Bernie Sanders

Democrats' Universal Job Plan Would Be a Socialist Disaster

The economic illiteracy of Bernie Sanders

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to announce a plan that guarantees every American "who wants or needs one" a lifetime government job paying at least $15 an hour, with health insurance and other perks. This new progressive workforce will then, according to The Washington Post, build glorious "projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment, education and other goals."

It would be one thing if the nation's leading socialist—and perhaps the most popular Democrat in the country—were the only one interested in creating a state-run workforce to "compete" with the private sector. A number of other allegedly moderate Democrats and prospective presidential candidates, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, favor a universal job guarantee as well. It's rapidly becoming a mainstream idea.

One imagines that a quixotic proposal like this polls quite well. I mean, who doesn't want everyone to have a job? You don't possess a skill set that enables you to find productive work? You don't want to learn a new trade? You don't want to obtain a better education? You have no interest in moving to an area where your work might be in demand? You don't want to start your career with a lower wage even if the long-term prospects of doing so might be worthwhile? Don't worry. The government's got an incentive-destroying job opportunity just for you.

And if you've been fired for a poor work ethic, or for stealing, or for making women uncomfortable with your creepy behavior, fear not; Bernie's got your back. In the rare event that state workers do misbehave, they would be summoned to a Division of Progress Investigation (a relic of our 1930s stab at socialism) to "take disciplinary action if needed." If the DPI were to run anything like major public schools systems do, you can imagine it would be a study in meritocracy.

"Job guarantee advocates," The Washington Post says, make the absurd claim that Sanders' plan "would drive up wages by significantly increasing competition for workers, ensuring that corporations have to offer more generous salaries and benefits if they want to keep their employees from working for the government."

Corporations are concerned with profit. If the minimum wage kills jobs, why should we believe businesses (especially smaller ones) would compete with government-funded projects that can print money and create salaries (and benefits) that are wholly untethered from the real cost of labor? Businesses would simply hire fewer Americans—especially those Americans first getting into the labor force.

Of course, it's more likely that our state-run workforce would be deployed for ideological and political priorities rather than economic ones. If history is any indicator, it would be used to prop up politically useful projects and keep failing industries afloat, undermining creative destruction, innovation, and long-term growth.

You do have to wonder, what would happen if local communities that share President Trump's "priorities" were to demand utilizing this state labor? What if they were to want to build sections of a wall on the southern border rather than make solar panels, or whatever progressive priority Sanders has in mind? We'd be hearing about a rise of fascism in no time.

Then there is the mission creep. No doubt the Washington, D.C., bureaucracy that would emerge to run this project would be both nimble and competent. But why only $15? Who can live on $15 an hour? Well, not a lot of people. Surely, these hard-working public servants who keep the infrastructure from crumbling around us deserve a genuine living wage. How about better pensions? As this workforce grows, it wouldn't possess any special ability other than being able to corral huge numbers of people to demand more.

Most of all, making government responsible for every American's job prospects would change the dynamics of governance—forever. Not only would politicians be expected to help create the economic conditions that make growth possible; they would then face another unrealistic expectation. Unemployment would no longer be a function of economic conditions but rather heartless politicians who fail to create jobs for voters.

This is exactly what left-leaning economists who obsess about inequality and push zero-sum fantasies about wealth and growth want. It's why they wanted the federal government to control the structure of the health care system, and it's why they want to create a "public" job option. Most of them openly argue the universal job program would let them control wages and benefits in the private sector.

Democrats have yet to tell us how they plan to fund this massive workforce idea that doesn't generate any profit. I have a strong suspicion it will have something to do with the nefariously wealthy not paying their fair share. I'm not sure, however, that even the Koch brothers could afford to bankroll this idea. But it's not really meant to pass. Not yet. Republicans would never go for it, after all. Democrats see this as a promising campaign issue. In the meantime, they continue to normalize destructive socialistic ideas in political discourse.

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  1. It will take a huge manufacturing work force to meet the demands for more wood chippers in the DC area thanks to ideas like this one.

    Rather ironic, really.

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  2. Socialist train, all aboard! Toot toot! Next stop, poverty!

    1. Poverty for all. Liberty, fraternity, equality!

  3. Lots of socialists on my fb timeline. I just constantly remind everyone that we’re living in the garden of eden and you ain’t gonna get us kicked out. Seems to keep them in line.

  4. The Democrats have decided to increase the pace of their gallop toward full on communism I guess.

    1. No, my friend, we will not live long enough to see communism, but our children… our poor children!

      1. Communism was popular several thousand years ago when people live in small tribes barely eeking out an existence. Look how well it worked then.

