Unemployment: The Shocking Truth of Its Causes, Its Outrageous Consequences And What Can Be Done About It
This book does not take a neutral stand on the issue of mass unemployment. It is an effort to expose capitalism's most outrageous feature - its compulsive need to use unemployment and the fear of unemployment to ensure the docility and subservience of its workers. Under the capitalist system, the stick of the fear of unemployment is necessary to keep workers' noses to the grindstone and make them perform to the satisfaction of their employers. The stick is needed because much work is boring, the carrot paid is less than a living wage, provides workers very little or no control over the work process, and stifles creativity - in short because the total carrot offered to numerous workers is so woefully inadequate. Under a different system, one in which working people participated fully in the decisions affecting what, how and for what purpose goods and services were produced; if we had a system based on economic democracy, there would be no need to use the stick of the fear of unemployment. The creativity of most of the millions of working people, now mostly dormant, would be awakened and the volume and quality of improvements and inventions especially in housing, energy, transit systems and health care would be so great as to tower high above and completely overshadow the number and purpose of the innovations created under the present system.
The issue of unemployment is shrouded in half-truths and outright lies. As a result, there is almost total ignorance about the real causes of unemployment and worse still, about its very serious consequences. Many claim that there are enough jobs but that the unemployed are lazy and would rather be on welfare. While this may be true of a very small fraction of the unemployed, it is not true of the overwhelming majority. There have been numerous instances in which whenever advertisements calling for applicants for relatively well-paid jobs or for jobs that paid better than the minimum wage, the number of applicants that applied for those jobs were ten or more times greater than the number of jobs that were advertised.
In September 26th of 1984, to mention just one instance, the Associated Press News Agency reported that "50,000 people lined up for 350 jobs." The report went on to say that "the applicants, some of whom waited in line for two days, hope to land a longshoreman's job paying $15.45 an hour or a marine clerk's job earning $17.45 an hour... However the fact that only 350 jobs are currently available didn't dismay the crowd, which queued up in a line in the San Pedro district [of Los Angeles] that stretched for 13 mile..."
Clearly, the majority would rather have gainful employment at a living wage and live a life of dignity and integrity. Furthermore apart from the simple need to earn a living, productive employment is an indispensable part of the psychological makeup of human beings. Simply put, people want to feel useful. Prolonged joblessness is a serious threat to a person's self-esteem and destroying that self-esteem has appalling consequences.
The ugly truth is that the system under which we live will not or cannot provide jobs for those who need them. The business class is simply not interested in full employment because mass unemployment provides them with many benefits. Among those benefits: a large pool of unemployed workers drives down the wages employers have to pay.
A Relevant Economic Book
By William Bagley - December 3, 2010
I usually do not review books outside meditation, organic gardening, herbs, yoga, and electronics. But this book came to my attention and I thought it was worth giving this book some voice in the form of a review. Since the collapse of the housing market and the banking crisis, there has been a need to gain some perspective about why these things are happening and what we can do to improve the economy. The book UNEMPLOYMENT'S SHOCKING TRUTH by Jack Stone and Joe McCraw gives some interesting analysis regarding many of these factors. It has about 15 cartoons and about 4 graphs to illustrate the message. The book is well written and well organized, having clear chapter headings and subheadings. The book steps back and takes a partly historical perspective, going back to the Full Employment Act of 1945 and how this measure was politically subverted. It then looks at the 1978 Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Bill and five other Full Employment Law Proposals from 1985 to 1999. The book... read more
How Can a Book This Important Stay Hidden!
By H. Levin "H. Levin" - December 25, 2010
With the recent severe downturn in the economy, the subject of unemployment has been getting a lot of attention in the corporate news. However, the true causes of unemployment--as well as the identities and motives of its influential proponents--are carefully avoided. Unemployment: The Shocking Truth... takes a refreshingly candid look at this vital national issue, its actual causes, and what can be done about it.
This is a well-researched yet easy-to-read book. In it, the author documents the tenacious opposition of the most powerful business associations to full employment, describing the many lucrative other benefits they reap from keeping large numbers of the population unemployed. He shows how unemployment is created by the rising inequality in income and wealth, and the actions that big business takes to create millions of layoffs. Those actions include: introducing advanced technology, exporting of American jobs, merging of corporations and importing cheap... read more