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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Democrats’ guaranteed jobs proposal would savage American work ethic

A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage and a…guaranteed government job for every American?

Don’t laugh, it’s what the Democrats came up with recently as a reason to vote for them come November and beyond (not the chicken and car part). Of course, if the above scenario were real, the “chicken in the pot” would stem from massive welfare giveaway programs, and the “car in every garage” would be subsidized (bailed-out) American industry’s gift to the economy.

The Democrats’ vision is a socialist utopia for sure; make no mistake, many, many Republicans would be just Bernie for Presidentas willing to support a host of big government ideas.

But the notion that government would guarantee employment for everyone is almost as ludicrous as promising free healthcare for the entire population. Oh, that’s right, that’s already been done!

The Editors of National Review wrote over the weekend, “Three Democratic senators eyeing the 2020 presidential campaign have in recent weeks floated the idea of a federal ‘jobs guarantee.’ They want to offer dignified, useful, and well-paying jobs for Americans who have fallen on hard economic times. The media are taking them seriously. They shouldn’t. These proposals are deeply incoherent, and the notion of the government’s guaranteeing people a job is anathema to American principles.

“The proposals vary in structure. Senator Bernie Sanders wants to enforce the program across the country, while Cory Booker wants to test the idea with a pilot program in 15 localities. But the idea has been gestating in hard-left academic circles for years. Generally, under a jobs-guarantee program, anyone could go to the government and receive a job.

“Employment would be offered in fields such as infrastructure, child care, health care, and environmental conservation, would include full health benefits, and would pay in some variations $12 an hour, in Sanders’s and Booker’s, $15 an hour. The jobs are supposed to be low-skilled (so anyone can do them), socially useful (so the program is politically palatable), able to grow and shrink with the business cycle (so new employees can easily be integrated when the private sector turns down yet leave when it picks up), and independent from existing government work (so as not to undercut existing public employees).”

Again, don’t laugh; there are elected members of the DC swamp who are pushing such proposals as serious, which means the Democrat machinery will soon be behind these ideas, chugging along, consuming media attention and cannibalizing the idealistic but gullible minds of the snowflake generation. Once upon a time the hint of universal single-payer government healthcare was considered a pipedream – now one of the country’s two major parties is wholeheartedly endorsing the concept.

In their article The Editors (of National Review) address a couple of the more obvious problems with “guaranteed employment,” such as its deleterious effect on private employers and of course, the potentially enormous expenditures such a program would spawn.

Part of the cost would be layer upon layer of federal bureaucracy that would sprout up like weeds in springtime to administer the program. If the government can’t keep track of welfare recipients and various poverty relief initiatives now what makes a sane person believe this type of big government feel-good boondoggle would be any different?

Needless to say there would be a huge political fight over eligibility for the program’s benefits with Democrats rushing to dump water on anyone who suggested the goodies be limited to U.S. citizens or some other tightly controlled legal class. What about the DREAMERS? What about the DREAMERS’ parents? We don’t want anyone to starve and illegal immigrants only come here to work hard and provide their children a better life, right?

One can’t help but conclude this “guaranteed jobs” fiasco is just the latest rail laid on the track to ruin if the Democrats ever fully regain control of government again (not that the current Republican group is a whole lot better). In their vain search for an agenda Democrats are grasping at any straw that might gain them a foothold in the minds of liberals who vote in party primaries.

Democrats aren’t even confining themselves to talking about the minimum wage anymore – they want to extend a guaranteed income to everyone and stick taxpayers with the bill!

Aside from the economic consequences from such stupidity, where would government bureaucrats come up with the jobs for the beneficiaries? The New Deal included numerous work projects – and some of them actually turned out to be fairly useful. But those were the days when American culture viewed real work as good for a human being. These days the politically correct jobs police would be enforcing all sorts of EEOC rules to “protect” certain classes of people and closely monitoring every manager for discrimination violations.

In addition, if enrollees in the program were granted free healthcare, would transgenders purposely not get a “real” job so they could apply for one with the government and henceforth have Uncle Sam pay for their gender transition surgeries and drugs? And how about unionization? Pension benefits? Workers compensation? The proverbial slippery slope is already well greased from eight years of Obama rule. Who knows where this one could end up.

2018 ain’t 1933, after all. A few good things might have come from Roosevelt-era government work programs but they were never meant to be permanent. Once “guaranteed employment” is instituted it would never be taken away.

