Re: Adrienne Montani: B.C. Liberals must do more to help the poor, November 24, 2016
An estimated 2/3 of poverty could be eliminated simply by offering jobs, even at a minimum livable wage, to those willing to work. The experience of New Deal programs during the Great Depression and more recent initiatives in Argentina and India demonstrate that massive job programs can be up and running in 4 to 6 months and useful tasks can be performed even by the least skilled and least educated citizens. Reversing income inequality in Canada through job creation is simply a matter of political will.
While the actual jobs should be administered at local levels through municipalities and community groups, funding should be provided largely by the federal government. After the 2008 financial crash, the federal government offered financial institutions $200 billion to help them overcome their difficulties and maintain their CEO bonuses. For the financial establishment, the federal government acts as the lender of last resort when times are tough. For the poor and unemployed, the government should become the employer of last resort. Policy should be as just as devoted and generous to Main Street as it has been to Bay Street.
1. L. Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Research Director with the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and Senior Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute.
"Well it’s very easy to reduce the inequality that results from low income, from poverty, from low wages; all you have to do is offer jobs. Minsky did a calculation [in] 1974 and Professor Kelton and I did one around 2000. We showed that if you just give a job to anyone who wants to work you will eliminate two thirds of all poverty, even if you pay only the minimum wage. We would like to see the job pay more than that, but even at a minimum wage you eliminate two-thirds of all poverty. So most poverty is due to joblessness. People who cannot get jobs or maybe they get jobs that last a few months and then they are unemployed again. We need permanent jobs that pay a decent wage and you’ll eliminate most poverty. You’ll still need some kinds of anti-poverty programs but the jobs are the best anti-poverty programs there are, then you need something else to fill the gaps."
2. The Social Enterprise Sector Model for a Job Guarantee
"The experience of the New Deal and Argentina’s Plan Jefes shows that such programs can be up and running in 4 to 6 months and useful tasks can be performed even by the least skilled and least educated citizens."
3. Improving Access to Financing and Strengthening Canada's ...
"To soften the impact of the crisis, the first phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan included measures to provide up to $200 billion to support lending to Canadian households and businesses through the Extraordinary Financing Framework."
Modern Monetary Theory in Canada