The United States’ partial and uneven recovery from the 2008 financial crisis — marked by the ballooning of the low-wage service sector, the gutting of public-sector unions, and persistent racial disparities in wages, employment rates, and wealth — calls for a new economic platform that would unite the employed and the unemployed, strengthen worker power, and point the way to a more democratic economy for the country as a whole. Two such policy proposals have recently been gaining traction on the left: a universal basic income, on the one hand, and a job guarantee on the other.
As part of New Economy Week (Nov. 9-15, 2015), Dissent, Jacobin Magazine, and the New Economy Coalition brought together activists, journalists, and scholars to discuss these two proposals. Should the left champion jobs for all or advance a basic income as part of a broader anti-work politics? Can we do both? How should we as a society define and value work? And how can we as activists frame transformative demands that balance the constraints of our political moment with more utopian visions?
- Alyssa Battistoni (editor, Jacobin)
- Darrick Hamilton (professor of economics and urban policy at the New School)
- Pavlina R. Tcherneva (associate professor of economics, Bard College)
- moderated by activist and writer Jesse Myerson
Hosted by Verso Books
Video by Rebecca Rojer (beccatron.com)