The Atlantic: A promise so big, Democrats aren’t sure how to keep it

The Atlantic, April 11, 2018: A promise so big, Democrats aren’t sure how to keep it

 “We have been a society, for generations, that has had this fundamental belief that if you’re willing to work hard, if you’re willing to put in the grit and the struggle, you should be able to thrive and make it in America,” Booker told me. “When you have the kind of societal abundance that we have, if you’re willing to work, you should have a shot at economic stability and the American dream. We do not believe we should leave people behind to the ravages of unemployment and poverty.”

But guaranteeing every American a job means guaranteeing every American a job. It means countering the job losses caused by recessions and automation and globalization one-to-one. It means finding work for people in every town in half a continent. It means accommodating the homeless, the violent, the drug addicted, and the illiterate in the workforce. It means expanding the Department of Labor to become something like the size of the Department of Defense, and yet bigger during a downturn. It is a trillion-dollar logistical puzzle, wrapped in a politically fraught stimulus effort, inside an experimental economic enigma. And none of these proposals quite know how to solve it.

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