Mark Cuban calls for federal jobs guarantee

Mark CubanMark CubanMark Cuban endorses Biden on Hannity: He 'actually wants to run a country' The Hill's Campaign Report: Republicans go on the hunt for new convention site Mark Cuban says he's decided not to run for president MORE, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, said Friday that the U.S. needs to institute a federal jobs guarantee in response to the historic unemployment levels brought by the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Hill.TV’s “Rising” Tuesday, the multi-billionaire was asked about a tweet he posted Sunday calling for the government to hire and train some of the over 20 million people who have filed for unemployment to do jobs related to combatting the coronavirus, such as contact tracing. 

“I’m a libertarian at heart and this is not something that I would typically recommend, but this is a new set of circumstances and we need to take action,” Cuban said. “We’ve never been in a position where we’ve lost this many jobs or had this many unemployed people and had it happen so quickly.”

Cuban, who noted that he usually advocates for free markets, said that the fears of wage competition brought by a federal jobs guarantee does not outweigh the pending economic impact of mass unemployment. 

“They’re idiots; they just don’t understand what’s going on,” Cuban said, of those market players anxious about wage competition brought by a federal jobs guarantee. “We’re in a different set of circumstances, you’ve got to let the dogma go. Like I said, I’m a libertarian at heart, but the game has changed.”

Cuban said that under normal circumstances, “people are going to have jobs, people are going to lose jobs. But we’ve never seen it happen in such a compact period of time.”

Unemployment levels lower most consumer demand which negatively impacts business, Cuban said. 

“We need to have that consumer demand going forward or we could have a depression worse than anything we’ve seen in the past,” he added.