Monday, October 17, 2011


Mark Thoma is strident:

The use of the term "slackers" is telling. You see, there's plenty of work for the industrious, our unemployment problem is due to laziness. There are plenty of jobs -- pay no attention to the fact that the number of unemployed is far, far greater than the number of jobs -- people don't really want to work. It has nothing to do with the crash of Wall Street destroying the economy, and the bounce back and present good fortune on Wall Street has nothing to do with the government bailing them out -- it was their hard work that fixed the problems.

I think that it is worth keeping in mind how dynamic the world is. There was a time, during the Clinton administration, where the willingness to work was enough to ensure employment in much of America. But the current unemployment rate suggests that many people who would like to work can't.

I really don't understand the disconnect here. Large enterprises need to be helped out by the government? Isn't that industrial policy?

From a health care point of view, unemployment is associated with all sorts of medical ills in the United States. Medical services are so expensive that unemployed people may neglect basic preventative care and end up in the (much more expensive) emergency room. Plus, it is likely that unemployment itself (a source of chronic stress and deprivation) may also have negative health impacts.

I really wonder when we will face up to this as a joint problem!

No comments:

Post a Comment