Actually, they say it could also cost almost none. Or almost 1 million.
ONE MEEL-YUN JOBS.
Allahpundit: “There’s no problem here that indefinite unemployment benefits can’t solve, my friends.”
As it happens, the good folks at Rolling Stone already had this brilliant idea at the beginning of the year, suggesting some pie-in-the-sky economic reforms that appeal to the kind of people who read and write for Rolling Stone, starting with Suggestion #1: Guaranteed Work for Everybody:
Unemployment blows. The easiest and most direct solution is for the government to guarantee that everyone who wants to contribute productively to society is able to earn a decent living in the public sector. There are millions of people who want to work, and there’s tons of work that needs doing – it’s a no-brainer. And this idea isn’t as radical as it might sound: It’s similar to what the federal Works Progress Administration made possible during Roosevelt’s New Deal, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. vocally supported a public-sector job guarantee in the 1960s.
A job guarantee that paid a living wage would anchor prices, drive up conditions for workers at megacorporations like Walmart and McDonald’s, and target employment for the poor and long-term unemployed – people to whom conventional stimulus money rarely trickles all the way down. The program would automatically expand during private-sector downturns and contract during private-sector upswings, balancing out the business cycle and sending people from job to job, rather than job to unemployment, when times got tough.
Some economists have proposed running a job guarantee through the non-profit sector, which would make it even easier to suit the job to the worker. Imagine a world where people could contribute the skills that inspire them – teaching, tutoring, urban farming, cleaning up the environment, painting murals – rather than telemarketing or whatever other stupid tasks bosses need done to supplement their millions. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Yeah: how awesome would it be if everyone could do what they wanted, instead of doing stupid jobs that are demanded by stupid market forces?
If you think about it, 500,000 jobs lost starts to sound like a good thing. Instead of our economy providing goods and services you want at a low price, it can instead provide 500,000 mural painters. Or, more realistically, 500,000 people watching Celebrity Apprentice on the taxpayer dime, as Munchos fall into the folds of their T-shirts.
What, are you against people being happy? And fat?
So jump on the bandwagon and come on in for the big win! Those who keep their jobs get paid more; those who don’t get to do (and watch and eat) what inspires them.
All we will ask from you, good reader, is that you pay for all of it. Oh, and if you could also shut up and not complain about it, that would be great too.