rate had reached this is almost a fantastic figure 25%
which meant that one out of four Americans who were looking for work at
that point could not find a job and that excludes the folks who had surrendered
the search for work as a consequence of of the high degree of depression in the
American economy the federal job guarantee would make it would make that
type of a program or opportunity like the WPA or the CCC States a permanent
option for all Americans and it would be universal so who reply to all
individuals who are at least 18 years a day or open and so we would have a way
of extending the principles and ideas that underlay the Works Progress
Administration of the Civilian Conservation Corps into the 21st century
in a very very meaningful and powerful way
what I can also emphasize that there are some
social benefits that could be associated with this type of program that goes
beyond the assurance of full employment and goes beyond the assurance of quality
job because we also can pay very close attention to the types of jobs that
might be performed under this type of program and these types of jobs could
have a great deal of social utility in work that we’ve done on this subject in
the past we’ve emphasized the possibility of having well-trained
members of the National Investment employment for provide childcare
services provide elder care services so that the human care or the human
infrastructure dimension of this program would be something that would be very
important we also could train workers to assist individual homeowners with the
process of transforming their homes from energy inefficient sites to sites that
might rely on solar energy instead so it could be a we could we could provide
people with a low cost of low cost opportunity to make those kinds of
transitions in the way in which they engage in energy energy usage we also
could work on the physical infrastructure Society this could
include obviously the classic areas which the Works Progress Administration
contributions this would include roads bridges and
highway most obviously but there also could be work that was done on aspects
of the physical infrastructure that provide direct human services so for
example workers in the National Investment employment course could
invest a substantial amount of their time and actually repairing and
improving the physical facilities of our nation’s school in many urban areas in
particular the physical structures of our our nation schools are in abysmal
condition and could be improved and allow young people to actually have
helpful and visually quite live in the right
sequentially to engage in market so so that’s something that’s some of the
primary dimensions of this program that I’d like to emphasize at the stage but
I’d also like to add that a program of this type would ensure employment
opportunities for workers who are most likely to be excluded from that option
America so for example this would provide an opportunity for individuals
who have been incarcerated and have completed their sentences could be
guaranteed the option of having having a job once they once they leave prison
given the the stylized fact that the black rate of unemployment is always 2
times the white rate of unemployment in fact that that two to one ratio applies
at all levels of education and and and and whites with with with the whites who
have never finished high school actually have close to the same unemployment rate
its blacks who have finished some college education very similar
illiterate so so that it’s paramount and obvious that there’s a high degrees of
discrimination that operate the American labor market and a way in which we could
address this is to have a federal job guarantee for all American citizens
which could make it possible to eliminate that unemployment rate
differential it would not necessarily eliminate the wage differential the
average wage differential decreased lack of my workers but it certainly would
eliminate the unemployment rate differential and so that’s that’s that’s
quite significant in addition the premise of this project would be that
virtually everyone can do some type of socially useful work obviously they’re
going to be a small number people who probably are physically
absolutely incapable of performing any type of work but but there’s going to be
very small numbers and this is the type of program that would presume that
individuals who have certain disabilities could actually find jobs to
do that would be extremely helpful to the society oh it could be tailored to
their capabilities and and I would also add that somewhere between 40 to 50
percent of individuals who are homeless actually have jobs they don’t have
particularly well paid jobs they have jobs and the kind of crisis that’s
associated with their inability to to have comfortable shelter also could be
addressed to the president – so last thing I’d like to say and before we open
this up to a conversation is that we conventionally have been thinking about
this as programmed this to be introduced at the federal level but we’re also
realistic enough to know that at the present moment it’s unlikely that any
socially transformative program will actually be adopted by the federal
government so we’ve been increasingly thinking about ways in which a program
of this type might actually be adopted at the municipal level at least that
would provide us with an opening wedge or a gateway towards the wider expanse
of the expansion of this program and it also would provide us with an
opportunity to have demonstration projects so that we could determine how
