employment

The Job Guarantee and the Economics of Fear: A Response to Robert Samuelson

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/05/2018 - 12:43am in

The Job Guarantee is finally getting the public debate it deserves and criticism is expected. Building on several decades of research, the Levy Institute’s latest proposal analyzes the program’s economic impact and advances a blueprint for its implementation. Critics have taken note and are (thus far) restating the usual concerns, but with a notably alarmist tone.

The latest, courtesy of the Washington Post’Robert Samuelson, warns that the Job Guarantee would be 1) an expensive big-government takeover, 2) unproductive and impossible to manage, 3) dangerously disruptive to the private sector, and 4) inflationary.

Samuelson wants us to be afraid—very afraid—of big government. But he forgets that we already have big government—one that devotes hundreds of billions of dollars, time, resources, and administrative effort to deal with all the economic and social costs of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty.

Unemployment is already paid for. In this context, the program does not increase the government’s costs—it reduces them—while also cutting costs to households and firms and creating real actual benefits by supporting families, communities, and the economy. As David Dayen points out, whether we can afford the Job Guarantee is not up for debate.

Will the Job Guarantee create impossible-to-manage make-work projects? This is a fear that James Galbraith—a self-proclaimed former skeptic of the Job Guarantee—calls “an admission of impotence and a call for preemptive surrender.” Kate Aronoff recalls that New Deal projects were often derided as boondoggles. Still, they rebuilt communities, the economy, and people’s lives, while leaving a lasting legacy.

The Job Guarantee is subjected to a unique double standard for managerial efficiency. We never hear objections to going to war, “nation building,” or bailing out the financial sector on the grounds that these efforts would be an “administrative nightmare.” And yet our proposal to put our underutilized labor force to productive use, by using much of the existing institutional infrastructure in the nonprofit and state and local government sectors is dismissed as an impossibly difficult task.

The claim that the Job Guarantee is unproductive misses another basic point: unemployment is inherently unproductive. What is the productivity of an unemployed person and her family struggling to make ends meet, compared to her productivity when she is employed in a public service job with decent pay?

Environmental renewal and restoration, clean up of blighted communities, enrichment programs for children, care for the elderly, and jobs for artists and musicians are unproductive under some definitions—those that treat only work that produces output for sale as productive. We disagree. Employing previously unemployed or underemployed people is inherently more productive than the current model of unemployment and neglect.

Critics think the program will face large skill and geographical mismatches, but ignore the fact that communities with the highest levels of unemployment also have the greatest social needs. The Job Guarantee puts the two together. It “takes the contract to the worker” and “takes workers as they are.” We have provided many examples of such projects that fulfill community needs, are labor intensive, and can employ even the least skilled among us.

But according to Samuelson, the Job Guarantee is dangerous for another reason: workers outside the program who realize that the Job Guarantee offers decent pay, healthcare, and childcare to its employees will stage a “political rebellion.”  This—he supposes—is a much scarier scenario than having millions of workers earning poverty-level wages, without health coverage or affordable childcare.

Which brings us to the fear of disrupting “business as usual” in the private sector. Yes, we want to disrupt business models that can only be successful if they pay poverty-level wages without the benefits that are common in all of the developed countries. In the IT world, “disruptions” are hailed as progressive and innovative. The Job Guarantee is the policy innovation that secures a true antipoverty wage floor for all—one that firms must meet.

And if none of the above scares you, critics want you to fear the program’s inflationary effects that are supposed to result from raising the program’s wage to $15 per hour by 2022. That would establish an effective national minimum wage—raising it from the current abysmal $7.50 an hour to $15 per hour. As wages rise, it is true that that the price level will probably increase as employers adjust to higher labor costs.

But Samuelson, like others, confuses a key issue: a one-time increase in the price level is not inflation (i.e., a continuous rise in the price level). Our model finds negligible inflationary impact from the program and we stress its key anti-cyclical feature: the program shrinks in expansions—i.e., it is a dampening force on inflation.

So let’s recap. What should we fear more: a world in which unemployment and depressed wages are the norm, or one with an employment safety-net and living wages for all?

Samuelson may think the Job Guarantee is a “loony economic agenda.” Thankfully, the architects of the New Deal reforms or the Civil Rights legislation did not think this way. Americans are tired of being told what can and cannot be done. They demand bold action and a majority supports the program. The Job Guarantee is a first step toward completing the Roosevelt revolution and securing Roosevelt’s economic bill of rights.

The Job Guarantee and the Economics of Fear: A Response to Robert Samuelson

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/05/2018 - 12:43am in

The Job Guarantee is finally getting the public debate it deserves and criticism is expected. Building on several decades of research, the Levy Institute’s latest proposal analyzes the program’s economic impact and advances a blueprint for its implementation. Critics have taken note and are (thus far) restating the usual concerns, but with a notably alarmist tone.

The latest, courtesy of the Washington Post’Robert Samuelson, warns that the Job Guarantee would be 1) an expensive big-government takeover, 2) unproductive and impossible to manage, 3) dangerously disruptive to the private sector, and 4) inflationary.

Samuelson wants us to be afraid—very afraid—of big government. But he forgets that we already have big government—one that devotes hundreds of billions of dollars, time, resources, and administrative effort to deal with all the economic and social costs of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty.

Unemployment is already paid for. In this context, the program does not increase the government’s costs—it reduces them—while also cutting costs to households and firms and creating real actual benefits by supporting families, communities, and the economy. As David Dayen points out, whether we can afford the Job Guarantee is not up for debate.

Will the Job Guarantee create impossible-to-manage make-work projects? This is a fear that James Galbraith—a self-proclaimed former skeptic of the Job Guarantee—calls “an admission of impotence and a call for preemptive surrender.” Kate Aronoff recalls that New Deal projects were often derided as boondoggles. Still, they rebuilt communities, the economy, and people’s lives, while leaving a lasting legacy.

The Job Guarantee is subjected to a unique double standard for managerial efficiency. We never hear objections to going to war, “nation building,” or bailing out the financial sector on the grounds that these efforts would be an “administrative nightmare.” And yet our proposal to put our underutilized labor force to productive use, by using much of the existing institutional infrastructure in the nonprofit and state and local government sectors is dismissed as an impossibly difficult task.

