Megan McArdle looks at the minor and major negatives to the current push to have government guarantee everyone a job.
All that said, as Cottom has formulated it, this is a terrible idea. Over two million people are awarded an associate degree or higher every year in the U.S. Let’s somewhat arbitrarily set the price of a “good job” for a recent graduate at $35,000 a year -- the professional school folks will want more, but the associate degree people will probably demand less, and hopefully it all comes out in the wash. Still, that’s at least a $70 billion program we’ve got here.
Of course, only 53 percent of college grads are underemployed or unemployed. So maybe it’s only a $35 billion a year program. But then, that’s just the first year. Next year there will also be more than 2 million new grads facing a notso-hotso labor market. Now it’s a $70 billion program again. And then a $105 billion program…assuming, of course, that we don’t get more folks flooding into college when they realize that at the end of your college course, a guaranteed job is waiting for you that pays a lot more than whatever you’d otherwise be doing.
I've got an idea for a great place for a government job program. Send those who'd want a guarantee job to the southern border - to make sure no one crosses illegally.
Probably more worthwhile than anything else we could find for these people to do.