Bernie Sanders' New Deal: ending involuntary unemployment with guaranteed $15/hour infrastructure jobs

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Pod Save America’s latest episode ends with a focus on this as a potential simple, unifying platform for 2018/2020, and they are pretty middle-of-the-road Democrats. This could be a great step in the direction of a UBI scheme.


“There will be pressure to introduce a higher wage or certain benefits that the private sector doesn’t offer.” - uh yeah, that’s the point


Just so we’re all clear, this isn’t Bernie’s plan. Its Sandy Darity and Darrick Hamilton’s plan. They’ve spent years researching and advocating it, and it’s been regularly carried by members of the Congressional Black Caucus (most recently backed by Cory Booker) as an explicit part of MLK’s legacy- the federal jobs guarantee he was advocating at the time of his assassination.


hire their former workers to fix our nation’s crumbling roads, dams, waterworks, power-lines, schools, and other public infrastructure.

All of which, of course, private industry needs to survive no matter if a business is automated or not. Not that you’ll get one of Sanders’ conservative opponents to acknowledge that, any more than FDR’s conservative opponents would have when he proposed the WPA.



Seems to me this also has its roots in Depression era Public Works projects.


Kinda like how the auto industry completely undercut the buggy whip industry,


This is a great idea, everyone deserves healthcare and a decent living. We have crumbling infrastructure. Also American’s value work over charity, this would give everyone their dignity.

It’s too bad this didn’t happen during the great recession when interest was low, unemployment was high, and there was less inflation risk. But it’s still a good idea!


In broad strokes the idea of taking work-that-needs-doing and people-that-need-work and putting them together seems like it must be as old as civilization. I imagine @GideonTJones’s point was about the specifics of this proposal.

Really I’m glad to hear this isn’t a half-baked idea and has had serious advocates for years.


It’s not. Despite what Cory wrote, this isn’t an infrastructure plan. Most of the jobs are in the various service sector and ‘creative’ jobs that make up the modern economy. More importantly, it’s not a temporary/stimulus type program in response to hard times, it’s a permanent system designed to eliminate poverty and unwilling unemployment, especially in areas with chronic unemployment like many Black communities (which is why MLK advocated for it, and the CBC has advocated for it for years).


Something amusing about a guy who got kicked out of a commune for laziness, which will be factor in his plan, proposing guaranteed jobs for all.


By this reasoning bank tellers should have agreed to work 24-hour-shifts for below-poverty wages so they wouldn’t be replaced by ATMs.


“They’ve threatened to fire all their low-waged employees and replace them with robots.”

When are we going to start calling people what they are? Anyone who does something like this is a terrorist. An American businessman (like the @#$^% who runs Papa John’s Pizza) threatens to fire employees unless the government does what he wants. He tries to extort the government into giving him what he wants by threatening to harm innocent bystanders. That is the modus operandi of a terrorist.

For those who don’t remember - back when Obamacare was being debated in Congress, the owner of Papa John’s publicly said that providing health insurance for all his employees would cost him so much that in order to recover that cost, he would have to cut expenses by firing a lot of his employees. That was a bald-faced lie, of course, but he said it anyway. He tried to force the government to accede to his demands by threatening to cause grievous harm to innocents. He’s a terrorist.


Maybe he’s learned something since then. Have you?


Far better that tax dollars are spent supporting public works employment projects than on private prisons.

It’s a fiscally responsible proposal since there aren’t enough privately funded jobs available for workers. Individual taxpayers will get more value for our money.


Considering how bad some roads are in the US here (Oklahoma is a nightmare of potholes that rival what I’ve seen up here in Minnesota) it would probably save millions in car suspension repair/maintenance.


I was wondering about that, because it’s not like you can repurpose burger flippers, retail workers, HR managers, etc. as bridge builders, etc. (Those with the infrastructure building skills are certainly making more than $15 an hour now…)


Check back with me when one of Bernie’s “plans” is actually introduced as a “bill.” Otherwise he’s just whistling to his dogs.

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