Here a list of things which could be part of a job guarantee program, while avoiding the creation of more “bullshit jobs”.
- Volunteer work
- Home care
- Open Source projects
- Translating foreign documents
- Human power plants
The national monetary authority can buy works of art for a certain price per item. As artists need supplies (e.g. paint, tools), the purchase of art will increase the demand for these supplies and hence create jobs for non-artists as well. We previously discussed the role of art in a country’s monetary/fiscal policy.
Many non-profit organizations such as sport clubs and community centers are in a dire need of volunteers, nor can afford to hire paid-staff. Local governments could pay (unemployed) residents a fixed wage for each hour performed as voluntary work, possibly with a maximum of twenty hours a week.
As pointed out by Bernard Lietaer, home care is hard to automate and hence a suitable target for a job guarantee program. Since the need for home care varies from community to community, local governments should administer this one too.
We are strongly in favour of open source software. One way governments can stimulate FOSS is to pay people to develop programs. Also people could be paid to report and fix bugs in existing code.
There is a near infinite number of texts (varying from novels to academic treatises) in foreign languages that have not been translated yet. Unemployed persons with an interest in foreign languages might find it interested to translate texts, that have little to no commercial value (read: potential to make profit).
For those people who lack creativity or intellectual skills, the human power plant offers another opportunity to earn a little cash. If properly designed human power plants can be fun to work, while its employees remain physically fit. Also human power plants can be small scaled and be located across the country.