During an economic malaise one of the endless reams of statistics to which pundits glue their eyes is the number of jobs that are either created or destroyed. The state makes “job creation” a central plank of its economic policy to put people back to work, and the impression that more people are being hired and fewer fired buoys their hubristic impression that we must be on the road to recovery.
In the first place, we might as well point out that, for as long as humans strive to create more wealth, there will never be a shortage of demand for productive work. Labour is the ultimate scarce commodity – however much machinery we have and whatever our state of technological progress there is no production process that does not require an input of labour (any such process which did not require labour would essentially be producing free goods). Thus, the phenomenon of involuntary unemployment is made possible only by the artificial costs and restrictions that the state places upon employers – such as minimum wages, health and safety laws, working time restrictions, taxes, compulsory national insurance contributions, etc. – which mean that employers and employees cannot work together on terms that are acceptable to them. This is on top of the distortions and upheavals of state-induced business cycles which create clusters of bankruptcies and redundancies in the first place.
That aside, however, the obsession with jobs is another example of the error of looking at an isolated aspect of economic achievement rather than at the entire picture – much like trying to boost consumption in order to further growth which we explored in myth #2. Read more
…what grim Gordon Brown and the fun-Chancellor do about this. They’ll either have to increase taxation (even more) or force people to work longer hours….in which case, who pays the employers…?
Perhaps cutting your hours to save your job, and thus decreasing your liabilities to the State, will be classed as “Tax Evasion” in the 23,447th Criminal Justice Bill introduced by This Government. (Queen, offstage: “One is getting a bit bored with these now…can’t one announce something else?)
We were made to “apologise for slavery”, we who were the first to disinvent it. And by the people who support the people who will stand or fall by how much tax revenue they can raise over the next few years decades.
I may indeed add more to this post, tomorrow when I have had a sleep…
You can take that as agreement with the Devil, about this stuff here.
The sooner the better it will be, when “politicians” are identified, by real-people, for what these things really all are: which is poor, sad, to-be-pitied candidates for some sort of charitable outdoor-relief-system which channels their energies in a harmless and civilisation-enhancing way.
One which gives them meaningful, useful and mind-improving-work to fill their days (such as growing organic produce by hand, within … a two-hour bicycle-ride … of its place-of-consumption) plus emotional comfort and shelter to cover their nights.
Their lives will then gain meaning, and will be followed in their satisfied Old Age (NOT our Dark Age thank you!) by Christian burial in Consecrated Ground (as befits the innocent and harmless intellectually-challenged among God’s creatures.)
I had thought that they could perhaps build a bridge over the Bering Strait. But on second thoughts they are perhaps better to be shielded from real problems, which they could only make worse, and learn to grow turnips instead…
Thank you, Devil! You said it first.