The claim that the Job Guarantee is unproductive misses another basic point: unemployment is inherently unproductive. What is the productivity of an unemployed person and her family struggling to make ends meet, compared to her productivity when she is employed in a public service job with decent pay?

Environmental renewal and restoration, clean up of blighted communities, enrichment programs for children, care for the elderly, and jobs for artists and musicians are unproductive under some definitions—those that treat only work that produces output for sale as productive. We disagree. Employing previously unemployed or underemployed people is inherently more productive than the current model of unemployment and neglect.

Critics think the program will face large skill and geographical mismatches, but ignore the fact that communities with the highest levels of unemployment also have the greatest social needs. The Job Guarantee puts the two together. It “takes the contract to the worker” and “takes workers as they are.” We have provided many examples of such projects that fulfill community needs, are labor intensive, and can employ even the least skilled among us.

But according to Samuelson, the Job Guarantee is dangerous for another reason: workers outside the program who realize that the Job Guarantee offers decent pay, healthcare, and childcare to its employees will stage a “political rebellion.”  This—he supposes—is a much scarier scenario than having millions of workers earning poverty-level wages, without health coverage or affordable childcare.

Which brings us to the fear of disrupting “business as usual” in the private sector. Yes, we want to disrupt business models that can only be successful if they pay poverty-level wages without the benefits that are common in all of the developed countries. In the IT world, “disruptions” are hailed as progressive and innovative. The Job Guarantee is the policy innovation that secures a true antipoverty wage floor for all—one that firms must meet.

And if none of the above scares you, critics want you to fear the program’s inflationary effects that are supposed to result from raising the program’s wage to $15 per hour by 2022. That would establish an effective national minimum wage—raising it from the current abysmal $7.50 an hour to $15 per hour. As wages rise, it is true that that the price level will probably increase as employers adjust to higher labor costs.

But Samuelson, like others, confuses a key issue: a one-time increase in the price level is not inflation (i.e., a continuous rise in the price level). Our model finds negligible inflationary impact from the program and we stress its key anti-cyclical feature: the program shrinks in expansions—i.e., it is a dampening force on inflation.

So let’s recap. What should we fear more: a world in which unemployment and depressed wages are the norm, or one with an employment safety-net and living wages for all?

Samuelson may think the Job Guarantee is a “loony economic agenda.” Thankfully, the architects of the New Deal reforms or the Civil Rights legislation did not think this way. Americans are tired of being told what can and cannot be done. They demand bold action and a majority supports the program. The Job Guarantee is a first step toward completing the Roosevelt revolution and securing Roosevelt’s economic bill of rights.

From Basic Income to Poor Law and Back Again – Part 2: Whither the Welfare State?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 20/05/2018 - 4:45pm in

Tags 

employment

In the first part of this series, we followed the introduction and abolition of the first ‘Basic Income’ scheme, the Speenhamland system in the United Kingdom in the 19th century. When Britain industrialised, cash benefits were replaced by the ‘New Poor Law’ and the Dickensian workhouse. The conclusion drawn by social reformers was that to end poverty and financial insecurity, they would have to work on a broad front: from industrial regulation to universal suffrage and the construction of a welfare state (social security, education and community services). This strategy was very successful, but now there are concerns that it no longer works and can’t be sustained.

The Australian post-war welfare state was built upon a ‘social minimum’ in two parts.

In the labour market, it included a high minimum hourly wage, full employment and regular working hours (for men), and a high unionisation rate that supported collective bargaining and industrial arbitration. Frank Castles (1996) described this as a ‘wage-earners’ welfare state’.

This was complemented by social protections won through universal suffrage and political campaigning. They included free public education, (mostly) free public health services, a robust public Vocational Education Training (VET) system, the Age Pension, an unemployment benefit safety net backed by a public employment service, and family payments to supplement the minimum wage and reduce child poverty (both for families in & out of paid work).

It’s now argued that these social protections (at least for people of working age) cannot be sustained as the neo-liberal form of capitalism has removed trade barriers, restricted public spending, and brought intense competitive pressure to bear on the labour market so that a regular job as we know it will soon be a thing of the past. This is one of the main arguments for a new system of social protection to replace the social security system and/or minimum wages: a Universal Basic Income (UBI). More ambitious than Speenhamland, this form of basic income would extend well beyond the working class as a universal citizen entitlement.

Some UBI advocates argue that the final nail in the coffin of traditional ‘welfare’ is the emergence of the ‘gig economy’ and widespread use of intelligent machines, which have been predicted to displace almost half of today’s jobs. This, they argue, would make room for an economy where we don’t need to work as long or hard as we do now. With fewer jobs, the link between social security and paid employment will become outdated and ‘work tests’ will be pointless.

In our search for the ‘shock of the new’, we sometimes forget that Australia has undergone three decades of labour market and social change, including expansion of the role of markets in a traditional domain of the State (for example VET and employment services), the re-casting of women’s roles in care and the formal labour market, the erosion of collective bargaining and the shrinking of industrial awards to a safety net, and growth in part-time and casual employment.

What’s changed and what has stayed the same?

Some of the above predictions are wide of the mark. It’s vital that we understand to what extent the old rules of the economy and welfare state have changed, and to what extent they remain the same.

First, and most obviously, public social expenditure has not collapsed despite decades of ‘austerity’ policies (see Figure 1). As quickly as old programs were cut, new needs were identified (especially in health care).

Figure 1: Public social expenditure has grown
basic income-welfare spend

Source: OECD Social expenditure data base

Rather than retrench social programs, governments have redesigned them and shifted priorities. Among the most important changes were ‘activation policies’, which prioritise employment for people of working age on social security payments, and the use of market mechanisms for government services.

One of the biggest shift in priorities in Australia and elsewhere was from benefits and services for people of working age (which have been neglected while their recipients are pilloried in the media), towards necessary improvements in retirement incomes and health care as the baby boomers retire (Daley & Coates 2016).

One sign of this bias against poorer, younger people is the failure in Australia to increase Youth and Newstart Allowances for unemployed people and students, whose real value has been frozen for the last 20 years. As a result, Newstart Allowance for a single adult is just $270 a week, $180 less than the pension. Pensions are indexed the way all social security payments should be: to wage movements, so that those on the lowest incomes share in the benefits of productivity improvements across the economy.

Another sign is the ‘welfare dependency’ mantra which blames unemployed people, sotto voce, for the cost of social security, even though unemployment payments comprise just 10% of overall Commonwealth social security and welfare spending (ACOSS 2017).