to make this program more effective when it’s finally embraced at the federal
level and so we’ve actually done some thinking about how expensive it would be
local municipalities relative to typical units in Disabilities budget the smaller
the community the more the greater the relative expense of the project
so for example in my home city of Durham North Carolina we estimate that if we
put everyone to work who is unemployed in the city of Durham through a program
of this type it would probably cost about six hundred million dollars the
city’s annual budget is closer to 450 million dollars so that’s a that’s a
sharp differential that works to the disadvantage of the of the community in
terms of the realism of adopting such program so in that situation we might
think about having a program that at least initially is one targeted it’s
directed at those areas of the city with the highest unemployment rates so that
it becomes more feasible to at least at least begin it so then maybe you could
then phase in the program so that it would apply to want more and more
sections of the city until it becomes something that’s a citywide program on
the other hand in a very large metropolitan area like New York City we
estimate that if you were to put all the unemployed work it costs about ten
billion dollars and that’s actually one-eighth of the city’s carry budget so
very different in terms of the order of magnitude tasks and your specs relative
to the standard expenditures so the insight you’ve got I think that that’s
what I’d like to say is the starting point for this conversation I’m thinking
that we not only need to think about a federal job guarantee but we also need
to think about local or municipal job interviews I’m just going to make a
brief comment and then turn it over to EJ for a question I think it’s
interesting I normally don’t really like going back to the New Deal and
justifying programs today and thinking about the economy because it was such a
radically different economy then but what I think is curious is to really hit
the Works Progress Administration it was about projects and when we come to
paddle up we have to figure out what is that progress that’s going
to excite people and that’s going to inspire people that has also gone give
momentum that we’re the people that can make everyone’s life dramatically better
and I think that’s what’s so enticing about this is how we can finally deal in
a real and significant way with racial economic exclusion in this country and
how can define a new progressive politics which is kind of an inch of ze
J’s questions so thank you professor very very talk my question is this
so social welfare programs oftentimes on become tainted with people’s or by
people’s prejudices you know think about you know opportunistic politicians dog
whistling and peddling the other pejorative welfare queen and then you
know welfare has a negative image of connotation in the public’s mind how do
you prevent a program like this from long victim to the same sort of thing
where you know this is presumably a program where people will use this and
you know matriculate to more gainful employment how do you prevent
participants in this program from banks stigmatized by that sort of thing or
have the program lose popularity in the public’s mind
Duras location with with the public for society themes are perceived as lesser
or less deserving people so there’s absolutely nowhere to prevent opponents
of a program at this time from trying to paint it in the worst light possible so
the question is whether or not the the attributes of this program or powerful
announced that overcome that type of an effect
also keep in mind that if individuals are stigmatized and from participating
in the program and that prevents them from getting
jobs outside of the program in the private sector then they can just
continue to work in this program so so stigmatization doesn’t have the same
kind of penalty that might be associated with other kinds of attributes a person
like that but but it also liked it like to say that this is a universal program
so that there is no eligibility criteria there is no means test for participating
a program which is definitely the case for most of our social insurance
programs so you know no one can make the argument that talati is deservedly
choosing this type of job option since it’s a job option that’s available to
anyone who wants it and then the last point I’d like to make is you know the
folks who are most likely to make these kinds of claims about welfare queens and
folks fraudulently taking advantage of the of the social welfare net are folks
who would presumably argue that those individuals who are relying on those
programs are receiving receiving money for for doing nothing but the premise of
the federal job guarantee is that you get paid for doing work and so in fact
we actually find out who really didn’t want to work or such a program so folks
you know folks on the right ought to be enthusiastic about this as an
alternative to our existing social insurance programs you know if they were
consistent now they’re not always logical thank you okay
questions from all of you if you can stand up and say we walk and then a
question hi my name is Lenise co-founder with the hooding q Bader and I was
really excited listening to your talk now thank you and I was interested in
the focus on you were mentioning about the
different scenes Durham and in New York City in the city’s budget and it was a
