Friday, 31 July 2020
Does Bill Mitchell advocate Workfare?
Bill Mitchell (co founder of MMT) said in an article recently: “Compare that with the Job Guarantee that I have consistently advocated over my career, which could not be conceived of being a more elaborate form of Workfare.”
Er – not true actually. In 2013 he said: “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.”
Well the latter arrangement equals Workfare according to most peoples’ understanding of the word! I.e. it amounts to “Do this job, else you get no pay.” Not, incidentally, that I’m strongly opposed to Workfare: JG can come in a relatively harsh form amounting to Workfare, or it can be more generous and relaxed. My personal preference, if there’s to be a JG system, is something half way in between.
My point is simply that people should not advocate X,Y or Z and then claim they’ve never advocated X,Y or Z.