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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Economist gives solutions to end unemployment crisis

by Tomi Johnson...Dr. William "Sandy" Darity of Duke University has a solution to end unemployment - a federal job guarantee program.

“The key idea of the federal job guarantee is to remove the threat of unemployment for all Americans,” said Darity. “I think a proposal of this type is closely related to MLK's social justice and antipoverty agenda that postdated the open accommodations dimension of the civil rights movement.”

Professor Darity responded to my post on paid volunteerism on August 9. He gave his unemployment recommendations to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Budget and Deficit Commission in February 2011. He also published “A Direct Route to Full Employment” in the Review of Black Political Economy in July 2011.

Darity said he developed solutions to unemployment three years ago. He is presently Research Professor of Public Policy Studies, African American Studies and Economics at Duke University and Cary C. Boshamer Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Robert Reich came close to advocating just such a proposal in his commentary on Tuesday, and Charles Peters has a piece on Slate arguing for a resuscitation of the WPA. Maybe momentum will build for genuine federal jobs program," Darity said.

Here are some main points from Darity’s plan:

Establish a National Investment Employment Corps

The nation faces an ongoing and sustained employment crisis. To address the crisis, the federal government should establish a job guarantee program for all adult citizens. The National Investment Employment Corps should offer all citizens 18 years of age and above an employment guarantee at a minimum salary of $20,000 with $10,000 in benefits, including medical coverage and retirement support.

An upper bound estimate of the expense of the program can be established by putting all 15 million persons unemployed at the peak levels of unemployment at the current crisis at a mean salary of $40,000, inclusive of materials and equipment per worker, with $10,000 in benefits. The total compensation package would amount to $750 billion which is less than the first $787 billion stimulus package and considerably less than the first phase of the bailout of the investment banks estimated at $1.3 trillion. This initiative would be far superior to the indirect incentive effects of stimulus measures because it would constitute a direct mechanism for job creation.

Establish job banks

States and municipalities can conduct an inventory of their needs and develop a job bank of tasks that require performance giving priority to the most urgent. This could include the construction, staffing and provision of high quality preschools, computer repair, upgrade and maintenance, sanitation workers, flood and other disaster service workers in hospitals and schools, and the extension, repair and maintenance of the public transportation infrastructure, e.g. roads, bridges, and dams.

To read more about Darity's plan, go to: or watch his video at:

If you would like to comment about Dr. Darity's plan or have a plan of your own, please email

©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. what is the solution to the unemployment in a family? Please give me a list!


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