Activation policies

Over the past 25 years, expectations of paid workforce participation among social security recipients have intensified, under ‘activation’ policies pursed in most wealthy nations. This is part of an international trend towards higher workforce participation in wealthy nations, especially among women.

Activity requirements aren’t new for people we used to classify as ‘unemployed’: work tests have always been part of the eligibility conditions for unemployment benefits. What’s changed is the scope and intensity of these requirements (including supervised job search and joining training courses and other programs), and their extension to ‘new groups’ of working-age payment recipients. In 2003, the Howard Government launched an ‘Active Participation Model’ of employment services in which unemployed people had to follow a ‘service continuum’ of gradually intensifying requirements including Work for the Dole. Three years later these requirements were extended to many sole parents and people with disabilities under the ‘Welfare to Work’ policy.

Promotion of workforce participation, and help to secure a decent job, has potential benefits. Whiteford & Adema compared anti-child poverty policies across wealthy nations and found that a combination of adequate benefits and help to secure paid employment – as pursued in the Nordic countries – achieved the best results. Where many are excluded from paid work by structural changes in the economy, disabilities, or caring roles, public investment in paid work experience, training, child care and other employment-related assistance (including partnerships with employers to encourage them to take on people they would not otherwise employ) can make a difference.

Employment assistance is in need of improvement in Australia, where over two-thirds of people receiving Newstart Allowance have received income support for more than a year, often for the above reasons.

Not all countries have pursued the same ‘activation’ policies. It’s widely acknowledged that some countries aim to strengthen people’s work capacities and skills while others resort to ‘work first’ policies that impose activity requirements mainly to pressure people to leave benefits as quickly as possible.  ‘Work for the Dole’ is a good example of the latter approach.

In Australia today, unemployed people are caught in a welfare trap but not the ‘intergenerational dependency’ the present government claims. They are caught between the high expectations and ever-increasing requirements of activation policies and the reluctance of governments and employers to invest in people who can’t simply walk into a job within a month or two of unemployment, even if the labour market picks up.

Our lean welfare state imposes maximum activation with minimum support. For example, unemployed people must generally search for 10 jobs a fortnight but consultant caseloads in ‘jobactive’ services of up to 300 have been reported. Many don’t receive the help they need.

As long as our two-tier social security system remains, ‘welfare to work’ policies mean that a growing number of parents and people with disabilities are shifted from pensions to the lower Newstart payment.

In recent years, the government has imposed new expectations on unemployed people that extend well beyond what can reasonably be expected to improve their job prospects: 15 to 25 hours a week of ‘Work for the Dole’, income management, and lately drug tests – all on the assumption that unemployment is caused by some kind of moral failure.

It seems the poor law is still with us.

Yet, activation policies challenge at least part of the old poor-law logic: if all who are able to join the paid workforce are required and supported to do so, there is no longer any justification to pay them less than those who cannot. Activation policies make the pension-allowance divide redundant, opening up the possibility of a ‘basic income’ that’s based on need rather than ‘deservingness’.

What’s changed in the Labour market?

Economists have been predicting the emergence of a ‘leisure society’ for a long time now. John Maynard Keynes famously predicted that by 2030 most jobs would be part-time and that ‘we shall do more things for ourselves than is usual with the rich today, only too glad to have small duties and tasks and routines.’ As John Quiggin points out, Keynes missed a few important trends including the conversion of much of traditional ‘women’s work’ into paid jobs. And of course, capitalism and modern marketing created new ‘needs’ which kept our noses to the (paid work) grindstone.

This is not the place to follow these debates in detail. The following relies much on an excellent paper by Borland & Coelli (2017), in which they track the impact of technological change on the Australian labour market over the last two decades, and assess whether jobs have become more scarce or precarious. Below are some of their key conclusions.

  1. Jobs and working hours have not declined overall

Since much growth in employment has been part-time, the volume of working hours per capita is a better summary of the state of employment than the share of people employed.

Figure 2 shows that, apart from the 70s and early 80s (which economist Bob Gregory called the ‘disappointing decades’), overall working hours increased from the 1960s to the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

Figure 2: Hours of work per capita, Australia, 1965/66 to 2015/16, Actual hours worked series (Equals 100 in 1965/66)

basic income-trends in working hours

Source: Borland J & Coelli M (2017)

  1. Robots won’t simply replace jobs, they will redistribute and redesign them

In 2013, Frey & Osborne made the explosive prediction that over the next decade or two from 2010, 47% of US jobs were at high risk from the spread of intelligent machines (computers and robots).

Others argued that this risk was unlikely to be realised in most cases, as intelligent machines complement the work of humans as well as displacing it. Borland & Coelli (2017)suggest that 10% or less of current jobs in Australia will go over the next few decades.

Whether we end up with the same number of jobs and hours per capita or not, there is a broad consensus that the labour market will continue to polarise between skilled and routine jobs (Figure 3), and manual labour and services (with the former gaining ground at the expense of the latter in each case):

Computerization has substituted for low-skill workers in performing routine tasks while complementing the abstract, creative, problem-solving, and coordination tasks performed by highly-educated workers.

As the declining price of computer technology has driven down the wages paid to routine tasks, low-skill workers have reallocated their labor supply to service occupations, which are difficult to automate. (Autor D & Dorn D (2013))

 Figure 3: Share of employment by skill (Australia, 1986-2006)

basic income-jobs by skill

Source: Borland & Coelli (2017)

So far, the losers have been workers with skills suited to routine jobs, especially routine manual jobs.

  1. Jobs are less secure for some, much the same for others

Another common claim is that jobs are less secure and more people are unable to obtain the working hours they need for a decent income. The real story here is mixed – with winners and losers depending on age and gender.

Figure 4 shows that a declining share of employees is leaving or losing their job each year, and that job turnover among women is converging downwards towards male turnover rates (which are gradually rising). Men still fare ‘better’ (to the extent that staying in the same job is a good outcome, which is not always so), but less so than in the past.

Figure 4: Rate of outflow from employment: Australia (1980-2016)

basic income-job mobility

Source: Borland & Coelli (2017)

Figure 5 shows trends in un- and under-employment. That is the share of people who lack the paid hours they seek.

