Why is there an unemployment crisis?

What if instead of having an economy where everyone has to work just to provide for themselves, we had an economy that – based on the technology we have – we provide for everyone’s basic needs. Considering the unemployment rate is so high, this means that we don’t need to be doing nearly as much work as we would if we provided FOR society and everyone.

We currently have this idea that there is an unemployment crisis and we need to create jobs, but in fact, the only reason we would actually need to ‘create jobs’ is if there was a demand for them. Since there’s no demand for jobs, they’re not going to get created unless people suddenly demand for something that they’re not presently demanding. As well as this, a lot of the jobs that we have aren’t really necessary e.g. telemarketers, politicians – simply because they can be replaced with technology if we have the decided to do that.

The problem we face is not the lack of jobs- it is the lack of need for jobs.

So let’s imagine a small society (maybe 100-200 people), completely self-sustaining and independent and someone in the ‘society’ invents a technology that allows half as much work to be done in order to ‘feed’ everyone, do they then say ‘there’s an unemployment crisis?’. No. They say they just have more free time.

So am I encouraging laziness? Not at all. Just reduce the amount of hours of work and pay people more.

The problem in today’s society isn’t that there’s little unemployment – it’s that we’re still working way too hard (if not harder) than what we should be despite the technology available today.


2 thoughts on “Why is there an unemployment crisis?

  1. Sure, but doesn’t this come from a dissatisfaction with one’s personal place in life and/or future security? I’m in New York City… and I know a lot of underemployed people who, if they would just cut back on their ‘lifestyle expense’ and move to a less expense area, they’d be fine. None of them want to do it.

    The scenario you described has already happened. Small societies invented agriculture and then animal husbandry, which freed up people to become specialists instead of having to constantly work for survival.

    Once you start getting into “providing for society”, you’re getting closer to central planning, which if taken far enough doesn’t work out so well. I’ll agree that we can do much, much better… but it’s a matter of incremental change at this point.

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