No Jobs For The Masses
There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth from most of the usual suspects on the "progressive left" (for progressive left rational people should read authoritarian right) about record levels of unemployment in the 16 - 24 demographic (demographic is progressiveese for social group). One point universally missed by the wailers and gnashers of teeth is that youth unemployment is nothing new. It has been climbing every single year since 2001. There are full statistics here; in 1990, 10.4 per cent of those under 25 were unemployed. Last year, it was 19.6 per cent. I'm not sure that the headline figure released yesterday is directly comparable to the eurostat number, but this year, it is 21.6 per cent. Since 2007, things have got much worse, of course, as they have in all countries. But in the UK this has been an acceleration of a trend, not a new one entirely.
Youth unemployment was even higher until governments of both political colours cooked up the scam of hugely expanding higher education. Up to the mid 1970s about 15% of school leavers in Britain went on to higher education. By the late 1990s we had Mr. Smarmy Tony Blair bleating about how our education system was failing they young if they did not all get a university education and setting a mid - range target of 50% of young people staying in education to get degrees. His plan of course was to keep more 16 - 25 year olds off the unemployment figures for a few years.
To consider "youth" unemployment as a single, homogenous problem is a gross oversimplification. An the OECD study of youth employment in Britain in 2008 reported:
"Highly qualified young people fare better on the labour market in Britain than do their counterparts in many other OECD countries. But low-skilled 16 to 24 year olds in the United Kingdom perform below the OECD average, the OECD report makes clear. In 2005, the ratio of low skilled to high skilled youth unemployment rates stood at almost five to one, the second highest in the OECD."
Translated to plain English, the brightest here do better than in other countries, but those who do less well at school do worse. That's hardly surprising. In this country still we have some world-class schools and universities. The expensive and exclusive private schools such as Eton and Winchester (ironically these are called public schools because when they were granted their charter by medieval kings any member of the public could enroll their sons so long as they could afford the fees.) Some of the old Grammar schools, in Britain the schools that take brighter pupils from eleven to eighteen, went private and still provide excellent education too. Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and the various colleges of the University of London consistently score top in world ranked universities. For a graduate of these alma maters there will always be work available somewhere, whether it is in a bank (still going), or in Japan teaching English. But at the same time, we also have a state run school system which self-evidently fails many students who leave at sixteen lacking basic literacy, numeracy and social skills. As the British Chambers of Commerce very succinctly puts it, many of our school leavers (and even many of our university graduates from the "new universities" or glorified polytechnics) are "fairly useless". A qualification in being "fairly useless" is hardly going to help anyone get a job (more graduates, less graduate jobs).
The standard solution proposed is to try to increase skills. For the last fifteen years the government has been pushing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths syllabus in the fond belief that depriving pupils of cultural awareness will position our nation to move boldy forward into the new technological age. If this new technological age is analysed critically however, rather than being eulogised by technology geeks, it becomes clear technology is a job killer rather than a job creator. A current controversy concerns the plight of independent bookshops now that e-books have arrived as a viable proposition. Booksellers were already suffering because of online sales and supermarket chains cutting prices on popular titles. With the advent of Kindle and other e-readers more than half of those that remain are likely to close within two years.
The Government has been pushing a plan to increase the number of trade apprenticeships which, as well as providing a non academic or not entirely academic route to secure employment are also intended to offer remedial training for children who can't read and write. This second part of the plan undermines the first, apprenticeships used to be for electricians, carpenters, plumbers, construction skills, engineering trades, mechanics, printers and such specialised trades, to lump these in with remedial education is not going to attract a high calibre of entrant. More worryingly, the government's outsourcing of job centres with perfomance related payments to contractors passing their targets for getting people into work has provided an incentive for managers and staff to force young workers to spend weeks working for no pay supermarkets in the hope that they will learn the skills of shelf-stacking or carrying boxes. On the political Right, MPs call for the suspension of the minimum wage for young workers: the logic being that at Ł6 an hour, the young are priced out of jobs. The important thing is to get them onto the "job ladder", from where it is presumed that they can rise. The left naturally strongly oppose this and argue that the government should create public sector jobs for everybody.
An article by Aditya Chakrabortty points out that in 1979, manufacturing employed 6.8 million people in Britain. Today, we produce almost as much, and yet the sector employs just 2.5 milion people. Robots and Chinese people have taken over the sorts of jobs that 16 year olds could get without any qualifications straight out of school and work in for a lifetime. The only jobs left for the under-educated, or often just the less academic, are in service industries: serving coffee, cleaning toilets, stacking shelves. These jobs are not the first rung on the ladder. There is no ladder; no one hopes to work in Pret a Manger for life. In one of my previous articles on this topic I had one commenter smugly inform me that the answer is for people to specialise. Sadly he had missed the main point of the article that it was the specialists who were being squeezed. Carrying boxes and stacking shelves is hardly a specialist skill.
