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The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being, Great Britain, 1995 and 2005

  • Ajit Zacharias

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.

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Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_668.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_668
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

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  1. William Darity, 2010. "A Direct Route to Full Employment," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 179-181, September.
  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. Landefeld, J Steven & McCulla, Stephanie H, 2000. "Accounting for Nonmarket Household Production within a National Accounts Framework," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(3), pages 289-307, September.
  4. Edward N. Wolff & Ajit Zacharias, 2006. "Household Wealth and the Measurement of Economic Well-Being in the United States," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_447, Levy Economics Institute.
  5. Ruggles, Patricia & O'Higgins, Michael, 1981. "The Distribution of Public Expenditure among Households in the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 27(2), pages 137-64, June.
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