Wednesday, 14 May 2014

To Whom There Can Never Be Too Much Unemployment

There was no Keynesian closed shop among economists in the 1970s. But those who screamed themselves to prominence on the claim that there was have now created a neoliberal closed shop with the catastrophic consequences that we now experience.

We shall continue to experience it while almost the only economics taught to undergraduates or published in peer-reviewed journals seriously maintains that the way out of recession is the State's contrivance of even more unemployment and of even less spending power.

Sacking people, or at least making it easier to do so, is always their answer to everything. They themselves, one need hardly add, are always either as securely tenured as it is possible to be, or else, as in the case of David Cameron and George Osborne, far too rich from the cradle ever to have needed to work.

The agenda here are not really economic at all. Economics does not exist in some social, cultural or political vacuum. Rather, the proponents of these views are in favour of ever more unemployment, in practice there can never be too much of it for them, so as to use the fear of it as a form of social, cultural and political control.

Except under Gordon Brown, no other view has been allowed near the government of this country in over 30 years. But one of Brown's protégés and key advisers now stands on the cusp of the Premiership, while the other now stands on the cusp of the Chancellorship.

As we nurse our wounds, we shall remember those who pulled the triggers. But we must not forget those who loaded the guns, or those who manufactured the bullets. Nor will we.

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