Thursday, September 10, 2020

Imagining a MMT style JG World

 This morning, I am imagining a MMT styled world wherein I am trying to decide if I should become a barber (one who cuts hair). I know that the government will give me a guaranteed job doing something; why shouldn't the job be barbering (the job might also doing social work or any other productive effort).

OK, the government will give me a job with decent pay so long as I work as a barber.

Now what should I charge for each hair cut? How many cuts per day do I need to bring off the street to make my (not the government's) personal goal of generating an acceptable income?

Hmmm. I can imagine that there are a lot of people asking the same question. Being a barber in a Job Guaranteed (JG) world would be a relatively peaceful way of life. I could probably read a lot of interesting books while I waited for customers.

Hmmm. I definitely would need a place to set up shop, and would need to pay rent. Monthly rent would be just like a tax to me. It would be worse than a sales tax on each hair cut because it would need to be paid whether I had customers or not. There would probably be power and heating bills as well, acting again like a monthly tax billing.

Hmmm. I guess that depending upon the JG program by itself for income is not enough. I would need to price the haircuts high enough to cover rent, power, and heat, and then hope to get enough numbers (of customers) to make the math work. In a competitive world.

Hmmm. City, county, and state governments would also need to have funding sources. Would they continue to tax haircuts in a JG world? Probably not because JG could include jobs representing government work.

Hmmm. I would only work as a barber if working at that profession made my life better in some way. Maybe government work would be better but probably not at a JG wage level.

Hmmm. In a competitive world, everyone could be getting a JG payment, so long as they are doing something. The cost of rent, power, and heat seem to be the only unavoidable constraints. Presumably food would be covered by the JG wage but it might not be the best food available.

Hmmm. What more is there to think about? Maybe government can pay the rent, power, and heat bills. Then I could be a barber and read all day without customers. Perhaps if I charged a high price for each cut?

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