A Proposal for a Federal Employment Reserve Authority
There is already considerable talk about the possible need for a massive public works program in response to the deepening recession and rising unemployment; however, an ad hoc emergency approach is going to waste billions of dollars by mismatching skills and needs. In this new Policy Note, Martin Shubik of Yale University outlines a proposal aimed directly at providing good planning consistent with maintaining market freedom and minimizing pork-barrel legislation. Rather than an emergency relief program on the order of the New Deal Works Progress Administration, Shubik proposes a permanent agency modeled on the Federal Reserve that would monitor unemployment in each state and maintain a list of potential public works projects. Financing for any project could then be set in place as soon as the unemployment level in any state exceeded the trigger value, eliminating the need for relief legislation during a crisis.