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Job Guarantee Programs and Elr: Why Do You Want to Be a Cna

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Variations of the Job Guarantee Program have been already employed in countries such as India, Argentina, South Africa, Bangladesh and Morocco as well as certain states in the US (T. Fullwiler and Meyeraan, 1082). Although this idea was propelled by American economists, it is said to be not feasible in terms of cost as Harvard professor Martin Fieldstein states in an interview with The Economic Times (Gupta and Sidharta). The JGP and ELR are good initiatives contrary to theorists who are against such programs, as it can be seen in past case studies that these programs help to ensure that people who do not have jobs are provided with them, it advances peoples’ skills and gives them the opportunity to get out of poverty. However, these programs are successful and achieve these positive objectives of JGP and ELR only in countries that is not corrupt and everyone has an equal opportunity to get employed.

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Targeted job programs have been already introduced in certain states such as Northeast Iowa as well as nationally in India and Australia. The case study of the certified nursing assistant program in Northeast Iowa shows how specific training programs can be successful. It was open to anyone who was interested in this field of work and could demonstrate that they are at or below the poverty line. The case study focuses on one community in Iowa, Waterloo which had the highest poverty rates in 2000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau Data in which Barnabas, which is the name of the program aimed at reducing poverty. This training program has been proven to be successful because of the 188 who applied with 118 admitted into the program, 78 successfully graduated with 67 passing the board exams and 60 immediately hired. With time, we can assume that they will find jobs too. Critics of the JGP and ELR say that increased employment leads to inflation (L. Wray). The underlying rationale for this argument is based on the theoretical rate which keeps inflation steady, called NAIRU (Mitchell, 8). However, using the Iowa case study as an example, the CNA program was developed targeting the nursing sector because it was already an undersaturated job market. Thus, if the nursing sector was facing underemployment by placing unemployed workers into this sector contributes to the economy to achieve full employment, thus there is no need to fear inflation. While in India, a national employment program targeted at rural workers was introduced in 2006, called the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). This has varying levels of success between the different states (Das, 204). The case study on the effectiveness of the MGNREGA program in West Bengal versus the rest of India has shown that the program has been successful in reaching out to those in need of a better employment although it has not favoured the poor (Das, 204). A shortcoming of these programs is that, regardless, those who have been unemployed for a long time are unattractive candidates as was seen in the Job Compact program of the Green Paper in Australia (Finn, 59).

From the Northeast Iowa case study even though 60 out of the 118 participants were immediately hired, all those who did graduate are now better skilled workers (Fullwiler and Meyeraan, 1078). Furthermore, the nurse assistant job also provides individuals with the option to move ahead with their career too, allowing them to further build their skill set (Fullwiler and Meyeraan, 1078). The opponents of these job guarantee programs say such opportunities reduce incentives for the employed in the private sector to work harder because they have a safety net of these government provided jobs (L. Wray). However, using the CNA program as an example, individuals who wanted to participate in the CNA training had to prove that they were living at or below the poverty line (T. Fullwiler and Meyeraan, 1074). So, if a private sector worker, earning a decent income did not care about his current job because he knows he can get a job through a job guarantee program, first he would have to get fired, spend months being unemployed just so that he can show he is under the poverty line and feel bad that he got fired from his job ultimately to get a job through these government programs that pay him comparatively or perhaps lower. No rational individual would want to go through all this trouble. Hence why such an argument stated by the opponents of the job guarantee programs is flawed. Furthermore, specific training programs such as the CNA are only appealing to those who would not mind or would like to work as a nursing assistant, so someone working a corporate job who does not like hospitals or does not like to work in the medical sector will not want to be lousy at this workplace only to have a chance to become a nursing assistant. T. Fullwiler and Meyeraan in their case study do mention that CNA graduates who were hired did earn higher than minimum wages (1077). However, only those working at minimum wage, are already struggling with their finances and would like to work for the medical sector may have an incentive to slack at work, otherwise the rationale of disincentivizing workers by these JGP and ELR programs does not make sense if these job programs were well structured any ways.

Proponents argue that properly instituted job guarantee programs can alleviate individuals out of poverty (L. Wray). For example, looking at the Northeast Iowa case study, those who did find jobs through the CNA training program, them and their families are now out of the poverty cycle if they were trapped in one. This also helps the children of the CNA’s participants achieve better education and opportunities as most individuals who do not have adequate writing and reading skills come from underprivileged families. For many Indians, who are under privileged due to their caste or their financial status in rural areas have an opportunity to get work through the MGNREGA program (Das, 183). The poor who have successfully obtained a job through this program have an opportunity to better support their families and have a possibility of having their children receive better education. It is a well known fact that many families in Indiaturn push their children to do well in school to escape the oppresion that they face due to caste discrimination. With the possibility of obtaining a better education it can relieve some underprivileged, backward caste children escape the poverty cycle they get trapped in.

Although, some states in India have been fair with allocating jobs to the poor such as Rajasthan and West Bengal in 2011-2012 as well as Tamil Nadu 2009-2010, other states that West Bengal was compared with have not shown the same accommodation to the poor (Das, 204). As mentioned earlier the case study of the Indian rural job guarantee program, MGNREGA, it states that 70% of the poor nationwide could not be a part of the program due to how it was carried out and “rationed” (Das, 183). The issue with this is not only are the poor who are the main target of such a program are not being allowed to participate but also how employment programs can work only if they are implemented correctly in individual states with proper institutional structures. It is mentioned in this case study that in circumstances where employment availabilities are less than the demand for them, those with more influential power because they are wealthier or have political connections can obtain these employment opportunities leaving the poor who are more in need of jobs jobless (Das, 183). This does not allow for the poor to get themselves out of the poverty cycle. The author of this case study focuses on comparing the program in West Bengal to the rest of India and actually found that this state did a better job targeting the poor than other states (Das, 204). This further supports L. Wray’s suggestion to decentralize training programs in his article “Job Guarantee”, as India’s MGNREGA program has varied results amongst the states on successfully providing jobs to the poor if it was left to the states to target their local rural communities who are suffering the poor will have a better chance finding jobs (Das, 204).

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