When we are in the White House, we will enact a federal jobs guarantee, to ensure that everyone is guaranteed a stable job. Between transforming our energy system and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, there is more than enough work to be done. Let’s do it.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 3, 2019
As someone who’s paid limited attention to Bernie for the past couple of years, my first thought was “Do I even want to know how he’d try to accomplish this?” Is he going to punish employers, or would he take the Obamacare route and raise taxes on the unemployed? Or will he just have the feds hire everyone and put them on vast makework projects?
Unless he’s switched plans since last year, it’s the last one, the one where one unfriendly commentator described the cost as “rivaling or exceeding our total expenditure on Social Security, with maybe Medicaid thrown in for good measure.” Yes, that Social Security.
So imagine another 12% or so taken out of people’s paychecks, to start with. (Maybe only 10%, if that cost estimate was high.) And then the (in Maine’s example) up to 43% of the local workforce gets redirected by federal minions to support politically favored projects and causes, so (the market being what it is) everything the feds don’t support will get more expensive for the people whose paychecks just got smaller, including the people this program’s supposed to be directly helping. Way to look out for the working folk, Bernie.
I’ll leave the “soul-crushing effects of living off the government” argument alone for now, but the odds of this being better for workers than private-sector employment (which is already frequently terrible) are low.