  5. 1% holding 90% of the wealth in this country is a disaster already.

    1. Yeah, it’d be better to live in Venezuela, NK, or Cuba, where 1% has 99% and the whole pie is smaller.

    2. Having 90% of the computer money isn’t everything.

      1. It’s no like they’d be giving the money away. People would have to work for it. It’s just a bare minimum. There would still be every opportunity to make more money doing something else. Hell, I pay a guy a $100 to cut my lawn takes him an hour. That guy wouldn’t be interested in the $15 an hour job but I’m sure there are a few million who would. Better that they’re working than not. We already guarantee medical care if they’re sick. There’s really little downside to this idea.

        1. It’s no like they’d be giving the money away. People would have to work for it.
          Experience with government controlled industries indicates that it would be given away to the connected and that people could skate by without working hard at all.
          It’s just a bare minimum. There would still be every opportunity to make more money doing something else.
          The whole point of this program is to support people who supposedly can’t or won’t do something else. And there will be built in pressure to make it more generous as time goes on.
          Hell, I pay a guy a $100 to cut my lawn takes him an hour. That guy wouldn’t be interested in the $15 an hour job
          Depends on the benefits and stability. Hourly wage isn’t all there is.
          but I’m sure there are a few million who would. Better that they’re working than not.
          Agreed, and better they have an actual in-demand job that, on net, creates wealth instead of consuming it. The private sector is vastly superior at creating those types of jobs.
          We already guarantee medical care if they’re sick.
          No we don’t. That’s why Sanders and others are still clamoring for universal health care.
          There’s really little downside to this idea.
          Other than completely wrecking the parts of the economy that the government decides to take over and likely dragging the rest down with it.

          1. Agreed, and better they have an actual in-demand job that, on net, creates wealth instead of consuming it. The private sector is vastly superior at creating those types of jobs.

            ^THIS

            Everything the government does destroys wealth. Including this lame-brained idea.

            1. I’m not willing to accept that. Rule of law, protection of property rights, and other core functions are vital to wealth creation. And there isn’t some law of nature that says that government *can’t* build a road, educate a student, or fund a research program that, on net, creates more wealth than it consumes. But the private sector is demonstrably better in most cases, often by leaps and bounds.

              1. “And there isn’t some law of nature that says that government *can’t* build a road, educate a student, or fund a res’earch program that, on net, creates more wealth than it consumes.”

                These things you list may be necessary to enabling the creation of wealth by private actors, but in and of themselves, they do not create any wealth at all.

                1. I think your definition is too narrow, but if you prefer “think of value” to “wealth”, then that’s fine.

              2. Core functions – fair enough.

                I should have specified something like “non-core functions”.

              3. It is far from clear, and light-years from axiomatic, that governments, or only governments, can or do provide the rule of law, protection of property rights, or any other “core functions.”
                None of those happen without a culture that values them. That’s where they arise, that’s where they are sustained, or destroyed.
                Government degrades that culture.

                1. I heard an old immigrant gripe that Social Security was socialism that replaced children and grandchildren with the government, and considered it destructive to family bonds. It seemed a remarkable point, which wouldn’t likely have occurred to me otherwise.

        2. The ER subsidy is one thing and is a socialist mistake.

          Basic income doesn’t work. Socialism doesn’t work. A Guaranteed Jobs Program doesn’t work.

          Free market works best.

        3. “Hell, I pay a guy a $100 to cut my lawn takes him an hour.” How big is your lawn? Why do you let “some guy” dictate how much you pay to have it cut? Much better “several guys” indicate what they would do it for and choose accordingly.

        4. Hell, I pay a guy a $100 to cut my lawn takes him an hour.

          Man you’re getting ripped off. You don’t even have to pay orphans to cut your lawn!

        5. There’s really little downside to this idea.

          Aside from the fact that the perverse incentives inherent in government patronage will turn it into a sink of corruption within months AND the basic fact that there is absolutely no way to pay for it, you mean.

        6. Hell, I pay a guy a $100 to cut my lawn takes him an hour.

          You’re getting hosed.

          1. No, the guy he pays to cut his lawn gets hosed. That’s why it’s worth the 100 bucks. Personally, I have a lady that vacuums my organ, she doesn’t charge 100 bucks and it only takes her like 5 minutes but she still gets hosed, but if Gilpin prefers dudes to women that’s his business.

            1. I have a lady that vacuums my organ

              I’ve never heard of that particular euphemism.

        7. Re: Gilpin Faust,

          People would have to work for it. It’s just a bare minimum.