geography geographic the target of the regional area of how it could help but I
was thinking is there a way to think about tackling on the state issue on
unemployment or of the private employment through an industry basis and
I’m biased I work in the cannabis industry so I’m thinking you know with
the city of Durham he says there but there was 450 million you know looking
forward to the legalization of cannabis we know that’s the meeting at like 7
billion by 2020 is there a way to use an industry that isn’t mature that isn’t
even like really nascent yet to try how do we how do we intercept a nascent
industry but there is no standards of fuckery yet to ensure that we are
getting those those those uh those those jobs to our communities do you have a no
wait how do they make a program I’m not sure I got that correctly are you asking
how we might go about ensuring that there is full employment in specific
industrial sectors yes because if I was thinking the geography seemed to have
because that location you need to observe up there anyway it was a six
hundred million to execute the program the city’s budget is 450 million and
saving food at the same population to drill the cab industry in North
Carolina you probably didn’t get a good sum between between work force working
and bathroom is going in so they’re thinking is it a too small the way to
think about on this one industry level omean okay yes this is a very specific
to durham but if we actually merge the county and the city budgets then it
would be more feasible to do this unfortunately the structure that we have
in North Carolina separates the individual cities budgets from the
county’s budget and the county actually takes the largest share of the local
property taxes so that’s very kind of very specific to Durham into North
Carolina but but the story could be altered if we had a different structure
in terms of in terms of the budgeting operations at the local level that said
I’m not sure this will really answer your question is I’m not sure I fully
understand it but this is not a proposal where we’re generating employment by
subsidizing jobs with the private sector these jobs are purely and fully provided
through public sector funding so there would not be any attempt to build
employment in one sector versus another in fact I mean getting to full
employment means that you would have full employment in all sectors of the
economy because there would be nobody who was looking for work who could not
find it regardless of which sectors they might have previously been employed it
so I don’t know if that answers your question but I never haven’t really
thought about trying to produce sector specific high employment I’ve only
thought about the importance of trying to generate high employment across the
entire community or reincarnation well maybe the way of
getting at it is and you know a little bit about doing remodel a sound of a
button to me it can’t be at the city level because label marketer to regional
levels and we have the problem of all the people that live in the small places
so how do you get at this both where you dealing at the regional level of Silicon
Valley and targeting industries where we want people the opportunity to grow and
being kind of like myself being a working-class immigrant kid I’m good at
math I could sit at home to D go to Mass it’s harder to be good at the cultural
stuff then it is to be good at you know the stuff you can do any welding to me
that’s a natural path forward so you have to sit down with Google and
Facebook etc and try to open up those industries have you fought about that so
the question of opening of industries that are exclusive or or that yeah that
are exclusive I think requires a different set of policies and they must
be closed more closely related to anti-discrimination policies and I
certainly don’t think that we would dish there are some programs we get rid of in
the process of adopting the federal job guarantee but these would be more
closely related to so-called entitlement programs like unemployment insurance
probably would not be needed at the same scale that we had a federal job here on
the other hand policies that attempt to desegregate industries or industrial
sectors those who still be vital and would be needed and so I think that in a
sense that’s not something that can be accomplished by the federal job
guarantee except for the fact that the federal job guarantee will generally
create a much tighter labor market which generally works to the advantage
groups that have been historically excluded okay other questions all the
way in the back this kind of a two-part question one is you mentioned the bottom
is 23,000 for the big guarantee what would the top be the one part question
is what would the top be and is it based on Union type wages based on each sector
that’s the one first part of my question okay because I don’t know what the top
would be I’ve estimated that the average cost per worker will be somewhere
between 50 to 55 thousand dollars that’s a cost that it’s estimated based upon
the baseline for the lowest paid workers d-mat $23,000 an additional $10,000 in
benefits and then additional expenses that would be associated with training
cost as well as the materials and supplies and the higher salaries for
folks who would have managerial and teaching assignments within the program
so not sure exactly what the top salary would be but the best I can do for you
now is say that the rough estimate of the cost per worker would be about
$55,000 I’m not sure what the salary is that would have to be offered you get
