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Jobs and Freedom Now! Functional Finance, Full Employment, and the Freedom Budget

  • Mathew Forstater


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    Forty-five years ago, the A. Philip Randolph Institute issued “The Freedom Budget,” in which a program for economic transformation was proposed that included a job guarantee for everyone ready and willing to work, a guaranteed income for those unable to work or those who should not be working, and a living wage to lift the working poor out of poverty. Such policies were supported by a host of scholars, civic leaders, and institutions, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; indeed, they provided the cornerstones for King’s “Poor Peoples’ Campaign” and “economic bill of rights.” This paper proposes a “New Freedom Budget” for full employment based on the principles of functional finance. To counter a major obstacle to such a policy program, the paper includes a “primer” on three paradigms for understanding government budget deficits and the national debt: the deficit hawk, deficit dove, and functional finance perspectives. Finally, some of the benefits of the job guarantee are outlined, including the ways in which the program may serve as a vehicle for a variety of social policies. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal The Review of Black Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 63-78

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:blkpoe:v:39:y:2012:i:1:p:63-78
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    1. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
    2. Leanne Ussher, 1998. "Do Budget Deficits Raise Interest Rates? A Survey of the Empirical Literature," Working Papers 0005 Classification- JEL:, Department of Economics, Queens College of the City University of New York.
    3. L. Randall Wray, 1998. "Understanding Modern Money," Books, Edward Elgar, number 1668, April.
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