The striking trend since the early 1990s is the divergent experiences of young, middle-aged and older people. It is clear that young people have borne the brunt of growth in un- and under-employment since then. However, if mature age workers lose their old ‘steady job’, they seem to face a labour market just as hostile as that confronting young people.

Figure 5: Labour under-utilisation (unemployment + under-employment) by age (Australia, 1978-2014)

basic income underemployment

Source: Borland & Coelli (2017)

  1. The ‘gig economy’ is not new

Growth in precarious employment is not inevitable. Jim Sandford points out that for the first half of the 20th century a large share of jobs, especially low-skilled ones – were either casual (daily hire) or paid at ‘piece rates’ (according by work done rather than by the hour).

In the 1940s, wharfies lined up outside the docks each day to be told whether or not they would be given a job. ‘Uberisation’ is a high-tech version of the ‘hungry mile’.

The 1940s: The Hungry Mile
basic income-hungry mile

‘It was to this mile of wharves that maritime labourers in the nineteenth century and on into the 1940s, tramped each day regardless of the weather to find casual, low paid work, because that was the nature of waterfront work in those days.’ (Source: Rowan Cahill, Union Songs)

2010s: ‘The gig economy’

basic income-gig economy

(Source: New York Times)

We managed to turn the tide against casualisation under conditions of full employment after World War Two. Information technology increases the risk, but also makes it easier to organise against it (for example, through union recruitment campaigns, cooperatives, and consumer boycotts).

There is a danger that if we concede defeat in the face of the ‘gig economy’, casualisation could become a self-fulfilling prophecy for a new generation of workers.

Conclusion

The threat to traditional forms of social protection is real, but it does not take the form that is popularly assumed. Jobs are not disappearing but workers with ‘routine skills’, and people entering or re-entering paid work after a long absence (including many young people, women and retrenched mature-aged workers) face greater risks of unemployment and job insecurity.

The welfare state is not shrinking but it is increasingly subjected to market disciplines, for example in the treatment of unemployed people.

In Parts 3 and 4 of this series, we ask whether a UBI or other variant of a basic income could help mitigate these risks.

This four part series is written based on the presentation, ‘From basic income to poor law and back again: can a UBI break the Gordian Knot between social security and waged labour?’, by Peter Davidson at the Australian Social Policy Conference at UNSW on 27 September 2017. 

 

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Bullshit Jobs in Higher Ed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/05/2018 - 3:41am in

“The degree to which those involved in teaching and academic management spend more and more of their time involved in tasks which they secretly—or not so secretly—believe to be entirely pointless” is a hot topic on academic social media this week, owing to an article about it by anthropologist David Graeber (LSE) in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The article, “Are You in a BS Job? In Academe, You’re Hardly Alone,” (possibly paywalled) is a preview of Graeber’s forthcoming book, Bullshit Jobs.

Graeber takes bullshit jobs to be “forms of employment seen as utterly pointless by those who perform them,” and “make no meaningful contribution to the world.” The holders of such jobs consider them a “waste of time,” and think their disappearance “would either make no difference or make the world a better place.”

His primary concern is with the “bullshitization of real jobs”: the phenomenon by which purposeful and meaningful work gets taken over by more and more bullshit tasks. Bullshitization is a problem for academia:

In most universities nowadays—and this seems to be true almost everywhere—academic staff find themselves spending less and less time studying, teaching, and writing about things, and more and more time measuring, assessing, discussing, and quantifying the way in which they study, teach, and write about things (or the way in which they propose to do so in the future. European universities, reportedly, now spend at least 1.4 billion euros [about 1.7 billion dollars] a year on failed grant applications.). It’s gotten to the point where “admin” now takes up so much of most professors’ time that complaining about it is the default mode of socializing among academic colleagues; indeed, insisting on talking instead about one’s latest research project or course idea is considered somewhat rude. 

Graeber notes that the increase in these bullshit tasks has coincided with a substantial growth in university administration and support staff. From 1985 to 2005, he notes, students and faculty populations at colleges and universities increased by 50%, while administration increased by 85%, and the number of administrative staff increased by 240%. Graeber writes:

In theory, these are support-staff. They exist to make other peoples’ jobs easier. In the classic conception of the university, at least, they are there to save scholars the trouble of having to think about how to organize room assignments or authorize travel payments, allowing them to instead think great thoughts or grade papers. No doubt most support-staff still do perform such work. But if that were their primary role, then logically, when they double or triple in number, lecturers and researchers should have to do much less admin as a result. Instead they appear to be doing far more.

Graeber thinks the problem is a version of “managerial feudalism”:

Rich and powerful people have always surrounded themselves with flashy entourages; you can’t be really magnificent without one…. In the contemporary corporation, the accumulation of the equivalent of feudal retainers often becomes the main principle of organization. The power and prestige of managers tend to be measured by the number of people they have working under them…. Office workers are typically kept on even if they are doing literally nothing, lest somebody’s prestige suffer. This is the real reason for the explosion of administrative staff in higher education. If a university hires a new dean or deanlet… then, in order to ensure that he or she feels appropriately impressive and powerful, the new hire must be provided with a tiny army of flunkies. Three or four positions are created — and only then do negotiations begin over what they are actually going to do.

The new deans and deanlets and their minions have to justify their value to the university. One person he interviewed for his research on bullshit jobs, Chloe, accepted an appointment as a dean with the task of providing “strategic leadership” to the school. She says that since she had no control over the school’s budget or authority over its resources, “All I could do was come up with a new strategy which was, in effect, a re-spin of already agreed University strategies.” She was given a staff but had no real use for them, and concludes “I spent two years of my life making up work for myself and for other people.”

After the deanship she became chair of her department:

My very brief stint as Head of Department reminded me that at least, at the very minimum, 90% of the role is bullshit. Filling out the forms that the Faculty Dean sends so that s/he can write her strategy documents that get sent up the chain of command. Producing a confetti of paperwork as part of the auditing and monitoring of research activities and teaching activities. Producing plan after plan after 5-year-plan justifying why departments need to have the money and staff they already have. Doing bloody annual appraisals which go into a drawer never to be looked at again. And, in order to get these tasks done, as HoD, you ask your staff to help out. Bullshit proliferation.

He hypothesizes that higher education has been particularly susceptible to bullshitization because

academe is a kind of meeting place of the caring sector—defined in its broadest sense, as an occupation that involves looking after, nurturing, or furthering the health, well-being, or development of other human beings—and the creative sector.