It goes without saying the Founding Fathers never conceived of such a thing. They understood human nature. Jonah Goldberg wrote at National Review, “[S]ince we couldn’t go back to our blissful state of nature, the only choice was to go forward and create a new perfect society — an idea that is only possible if you believe that the crooked timber of the people can be shaped.

“The Founders rejected this view, believing that human nature is a constant, like a river. It can be shaped and, more often, channeled — but it cannot be erased. It’s better, therefore, to create systems that check our worst instincts and encourage our best ones.

Wow. Heavy concepts. Goldberg’s is a great piece to read in its entirety if you’re slowly sipping an adult beverage and need a bit of higher thinking to momentarily distract you from the more mundane daily details of life like washing dishes or doing the laundry.

But what Goldberg wrote about the Founding Fathers and their belief in the inalterability of human nature is 100% correct. All of the “greats” we read about in books were well versed in history and paid studious attention to its teachings, precisely because they knew the nature of man never changes. Similarly, Shakespeare’s body of work still resonates today because at their core the plays are all human stories anyone can relate to.

None of these historic figures had any kind of special “wisdom” other than thoroughly understanding the past and applying its lessons to the present. The brilliance of the Founders’ governing system was it didn’t place too much authority in any one source, though the modern presidency (largely through a complicit and enabling Supreme Court) has granted the chief executive powers beyond any originally contemplated by those who designed the framework.

Nowhere in the Founders’ fundamental thinking would the Democrats’ “guaranteed employment” be found. Or at the very least, such a notion wouldn’t exist at the federal level. Under the Constitution states have always enjoyed freedom to try anything they liked as long as their experiments didn’t run afoul of federal laws or sovereignty. Imposing a “one size fits all” federal employment system is about as far apart from the Founders’ thinking as it possibly gets.

Modern liberals denounce the Constitution as outdated and fraught with contradictions, largely drawn up by hypocritical slave owners who claimed to appreciate human nature yet couldn’t get themselves to change their own legal practices and traditions.

The Founders appreciated they weren’t perfect and no system would be either. The Constitution’s checks and balances were put in place to eradicate many of the problems we’re now encountering because establishment elites of both parties aren’t adhering to the limits on power. As a result, the “swamp” is alive and well despite efforts of men like Donald Trump to drain it.

Then there are leftist movements like the one in California bent on separating from the United States – or breaking the state into smaller political divisions. Such Democrat driven proposals aren’t revealing a whole lot of wisdom either. Wesley Pruden wrote in the Washington Times, “The California secessionists, who call their movement Calexit, won permission from the California secretary of state this week to start collecting signatures to put a secession question on a special election ballot a year from now. They must collect 365,880 signatures by Oct. 17, but in a state as big and as nutty as California, they should collect that many by supper time...

“Californians, who typically aren’t much interested in American history — whether ‘’the surf’s up,’ or a gay-pride parade is usually more important — look not to the Confederate attempt to secede (if indeed they’ve heard of that one), but to the attempt by Britain to secede from the European Union. That’s not an exact parallel, but who’s counting?...

“If California really wants to say goodbye, there’s a way close at hand, which is closing in on the land of fruits and nuts already. The government in Washington could extract all the military bases and the high technology from Silicon Valley and send it to Texas. The departing middle class is on its way there already, and California would be turned back to Mexico. Hasta la vista, amigos.”

No doubt the movers behind the secession initiatives didn’t give much thought to the role the federal government already plays in California, not only with the military bases Pruden touched on but in also helping carry the enormous welfare burden in a state where forty percent of the population exists below the poverty line.

Not to mention the federal border patrol’s assistance which prevents California from being completely overrun and essentially annexed by Mexico and central America.

Left coasters may believe they can survive without the federal government but after the feds leave the state it would be completely engulfed by its leftist public-employee union controlled political class and there wouldn’t be much left to save. It’s no stretch of rationality to envision California morphing into a slightly wealthier version of Mexico or Honduras.

At that point whatever remains of California’s productive class would exit in droves. There are still millions of conservatives residing in the Golden State even if their voices are completely drowned out by the crazy fruits and nuts in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.

Think it couldn’t happen? I’d argue it’s already going on right before our very eyes. Senators Bernie Sanders and Corey Booker aren’t from California but they embody much of its political mindset. Common sense isn’t in high supply in either case.

Government can’t provide what it doesn’t possess nor can legally obtain. Democrats’ promising everyone a guaranteed job is not only unconstitutional, it’s impractical and would completely undermine the American work ethic. Perhaps most disturbing is the media’s acceptance of the scheme as serious.

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