The idea of guaranteeing jobs to every single person living in the United States does sound good on paper. What is more, the recent Democrat proposal includes stipulations that these jobs would pay a minimum of $15.00 per hour and include the same great benefits Federal employees currently receive, including paid leave and health care.
Democrat Senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has gotten behind the plan, as have influential Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, indicating that the party could use it to attract voters in current and future elections. However, like all other plans involving billions of dollars of Federal money, this plan is not without its downsides, as many worry that it would not only be extremely expensive but also completely impractical.
The idea behind offering jobs to everyone living in the United States is nothing new; however, it is coming to light yet again as Cory Booker has announced the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, which proposes establishing a three year pilot program in which the United States Department of Labor would provide funding for select local areas to provide every single adult living in the area with a guaranteed jobs that pays at least $15 an hour and includes important benefits.
Senator Sanders is expected to announce a similar yet more sweeping bill that would offer a job to any adult American citizen in the country who wants or needs one. Given the fact that the two individuals proposing these bills are considered to be serious contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, it seems safe to say that the proposals have the backing of a Democratic party that is intent on reversing its election losses.
However, plans that sound great on paper don’t always work out well in real life. Perhaps one of the most pressing problems with the plan is its high price tag. Estimates show that Senator Booker’s plan would add nearly $380 billion to the United States deficit every year for the first five years; the cost would go up to $415 billion a year for the following five years. The cost of Senator Sanders’ plan is unknown; however, a similar plan was reviewed by the CBPP some years back and it was estimated that a plan of this nature would cost taxpayers close to $550 billion per year.
Even more importantly, the plans raise important questions that have yet to be answered. It is not yet known exactly what types of jobs will be offered, although Democrat lawmakers have proposed possible jobs such as cleaning vacant lots and tending to community gardens. However, it is not known what would happen if a person wants a job but is unwilling to take on any offered by the government. Furthermore, Senator Booker’s plan would seem to guarantee jobs to all residents of any given area, with no distinction being made between American workers and those who are in the country without proper documentation.
Naturally, the Federal Jobs Guarantee Act has no chance of becoming law while President Donald Trump sits in the White House. However, it is well worth a second look because it is clearly a blueprint plan that could very well be enacted should the Republicans lose control.
While guaranteeing a job to every single person living in the United States seems like a great way to enable those who want to work to do so, its drawbacks are serious and potentially threatening. The government does best when de-regulates the job market so that businesses can hire American workers with ease and people can start their own small businesses without excessive government interference. This bill takes the country in the opposite direction.
~ Liberty Planet