Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Job Guarantee as a Price Anchor?

Contemplate the following hypothetical scenario:  Walmart decides to offer its own private Job Guarantee.  It guarantees to hire anyone who wants to work as a Walmart associate, even if it means hiring all 20-some odd million unemployed Americans.

There is just one catch .... the associates will not be paid in dollars.  Instead, they will be paid 10 WalBits per hour.

Unfortunately, you cannot use WalBits to pay your taxes.    Uncle Sam will not accept them.

The good news is that Walmart will accept WalBits as payment for its merchandise, based on a floating exchange rate.   On the first day of issue, Walmart will accept WalBits as payment for its merchandise on a one WalBit per one dollar basis, but starting on the second day the exchange rate will be determined by a floating exchange on Wall Street.   Walmart will make no attempt to control the exchange rate. Who is Walmart to question the infinite wisdom of the free market?

However, Walmart's economists claim that because WalBits will be "anchored" to an hour of unskilled labor, you never have to worry about WalBit inflation.

You are unemployed and you contemplate accepting the Walmart Job Guarantee.  Who knows, maybe WalBits will be the next BitCoin?  Maybe someday one WalBit will be worth $1000 dollars?   You might become a WalBit millionaire! 

Should you agree to work for WalBits?