A Baker's Dozen of Fairly-Recent Links

Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca: Universal Basic Income or Universal Living Wage?: "The challenge for the future of work is not really about the quantity of jobs, but their quality, and whether they pay enough to provide a decent standard of living.... A universal basic income (UBI) would be both regressive and prohibitively expensive. Yet the idea continues to attract a motley crew...

...of tech and labor leaders, libertarians, and progressives, who fear a coming age of mass technological unemployment. Similarly, proposals in the United States for a federal jobs guarantee have been gaining momentum on the traditional left. But while such a program could employ millions of workers to deliver basic public services and rebuild and modernize the country’s dilapidated infrastructure, it is no more feasible than a UBI, given current federal budget constraints. The challenge for the future of work is not really about the quantity of jobs, but their quality, and whether they will pay enough to provide a decent standard of living....

Both companies and governments can help close the gap between living and minimum wages. In 2014, IKEA started paying living wages based on the MIT calculator, and other companies have since followed suit. For their part, local and state governments can close the gap–currently $3 per hour in Fresno and $6 per hour in San Francisco, by raising the minimum wage and expanding EITC coverage and other benefits. Measures to raise the minimum wage and index it to the cost of living are already underway in many parts of the US....

After raising the minimum wage, the next step is to expand the EITC, by broadening its income and eligibility criteria, increasing its size, and making it available in periodic payments instead of an annual lump sum. The EITC has a proven record of success in encouraging work, reducing poverty, boosting educational attainment, increasing intergenerational mobility, and improving maternal and infant health.... Some US states are already ahead of others on this front. By extending its EITC to include gig-economy work, and broadening the range of eligible income, California has increased the number of claims from around 400,000 in 2016 to 1.3 million in 2017....

There will always be work to be done. So, instead of pursuing fantasy UBI or job guarantees, why not take measures that provide a universal living wage for work now and for the work of the future?...


#shouldread
#equitablegrowth
#labormarket

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