          And that’s exactly what you’re going to get: the barest of minimums in terms of production, which tends to zero unless you start shooting people in the head for being in cahoots with German agents.

        8. These are going to be low skill, non-vital, make work tasks that do not add much value because they have to be to fulfill the purpose of the program

        9. The feds have a long history of alphabet soup “jobs programs” since the original WPA: NDTA, CETA, YEDTP, JTPA, AYES, STEADY, STIP, BEST, YIEPP, YACC, SCSEP, HIRE, TFA, WIOA, WIA, etc.

          None of these have been successful.

          CETA was a significant program in the 70s. It spent $53 billion (which was real money back then) and only 15% of its recruits got unsubsidized jobs in the private sector. CETA dropouts actually performed better than CETA “graduates”. When the program was terminated in 1982, over half of its “graduates” were unemployed and receiving one or more government handouts. Only 25% has permanent full-time jobs.

          LBJ’s Job Corps was a significant program in the 60s that persists until today. Its budget was $1.6 billion in 2016 to “serve” 50,000 youth: $33,000/enrollee. This program has persisted despite early findings by the GAO that “post Job Corps employment experience has been disappointing”. Subsequent studies in 2001 and 2003 found that Job Corps graduates did not do significantly better than eligible youth who had applied but then chose not to participate.

          Of course, there are some individuals who have benefited from these multi-billion-dollar programs. Most of the beneficiaries are politicians, bureaucrats, and cronies, but no doubt some enrollees benefit as well. However, the programs are a bust for taxpayers.

          1. The problem with government solutions is when they fail, government has little motivation to scrap them. Failures tend to be scrapped far more quickly in the private sector.

        10. Hell, I pay a guy a $100 to cut my lawn takes him an hour. That guy wouldn’t be interested in the $15 an hour job but I’m sure there are a few million who would. Better that they’re working than not.

          So, you pay someone $100/hr. to cut your lawn and you think your problem is that you’re surrounded by a few million people who would cut your lawn for $15/hr. and that life would be better if more of them had a job?

          I’ll solve at least part of your problem and enact a portion of your socialist regime for the low, low price of $200/hr. and you don’t even have to vote for me. If you like the results, we can up my pay to $400/hr. to spread more socialism and give more jobs to more people. All without having to cast a single vote for a single capitalist pig.

        11. Gilpin Faust|4.27.18 @ 8:42AM|#
          “There’s really little downside to this idea.”

          Other than several hundred percent inflation?

      2. True. What really matters in communist and socialist countries is having the guns, thugs, and the ability to force people to obey.

        Does Maduro really need bolivars or black-market FRNs when he can simply force certain farmers to put the best food on his table, force tailors to make him the best clothes, force the power plant workers to keep supplying his palace with electricity, force the gold mines to supply him with gold, force beautiful women* to sleep with him, and so on?

        * The women probably don’t need much forcing, if they see that he can get them lots of resources.

    3. First, your numbers are way off. The top 1% hold just under 40%.

      Second, it’s not a disaster. Not even close.

    4. I’m always skeptical of this statistic as it doesn’t seem to be supported by reality. Who owns pension funds? CALPERS has about 300 billion in investments. And when you research the 10 largest investors, they are predominately pension funds. What about the trillion dollars or so in IRA’s? How about the federal government and all the land it owns?

  6. We will finally be able to build a stairway to heaven! Ever since I discovered Led Zepelin I was like, hey, how come we don’t have one of those?

    1. ‘Cuz you know sometimes words have two meanings..

    2. South Park did it. It was nearly epic.

  7. Bernie Sanders would never have won the election of 2016 but neither did Hillary.

    The Democratic Party is dying and only some in that party see it coming. The ones who see it are desperate to stave off the demise.

    1. The Democratic Party is dying

      Delusional right-wing nonsense.

      How many times in the past quarter century has the Republican presidential candidate won the popular vote? How many times has the Democrat won the popular vote? And which party seems to be “dying” based on this?

      We in the reality-based community know it’s the Republican Party that’s dying. And as a libertarian, I welcome it. Democrats are already on our side on reproductive rights, and are quickly moving to embrace open borders as well. This country will be a lot more libertarian when Democrats totally dominate national politics like they currently dominate certain states like California.

      1. reproductive “rights”….lol

      2. reproductive “rights”….lol

  8. Who can live on $15 an hour?

    Depends. It’s a nice lower middle class wage in some of the more economically-challenged parts of the country. And if you’re throwing bennies on top of that, which minimum wage workers don’t usually get, it’s even more generous. But of course socialism only recognizes one-size-fits-all solutions. So what if this one will literally destroy the economy of much of flyover country?

