I can't express how grateful I am to @AyannaPressley for her leadership on full employment. The #JobGuarantee has was a central demand of FDR and New Deal Dems along with Civil Rights leaders. It's time to to make the the dream of MLK, FDR, Scott King, and others a reality. 🧵 1/
Full employment has a rich history here in the US. In fact, it was a cornerstone of the Dem party platform from 1944-1988. The country's first experiment w/ direct employment came in the cold harsh winter of 1933-34 w/ the Civil Works Administration. 2/
With two months of creating the program Harry Hopkins, a trained social worker, and FDR employed *4 million* workers through the CWA. That was nearly 1-in-10 Americans employed at prevailing wages. 3/
The CWA would build/improve 40,000 schools, 1,000 airports, 255,000 miles of road, 12,000,000 feet of sewer pipe, and 3,700 playgrounds. But it wasn’t all traditional construction. Hopkins knew that everyone had to eat, for “people don’t eat in the long run—they eat everyday.” 4/
So they employed artists, writers, and musicians. All at prevailing wages.

A yr later they created the WPA. From 1935-1943 the program would put 8.5 million people to work. Here too, a broad array of work was done. 5/
1,5000 nursery schools were operated, 225,000 concerts were performed, & hundreds of thousands of hot school lunches were served.

But there were more JG programs! Let's talk about the Civilian Conservation Corps. It employed over 3 million hungry youth. thehill.com/opinion/energy…
They planted trees, built trails, occupied fire towers, and engaged in numerous other vital conservation tasks. I myself have benefited from the program many times, hiking on the trails and sleeping in the cabins the people of the CCC built near a century ago. 7/
WWII drove unemployment down to 1.7% from 1943-45, effectively eliminating unemployment. But FDR's four freedoms, which included the "freedom from want" put full employment front and center. 8/
When the end of the war was in sight, FDR proposed an Economic Bill of Rights. The first right? The RIGHT TO A JOB. 9/
Roosevelt passed away before he was able to push this through Congress. The result was the Employment Act of 1946, but the Congressional sausage machine weakened the bill, w/ final cuts leaving out people "right to a job". 10/
In the end, the bill, which was the last major piece of New Deal legislation, demanded the Federal Government “use all practical means” at its disposal to “promote maximum employment.” It never did. 11/
Next, the Civil Rights movement took up the mantle for full employment. While today we tend to talk about the March on Washington of 1963, let us never forget that it was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 12/
The marchers certainly knew it, as one of the most frequently spotted signs in the crowd read “Civil Rights + Full Employment = Freedom.” 13/
MLK died before he could see his dream of a job guarantee become a reality. But his intellectual and life partner, who would help chisel away at the economic shackles that suppressed all working-class Americans by ushering a full employment bill across the finish line. 14/
The end result was the Humphrey Hawkins Act & creation of the Fed's Dual Mandate. The bill, which initially included a JG office and the right to employment, was also weakened by liberal dems. In the end it called for 3% unemployment, and lower thereafter. But had no teeth. 15/
Since, the government has essentially ignored full employment. Millions of Americans are without work, even during economic booms. A Job Guarantee will fundamentally change that. 16/
A Job Guarantee will eliminate involuntary unemployment & poverty employment once and for all. In work I've done with @SandyDarity, @DarrickHamilton, & others we think about what such a program could look like today. 17/ cbpp.org/research/full-…
And here's @AyannaPressley groundbreaking #JobGuarantee resolution! Let's get it done & deliver the economic rights that true freedom necessitates. pressley.house.gov/media/press-re…
Finally, I'll add that countless scholars have done important work here. To name a few: @ptcherneva @rohangrey @RaulACarrillo @StephanieKelton @AlanAAja1 @FadhelKaboub and many, many more.
OK, one more thing: It's popular AF! Polling doesn't get better than this, folks.

