I’d agree that a guaranteed job would increase output vs a basic income but it seems to me we’re jumping over the most important element when framing it this way. Should we not first ask what we in a democracy wish to have more output of? Output for output sake is silly, especially given environmental concerns and the fact that so much output today is senseless. Perhaps we all can agree we would like better public transportation, improved housing, better education, healthcare, etc. Then yes, let’s hire people to do these things. While simultaneously taking people away from jobs that are agreed to be socially useless or harmful. Given our rising technology, it would seem we’ll likely have far fewer worthwhile jobs than there are available workers, especially after our infrastructure is brought up to speed. So I think we need a combination of both — guaranteed job and a guaranteed income that’s much higher than basic. The issue will likely be a central one in the 21st century and I don’t think it’s helpful to frame the issue as either / or.
I’d also disagree with Ralph’s comment that ‘productive’ jobs would already be existing in either the private or public sector. This is demonstrably not the case given the dilapidated state of so many things in the US and throughout the world. And I would argue that if the JG program indeed does put people into truly unproductive work, then that work should not be done in the first place.