New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced his intent to introduce legislation that would guarantee jobs in 15 cities across the U.S. The bill is called the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, and if successful, it will be rolled out as a pilot program in high unemployment communities. The plan is to create jobs with full benefits that pay far more than the federal minimum wage. This program would ideally kill two birds with one stone, by solving the problem of high unemployment and simultaneously creating a workforce to address woefully neglected sectors such as elder care and infrastructure.

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According to CNN, Booker had this to say: "Not only would this have a positive impact on the lives of potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans right away, but the valuable data gathered would help us learn lessons, assess its effectiveness, and perfect the idea."

Other Democratic Senators, including Bernie Sanders and Kristen Gillibrand, have voiced strong support for federal job programs. Gillibrand tweeted: "If Republicans could give $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest among us, why can’t we invest a similar amount in a guaranteed jobs plan for regular Americans who are unemployed and willing to work to better their local community?"

No one honors the timid

In the Trump era, Democrats may finally be catching on to the fact that Americans admire boldness. A bill that introduces guaranteed government jobs on a large scale, and secures the funding necessary to advance this agenda, is going to be seen as audacious.

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Democrats are in need of strong ideas and initiatives to rally their base if they want to win in the next election.

Socialism no longer a bad word?

Detractors could certainly call the plan socialist, but the term "socialism" doesn't carry the same stigma it once did, as shown by the enormous popularity of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders among millenials. Sanders was accused of being a socialist many times in the run up to the 2016 election, and the label didn't seem to diminish the enthusiasm of his followers at all.

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An often ignored aspect of unemployment is the displacement of workers by automation of labor. Bank tellers, cashiers, factory workers, and many others have been replaced by machines, and it may take some government interference in the free market to compensate for this. Modern technology has brought with it abundance. Perhaps it is time for the policies in Washington to benefit all Americans, not just the one percent.

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