    1. They hate flyover country and the people who live there anyway, so they’ll consider it a bonus.

    2. When the bennies include free healthcare and free college and free internet access and a free deodorant supply (but only one kind, nobody needs 28 kinds of deodorant) and the government job involves standing in line to get a free loaf of bread, we will nearly have achieved the socialist goal of making sure everybody has an above-average income. In a country as wealthy as ours, nobody should have a below-average amount of wealth.

    3. If a person on their own has to pay rent on an expensive apartment, working full time (in one job) at that rate might be somewhat tough, but if people are just part of a whole household (such as two people working) or have a cheaper apartment (maybe a room somewhere), they very well might do so fairly comfortably especially as compared to any number of people who live from paycheck to paycheck. That works out to $2100 a month before taxes.

      1. My first job in NYC, I had to share a 2BR apartment with a friend. THE HORROR.

        This “living wage” bullshit is going to destroy the job market for young people looking to move up.

        1. This “living wage” bullshit is going to destroy the job market for young people looking to move up. get started.

          This also.

        2. The first part is not quite the same as the second.

        3. “This “living wage” bullshit is going to destroy the job market for young people looking to move up.”

          Oh, it’s going to do far more than that.

          “This “living wage” bullshit is going to destroy the job market for young people looking to move up.”

          Oh, it’s going to do far more than that. In WA, whereI live, we’re phasing in a $15/hr. minimum wage. Not only is it killing entry level jobs, it’s also compressing wages of better jobs. I know people that work wage based jobs that would normally be making $16-20/hr. that because of the cost of the entry level workers there are only making around $13/hr..

          Which is what happens when politicians and bureaucrats decree the value of labor. Nothing but market distortions and misery.

    4. It’s $15/hr for a phony baloney job that includes free health care. It would leave about $53k/year after tax for a married couple. A phony baloney job leaves plenty of time for a side hustle to make more money off the books. It would be very easy to live on that in flyover country. In fact, it would be quite attractive to a slacker.

      1. A phony baloney job leaves plenty of time for a side hustle to make more money off the books.

        That describes about half the government jobs out there already.

      2. How do you guarantee jobs? what if someone doesn’t WANT that job? Or any job at all? Will they be treated as an indentured servant? IT figures that leftists are drawn to enslaving the masses and subverting the constitution.

      3. Uh, the health care is already free.

    5. $30K a year is definitely livable in a place where the rent/housing-cost is normal.

  9. A number of other allegedly moderate Democrats and prospective presidential candidates, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, favor a universal job guarantee as well. It’s rapidly becoming a mainstream idea.

    Gillibrand and Booker are nutcases, just like Sanders. So, it’s not that the idea is becoming mainstream, it’s that Democrats are becoming nuttier and nuttier.

    1. Pogo sticks and hula hoops were once mainstream.
      Being mainstream is the weakest of accolades.

  10. “”projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment, education and other goals.””

    And when millions of Americans prefer to sit on their ass at their government job, is Uncle Bernie going to cut them off? Fuck off you old piece of shit.

  11. In a roundabout way I’m kind of in favor of something like this… But completely different.

    We already give out tons of money in welfare benefits. I think we should stop doing that. As a compromise with bleeding heart pussies, we should offer anybody who doesn’t have a job a job. If they don’t accept the job, they should get no benefits. Let them starve like the clearly deserve if they’re not willing to work when it is offered. The only exceptions might be people with real physical or mental handicaps. Did I mention the pay should be garbage? Like maybe minimum wage, or just a touch above?

    What kind of jobs? Well, lots of stuff the guvmint does already. We could replace overpaid road construction sign holders, ditch diggers, people who clean toilets at city parks, etc. Basically fire the entire permanent work force for all those really low level government jobs, and just have a rotating cast of morons doing them, instead of a permanent class of morons doing them at better pay.

    What’s that you say, nobody would want to do this??? That’s the whole point. You offer people money to not starve if they want it… If they don’t want to do it they can starve, or more likely just get off their ass and get a private sector job. This is basically what FDR did, and at least it wasn’t outright handouts. We got actual useful projects done. We could do the same again, and it couldn’t be worse than just giving it away for nothing. So better than the status quo is somethin’.

    1. Lets not and say we didn’t.

  12. The thing is, the federal government currently does not pay all of its workers at least $15/ hr for working for them. At that wage your annual pay would be at least $31200/ year but according to GSA’s GS pay scale you need to be at least a GS-6 to make that much a year. So if he creates this new jobs for all program it will bring up the debt even more since all current federal jobs will have to have their pay adjusted accordingly.