The growing prevalence of a managerial outlook in these domains means that their practitioners are “obliged to spend increasing proportions of their time pretending to quantify the unquantifiable.”

Read Graeber’s article for a fuller explanation of his view.

While Graeber sees the increased bullshitization of the university as an outgrowth of managerial feudalism—basically as downstream effects of ostentatious displays of status and self-justification from those with power—there is, I think, a contribution to the problem that is less easily vilified, and which is in fact held up as laudable in other contexts: the drive for accountability.

It is not unreasonable for the public to want proof that its ivory towers are valuable and that their occupants are doing their jobs well. Sure, some demands for accountability are themselves bullshit—political posturing and the like. But not all. If private donors or state legislatures are interested in figuring out how to deploy their resources, it helps to have comprehensible accounts of how valuable their options are.

It’s also not unreasonable for the public to not just take our word for it. “Just trust us” is not an option.

Even if you think we don’t owe the public an explanation of our value, don’t we owe it to ourselves to know how well the enterprise to which we belong is doing? Gut feelings, status quo bias, path-dependence, blind faith, and self-serving platitudes won’t cut it.

The trick is to figure out how to convey how we’re doing without adopting standards and methods ill-suited to what we’re doing. Graeber is correct to lament the time wasted “pretending to quantify the unquantifiable.” But we also must acknowledge that some of the valuable things we take ourselves to be doing are, in fact, quantifiable. Figuring out which is which, how to express how well we’re doing with the unquantifiable stuff, how to assess the quantifiable stuff, determining which assessments require disciplinary expertise and which can be handled competently by support staff, and so on—and how to do all of this without bullshitizing our jobs—that’s a formidable challenge.


Bovey Lee, “Tightrope Walker” (cut paper)

 

The post Bullshit Jobs in Higher Ed appeared first on Daily Nous.

State of Resistance

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/05/2018 - 6:49am in

State of Resistance, by Manuel Pastor, draws out lessons from the fall and rise of California’s economy:

Once upon a time, any mention of California triggered unpleasant reminders of Ronald Reagan and right-wing tax revolts, ballot propositions targeting undocumented immigrants, and racist policing that sparked two of the nation’s most devastating riots. California confronted many of the challenges the rest of the country faces now–decades before the rest of us.

Today, California is leading the way on addressing climate change, low-

wage work, immigrant integration, over-incarceration, and more. As white residents became a minority and job loss drove economic uncertainty, California had its own Trump moment twenty-five years ago, but has become increasingly blue over each of the last seven presidential elections.

How did the Golden State manage to emerge from its unsavory past to become a bellwether for the rest of the country?

Read more here.

On the Costs of Doing Without a Job Guarantee

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/05/2018 - 6:04am in

Pavlina Tcherneva — who, along with L. Randall Wray, Flavia Dantas, Scott Fullwiler, and Stephanie Kelton, authored this report estimating the economic impact of a job guarantee proposal (the Public Service Employment program) — was interviewed by Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Julia Chatterley about the purposes and costs of the plan.

This recently released policy note by L. Randall Wray also takes on some of the criticisms raised by the interviewers, in addition to seeking a consensus among the job guarantee proposals emanating from progressive think-tanks.

On the Costs of Doing Without a Job Guarantee

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/05/2018 - 6:04am in

Pavlina Tcherneva — who, along with L. Randall Wray, Flavia Dantas, Scott Fullwiler, and Stephanie Kelton, authored this report estimating the economic impact of a job guarantee proposal (the Public Service Employment program) — was interviewed by Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and Julia Chatterley about the purposes and costs of the plan.

This recently released policy note by L. Randall Wray also takes on some of the criticisms raised by the interviewers, in addition to seeking a consensus among the job guarantee proposals emanating from progressive think-tanks.

Which Conferences Should Philosophy Grad Students Attend?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 24/04/2018 - 11:59pm in

A graduate student writes in with a question about conferences.

I was wondering if there could be a post asking faculty which conference presentations look best on a job candidate’s CV? I have been given varying advice about which conferences to submit to. I’ve been told it is good to have conference presentations, but I have been told to ignore graduate conferences, for they do not make one look good (unless the grad conference is at a top program). I have been told also to give preference to submitting to regularly occurring “big name” conferences like MadMeta, etc., instead of, say, state philosophical association conferences, etc., for hiring committees would rather see one presentation at something like MadMeta than three presentations at the so-and-so state philosophical association. I would like to hear what others, especially those who have served on search committees, have to say about this advice. 

I think there could be a helpful discussion of this topic, but it might first be good to broaden the question a little. Presumably, the student wants to know which conference presentations look best on a candidate’s CV because the goal is to improve one’s employment prospects. But a conference presentation’s appearance as a line on your CV is just one way in which it may improve your employment prospects. So the better question to ask, I think, is, “which conferences would it be best for me to present at, given my goal of improving my chances of getting a job?”

The first thing to say is that, as lines on a candidate’s CV, conference presentations don’t do all that much to improve one’s chances. Candidates will want to have a couple of conference presentations to list just to show that they are capable of giving talks and are engaged with the profession, and for that it is useful to have presented at a major conference, such as a meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA). But beyond that, especially in this very competitive job market, it is hard to imagine an employment decision coming down to which conferences are listed on the candidate’s CVs.

However, conference presentations may aid one’s job prospects in other ways: skill development, networking, and improving the quality of one’s work.

Being able to give a substantively interesting, well-argued, and stylistically engaging talk, and being able to competently and gracefully handle challenges and questions in the ensuing discussion, are skills that require practice to develop. For many people, it helps to practice in low-key environments, and graduate conferences or state philosophy association meetings are often perfect for that. With such practice, you’ll do better in more high-stakes environments, such as more prestigious conferences or job talks.

Conferences are also opportunities for others to assess whether you’re an interesting thinker, a person they want to hear from or talk to, a person who is pleasant to be around. You get to make an impression and get your name in the heads of others, and a positive impression and some name recognition can make it the case that your dossier gets a decent look, at least. For networking, specialized conferences may be better, as you’ll be interacting with others who may be in a position to provide you with further opportunities (events, publications) in your research area. But again, depending on what types of jobs your graduate program typically places people in, state association meetings may put you in contact with more of the people who work in the kinds of departments you are likely to be a strong candidate for.

