Here’s An Idea: Put People To Work & Print Money To Pay Them

900,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. Believe it or not, that was actually a beat versus consensus, which was looking for 935,000. You'll recall that the previous week's report was a disaster. Initial claims "unexpectedly" approached 1 million again, logging the largest rise since March. That print (965,000) was revised lower to 926,000 in this week's release. Obviously, this is not a "good" report. It's "better" than economists and the market expected, but with apolo

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15 thoughts on “Here’s An Idea: Put People To Work & Print Money To Pay Them

  1. Excellent. I keep pointing out to those who will listen to read Peter Turchin. Eighty percent of Americans essentially own no stock. Stagflation has, and will continue to, harm them. When I was growing up in NYC, the richest people toned it down and tried to blend in. Since Reagan, the self satisfied rich have been rubbing the rest of the country’s nose in the sauce. Big mistake….

  2. We have in fact already become engaged in the practice of printing money and distributing it… The inevitable will be a test of the viability and /or consequences which by the definition of that word should be inevitable…There are no guarantees to anyone ..

        1. A UBI is actually fairly elegant, it gets money into the hands that need it (and admittedly some that don’t) and juices demand, theoretically creating safe(er) jobs that serve real needs at the moment. Mass hiring to do the jobs that need doing is a good idea, but paying people to stay home and not spread diseases can be a good idea situationally. Employing people effectively isn’t as easy as mailing out checks.

  3. What needs to happen is editorialization on the other side of the coin. Wow tinkle down economics accomplishes the goal of not tinkling down any real wealth. Trickle up economics oftentimes is a gusher. The aggrieved wealthy need to be educated to the fact that their gusher is only going to occur if these poor folks are working. Don’t assume that all of the wealthy are intelligent and knowledgeable about economic reality. Many of them have bought the tinkle down propaganda and think it’s better for them.

  4. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) clearly supports the idea of paying people to work even if there is no immediate revenue to pay them. The money is a better investment than taxing and is much better if the work creates capital assets. This 1.9 trillion is a great ample – get the country moving.

  5. Self-limiting behavior, or the mentality behind it, is a bit of a paradox (probatio diabolica?). We are socialized to be self-limiting so as to make things like school and commerce run smoothly rather than haphazardly and chaotic, but as a result we also carry with us a psychic weight that manifests as attitudes about what is and isn’t allowable or even possible, and we project that onto others. We end up with highly socialized (and therefore often successful) people who tell themselves that things like war and poverty are inevitable in large part because they are insulated from them and are not willing to get their hands dirty to help others in such desperate situations. The people who make the rules will use their own success within this system to justify those rules–a self-limiting mentality whose consequence is to limit others, to deny them and to oppress them. Moreover, they allow no evidence from the victims or anyone else that their suffering is not inevitable, that these systems are in fact to blame. In their minds, the continued suffering is proof that we cannot rise above it.

    I worry about this every time I tell my kid not to do something, what’s not allowed, what the rules and consequences are. It’s all imagined.

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