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Full Employment and National Power: Infrastructure Jobs

2018-02-17

I have a modest proposal that will ensure at least 4% GDP growth.  The full power of all available citizens can be harnessed with a jobs program that brings in all the chronically unemployed but potentially able workers.

For example, day care centers to enable young mothers to go back to work or start working.  Raise the minimum wage to $15 now, and back it up with a jobs program that creates at least a million new jobs a year (and keeps the old jobs going.)  Create jobs cleaning up parts of cities that need cleaning.  Pick up trash, repaint, repair, anything that is required, as long as it keeps the workers busy.  A hierarchy of workers and supervisors with super-supervisors is also needed.  The supervisor’s job is to keep the workers busy: think up new things for them to do if they run out of old ones.  The super-supervisor’s job is to encourage the supervisors to do a good job of supervising.

Plans for repair of bridges, causeways, dams, and so on can be brought forward as many things are on the drawing board and need only to be rescheduled for now.  New construction for needed transportation and other public structures can be speeded up as they have already been worked out years in advance.  New York City alone could use subway repair and tunnels that were planned years ago to the tune of trillions of dollars.

All of this is done in a nearly military way: workers are brought on, prepared, tested for skills, and assigned to jobs based on their abilities.  Everyone who applies is hired, and paid at least a base salary: those with dependents are paid more for maintenance of their children or disabled parents.  Transportation to work is provided in the most efficient manner possible so that not everyone need buy a car– a sort of super-Uber.

The point is that any activity which shows a measurable improvement in the environment is a payable occupation if one’s overall strategy is to keep everyone working and develop new jobs as needed to grow the GDP.  When the percentage of people working rises, there will be more money in circulation to buy things, and this increase in demand will stimulate an increase in supply.

The point is that stimulation of the economy must be done in a very sophisticated way.  You cannot stimulate the economy in a balanced way and increase the well-being of society without providing money at the very base of the pyramid to seed growth.  Inflation can be anticipated and controlled by encouraging supply of goods from other countries with low or no tariffs.  It is not necessary to have people in this country work in manufacturing when it can be done more cheaply in other countries.  People here can work in building and repair of infrastructure if the government would just provide the funds.

The funds will have to be raised by a slight increase in taxes, that is, on those who can afford it.  This may sound politically impossible, but if we emphasize the massive economic growth that is possible with a relatively small stimulus in the right place, we may be able to get the point across.  Get rich people to buy more Treasury bonds with an offer of a good rate.  It can be done if the will is there.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com and FotografieLink)

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