the folks involved in this program who could provide the high quality training
or the monitoring or the management of of the employees across the entire
system okay because I asked that question because you mentioned that six
forty to sixty percent of the homeless people are working-class if that’s the
case and the bottom is that 23 I know you can argue they’re all working class
but now what I said was forty to fifty percent of the folks who are homeless
actually do have jobs okay so they grabbed out that means that
if they were guaranteed a salary of twenty three thousand whether you take
taxes or not that means if they wanted to get a house that their income would
not provide enough for them to even get out of their homeless situation because
if you take a third of that you have four hundred dollars a month
five hundred thousand less so is putting all of them running into this program
going to eat if it’s not even going to reduce homelessness
what what what other kind of you know where are we going to go with this
income yeah so you know I can’t guarantee that it would eliminate
homelessness but I think that if you had households where there was more than one
individual who was receiving this minimum compensation so if there’s a
couple household for example and both members of the of the of the couple
household are working in this in this program then we’re talking about an
income of closer to forty six thousand dollars don’t necessarily need to alter
somebody’s residential status by having them purchase a home and it certainly
could be renters and so the question then becomes whether or not we could
find that whether these incomes of the adequate results available to recipes
out I warned that the folks who are homeless are earning significantly less
than twenty three thousand dollars a year so at minimum this would actually
give them more income than they’re currently receiving whether or not it
enables them to to purchase a home another question idea in middle hi my
name is Eloise in Hatton and I wanted to know a couple of things is this going to
be linked to the cost of living index I mean is the language fluid so that it
can increase the other question is many times people have benefit social
benefits and then they’re able to get employment the benefits are cut and they
end up in the circumstance that they began with is
there language that would allow or prevent people to from say their kal
care getting cut food stamps get incomes and in many cases housing subsidies and
begin to reduce and then as their salary increases so then they still stay in
that same area have is their language that would be included that fluid that
will accommodate this and the another question is in terms of we talked about
regionality cities communities neighborhoods if that might seems like
that would be the system to begin that in the municipality and then began you
get three cities then you begin to talk regionally and then you can move to
state and then you can move forward thank you thank you so with respect to
the first question you asked about our cost of living increases that’s the easy
one yes that that would be built into the program and there’s several places
where we’ve described the program where we’ve included some discussion second
question is the will did tougher and you may not like my answer but one of the
premises of introducing this program is to significantly reduce expenditures on
a wide range of so-called anti-poverty programs so there would not be these
kinds of notch effects because many of these benefit programs with no longer
exist the premise here is that we are going to eliminate poverty through
providing people with adequate in comes through employed work and so the only
folks who would be which would constitute a serious issue under these
conditions would be folks who actually are not physically able to perform any
type of or so so I I would you know I’m inclined I’m inclined to say let’s get
rid of unemployment insurance all together
my collaborator Derek Hamilton doesn’t want to go that far he says if there’s
some transitional period between when somebody might lose a job and and when
they could get the employment with the public sector opportunity so that they
might need some protection at that stage my sense is if you lost the job you
could walk right over to the National Investment Employment core office the
same day and get a job with the government under under under the
circumstances but we have a fully operative program so but you know do it
to to put a to put a fine point on it many of the entitlement programs that
you’re talking about with no longer be necessary my name is Carla made my
companies make Civic innovation and David Capelli and I have launched the
smart cohort which deals with equitable development in smart cities and my
question has to do with automation we’re going to see enormous amounts of
automation is the next in the next decade and how does that affect these
jobs because we’re talking about a leaning of jobs at a time you know as in
you know we’re moving in the digital transformation so how does that work
with getting full employment if we’re undergoing this leaning of job so there
you know there’s this raging debate over whether automation is going to eliminate jobs
I think automation will eliminate certain kinds of jobs I don’t think it
will eliminate work we all will have to perform a variety of work particularly
the human care work I suspect well I mean I know that we can do this but I’m
not sure it’s a great idea to run elder care or child care and I think we
