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Forum Post: We the People: Endorse a Drama-Free Solution to High Unemployment

Posted 2 years ago on July 17, 2012, 11:31 a.m. EST by Misaki (893)
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The United States has no skills problem, and does not lack wealth. All we need to fix unemployment is an innovative and sustainable way for people to choose to work less time. Once we as a society accept that unemployment is very easy to fix, the only thing left is to do it.

The recent Washington Post story about the lack of jobs for scientists, which has been a growing issue for decades: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-pushes-for-more-scientists-but-the-jobs-arent-there/2012/07/07/gJQAZJpQUW_story.html

Graduates in mathematics, physics and even astronomy are enticed to go into finance because of the high pay and the lack of jobs in their fields. It is not fair to blame people without a college degree for their joblessness when lack of demand means that many college graduates still end up working minimum-wage jobs.

Meanwhile, the rich are doing all they can to boost consumer demand in this time of high unemployment. From the New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/business/sales-of-luxury-goods-are-recovering-strongly.html:

“This group is key because the top 5 percent of income earners accounts for about one-third of spending, and the top 20 percent accounts for close to 60 percent of spending,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “That was key to why we suffered such a bad recession — their spending fell very sharply.”

Funneling more money to the rich does not help when they already have more than they can spend. We must recognize that for most people, spending on luxury goods or investing in financial markets does not help the economy, since it only causes more money to go to the rich. In order to fix high unemployment, wasteful government spending and inflation, we should encourage people in high-income occupations to work fewer hours while still retaining most of their responsibilities and earning a reasonable income. This will allow companies to hire more workers using the resulting payroll savings to do the remaining work.

This might cause people to buy products manufactured overseas due to their lower price, but the government can always just print more dollars. We're constantly complaining about how other countries keep their currencies weak compared to the U.S. and giving them dollars would help fix that. In the worst case those countries would use that money to buy products sold by U.S. companies, with the money going to the rich who could then spend it.

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[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Related links...

EXCLUSIVE: Port Authority Sgt. Edwin Rivera nearly triples his 100G-plus salary with about 40 overtime hours a week - NYPOST.com

Greek people work much more hours than people in, say, the UK or Germany... at least Greek people with a job.
Who works the longest hours in Europe? | News | guardian.co.uk

Meanwhile, Germany IS using a system similar to this except financed by the government, and their unemployment rate has fallen since 2007 instead of rising: Why Americans should work less