Why Is Unemployment Still So High?
We are all now, bankers, checkout operators, gas station attendants, home energy meter readers, travel agents, computer experts, web guru's and journalists?
I am sure you don't need me to tell you that. I am also sure you could add to the list of jobs that we do now, that used to employ someone else.
What happened? Some of these jobs were skilled and respected jobs, some were even seen as careers.
People raised their families with these jobs. Now we all pump gas and a do a myriad of other jobs that once employed millions.
Are you really surprised, and is it any wonder that mass unemployment persists?
British governments of all colours have progressively raised the school leaving age over the last 45 years.
In 1971 the school leaving age was 15 years of age. In 2016 it stands at 18-19 years of age.
This method alone has removed 2 million 'students' from the unemployment figures. Secondly millions have been persuaded to stay in education and 'get a degree' no matter how worthless it may be.
Unpaid Internships are now the norm rather than the exception..
We are the Robots
Robots are useful for dangerous or repetitive jobs, but what has happened?
There has been a shift to 'us' doing more of the work of former employees and workers. We are the robots that have replaced these workers.
New technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed unfortunately those workers that do not have high end technical skills are left twisting in the wind.
Many jobs have been created offering zero hour contracts with low pay and no security not to mention being soul destroying.
In addition millions of jobs had been outsourced to countries that were much cheaper and yielded more profit. This however is changing fast. India is now becoming too expensive for many manufacturers.
Even highly skilled craftsmen are being replaced. The public may end up with inferior products but this seems to be acceptable to the average consumer. In fact many people have a sense of pride that they own fake goods. They feel that they are sticking it to the man!
We do need skilled labour? If we need a plumber. We don't call a hamburger tosser.
We want to know that our doctors, teachers or lawyers have been trained properly. These professions are now in the firing line for technological change. Some commentators believe we are entering a new dark age of ignorance.
As humans we have basic needs that have to be fulfilled. The decision to do whatever it takes or is necessary to provide for family and oneself has not changed.
As the official economy deflates and contracts. People find themselves without the means to earn a living, they turn to the black economy.
It overrides and ignores political shenanigans, as witnessed in the so-called Arab Spring. People could not buy bread, that was and still is the driving force that launched the revolt.
This aspect of the uprisings has been largely ignored by the wider mass media.
Interviews of participants in the recent uprisings, indicated that they couldn't care less who was in charge of the country, as long as they could get bread. Which they couldn't.
It has been portrayed that the middle class was revolting, the truth is, it was the working class that wanted and needed to topple these harsh regime's. The middle class had been doing ok for decades.
The underlying cause of the revolt was the inability of the ordinary working person to feed their families, the middle classes were also feeling the pinch and just jumped on the bandwagon, this is what truly motivated these revolts. Structural change and enforced unemployment.
In the west, the rising unemployment statistics hide a much larger problem. Successive governments have manipulated the figures for many years. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) statistics are virtually meaningless.
The real number of underemployed or unemployed is more like 4 times the reported figures.
For example:- If you are an intern or on a training scheme, you are not earning a living. You are also not counted as unemployed.
This is the true cost to the system and why the deficit, will never be fixed, with so many economically inactive in our society. It is doomed to stagnation, and a further decline in living standards.
Your house price is not going up. The truth is; the value of money is falling.
We need the basic's to survive. If we are deprived of the ability to earn enough to supply these basic needs we are 3 meals away from anarchy. As mentioned above.
Politicians know what needs to be done. Why they are not doing it?
How long before the public wise-up?
In 1947 in Britain, the four big railway companies were virtually bankrupt. The British government stepped in and bought up these failing enterprises. Much to the joy of the owners who bit the governments arm off with the offer.
Fast forward to now. The British government now owns 80% to 90% of many UK high street banks as they too were failing. Too big to fail? Why?
In both cases they saved millions of jobs, albeit temporarily. But who benefited? The Bankers and their shareholders (your pension fund, insurance and investments)
Why is it that the government can save the banks, but at the same time ignore the other failing elements of the economy like the Tata Steel fiasco.
The public sector is under attack and no-one cares until they see their schools and hospitals closing, by which time it is all too late.
April 2016 Junior Doctors are on strike in the UK. Teachers are working one step away from strike action.
Surely we must have evolved enough to find a better or more equitable way of living and earning a crust. Because this way just isn't working. Unless you are one of the 1%. And that is a whole different story.
Communism didn't work, Capitalism has failed 99% of the world. Socialism is a pipe-dream.
It is time for some new thinking. All suggestions welcome.
I am a teacher of ICT and Lecturer in Economics. Support my blogs