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Title:The Freedom Budget at 45: Functional finance and full employment PDF Logo
Authors:Forstater, Mathew
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Working paper, Levy Economics Institute 668
Abstract:Forty-five years ago, the A. Philip Randolph Institute issued The Freedom Budget, in which a program for economic transformation was proposed that included a job guarantee for everyone ready and willing to work, a guaranteed income for those unable to work or those who should not be working, and a living wage to lift the working poor out of poverty. Such policies were supported by a host of scholars, civic leaders, and institutions, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; indeed, they provided the cornerstones for King's Poor Peoples' Campaign and economic bill of rights. This paper proposes a New Freedom Budget for full employment based on the principles of functional finance. To counter a major obstacle to such a policy program, the paper includes a primer on three paradigms for understanding government budget deficits and the national debt: the deficit hawk, deficit dove, and functional finance perspectives. Finally, some of the benefits of the job guarantee are outlined, including the ways in which the program may serve as a vehicle for a variety of social policies.
Subjects:unemployment
full employment
budget deficits
national debt
public policy
JEL:B500
E240
E610
H600
P160
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Working Papers, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

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