The Disease of Mass Unemployment
2013 marks the 5th official year of the financial crisis, and I don’t want to burden you with all the apocalyptic, end-of-time bullshit you probably are tired of by now, I want, however to have a discussion of an issue, or dare is say, a mass viral disease which spreads with every economic crisis, that is unemployment.
Unemployment is an unavoidable norm in a free market economy, you give people the freedom, and some choose to stay unemployed. Young people after 18 still are young, still go to college, old people under 50 take early retirement if they have enough cash in the bank, and some people in between have their own reason not to seek employment. The norm would be about 3-4% in a western, free market economy such as US or England.
What we have instead is 7.8% unemployed both in England and United States, but those two identical numbers are quite different when you look upon them with population in mind. The population of United States is currently 316 million, while in United Kingdom it is estimated at 57 million.
Now, those who know math would probably see how 7.8% unemployed would drastically differ in these two countries. The total unemployed people in United States are 24,726,000 people while in UK it would be 4,446,000 people. It’s all about perspective you see.
Alright, we have dabbled into numbers now let us discuss sociological impact of crisis-era unemployment. In an unstable, post financial crisis economy unemployment doubles as you can see for yourself. It gets harder to find employment, almost impossible to find a perspective, good job, and impossible to find a job that you would actually enjoy. Businesses suffer, their income suffers, and the last thing they need are more workers on their payroll.
As years go by, people become disheartened with desperation and grim reality of finding a good job. They do odd jobs that pay shit, live on a minimum and forget about their dreams and ambitions, some fall into depression, some off themselves and some stay positive and strong, yet as a viral disease it is deadly.
The Symptoms of the Unemployment Disease are:
- Stopping looking for a job.
- Shame and depression of being unemployed.
- Becoming dependant on credit and other people to survive.
- Becoming pessimistic about the future.
- And finally, acceptance of this condition.
The acceptance is the final stage, the most deadly one, because it destroys the last hope and converts the state of mind to a permanent state of self-loathing.
Because more people become unemployed in a crisis, the fact that you are unemployed becomes so common it eliminates the social stigma that comes with such status. The economy is at fault, not me. This mentality, coupled with desperation creates a hazardous climate in which a healthy economy cannot grow.
Earlier examples of mass unemployment in history have proven this dilemma. And all of them have been fixed by none other than the Government. Because businesses are the main cause and effect of a suffering economy, and are completely engulfed in the cycle of market speculation and investor pleasing, they cannot be the platform to rid of unemployment, because quite frankly, it’s not their job.
To battle unemployment is to take massive losses, and the only body of a civilized nation that can partake in such activity is the Government. The Great Depression was a time of complete suffering and misery and no one hoped for businesses and factories and corporations to suddenly mass employ people, thus raising their collective well being, putting money in their pockets which they’ll spend on services and products they produce themselves, boosting the economy.
No one wanted to take the loss, no one had the money, it was viscous cycle. Then FDR came along and began taking shitloads of debt and employing people, building buildings and roads, just for the sake of it. He paid people with those borrowed dollars, which they in turn used to buy goods and services, open stores and businesses, and in a short while, with the help of WW2, the economy was roaring once again.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s borrow loads of cash and begin building roads and bridges! Hurrah? No, sadly no, you can’t do this trick again, not with our debt, not with our massive, fat, excessively consumer-oriented economy, that trick is dead.
But what can be done, what can heal our economy, what can bring the nineties, the fifties and the sixties? I’m afraid this is the time where I get down to brass tacks and say my loaded word:
We have exhausted the old tricks of the trade that have been used all through ought the 20th century, they won’t work again. We have piled a massive debt, all the countries have. The only way of getting rid of it is writing it off, which I don’t see coming in this decade at least. Then we have our Fiat money system, which promotes debt and waste, that has to be thrown out of the window, I don’t see this coming soon also.
The end result, even with all the measures described above would be total economic slowdown, not the crisis-kind, no, just a slow moving economy, without massive debt, without cheap loans and credit cards, and therefore, without the variety of products and services, without the high pay, without the ambition and verve we had the last century, that’s the good outcome.
We either die in poverty and misery, or we die without the iPhone 10s and a 70’ inch flat screen TV, that’s just the reality folks.