Tara — I can see where you are coming from, but your proposal could raise problems from a political point of view. One of the most telling criticisms of JG is that the jobs it offers would be “make-work,” not truly productive tasks. I think many advocates of JG, including those at the Levy Institute, would be wary of your de-automization proposal, which would open the door wide to that criticism. JG advocates like Tcherneva, for example, insist that JG jobs would produce services of true value (cleaner parks, better schools, and so on). Your proposal, instead, would suggest changes like throwing out automated envelope-opening equipment at the IRS, and instead hiring people to open envelopes by hand, as in the old days. Critics would jump on that as the epitome of make-work.

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Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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