Saturday, 15 June 2019
Does Bill Mitchell back Workfare or not?
In this article, he clearly backs Workfare: he says,
“The existing unemployment benefits scheme could be maintained alongside the JG program, depending on the government’s preference and conception of mutual responsibility.
My personal preference is to abandon the unemployment benefits scheme and free the associated administrative infrastructure for JG operations.
The concept of mutual obligation from the workers’ side would become straightforward because the receipt of income by the unemployed worker would be conditional on taking a JG job.”
But in this article he says,
“Further, the MMT Job Guarantee also has nothing in common with so-called ‘workfare’ or ‘work-for-the-dole’ programs that neoliberal-inspired governments have introduced…”
The reality is that any level of “persuasion” or “coercion” can be used on a JG scheme. Personally I have no objection to a finite amount of persuasion: a relatively generous amount of unemployment benefit for the first two months of unemployment, followed by a cut in benefits unless those concerned take a JG job would be OK by me.