Full Employment

People-Ready Projects vs. Shovel-Ready Projects

Note: this is a cross-post from The Realignment Project.


Despite public cynicism, it's pretty clear now that the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act (aka the stimulus bill) is working to boost economic growth and save and/or create jobs. However, it could have been much, much better - even aside from the effect that professional "moderates" had by stripping money for aid to states (to keep teachers employed, for example) from the bill. I think the limitations of the ARRA came from the decision to divide the bill into roughly one-third tax cuts, one-third aid to states, and one third public investments.

The Stimulus Dissected:

Fifty-State Keynesianism - Part Deux

 NOTE: this is a cross-post from The Realignment Project.

Introduction: In this post, I'm returning to a theme I initially explored in June, back when California was grappling with its budget crisis. Now, after nearly two months of additional struggle, we finally passed a bill that cut $26 billion and raised no new revenue, and now we learn that the governor has possibly illegally cut a further $500 million, taking the axe to children's welfare ($80 million), health care ($400 million), Cal Grants (cut in half), HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment ($52 million), and domestic violence shelters (cut by 80%) . In addition to the moral insanity of attacking the most vulnerable of our citizens at a time when they are most in need of support one must add the economic insanity of believing that you can reduce government spending by $31 billion in the course of a single year (including both the February and July cuts) and not effect the state's economic recovery.

Lest this be seen as merely a California problem, a recent report by the National Governors Association notes that the collective budget shortfalls of the fifty states comes to a collective $200 billion shortfall. Given that the total Federal economic stimulus for this year only comes to about $400 billion, we are forced to recognize that our system of state government budgeting and finance is creating a massive economic undertow, weakening the impact of Keynesian stimulus by cutting spending and raising taxes (although they've been doing a lot more of the former than the latter).

"Front Line of Defense" - UI Reform and Job Insurance

Cross-post - original posted on The Realignment Project

"Unemployment compensation, as we conceive it, is a front line of defense, especially valuable for those who are ordinarily steadily employed, but very beneficial also in maintaining purchasing power. While it will not directly benefit those now unemployed until they are reabsorbed in industry, it should be instituted at the earliest possible date to increase the security of all who are employed..."