Dear Gentle Colleagues:
The call for immediate cash distribution and the subsequent discussion of such a radical institutionalist policy have been great. Emerging from the discussion is the insight that the global economy needs to take two radical steps, one immediately and the second within the next two or three months. The first step is to provide immediate relief in the form of direct cash payment to individuals and their households who have lost income due to the current natural interruption of the social provisioning process. Such natural interruptions (volcanoes, earthquakes, diseases, and such) have been devastating us in our indefensible irrationality and should be expected to continue doing so for as long as we trust our individual and social fates to our current competitive order ("capitalism"). So the second step is to begin transforming that competitive order into a more cooperative and egalitarian one that warrants our trust, one that can, in fact, protect us from natural catastrophe as we act cooperative to protect ourselves. I do not know what all that long-needed evolutionary journey will involve, but I do think that a very propitious beginning of our journey would be the provision of a guaranteed job through an egalitarian guaranteed job program, one provided by a democratic national government that serves as an employer of last resort and whose actions and aims are profoundly peace-loving. That step could begin a long journey, one that moves us toward abundance and equality. First step: INDIVIDUAL RELIEF. Second step: DEEP REFORM.
William M. Dugger
Professor Emeritus of Economics