Thursday, January 12, 2023
#12 / Job Guarantee
Pictured is the village of Gramatneusiedl, Austria. A Google search told me that Trip Advisor has placed Gramatneusiedl on a 2022 list of the "best places" to visit in Austria. I hunted down information about this Austrian village because of an article in The New Yorker. The article discussed a "Job Guarantee" program that operates in Gramatneusiedl. Here's the title of the article, which is phrased as a question: "What Happens When Jobs Are Guaranteed?"
As you might guess, good things happen when jobs are guaranteed! With at least some hope that The New Yorker's paywall will let a non-subscriber read this article, I commend it to you. My immediate reaction was, let's try that here!
I like to say that I "majored in utopia" in college (and it's pretty much true). I spent all three quarters of both my senior and junior year at Stanford in an Honors Program in Social Thought and Institutions. The seminar group of which I was a part focused on "utopia," just that single word!
As I am also fond of saying in the various blog postings I have been putting out on a daily basis for the last twelve years, "possibility" is my category of choice. I routinely contend that "anything is possible" in the "political world" that we most immediately inhabit. In the human world that we construct ourselves, and for which we are responsible, we can do pretty much anything we want to.
We can, for instance, guarantee education, housing, and health care for everyone - if we choose to do that! And we can put hundreds of thousands of people in prison for the rest of their lives, if we choose to do that. We can build atomic weapons, to insure "security," and we can establish programs like The Homeless Garden Project that....
Well... that guarantees a job to people who don't even have a home!
It's still pretty early in the New Year. I still remember that first 2023 blog posting of mine, too: "It's Now Or Never, More Than Ever!"
I am suggesting a lot more "utopian thinking" in this year to come.
We could do a lot worse than following the example of Gramatneusiedl.