The Left is right on jobs
The U.S. should find a job for anyone out of work 90 days or longer, said Noah Smith. It might not seem like an urgent problem now, with unemployment as low as it is, but it will be a boon in the next recession. Mostly these wouldn’t be government jobs, but jobs in the private or nonprofit sectors, subsidized by taxpayers. The latest plan for this comes from California Rep. Ro Khanna, a Democrat who represents the district that includes Silicon Valley, and it’s a good one. Private-sector subsidy programs have a “track record of success” that stretches back to the Great Depression. When that fails, the federal government could hire workers directly; Khanna’s plan also includes money for cities to experiment with a fully public job-guarantee program. Until recently a plan like this would have been dismissed as too radical to get through the political gauntlet, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders have shifted the range of politically realistic options to the left. Even conservative critics of Obamacare, for instance, are now giving government-funded, single-payer health insurance a new look. Not all the idealistic proposals from socialists such as Ocasio-Cortez should be enacted. But they do belong in a “healthy debate of ideas” and can serve as a “guiding compass” for reformers to follow.