I will try to arrest my cynicism and give this jobs guarantee a fair shake. But it is hard. One can understand a grocery store giving you a guarantee that your milk will be fresh for a week or so. That is good. However, when the government gets mixed up in the business cycle, deleterious events are likely to unfold. I’m beginning to become a little unnerved, as I almost used “government,” and “guarantee,” in the same sentence.
As Chris Farley so eloquently stated in the film, Tommy Boy, “If you want me to crap in a box and put a guarantee stamp on it, I can do that.” Nothing in life is, or really should be, guaranteed. There is no guarantee that you will have breath tomorrow, or that you won’t live to be one hundred and ten. I digress again.
While on the surface giving someone a job is a humane and societal process. After all, we must produce goods and services collectively in order to allow consumption to grow and for economic development to prosper. Psychologically, it also lifts the esteem of the worker who is now contributing to society.
With that said, this is class warfare once again disguised as utopia. Capitalism cannot become socialism by wishful thinking. Socialism must be built from existing conditions through class struggle against the power of capital. Marx knew this all too well, as he postulated on how the masses could kick-start a social revolution by employing the idea to establish armies of labor to undertake large-scale development of farmland and other resources.
The altruism that exists in those leading this march is probably genuine, as one would believe they are not acutely aware of the history in which this new path will lead. Despite outright confessions of democratic-socialism, the polemic class views spit out are hard to ignore.
The primary goal, however, is to create a framework for the transition from private to social, or public control of wealth production by putting the ordinary people of the working masses directly behind the wheel of the economy. Marx rightly judged that a future revolutionary state would need to get control of the money necessary to do it, which in essence is why you see this jobs proposal intertwined with a funding mechanism like modern monetary theory.
This trifecta of socialism balances on a stool supported by Medicare for all, guaranteed jobs for all, and money to pay for it all. If we venture back again to Pol Pot’s Cambodian post-war healthcare system, you can get a glimpse into the destruction of care for the masses. As noted, the ruling elite will travel beyond borders to seek healthcare, rather than subject themselves to the minimalistic care offered to all for free. Here is an easy example of why this healthcare system for all failed, and why free Medicare for all will always fail.
One wants the best and the brightest, known to Stalinists as the one-percenters, to pursue medicine as a career, as has always been the case in our capitalistic economy. When you have a heart attack, you want a skilled surgeon on staff to work to save your life. That is exactly what we have now. Fast forward to the Green New Deal, where in a Pol Pot fantasy world, the best and brightest are no longer doctors, because there is no monetary incentive for them anymore. All doctors will be paid a wage that will be unworthy of their skill and education, and thus they will take their talents elsewhere.
So when you cast your vote for Medicare for all and jobs for all, remember these words, God forbid, if you ever have a heart attack and are rushed to the emergency room under our new utopian system, only to find a mechanic with greasy hands staring down at you with a scalpel, muttering that he always wanted to try this kind of surgery.