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More from @MarkVinPaul

5 Feb
Everyone in the West Wing should instead read this @Groundwork paper which puts people at the center of the economy in estimating how much stimulus is needed. Our finding? The economy needs $2-3T on top of the $900B passed to bring back a healthy economy groundworkcollaborative.org/wp-content/upl…
In the paper, we ask a simple question: How much stimulus does the economy need to run a high pressure labor market that will bring widespread employment and rising real wages? We found the economy needed $3-4.5T in stimulus for that. Since, Congress passed $900B.
That was a good down payment. But the economy needs more if we want to prevent a lackluster recovery like we saw in the Great Recession. Taking our foot off the stimulus pedal back then resulted in an entire decade where workers fell further and further behind.
Read 13 tweets
4 Feb
Larry Summers has put out a bad faith argument in WaPo. Democrats should NOT take him seriously. The primary concern is providing too little stimulus and a prolonged and deeply painful recovery. The potential costs of going too big are negligible. 1/ washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
First, let's talk about the output gap. Summers takes a top down vs a bottom up approach to the output gap.
When considering full employment/ an economy operating at capacity, we can either 1) calculate a top-down measure via GDP output gap (as Summers and CBO do) 2/
Or 2) take a bottom up approach that puts people
at the center of the economy by focusing on employment.

Right now continuing UI claims for all programs are nearly 16 million above pre-pandemic levels according to @hshierholz 3/
Read 10 tweets
8 Dec 20
There's no question that Congress needs to pass a major stimulus bill. But how big should it be? Well, @adamshersh & I answer that in a new @Groundwork paper. We estimate that Congress should spend upwards of $4.5 T to resuscitate the economy. THREAD 1/ groundworkcollaborative.org/wp-content/upl…
To estimate how much spending is needed, we first need to estimate just how deep a hole the economy is actually in. The headline unemployment rate has been tumbling, down to 6.7% from a peak of 14.7%. But the headline unemployment rate misses the story: disguised unemployment. 2/
If we look at the labor force participation rate, we see it has cratered like never before. Many workers have simply left the workforce (the narrow way we define it that is), resulting in an artificially low U-rate. 3/
Read 16 tweets
21 Sep 20
The GND is on the move. Biden is now promising $2T in green spending. House Select Committee offered up a big report this summer. Voters are demanding green stimulus. But how should we finance a GND? @aldatweets & I have thoughts. THREAD 1/ dissentmagazine.org/online_article…
First, let's recognize that we live in a mixed economy. Decarbonization is going to require large amounts of both public and private spending. A recent proposal by @STOmarova calls for a National Investment Authority (NIA) has been getting some attention. dataforprogress.org/memos/voters-s…
First, I want to say that our aim is to promote healthy debate on the left as we all grapple w/ these big and thorny questions. I believe we share many of the same goals as @STOmarova, though we disagree over some details, and details matter. 2/
Read 8 tweets
3 Sep 20
Just finished Strain's book. The central message?

1) "The American Dream is alive & well...Workers do enjoy the fruits of their labor...The game is not rigged.” ⬆️ mobility is strong

2) Freedom=free markets. We get more freedom via entitlement reform, deregulation, and growth
3) Trump = bad. Why? He "rejected the GOP’s traditional emphasis on the need to reduce projected future spending on Medicare and Social Security."

It's fascinating to see praise for a book by @charlesmurray & @RichLowry but also @LHSummers @jasonfurman @JustinWolfers
Strain is deeply concerned about populist rhetoric on both sides of the isle, claiming modest proposal like $15 minimum wage, universal healthcare, and extending guaranteed pub ed beyond 12th grade are "radical" and are based on an "incorrect belief that the system is rigged" Image
Read 8 tweets
7 Aug 20
A2: First, let's take a step back and ask a this: what would a reasonable society do right now? Would they let people go hungry during a pandemic when there is enough food to go around? Would they let people go homeless when we have more homes than ppl?
Would they let ppl go without healthcare when we have enough to provide all with coverage? NO! A reasonable society would pull out all the stops. It'd realize that we're living through unprecedented times. It'd realize that economic security + health are fundamental rights.
What this #JobsDay tells us is that Congress needs to act. The House already passed bold legislation, but @senatemajldr & @realDonaldTrump are hellbent on bringing working families to their knees. Why?

Because they can.
Read 6 tweets

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