I’m running behind, but here’s my latest piece in the Conversation. Although the situation is very different from that of 194t, this, from the White Paper on Full Employment is as relevant as ever
Despite the need for more houses, food, equipment and every other type of product, before the war, not all those available for work were able to find employment or to feel a sense of security in their future.
On the average during the twenty years between 1919 and 1939 more than one tenth of the men and women desiring work were unemployed. In the worst period of the depression, well over 25% were left in unproductive idleness.
By contrast, during the war no financial or other obstacles have been allowed to prevent the need for extra production being satisfied to the limit of our resources.
Under emergency conditions, all sorts of things that were said to be impossible are suddenly found to be necessary, and the objections raised against them turn out to have been excuses for serving the interests of the well off. That’s the case for both Universal Basic Income and a Job Guarantee, both of which now exist in embryonic form.