Lastly, not to be overlooked is the way in which presenting your ideas in front of different audiences improves your work. Arguably the most important function of conferences is that they can provide an environment especially conducive to useful philosophical conversation that makes your work better. (Relatedly, your talk should never go over the time limits to use up the portion of your session reserved for questions and discussion. It sends a message to the audience members that you do not respect them or value their input.) If your work is better, that itself may help improve your job prospects, and it might also mean more impressive publications, or better letters from those recommending you, which again should improve your job prospects. High quality specialty conferences are obviously good for this, and even better, within that category, are read-ahead conferences.

That’s my two cents on the relationship between conferences and getting a job. Comments from others are encouraged. Thanks.


Craig Allen, “09”

The post Which Conferences Should Philosophy Grad Students Attend? appeared first on Daily Nous.

For Bold Solutions We Ought To Include MMT in Economic Discourse

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 23/04/2018 - 3:33am in

By Justin R. Harbour, ALM

In a recent Financial Times article, Martin Sandbu identifies three major economic failures of competitive capitalism in the West: growing inequality; the disproportionate effects of The Great Recession on young people; and the threat of displacement in labor markets brought by improving technology and the presumed ubiquity of artificial intelligence. Sandbu connects these failures to recent victories of populist “extremist” parties in the EU, UK, and US, and asserts that if liberalism and competitive capitalism are to remain a viable and persuasive platform for the next generations a bolder thinking from the Western political economy is now more necessary than ever.

This need to revamp Western capitalism has brought renewed attention to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a school of thought that offers an important and bold perspective on economics and policy solutions. A universal basic income (UBI), universal basic services (UBS), and a job guarantee by the State are most commonly cited as a bold fix to current problems. So, it is worth asking, what are the merits of these aforementioned proposals, through the lens of MMT?

The Failures of Competitive Capitalism

To answer this question, we first look at the failures of the competitive capitalism. Growing inequality is nearly universal. According to the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD), the growth in inequality between the incomes of the top 10% of earners and the bottom 10% has not stopped since 1985: 

The Great Recession accelerated this trend and brought into stark relief the confounding need of the West to rescue and protect the Recession’s primary contributors (i.e., “too big to fail” banks). This approach made the resulting trends in unemployment all the harder to take, especially for the West’s younger workers. A 2012 report on the employment effects of The Great Recession by Stanford University found that those groups hit hardest were found those 25-54 years of age (i.e., the “prime working age” range, and hence a significant variable in overall economic growth). The report also found that minority groups found themselves bearing more of the burden than their racial-majority peers. A similar report from the Federal Reserve bank of St. Louis found that the recovery rates from unemployment after The Great Recession were lowest amongst younger prime-age workers and older workers. In Europe the young have fared even worse, according to a recent report from Eurostat:

The story for wealth creation and asset acquisition for younger citizens homeownership is similarly alarming. Since World War II, homeownership has been considered to be the financial outcome indicative of a successful economy due to its positive value as a long-term asset. The decline in home ownership thus includes a worrying picture, ceteris paribus. As shown in the graph below, declining home ownership in the United States accelerated during the Recession, and remains at a rate not experienced since the economic boom of the nineties:

Though homeownership is less likely to be understood as a sign of economic success and health in Europe, research suggests a similar trend in declining home ownership in the aftermath of the Great Recession was also seen in the EU.  Taken together, these trends make a generation’s economic skepticism of the ability of our current economy to deliver prosperity more of a logical first principle than not.

Three bold proposals to address this skepticism have become nearly commonplace in such reform-minded discourse: a UBI, a UBS, and a job guarantee. What does each propose, and which is best suited to address the issues identified above?

Three Bold Proposals

A UBI offers all citizens a basic level of income. UBI’s proponents commonly claim that this income is necessary for a variety of reasons. The fear of artificial intelligence taking over traditional labor tasks is commonly cited in defense of UBI. Some UBI proponents also argue that such an income would enhance human freedom by providing an option free from coercive and freedom-reducing labor arrangements. A UBI could also streamline social entitlement spending to be more efficient and less bureaucratic. A UBS does not offer income, but a variety of services deemed essential to maximize freedom and economic potential. Though the services offered differ between advocates, they often include improved and free public transportation, access to the internet, and job training, among others. A job guarantee is just as it sounds: anyone needing or wanting work but currently out of work would be offered a job by the local government to provide labor and/or services toward local projects that a community needs.

Each of these proposals includes explicit costs that must be heavily weighed. For example, the literal cost of providing a UBI substantial enough to achieve its purpose is very high. Some have suggested that its cost could range in the 30-40 trillion-dollar range in the United States. Cost-of-living variations also diminish the streamlining argument for a UBI since adjusting it for regional purchasing parity may make it even more complex bureaucratically than the current system. Explicit costs also represent an issue for UBS, though ostensibly less so than a UBI. Though the job guarantee does face some cost concerns, important work has recently demonstrated that the opportunity costs of such a program are well worth the explicit costs it may incur.

Though each proposal is bold in its promises and its trade-offs, the more important question here is which offers a better redress of the concerns raised by the Great Recession. It appears that the job guarantee is the better situated to address all those concerns on both explicit and implicit cost fronts. The job guarantee addresses the unemployment problem and wages problem directly. The job guarantee has the additional appeal of making it more likely that the newly employed will accumulate enough wealth to make home ownership an attractive option, and thus satisfy the third concern. Conversely, a UBI only deals with the wage issue directly and therefore the unemployment problem indirectly, while a UBS program does not address any of the problems directly. There are several other variables at play that strengthen the argument for job guarantee over the others. Most importantly, the job guarantee is the only one that signals the value of work – an implication necessary for future growth if an economy hopes to move beyond its current frontier. In doing so, it is more likely to find traction in our polarized political paradigm by avoiding the typical debates associated with strengthening social safety nets.

 

The Rise of Modern Monetary Theory

The economic school most strongly advocating for the affordability of a job guarantee program – Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) – has been experiencing a surge of public interest and acceptance as of late. This is not to say it is brand new or has not been trying to advocate for the policies its theory substantiates for a long time. But its appeal since the experience of the Great Recession is obvious once one digs into it. MMT is a theory of sovereign monetary policy that asserts that sovereign nations that issue debt in its own fiat currency cannot ever run out of money. Any restraint by a nation on their spending for any reason, including to stimulate demand or provide needed relief is, therefore, a purely political decision, and only restrained by the availability of real resources. MMT’s advocates thus model how under MMT’s reorientation of fiscal perspective, a nation’s fiscal and monetary policy options are much broader than under older and perhaps more dominant paradigms. The implication is that there are bolder and further reaching policy options always available to state to provide relief for distressed citizens during downturns if they can move beyond the unnecessary concerns for debt and deficits during such times.

