Right to the bones of employment crisis
Last updated at 16:06, Monday, 10 September 2012
IT’S a bit difficult to explain how an individual virtue can be public vice; for example, how attempts by consumers to do the right thing by saving more can leave everyone worse off.
If consumers cut their spending, and nothing else takes the place of that spending, demand falls and the economy is likely to slide into a recession, reducing everyone’s income.
If nothing else happens, unsold stock will appear in shops and factories, and firms will start to lay off workers.
But isn’t it sensible to save? Of course, but if you and I spend less, then more people will be unemployed.
Imagine a small community of 100 dogs. Each morning they set off into the field to dig for bones. If there were enough bones for all then all the dogs would succeed no matter how fast or dexterous they were.
One day the 100 dogs set off as usual but this time they find there are only 95 bones buried. Some dogs who were always very sharp dig up two bones as usual and others dig up the usual one bone. But, as a matter of accounting, at least 5 dogs will return home boneless.
The government decides it is the lack of skills of the boneless dogs that is the problem. So dog-trainers are called in to work on the attitudes and skills of the boneless dogs.
The dogs undergo assessment and are assigned case managers. They are told that unless they train they will not receive their nightly bowl of welfare food the government provides them while boneless.
Anyway, after running and digging skills are imparted to the boneless dogs things do start to change. Each day as the 100 dogs go in search of 95 bones, different dogs start coming back boneless. The boneless queue seems to have become shuffled by the training programs. However, on any day, there are still 100 dogs running into the field and only 95 bones are buried there.
For bones read ‘jobs’. In 2010, there were 69 graduate dogs for every graduate bone.
The fact is that, in Cumbria, we must create more jobs and better jobs. If the private sector will not or cannot invest, then the government must.
It must now borrow to invest ... on roads, schools, infrastructure, the west coast railway and, not least, housing.
In time, such action will create wealth. Cheap money invested now in market-rent homes, for example, sounds to me like a recipe for growth and jobs. They must bury more bones!
First published at 12:55, Friday, 07 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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