As Chakrabortty notes and I have observed many times in my UK blogs, the Labour Prime Ministers between 1997 and 2010, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair chased a fantasy of the "knowledge economy". They believed that if they invested enough money in education, we could become a nation entirely of software engineers, 3D computer game designers, lawyers, academics, scientists and Goldman Sachs bankers. Unfortunately, it's rubbish. Just as not everybody is suited to academic pursuits and wee will always have people whose natural abilities are better suited to practical tasks, so society will never have need for so many professionals and academics. And only a fool or an ideological dreamer could delude themselves that China, Japan, India, the Arab world and emergent nations of Africa, South East Asia and South America and, or even from the Eastern European would have to few highly intelligent and educated young people to meet the needs of their jobs market and thus would be forced to buy in suck skills from Britain.
One of the most difficult problems for our society is what can we offer those people who simply don't fit into the high tech modern economy? Ever worse pay and ever longer lines of unemployed people shuffling aimlessly around like the epsilon semi morons of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World cannot be a long term solution. Even if we have the resources, relying on an ever shrinking proportion of the population for the taxes which clothe, house and feed the rest as well as funding government vanity projects and caring for a larger population of elderly people is not politically or economically sustainable.
To talk of protectionism, of keeping jobs at home in the domestic market, is politically unfashionable but it may be necessary. Globalisation has failed, Barack Obama and David Cameron may make windy speeches about free trade and when they tell Chinese and Indian audiences of the advantages of opening their markets to the west the listeners will nod, smile and applaud politely and then carry on doing things the way they always have. I recall a story from the days when Margaret Thatcher was busy exporting British jobs to the east and destroying whole industries. While the Iron Lady was tearing up import controls on Japanese cars claiming she had secured a treaty with Japan to allow British cars into the Land of the Rising Sun, it was reported that indeed the Japanese the Japanese had scrapped their import quotas. Britain could send as many cars as we liked to Japan where our quality and sports cars were in demand. When those cars arrived however they were subject to a forensic inspection by a small team of Japanese customs officers which required each car to be taken to pieces, each component inspected for compliance with specification and the car then rebuilt.
Few customers were prepared to wait over a year and then get a rebuilt car.
Free trade was seen as a panacea for economic problems by neo - cons, an engine which would provide infinite economic growth. Even if everybody understood free trade to mean the same thing however, in an increasingly automated world it would still fail to fulfill expectations. Problems of employment, welfare dependency, falling educational standards and ageing populations must be dealt with locally and there are no quick fixes.
Banning Words Like "Fatty" Is Not Being Caring And Nice, It's Fascism By StealthThe more desperate the Thought Police get because they see the tide in society not just tuining against their stupid, politically correct agenda but becoming a torrent, the more loony their ideas get. The latest Loonytoons notion is to ban the use of terms like fatty and speccy-four-eyes and introduce body image and self esteem classes in schools. Pupils who offend can then join the 80,000 kids, some as young as four, who are on the racism register for crimes as serious as calling a black child velcro - head.
ILO warns global employment situation is 'alarming'; Eurozone in crisis:
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has reported that the global employment situation is "alarming" and unlikely to improve soon. The agency said that austerity measures, especially in advanced economies, were hurting job creation and the situation was likely to get worse amid slowing global growth and more people entering the workforce. They have a point of course but it is just not feasible to keep borrowing money to pay for ...
Unemployment Falls As Part Time Working Hits Record Levels And More Drop Out Of The WorkforceThe fall in unemployment announced today will lead to a burst of false optimism in the media and a lot of silly talk from politicians about "green shoots of recovery" and other such meaningless phraes. Employment experts warn the fall in joblessness is masked by "underemployment", including a record high in the numbers of Britons being forced to work part-time ...
German civil servant says he 'did nothing for 14 years'Both here in The Daily Stirrer and on our satirical blog, Boggart Blog we have often lobbed a few well aimed grenades at how this is not a problem confined to the UKpublic sector workers who moan about how hard ...
Meanwhile all is not well in the Eurozone either as Unemployment his a new high.In spite of all the political chicanery aimed at creating the impression that the Euro single currency had been saved, all is not well for the (B)euro(c)rats of Brussels. Eurozone unemployment has climbed to its highest level since the euro was introduced, official data released today has revealed ...
