Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Unemployment - an irrational, unnecessary social evil
UK jobless jumps to 2.22m - Telegraph: "Unemployment in Britain jumped sharply to a 13-year high of 2.22m in March but the growth in jobless benefit claims has slowed. The rise pushed the UK unemployment rate up to 7.1pc from 6.3pc".
It is weird how unemployment is such a non-story, relatively. Under Thatcher it was daily news, with the BBC doing daily updates in the rise. It cannot be, surely, that the Labour government has a better control on the media?
It needs do be said that unemployment is a social evil, leading to poverty, petty crime, depression, and ill-health.
Unemployment is made worse by the benefits system, where you can only earn £5 a week on top of JSA, because benefits are stopped when you get work. This is irrational. The Green Party's alternative is Citizen's Income, where the basic income is paid to all, and is not withdrawn when you find work. This makes it easier to move into and out of work. Critics seize on the latter aspect, and call it a Shirker's Charter. To overcome this stumbling block, and at the same time to green the economy, I propose a Green Wage subsidy, where people can move into constructive jobs without losing their benefit.
This solution makes perfect sense. There is no place for anything except structural unemployment in a Green economy.
And green economics is real economics. Orthodox economics is dys-economics.