  13. Socialist Disaster

    Redundant redundancies abound.

  14. This is even better than a free pony.

  15. the most popular Democrat in the country

    *Independent

  16. When considering the cost of this program, I wonder if they’re counting all of the training that will be required (untrained workers can’t build a safe bridge, not even in the Socialist Worker’s Utopia), all of the materials and equipment (what, they’re gonna build infrastructure with their bare hands?), not to mention the enormous bureaucracy required to run it all. All they’re going to build is a Central Planning Train Wreck.

  17. the most popular Democrat in the country

    That’s a pretty sick bern on the Democrats.

  18. Didn’t Stalin try this one?

    I can see it know. The great work force that the government recruited sits idle because there’s really nothing for them to do. Then a government gets in (don’t worry, democracy will continue to flourish, the will of the people and all that) that takes a look at Canada or South America. Look at all that land, they’ll say… the American Lebensraum! Since we have all those idle hands out there, why not use them take that land and liberate all those poor people, “We’ve always been at war with Oceania!”

    The Great Fascist-Communist future awaits!

    1. I remember reading something in National Geographic about the demise of East Germany, and it seems to be a fitting epitaph for that awful country: “The people pretended to work, and the government pretended to pay them.”

      Sic semper state socialism.

  19. More and more, each passing day, I become convinced that Democrats are closeted Trump supporters. They are working so hard to ensure he gets re-elected.

    1. Trump could not have done it without them.

      Billions in free publicity that continues even in 2018.

  20. Democrats’ Universal Job Plan Would Be a Socialist Disaster

    FTFY. You can just reuse that for any headline about any Democrat plan.

  21. I wouldn’t expect readers at Reason.com to like an idea like Sander’s. I applaud him though for looking for new solutions. Our current economic system, while pretty decent from an historical point of view, is quite flawed. It is burdened with short-term views of that allows wealthy people to live off financial rent without a care as to how their money is being utilized. We are saddled with a heavy fossil fuel industry because of this short-termism. Meanwhile, China is poised to blow us away in the next century. Their cities are modern and chalk full of big infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, we struggle to build 10 miles of new train tracks. We have millions of people stuck in jobs they hate and millions more who can work but don’t. The answer is not to crank up more free market solutions because that just creates black markets and slums. It’s a no-brainer. We need a massive restructuring of our infrastructure and we have millions of idle people. Also, we have hugely inefficient sectors of the economy. Health insurance workers are living on the dole because their services are wasteful. Most of our finance industry is built toe extract rent as well. This is very wasteful. So something needs to change.

    1. You correctly identify problems but not their cause. The type of wastefulness you criticize can’t exist in a system of robust competition, and when competition is stifled it’s nearly always because someone is protecting themselves through government. I won’t applaud Sanders for coming up with a “solution” that will make things worse. I’ve never understood that type of do-something-ism.

      As for China, I was just over there for a week and have been there twice before. I’m hardly an expert, but I’ve seen enough to know that it remains to be seen if their modern new infrastructure will last for more than 10 or 20 years. There are reasons for optimism and pessimism, but either way it’s foolish to accept the official Chinese government data on its face.

      1. Mostly it won’t. Look at the number of high-profile buildings in Beijing that have been ruined by fire. They (mostly) still stand, their wounds exposed. I was in Beijing twice with a t week interval. The city, and major properties, were conspicuously worse on visit 2.
        Wasn’t Japan going to blowing past us because they were so advanced?

        And just to note, Bernie’s plan is not ‘something new’. It’s a return to feudalism, or the latifundia of the late Roman Empire. Tried and failed. Nothing new there at all.

      2. it remains to be seen if their modern new infrastructure will last for more than 10 or 20 years

        Yeah, the “their cities are modern” line is dubious. Granted, it was way back in 2001 when I visited China but everything that wasn’t brand-spanking new looked like it was falling apart.

        As for “free markets create slums…” – LOL. Free markets have liften more people out of poverty in less time than any of Bern’s dustbin-of-history solutions could dream of.

    2. If we are already advanced and built, it is more expensive for us to build anew. Unless we build in a new location we have to first tear something down, which interrupts production, and then build something new. That has many costs associated. Also, we learned many things about corner cutting. Through regulation, policies, and consumer awareness we increase cost and time to build.

      Why would we need so many construction projects? What would be the purpose? Should we just build and rebuild because another country is doing so? Of course they are ramping up and that seems impressive. That’s what a newly powerful country does. That doesn’t mean the old guard has to.