probably should avoid the greenback so there that’s an arena where we will
continuously have a need for work to be perform but
historically automation has simultaneously destroyed certain
categories of works and created new lines of work we have to see if that’s
what happens on this slave as well I you know I have no reason to think that this
way will be different so that all of humankind will be freed of having to
engage in any form of flavor whatsoever we might you know end up having to do
higher levels of spot labor than we have in the past
all of us and therefore we’ll need to have a community and the international
community where folks are well prepared to do that type of critical thinking
engage and I guess what Robert Wright calls symbolic logic Wharf so but but I
just don’t I just don’t anticipate that automation is going to eliminate work
altogether it may well eliminate some some significant range of jobs but it
may also create another range of jobs that we we can’t fully anticipate come
up thank you okay yeah dr. berry is an excellent program I
think John your research is timely I had three-part questions but could
please Henry William what he did w insurance we’re here in the lab first
first question is how can we move this type of program forward its current
discourse and dysfunction in Congress they can’t seem to get their acts
together on any major policy area a little old tumbling as innovative and
important time is this the first question that will teach yeah second
question is did you the first question doctor I did I did I did yeah the second
question is did we lose our offer of opportunity this type of great
program when we started to invest all this money in the wars in Iraq we spent
couple five trillion dollars in the wars in the rapid economy we had a lot more
wealth a lot more capital in the economy less regulation a better environment and
we had a tremendous amount of effort that was spent on loss of life sister
wait you lost themselves now we have a massive deficit so to come back now and
say ok to just do something that’s violent and better in the piece if you
see a stretch of Congress because they’re going to claim that well we do
have resources now we have this massive desperate question number two in
question number three I really appreciate the first comments you made
about the wealth gap because I think that’s at the heart of the entire issue
another desktop and topic today but I’m really interested in their perspective
about the Pew study in the wealth gap between whites and blacks and fans with
countries in such a dramatic issue a few research groups done a phenomenal job
which documented over the course of the last 20 years wealth gap more than 20 to
1 between wife and blacks which has an example
21 and a Democratic Society which is a maker
I just want to perspective so I don’t think anything constructive can be moved
forward in Congress right now okay so what what needs to be done is to change
Congress that’s not fight given the way in which gerrymandering has been
engineered across the country but but it’s a fight that has to be fought so if
we want any kind of valuable legislation to be to be fast at the national level
we need a different Congress you’re absolutely right about the cost to the
society as a whole associated with over investment and war
efforts but I think it not only creates a blockage for the introduction of
something like the federal job guarantee but it also creates a blockage for any
type of social program that we might think is actually going to be
transformative in the United States however I’m not somebody who fears the
deficits first thing I’d like to say is you know it’s really interesting that so
many of the obstructionist in Washington complain about the expenses of new
programs after several trillion dollars were handed over to the investment
banking community overnight so where did they find that money I I would argue
that the fact that there that capacity existed suggests that it’s not really
all that difficult to fund major new programs indeed there’s a sense in which the federal
deficit is not really a national debt but that’s another that’s another big
hairy argument it certainly is not analogous to the indebtedness of
household okay so that’s that’s kind of the myth that gets perpetrated as
thinking about that but as I also said in response to one of the earlier
questions many of the existing entitlement programs would would would
be would be eliminated or greatly reduced that we had a federal job
guarantee that it sure Devery buddy of hot coffee place essentially the $23,000
figure constitutes approximately an eleven to twelve dollar average wage at
the per hour that’s not as high as the fifteen dollar living wage that folks
like Mike Harkin then have been fighting for but it is significantly higher than
the national average for for minimum wages so it would be transformative in
that sighs if we were to introduce a program
that had a cost of about fifty to fifty five thousand dollars per worker if we
had put all fifteen million people to work who were thrown out of work during
the Great Recession the program would cost about seven hundred fifty billion
dollars the total cost of our various anti-poverty entitlement programs is
virtually the same in in 2012 or 2013 or so is about seven hundred forty seven
billion dollars so you could actually construct this program and offset the
expenses by reducing other types of programs finally you mentioned the
wealth gap and a few studies so I think those studies have been very very useful