Broken SocietiesAn appraisal of Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010 by Charles Murray. inequality is a very hot topic, Murray is one of the few people looking at it from a conservative point of view, which is strange when one looks at what is most likely causing this divide. Policically nations have never ben more polarised with conservatives and liberals both convinced the other is evil, while the gap between rich and poor widens, the middle class disintegrates and the working class becomes a state dependent underclass.
UK Unemployment Rises Again as part time jobs increase.Unemployment in the UK rose by 48,000 in the quarter to December 2011. The figure of people without jobs now stands at 2.67 million, a jobless rate of 8.4 per cent, the worst figure since the end of 1995. The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance rose by ...
Eurocrats Are The New Bond VillainsWhere would you expect to find the latest generation of evil criminal masterminds intent on world domination? The Magma chamber of an extinct volcano, a floating island in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean, on an orbiting space station that thanks to a secret technology developed by mad scientists is invisible to radar, in and ancient temple hidden in the jungles of Borneo? All of these have been featured in thrillers written since World War 2. The plots of such stories don't have to be entirely believable so long as their milieu is feasible. If the novel ...
Green Policies Will Not Save The Planet But Are Costing Poor Families The EarthPoliticians bleat about the plight of the poor then press on with their clean, green, sustainable energy policies which include stealth taxes to subsidise expensive and inefficient wind turbine and solar panel power generators. Can they not see it is the green agenda that is driving up inflation ...
Globalisation can work, but only with a unified international plan says Will Hutton. WRONG!We need global economic and social institutions working across national borders economist Will Hutton who now appears to have been re educated and started working for The New World Order argued recently. If only it were that simple. Unfortunately globalization is the enemy not the trigger of the kind of economic recovery we need.
More Graduates Stuck In Low Skill JobsMore University graduates, on leaving college are being forced into taking jobs that do not require graduate level educational qualifications due to lack of openings for graduates in the jobs market, according to research published today. The study shows that six months after leaving university, approximately 40% of last year's graduates are ...
Councils Still Creating Non Jobs As Coalition ministers strive to find ways of cutting Britain's crippling public sector deficit, Labour councils are still creating 'non - jobs', positions crreated to appease politically correct prejudices, service the vanity of executives and elected officials and buy votes from minoroties. We look at the nature of some non jobs taxpayers are funding ...
Welcome To New World OrderIs there really a shady group of super rich individuals, George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mauruice Strong and others less well known but just as powerful who are collaborating to overthrow the free nations and establish a global oligarchy, Novus Ordo Seclorum, the New World Order,. You have heard all the conspiracy theorie, now see the evidence.
Millions Not SavingFour out of ten people in the age range from 45 to 54 have found themselves unable to save any money in a retirement fund because of the twin financial burdens of aged and infirm parents and young adult 'boomerang' children.
Shock, Horror! Coalition Spending Cuts Cuts Will Mean 50,000. NHS Job LossesPredictably the left are screaming about the claimed 50,000 jobs that will have have to be axed by NHS trusts across the nation to meed government budget reduction targets. What NHS managers are doing however is following in the footsteps of Labour controlled councils and rather than losing the candy - floss jobs created by empire building bureaucrats are slashing front line services to punish users of the service for ...
War On Council Non JobsLocal authorities around Britain have hired an extra 180,000 workers since 1997, with the total number of town hall workers not employed in traditional front-line roles now standing at almost 750,000, according to ministers in the coalition government. The government is highlighting the figures at a time when local authorities ...
The 99ers: Death Of The American Dream.The 99ers are a new social class createde by the economic recession in the USA. This new demographic, not one the advertizing industry will be interested in are jobless people whose unemployment benefit (job sekers in UK parlance) benefit has run out and thus who have dropped off the unemployment statistics. But even for people who are not 99ers times are hard scross the pond ...
More Graduates, Less Graduate Jobs by Xavier ConnollyAll the while Labour were in power they kept muttering about the knowledge economy as if simply having attained a University degree was a marketable asset. In reality were were spending fortunes on educating people to be call centre clerks, shelf fillers and burger flippers. Now the coalition must find a way to deal with the problem of having too many graducates in areas that offer no jobs.
Jobless Benefit Claimants rise in OctoberOnce again, in a welter of obfuscatory statistics we learn that while the overall number of jobless people has fallen the number claiming jobseekers allowance as risen. Though presented as good news by the government this can only mean more people have gone past the time limit for claiming jobseekers allowance and been transferred to income support, claimants of which are not included on the figures.
No Real Jobs In The New EconomyGordon Brown's Labour government and the failing Obama administration in the USA, feeling power slipping through their fingers, are trying to lull people into a false sense of security with claims the 'green' and the 'digital' economies will restore prosperity. This as a blatant lie, nobody needs a PhD in economics or Social Science to understand that the "new economy" of green businesses and digital commerce will destroy not create real jobs...
