If the Harper Conservatives were serious about job creation, they would not rely entirely on the whims of private sector hiring. In 1944, Canada’s unemployment rate dropped below 1 per cent because one out of every three adult males was engaged in military service and many private sector workers were fulfilling government contracts. As the British politician Tony Benn put it, “If you can have full employment by killing Germans, why can’t we have it by building hospitals, schools, recruiting nurses and teachers? If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.”
In the 1970s the Liberal government experimented with direct job creation delivered through local organizations and citizen groups. The Local Initiatives Program successfully hired in areas such as arts and culture, recreation, tourism, research and protecting the environment. The federal government needs to renew these initiatives. With double-digit unemployment currently among youth, do we really want a generation of young people living without incomes, without job experience, and without an opportunity to contribute to society?
1. The Social Enterprise Sector Model for a Job Guarantee
By Pavlina R. Tcherneva
It’s time to change the conversation from creating jobs for the jobless now, to creating jobs for the jobless always. The Job Guarantee provides the solution. I have explained elsewhere why neither the private sector nor the flawed bastard Keynesian pump-priming policies can get us there (here and here).
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Lay off more scientists and civil servants. That will create a lot more minimum wage jobs, and send many irritating intellectuals and “left-wing elite” out of the country. Smart philosophy. The 1944 military service and government contracts were all tied to the civil service! What a surprise. With 9 billion people and increased technology and mechanization, our concept of jobs and work is going to have to change drastically.