The problem is the article really rubs me the wrong way. The rhetoric is just far more inflammatory then the proposal.
I do think that having a jobs corps would be a good idea, because it means that the "buffer" of unemployed laborers would still be working rather then simply idling around and losing job skills in the process.
The pay would have to be just a sliver below the market wage for similar jobs in the private sector though. The point isn't to crowd out the private sector, its to absorb its layoffs while it recovers. It shouldn't be used as a tool to drive up wages, which may lead to more unemployment and/or crowding out, but rather I think it would create resistance if you will, against falling wages. The program could work. I just am not sure I can trust the government to run it correctly.