Minimum Wage Folly A Return To Speenhamland?The minimum wage is meant to alleviate poverty and resolve problems with unemployment but as Ian R. Thorpe shows, as with all the cure all, politically correct social engineering wheezes dreamed up by the "progressive left" every time a minimum wage scheme is implemented it achieves the opposite of what is intended...
The Real Unemployment FigureNew unemployment figures released yesterday show unemployment fell by 0.1% in the three months December to FebruarY. Contained in the figures was a statistic that undermines government talk of an economic upturn. This is the number of people in work. Headline unemployment has fallen the number of people in work has also fallen. What's going on?
Chancellor Darling's PBR Cancels Christmas And The FutureBoth the USA and Britain are in a debt crisis that dwarfs the catastrophe of climate change. Other developed nations are crippled by debt and their Public Sector Borrowing Requirement but not completely hamstrung yet. Read how government borrowing by means of selling bonds to finance out of control public spendingis dragging us into the abyss.
Poverty: Labour Succeeds Where Thatcher Failed.At last, a success New Labour can claim as their own. Under the party's rule over the past twelve years the gap between rich and poor in Britain has gone back to the level of 50 years ago. We get a view from the MP for Rawtenborough since 1832 Hector Gobbett - Broadsides on what this means for unemployment, the revovery and the election prospects of conservative and labour...
The Jobless EconomyPoliticians, economists and others with an interest in talking up the economy to get us all spending and taking on debt and mortgage loans again may rave about recovery. With our industrial base so depleted where will the jobs come from that we need to lead a recovery?" They may call it fiscal prudence, we call it loonytoons economics...
Interesting Times - Which Way Will The Global Economic Crisis Go In 2010?Which way will the economic crisis go in 2010? Cracks are apearing in the Europen Single Currency scheme and China which has massive holdings of US treasury bonds is making unhappy noises about the dececits being run up by the Obama administration as they pursue loonytoons economic policies...>
Jobs Are Not Enough - Quality Of Work Counts TooGovernments have tried to mask unemployment by creating public sector non jobs. But there is more to work than just clocking on, doing nothing slowly and clockling off eight hours later.
Minimum Wage Unbalances The Economy
Daily Stirrer Jobs, Unemployment And Work
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Updated : Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:50:27 GMT
Unsuccessful initiatives can be the basis of successful development â but you need to learn quickly Continue reading...
Publ.Date : Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:23:25 GMT
Just 15 months after it was founded, Podemos now leads the polls in Spain. Can this grassroots party win power â or is its bubble about to burst?
At the start of the 2008 academic year, Pablo Iglesias, a 29-year-old lecturer with a pierced eyebrow and a ponytail greeted his students at the political sciences faculty of the Complutense University in Madrid by inviting them to stand on their chairs. The idea was to re-enact a scene from the film Dead Poets Society. Iglesiasâs message was simple. His students were there to study power, and the powerful can be challenged. This stunt was typical of him. Politics, Iglesias thought, was not just something to be studied. It was something you either did, or let others do to you. As a professor, he was smart, hyperactive and â as a founder of a university organisation called Counter-Power â quick to back student protest. He did not fit the classic profile of a doctrinaire intellectual from Spainâs communist-led left. But he was clear about what was to blame for the worldâs ills: the unfettered, globalised capitalism that, in the wake of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, had installed itself as the developed worldâs dominant ideology.
Iglesias and the students, ex-students and faculty academics worked hard to spread their ideas. They produced political television shows and collaborated with their Latin American heroes â left-leaning populist leaders such as Rafael Correa of Ecuador or Evo Morales of Bolivia. But when they launched their own political party on 17 January 2014 and gave it the name Podemos (âWe Canâ), many dismissed it. With no money, no structure and few concrete policies, it looked like just one of several angry, anti-austerity parties destined to fade away within months.
If the party's leaders have to renounce some of their ideas to broaden their appeal, they will do so. The aim is to win
Spainâs far-right pundits had embraced TV, and Iglesias believed it was time for the left to do something similar
Ratings surged as Iglesias, equipped with endless facts and simple messages, wiped the floor with fellow debaters
Iglesias said politics was like sex: you start off doing it badly, but learn with experience
Related: Viva Podemos: the left shows it can adapt and thrive in a crisis | Owen Jones
The partyâs use of transparency websites, voting tools and online debate is already cutting-edge
Iglesias is aware of the paradox of a party with anti-capitalist roots bidding to administer a market-based economy
Related: Why Ernesto Laclau is the intellectual figurehead for Syriza and Podemos | Dan Hancox
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