  22. I wouldn’t expect readers at Reason.com to like an idea like Sander’s. I applaud him though for looking for new solutions. Our current economic system, while pretty decent from an historical point of view, is quite flawed. It is burdened with short-term views of that allows wealthy people to live off financial rent without a care as to how their money is being utilized. We are saddled with a heavy fossil fuel industry because of this short-termism. Meanwhile, China is poised to blow us away in the next century. Their cities are modern and chalk full of big infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, we struggle to build 10 miles of new train tracks. We have millions of people stuck in jobs they hate and millions more who can work but don’t. The answer is not to crank up more free market solutions because that just creates black markets and slums. It’s a no-brainer. We need a massive restructuring of our infrastructure and we have millions of idle people. Also, we have hugely inefficient sectors of the economy. Health insurance workers are living on the dole because their services are wasteful. Most of our finance industry is built toe extract rent as well. This is very wasteful. So something needs to change.

    1. So something needs to change.

      Yes, your logic. You talk about short-termism and the give a glowing description of Chinese cities as if they weren’t evidence of short-term Keynesian thinking.

    2. We are saddled with a heavy fossil fuel industry because of this short-termism. Meanwhile, China is poised to blow us away in the next century. Their cities are modern and chalk full of big infrastructure projects.

      You know that China is powered by a shit-ton of coal plants, right?

      You’re right, though. Totalitarian dictatorship is a small price to pay for new trains and shiny buildings (which you can’t see because of the smog)!

      1. Well, China claims to not be building any more coal plants. (psst-wanna buy a bridge?)

        1. The Chinese government was apparently building over 700 new coal plants, but they canceled about 150 of them because revised estimates showed they weren’t going to need them as soon as they’d thought. By statist fiscal math, that does count as a drastic cut in the number of coal plants.

        2. They’re not even claiming that. The Paris nonsense explicity lets them keep building coal plants to their heart’s content while charging the US trillions of dollars for the pleasure of taking care of any “climate change” that might result.

    3. Socialism is NOT a new solution. Its the final solution for Americans if we buy the crap he is selling.

      1. Arbeit macht frei.

    4. Of course you should applaud him for looking for new solutions, you are one of us elites who see the problems no one else sees and can see the obvious solutions to these problems. Most people are too ignorant to see the problems and the solutions that are so clear to us, the anointed ones. The only problem is the kulaks and the wreckers, the ignorant and the evil ones who would oppose our plans to fix things. Sure, they’re going to *claim* they oppose our ideas because they don’t make sense or they won’t work or they’re designed to make slaves of us all, some bullshit they’re going to try to use to hide the fact that they’re stupid and greedy and evil, but you and I both know the truth. The world would be such a much better place if you and I were in charge that we would be entirely justified in killing a few hundred million of these kulaks and wreckers just to have the power to put our ideas into place. We would be using our power to do good, after all, and what’s a few broken eggs when we would be making such a marvelous omelet? An omelet for everybody! Except the dead kulaks and wreckers.

    5. It is burdened with short-term views

      Ironically, this is the problem with Sander’s “plan”.

  23. Some Job Descriptions:

    Porta-Potty Cleaner: GS-9

    Solar Panel Installer: Paygrade GS-12

    Gun Confiscator: Paygrade GS-14

    Diversity Enforcement Officer: Paygrade GS-14

    Abortion Provider: Paygrade GS-16

  24. It’s so sad that the democrat primary was tainted, and Bernie’s nomination was stolen.

    We’ll never know if the democrat party could have beat Trump.

    1. We do know. They did not.

    2. Bernie could definitely have beaten Trump-something like half of dem primary voters who voted for him did not vote for her highness (most stayed home).

      1. I voted for Bernie in primaries to wreck Hillary’s chance of winning and then voted for Gay Jay in the election, so your math is off.

  25. Heinlein described a future in Starship Troopers (nothing like the movie) in which the government was obligated to provide a job to anyone, mostly military. Anyone who completed government service was a citizen with the right to vote. The rest were given basic civil rights.

    It was dystopian in that the military was involved in a pointless horrible war with an insect race from a distant planet.

    Someone here said something about hole diggers and hole fillers. I think that is what the author meant.

    A libertarian would understand how this does not work.

    1. Rather than hole diggers and hole fillers, Bernie’s plan could be create millions of green jobs. That is, the kind of green jobs that involve sorting garbage that are so popular in third-world hellholes.

      If recipients don’t like their green jobs at the garbage dump, the Division of Progress Investigation can re-educate them and find them a new position at the Work Makes Free camp.