The most notable of MMT’s more active contemporary economists include L. Randall WrayWarren Mosler, and Stephanie Kelton. There are several websites dedicated to the defense of its theory by these authors and others: one by another of its theorists Bill Mitchell; and The Minskys, so named to honor one of the more prominent economists to set the foundations of MMT, Hyman Minsky. Of additional note would be Ms. Kelton’s work with the campaign of Bernie Sanders in 2016 and her recent inclusion into Bloomberg View’s stable of writers – an inclusion suggesting that MMT’s theories are gaining traction. There have also been recent news items such as a history of MMT in Vice News and a review of its contemporary appeal in The Nation. Finally, there has been the consistent work and advocacy of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. MMT, in other words, appears here to stay.

Important work has been produced recently by MMT economists as well. In the United States, the Levy Institute recently published a report on the macroeconomic effects of canceling all student debt. The report finds that effects of such a policy would have a greater economic stimulus on employment and GDP than its costs can reasonably argue against. So too did the Levy Institute publish a report on the feasibility of the guaranteed job program discussed above. The job guarantee has helpfully garnered bipartisan support from the political right, left, and center.

Though popular within certain corners of the public sphere and gaining traction, it is not without its legitimate faults and challenges. Nonetheless, an undergraduate or higher level secondary student is unlikely to be exposed to MMT during their introductory training. I am not here suggesting that the more traditional curriculum is not appropriate for introductory students, nor universally ambivalent about the inclusion of emerging theories. But I am saying that for some teachers and some curriculums, finding ways to include such exciting emerging work with profound implications on their economic thinking and potentially their communities are harder the more they are not engaged with by “mainstream” outlets. What’s more, some of the more ubiquitous and far-reaching introductory curriculums (Advanced Placement in America, for example, or the International Baccalaureate program) don’t consider it at all.

At a time when some are rightfully calling for economists to better communicate economic concepts, ignoring newer and bolder conceptions of economic pillars that have popular momentum and real-world applicability behind them – such as MMT – leaves a fruitful learning opportunity to advance economic thinking and communicating skills for the youngest of economists at the door. Mr. Sandbu is right; the experience of the Great Recession by Gen Xers, Millennials, and those closely on their heels demands bold reform to reanimate the economy’s perceived legitimacy. A generation of economists and their work will be informed by their experience with the Great Recession. Let us all hope that MMT and its similar promising competitors are taken as seriously as the older theories so that we can rethink and rebuild economics in a way that makes economic thinking and understanding economic theory a universal pillar to our civic discourse.

 

About the author

Justin Harbour is currently an Instructor for Advanced Placement Economics at La Salle College High School in Philadelphia, PA. Having studied history, government, and political economy at UMASS, Amherst and Harvard University, he has previously published book reviews on teaching and education for the Teacher’s College Record and essays in CLIO: Newsletter of Politics and History, The World History Bulletin, and Political Animal. Justin lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children. Follow him on twitter @jrharbour1

The post For Bold Solutions We Ought To Include MMT in Economic Discourse appeared first on The Minskys.

From Basic Income to Poor Law and back

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 22/04/2018 - 10:27pm in

This four-part series explores the genesis of the idea of a ‘basic income’, how this evolved into a more broadly-based strategy for social improvement, the risks to job security and the welfare state, and the role of a basic income in overcoming them.

It featured recently in the Australian Tax Transfer Institute’s policy blog

Part 1 examines the surprising origins of basic income.

From Basic Income to Poor Law and back again

Part 1: From Speenhamland to poor law and welfare state

The first Basic Income scheme was introduced in Speenhamland, Berkshire in 1795, when the Napoleonic wars were underway, the French revolution was fresh in the minds of England’s rulers, and the industrial revolution was beginning.

Now that the idea has gained currency again, there is much to learn from Speenhamland and the Poor Law reform that followed it. The key lesson is that under capitalism, the labour market, politics and the welfare state are intertwined: changes in one impact on the other.

The Speenhamland declaration

speenhamland

“That it is not expedient for the Magistrates to grant that assistance by regulating the Wages of Day Labourers, according to the directions of the Statutes of the 5th Elizabeth and 1st James: But the Magistrates very earnestly recommend to the Farmers to increase the pay of their Labourers in proportion to the present price of provisions;

“The Magistrates now present make the following calculations and allowances for relief of all poor and industrious men and their families, who to the satisfaction of the justices of their Parish, shall endeavour (as far as they can) for their own support and maintenance.

When the Gallon Loaf of Second Flour, Weighing 8lb. 11ozs. shall cost 1s, then:

every poor and industrious man shall have for his own support   3s. weekly, either produced by his own or his family’s labour, or an allowance from the poor rates, and for the support of his wife and every other of his family, Is. 6d.”

The Speenhamland system

We can see from this declaration in a pub in Berkshire that the idea of a Basic Income is not new. A cash benefit to meet basic living costs was paid out of council rates to thousands of farm workers (whether employed or unemployed). It was not universal (land-owners were not included), but this payment was widespread in the south of England.

Living standards of farm labourers in south of England were under pressure from high inflation driven by war, and a progressive loss of income from home production as new factories came into production across the north.

We can see from this proclamation that the local landlords (magistrates) were reluctant to impose minimum wages. Instead, they decided to use council rate revenues to protect the incomes of their workers.

The payments resembled modern income support, and even had their own equivalence scale to reflect the needs of families.

There was more. The landlords experimented with labour market programs for unemployed workers including subsidised private labour (‘roundsmen’), work for benefits (the ‘labour rate’), and (to a lesser degree) waged employment on public works

All of these anti-poverty policies are familiar to us today.

It is no accident this first ‘basic income guarantee’ coincided with the onset of the industrial revolution. This was one last push by landowners of southern England to keep their rural workforce in the face of industrialisation.

Apart from Tory noblesse oblige, this was about preserving the old system of rural labour relations in the face of emergent capitalism.