and invaluable but I also you know in in my more egotistical elements I would
like to mention some of the studies that we’ve done in my own research center the
sound of the voice hook Center on social equity where we’ve examined some
dimensions of the wealth gap that I think have proven to be quite surprising
and provocative for folks we have a report that’s called umbrellas don’t
make it rain and in that report we demonstrate that that blacks who are
working full-time have lower levels of wealth than whites who are unemployed
that blacks whose income is the third quintile of the income distribution
have less wealth than whites whose incomes are in the first month Iowa and
that blacks with a college degree have two-thirds of the net worth of whites
who never finished high school so these kinds of disparities are stark
they are perhaps the most dramatic indicator of the degree to which this
society has racialized access to resources for opportunity they’re
reflective of this notion that Charles Tilly introduced many years ago and that Richard Reeves is used in his recent
book the dream orders about a phenomenon the foot what we call opportunity
hoarding or preserving position or preserving status on the part of those
folks who are already well positioned in the society and so so yes those wealth
studies are very important and I think that they’re particularly important in
telling us that indicating the degree to which we cannot make the claim that
there’s been significant racial progress America it’s fundamental that we escaped
the scarcity what’s there any mindset of the last couple of generations and you
know more about them denying the new monetarists including a stephanie kelton
from the University of Missouri Kansas City the economy doubles every 40 years
so literally in doubling we create something out of nothing that’s the fact
of the economy not what the conservatives say there’s more than
enough to go around so the next 20 years the US economy will create seven
trillion in income 27 trillion what the question is how you one spending
frightfully when you talk to progressives
they can’t even get to the seven trillion how we can spend it and my
assumption of all that’s the last 40 years
that money’s been literally taken by a very small segment whether the local set
of 1% and that looks just mathematically through unavailable if we continue down
that path we’re going to be Cubans Russia even without clumps of trees and
collisions so but that to me is the fundamental of how we need to think
about the economy and how we talk about politics so in talking about how to
actually have a brother here we think about that a lot and think about their
lives I said it’s general in law from the Heart Institute good to see you on
the stream whether you’re not in person but my question is all politics whether
or not there are organizing groups and policy advocacy groups that are
currently taking hold of this idea and running wedges in advocating and trying
to implement anywhere municipality state level federal level in body advocated
for for this program yeah well they’re two different issues one is advocacy and
one is actual attempts at implementation yeah so there actually are are several
groups that have become advocates most notably two of the black activist groups
in the United States black lives matter and black youth project 100 both of them
have developed policy agendas and both of their policy agendas include a job
guarantee interestingly announced the Center for American Progress recently
has endorsed the federal job guarantee as a policy that they say they are now
recommending so so those are three groups that I could identify as
advocates there’s also there’s also a researcher who is associated with which
not not the Heritage Foundation the other one that’s not quite as the right
way and not vampires now yeah the American Enterprise Institute is his
last name is happened a JSP TT and I think he recently took a position in the
Trump administration the whole thing but he’s actually been an advocate of a job
guarantee and I think the primary reason is because in his own family he is
acknowledged the importance of the Works Progress Administration and enabling his
family to survive and whether the Great Depression and so during the Great
Recession he actually was advocating a federal jobs program so so that’s
somebody from kind of the others the other end of the spectrum who actually
has endorsed something long they thought so so there are some advocates now in
terms of implementation in the u.s. context I’m not aware of any actual
attempt to do this the examples that I have of something along these lines
being pursued are primarily in Chile and in India in Chile they have a program
that’s called jefes DFS where heads of household are guaranteed employment and
in India there’s a program called Mahatma Gandhi’s got the Rural
Employment Program which is essentially an Employment Guarantee for all all
folks living in rural India it’s a guarantee that assures them of a hundred
days of paid labor so it’s not quite as as dramatic as the type of program we
have in mind but it’s definitely a precedent we’re considering and there
are some problems with that program but it appears to have actually had a
positive anti-poverty impact the sense that it has produced
malnutrition in many rural areas okay thank you very much
sandy Pichet you taking the time and have a good driving Montreal of your
conference 30 degree

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