  26. Did Bernie mention whether I’d have to actually, like, work at this government issued ‘job’?

  27. Bernie doesn’t believe in arithmetic. He’s also completely immune to criticism because any critic, no matter how much comprehensive, verifiable, quantifiable evidence they present that challenges or debunks his claims, absolutely must be secretly working for the Koch brothers.

    I’d love to work for the Koch brothers. Guys, if you’re reading this please get in touch.

  28. “Socialist disaster” is a redundant phrase.

    It is physically impossible for anything socialist to NOT be a disaster!

  29. “You don’t possess a skill set that enables you to find productive work? You don’t want to learn a new trade?”

    Who doesn’t possess a skill set that enables some sort of productive work? They might not want some of the types of jobs their skill set will get them, but the work still will be productive. And, why is there some assumption that some government job plan will not — when actually put in place by non-Sanders legislators — have various strings and restrictions, including requirements for job training and so forth? See, e.g., how accepted government money now comes with various strings, including (though this is starting to change some more) religious motivated institutions.

    Now we are complaining about some plan to have people guaranteed work. Other times it is that welfare promotes laziness.

    1. Who doesn’t possess a skill set that enables some sort of productive work?

      Plenty of people. Most of them are already finding government work.

    2. Who doesn’t possess a skill set that enables some sort of productive work?

      ~10% of the population. The government and polite society will never say, “You’re too dumb, old, or lazy to work here and we can’t be bothered to figure out which.” They’ll just issue an aptitude test and say you fall below their criteria. Considering the breadth and depth of military service, these people are too dumb or lazy to be blown up or can’t be relied upon to do so without taking something of greater value with them. The numbers vary based on contributing factors but generally everyone agrees that not less than approximately 10% of the population outright “fail” the ASVAB and that the number goes up if you consider a combination of things like “not exceedingly well educated *and* physically inept” to be failure.

      I’m not drawing the line and/or saying what should be done with or about these people. Just pointing out that by the existing government’s own metrics or standards the line does exist and that conceptually, the notion that it’s conceptually much different from ~25% is inherently socialist one way or the other. Either you know you have people completely incapable of doing any real work and are employing them fully to the detriment of everyone else or half (or more) of the population is completely worthless and you only employ the other half (or less).

  30. So, assume Bernie drives up the starting wage to $15 through one of his various schemes.

    On average this is probably something like a 35% increase in people’s wages. The full time worker just went from an annual salary of $22,880 to $31,200. Woot!

    Burger joints and other entry level or low skill employers raise their prices to compensate for their increased costs. This could go a lot of ways – they could replace employees with robots, the employees might be more productive, etc…, but the likelihood is that the employees will probably do pretty much what they always did, so costs will likely go up about 35%.

    Since I have skills that are in demand, I look at my now $6.20 Culver’s double, decide I need a raise, calculate that my raise should be about 35% to cover the new cost of goods. I get my raise and see my annual salary go from $80,000 to $108,000. Woot Woot!

    The former spread in wages was $22,800 to $80,000, or a difference of $57,200

    The new spread in wages is $31,200 to $108,000, or a difference of $76,800

    Oh no, we now have a greater wage gap than we did before. Those damned republicans!

    1. You are missing the most important effect: Burger joints, etc., will introduce a lot more automation. The wage gap is now $108,000 – because many of the former low-wage employees are now earning $0.

      1. Instead of burger flippers, you’ll have employees that maintain and service the robots, which would require more skill and education, which would leave out most who are now employed as burger flippers.

  31. How about instead we just print a million dollars a year for everyone for free. Then we’ll all be millionaires. Everyone can own his own Porsche an wear Armani suits, it’ll be sweet.

  32. Sane persoon: We should not execute several million Jews in gas chambers.

    Hihn: What’s your solution?

    1. In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. – Theodore Roosevelt

      Gas the Jews!

      Fascism – Liberty = 0

      – Michael Hihn

      1. That is a silly quote. Doing nothing IS a decision.

    2. https://www.reason.com/blog/2018/02/21…..nt_7150853

      As the Nazis were elected in 1933, they didn’t violate rights. Also, the Jews were free to leave!

      Me: Were the Jews in Germany in the 1940s free to leave?
      Hihn: ANOTHER MASSIVE FUCKUP!!! Of course they could,,.,.and many did. YOU THINK HITLER WANTED THEM TO STAY!!

      https://www.reason.com/reasontv/2017/0…..e-will-die

      Government only exists to protect the “right” to choose your ruler, no other rights:

      Me: Government isn’t compatible with individual rights (unless there is 100% consent).
      Hihn: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS MEANS 0.0001% CAN OVERRULE THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.
      THAT’S DICTATOR RIGHTS, SLAVER. YOUR ‘RIGHT’ IS TO LEAVE.

