Ok, let’s be more concrete. A “jobs program” is only a “jobs program” if the jobs provided are economically non-beneficial in the short term. Otherwise, it’s an “infrastructure program”. It’s true that an infrastructure program can kill two birds with one stone.
I think it erroneous to assume that all jobs programs are “make work”. They come in both varieties, usually mixed.
But in the scenario I’m outlining, there are no potholes to fix because robot workers are fixing them, better and cheaper. [Also, I don’t understand what you mean by “better education” — are the people in your “jobs program” qualified to teach?]
I doubt if we will see robots doing that sort of infrastructure work over the next two generations.
WRT teaching, a good deal of teacher time is spent on non-teaching activities. These activities are today picked up by teacher’s aides, but there’s never enough. More aides = the certified teacher spending more time on teaching.
The scenario we are trying to deal with is what happens when a large number of people are economically superfluous? That is, there is no way to productively employ them. Yes, even cleaning toilets.
Problem here is that you and I are operating from two different assumptions. Yours is that all jobs that need to be done are currently being done; if they’re not being done, that’s proof that they don’t need to be done.
I disagree. I think there’s a load of jobs that are NICE TO HAVE but aren’t done because of budget contraints. Millions, in fact.
Until we clear up that assumption, there is zero chance that we will agree with one another.
Finally, you see a risk of a basic income program expanding; I see a risk of a jobs program expanding.
If the jobs are useful, then that’s not a complete risk or loss. In the case of UBI, it would be.
PS. A statement like “If you don’t think better infrastructure and better education is productive, then we’re done” is really beneath you. I’m a little surprised you would stoop to this rhetorical level.
See above. You and I have uncovered not only a disagreement on UBI/GJB, but a fundamental disagreement on which our support for our respective programs is based. Unless that’s cleared up, agreement on the UBI issue is not possible.