A Myth about the Jobs Guarantee

So-called leftists are once again promoting the abomination known as the Jobs Guarantee as a solution to the Coronavirus depression.

Under a Jobs Guarantee, the government provides each citizen with a “job,” whether the citizen wants a job or not. The obvious danger from the Jobs Guarantee is that citizens will be forced into menial labor for the state.

The popular myth about the Jobs Guarantee is that the basis of the Guarantee is compassion for the poor and the working class. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Jobs Guarantee is based on Contempt for the Poor and Workers

Instead of compassion for the working class, contempt for the poor and workers motivates Job Guarantee promoters.

To elaborate the basic theory behind the Jobs Guarantee is the Victorian notion of the “undeserving poor.” Many Victorian, and modern, intellectuals believed the poor are poor because they are too lazy or stupid to work.

Under the undeserving poor theory, all you need to do to help the poor is to force them to work. The 19th Century solution to the undeserving poor was the workhouses or poor houses that Dickens wrote about.

The 20th Century solution was “workfare” in which “jobs” became welfare requirements. The 21st Century solution to the undeserving poor is the Jobs Guarantee

Hence, the intellectuals who promote a Jobs Guarantee despise the poor and workers, and want to punish them for being poor and working class. Since, it is no longer legal; or fashionable, to force poor people into workhouses, and workfare is discredited they offer Jobs Guarantees.

The Jobs Guarantee is based on Fear of Workers and the Poor

The other emotion behind the Jobs Guarantee is fear of the poor and working class.

The real fear of Jobs Guarantee promoters is not poor people going hungry. Remember, the guarantee promoters are the same people who don’t care about the homeless sleeping on our streets. Instead, the Jobs Guarantee promoters fear that idle poor or working class people will revolt or riot.

To explain, another basis of the Jobs Guarantee is the 1930s, or 1940s, notion of full employment. 1930s intellectuals and politicians became obsessed with “full employment” after radical working class movements such as Communism and Nazism became popular.

The idea was to keep the poor and workers too busy, or too, tired to revolt by forcing them to work. This was the real motivation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (D-New York) Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC); which kept tens of thousands of unemployed young men cooped up in camps far from the cities.

Fear of workers also motivated the Nazi Reich Labor Service; or Labor Front that forced potentially troublesome, and Communist, young men, into manual labor such as building Autobahns. Like the CCC, Hitler’s Labor Service kept workers safely out of the cities and far from the Middle Class.

The Jobs Guarantee is a Tool of Coercion and Oppression

The Jobs Guarantee is a modern day Labor Service designed to control workers not to help them.

Hence, one goal of the Jobs Guarantee is to force “middle class values” on values or workers and young people. Another is to make sure young people, particularly young men, are too tired or busy to revolt.

Thus, thought leaders embrace the Jobs Guarantee out of fear and hatred of the poor and workers. Those who care about the poor or workers need to reject the Jobs Guarantee.

Turning Employment into a Tool of Coercion and Oppression

All the Jobs Guarantee will do is turn employment into a tool of coercion and oppression. For example, a Jobs Guarantee could force workers to spend their days raking leaves in the park to get health insurance.

A logical extension of the Jobs Guarantee is to imprison any person who refuses to work at a Guarantee Job. After all the Guarantee Job is for the individual’s own good so he or she must be coerced into taking it.

Instead of the Jobs Guarantee, America needs real measures to help the poor and workers; including a living wage, a basic income or Freedom Dividend, Medicare for All, and effective unions.