      ?INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY’ALLOWS THEM TO RESIGN …FUCKING LEAVE

      Me: By ‘liberty’ you mean the liberty to leave when they take all you have, enslave you, and kill you?
      Hihn: BEFORE ? UNLESS YOU’RE EVEN CRAZIER.

      Hihn thinks government is voluntary:

      “Government – like Kiwanis, dumfuck — is a VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION.
      ITS MEMBERS AGREE, FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY — TO JAIL THEMSELVES FOR REFUSING TO PAY THE DUES.”

  33. What is your solution?

    42

  34. What is your solution?

    Left – Right = 0.00000000013

  35. This is Sanders’ plan, not the Democrats’ plan.

  36. Agree we don’t want a $15 minimum wage. Low-level jobs have been sent out of the country, been replaced with automation and taken by illegal aliens. What we do need is a wall to keep out the illegals, reduce immigration to less than 100,000 and make chain immigration and sanctuary cities illegal.

    To take up the slack we need to cut the military budget to a pre-Reagan budget and pay back the social security funds that were raided. Create a national workforce like Roosevelt but for clean energy production so we bring up employment figures and a higher tax base. A “public” job option like this creates more security in this country than all the wars for oil. Creates independence off the grid and cost savings that add up to trillions that could be used to pay off the national debt. Free long-term birth control reduces poverty. There are only so many low-level jobs like McDonald’s and automation may take them soon too.

    Raising the minimum wage isn’t going to do anything permanent, but working for clean energy and demilitarizing puts a higher standard of living for everyone, including everyone else on this planet. There isn’t a Plan B Earth.

    1. There isn’t a Plan B Earth.

      Way to assassinate Macron’s goofy wordplay.

  37. Grandpa Gulag smokes crack.

    He’s an economic crackhead as are Democrats who actually think this is an ‘idea’.

    Idiots.

  38. Good to see that someone has figured out a way to appropriately employ all of those people with degrees from Evergreen State.

  39. Dems FINALLY have an idea for 2020: good ‘ol fashioned communism where everyone can work for the government!

    However, even the uber-leftists at vox et. al. are askance … still, looks like 2020 will offer a true choice of visions: supercharged economy of Trumponomics vs. good ‘ol fashioned communism … looks like Trump pushed the Dems into overtly reacting fully against free market capitalism and moving to the far left … the Dems can hardly run as Trump-lite and excite their leftist base, but hey, paid government jobs with full government bennies and free healthcare for all, now THAT’S red meat for the base … the only question is whether it will play in Peoria …

    www google com/search?q=sanders+universal+job+plan&tbm=nws

  40. I like the joke I read elsewhere on line: “Just what the US needs–a job plan from a guy so lazy he got kicked out of a hippie commune.”

  41. Is there a whole lot of difference between Chairman Bernie’s Shovel Brigades and Trump’s usurpation of American consumers’ rights to source their needs at the most economically attractive?

  42. Two Amendments:

    Reduce pay to $7/hr so any employer can outbid the program

    Assign these poor skill-free devils to jobs that should get done but no one does:
    Roadside cleanup, invasive species removal (weeds like kudzu), meals on wheels, you know, stuff now done by volunteers. Work that cannot be monetized, but is nevertheless valuable.

    These are jobs that if the jobless don’t show up, no real harm done and you get what you pay for expectations.
    No one is ever fired, but you can be promoted to management. Pay tops out at 10 bucks per hour. Far less than any properly skilled “volunteer” could make. Basically, it’s welfare but less shame.

  43. The Dems are absolutely opposed to the megawatt “energy slaves” Buckminster Fuller recommended, and still as resolute as Cubans and North Koreans about having the real thing instead.

  44. It might be a terrible idea, but it’s the same terrible idea he’s had his whole life, so you know he means it.

  45. The one part of the job description that’s already written is the 2 minutes each day that will be spent shouting at photos of the Koch brothers.

    The big dilemma for the Ministry of Progress will be when these “workers” unionize and go on strike. Will they bring in scabs to do the imaginary make-work tasks that probably shouldn’t have been in the hands of minimum wage workers to begin with?

  46. I think its great. Bernie is going to give the Scarecrow a brain, the Tin Man a heart, and the Cowardly Lion courage. He has even promised that Dorothy can go back to Kansas if she just clicks her heals.

    Now he just needs to offer free porn and weed to his remaining supporters.

  47. The funny thing is that if we could just build the wall and adopt an America First immigration policy, there would be plenty of good jobs around for all Americans without having to implement socialism.

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