New wine in old bottles: income protection in England in the late 18th century

1. Minimum guaranteed income: The Speenhamland bread scale that provided specific amounts of aid in support of wages depending on the price of bread and the size of the family.

2. Seasonal unemployment insurance: During the winter months when agricultural work was scarce, some parishes provided unemployed farm workers and their families with a weekly stipend that varied depending upon family size.

3. Public works: Some parishes put the unemployed to work building roads or performing other types of work. Sometimes the supervision was done by public authorities and sometimes by private contractors.

4. Employer subsidies: Some parishes used poor relief funds to reimburse farmers and other employers who hired unemployed people. This was often called the ‘roundsman’ system because the unemployed workers would make the rounds of local employers.

5. Workfare: Some parishes allocated a certain proportion of unemployed people to each local employer with the idea that they would provide employment (at poor relief rates) instead of paying taxes for poor relief. This was referred to as the ‘labour rate’ system.

6. Child allowances: Many agricultural parishes provided a supplement to the income of male agricultural workers who had more than two or three children who were not yet of working age.

7. Workhouse: A minority of parishes required that unemployed people seeking relief enter a residential facility that imposed work requirements. Some of these facilities were publicly administered, and some were run by private contractors.

(Block & Summers, 2003)

But it didn’t last long

When the industrialists gained power in Parliament in the 1830s, they argued that the Speehamland system depressed wages and encouraged idleness.

These views were supported by new ‘dismal science’ of political economy (especially by Ricardo and Malthus). Together with the industrialists they argued for a ‘free market’ in labour (with workers unable to organise or vote!). This was the stimulus for infamous 1830s ‘Poor Law inquiry’.

Their arguments are strikingly similar to those against a Basic Income today, and we have reason to be sceptical:

‘In sum, the Speenhamland myth was created in the years of agricultural downturn to divert blame for a deep agricultural crisis away from government policy and toward the rural poor who were the major victims of the economic downturn.

‘Many of the specific complaints in the historical record about the corrosive effects of the [Speenhamland] actually centre on ‘roundsmen’ or others who were engaged in ’make work’ activities.

‘When public agencies create employment specifically with the goal of making recipients work in exchange for relief, supervisors usually find it difficult to elicit high levels of work effort because recipients know that they are not working in a real job.’

‘Since the decision taken by the government on Ricardo’s advice to restore the prewar parity of the pound intensified the rural depression, the mythology worked to cover up the first major policy failure of the new science of political economy.’

‘By shifting the blame for the problems on to Speenhamland and all its pernicious evils, the economic liberals successfully reframed the agricultural downturn into a problem of individual morality and an enduring parable of the dangers of government ‘interference’ with the market.’ (Block & Summers 2003)

The new poor laws: a ‘stoic determination to renounce human solidarity’

The result was a national ban on public relief for able-bodied individuals outside the horrors of the ‘workhouse’. This was the birth of social security principles we know today: ‘less eligibility’ (that benefits should always be much less than minimum wages), ‘deserving and undeserving poor’ (a duty to work for the able-bodied or ‘undeserving’, and higher benefits for ‘the deserving’ or those ‘unable to work’ due to a disability).

As Polanyi put it in his influential history of the industrial revolution:

‘It was at the behest of these [1832 Poor laws] that compassion was removed from the hearts, and a stoic determination to renounce human solidarity in the name of the greatest happiness for the greatest number gained the dignity of a secular religion.’

‘The abolition of Speenhamland was the true birthday of the modern working class, whose immediate self-interest destined them to become the protectors of society against the intrinsic dangers of the machine civilisation. But whatever the future held for them, working class and market economy appeared in history together. The hatred of public relief, the distrust of state action, the insistence of respectability and self reliance, remained for generations characteristics of the British workers.’ (Polanyi 1954, p102)

Charles Dickens chronicled the horrors of the 19th century workhouse:

 ‘At present, if a boy should feel a strong impulse upon him to learn the art of going aloft, he could only gratify it, I presume, as the men and women paupers gratify their aspirations after better board and lodging, by smashing as many workhouse windows as possible, and being promoted to prison.’

Millbank Workhouse

workhouse

The take-home message of the new poor laws was that in the nascent capitalist system, decent minimum incomes – the ‘social minimum’ – would not be guaranteed by public relief alone, they must also be underpinned by decent jobs, skills, and wages.

From Speenhamland to Nixon

The Speenhamland system was of more than academic interest to modern policy makers. When Richard Nixon revived the idea of a basic income in his ‘Family Assistance Plan’, he was warned against it.

In the Nixon Administration, Daniel Moynihan was tasked with developing a ‘Family Assistance Plan’. As Moynihan recalled:

“In mid-April Martin Anderson, of [Arthur] Burns’s staff, prepared ‘A Short History of a Family Security System’ in the form of excerpts on the history of the Speenhamland system, the late eighteenth-century British scheme of poor relief taken from Karl Polanyi’s ‘The Great Transformation’.

“The gist of Anderson’s memo was that in that earlier historical case, the intended floor under the income of poor families actually operated as a ceiling on earned income with the consequence that the poor were further immiserated.” (Block & Summers 2003)

What happened next: two roads to betterment

By the end of the 19th century, the labour movement and social reformers realised they would have work on two fronts to end poverty and deprivation: the labour market and the State, unions and the vote.

Unions & industrial regulation

womens tu league

The vote and the welfare state

votes for women

 

In Australia, by the end of the Second World War, these groups were successful in constructing the two pillars of the modern ‘social minimum’: labour market regulation and the welfare state.

In the labour market, this comprised:

  • A high minimum hourly wage
  • Full employment & regular working hours (for men)
  • A high unionisation rate

In the welfare state it included:

  • Free public education
  • (Mostly) free public health services
  • A robust public Vocational Education and Training system
  • Age pensions
  • An unemployment benefit safety net linked to a public employment service
  • Family payments to prevent child poverty (both in & out of paid work)

The post-war Australian Welfare State

chifley2

It is often argued today that these social protections (at least for people of working age) can no longer be sustained in their present form; specifically that the social security system should now be replaced or supplemented by a Universal Basic Income. We explore the genesis of these arguments in Part 2 of this series.

This four part series is written based on a presentation  on Basic Income by Peter Davidson at the Australian Social Policy Conference at UNSW on 27/9/17.

 

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