Thursday, September 16, 2010

IMF Fears "Social Explosion" From World Jobs Crisis

This is a good article from the UK Telegraph, but pay really good attention to the graph within.  It shows the duration of unemployment in the U.S. from 1970 to 2010.  It zigzags, rising a little more than usual during a recession (which is signified by grey bars) but downright soars by the end of it (present-day); note that the grey bar is pretty huge too.  According to the report, the world must create 45 million jobs a year just to keep up.  The report does sidestep around some things, like "labor arbitrage" (outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries to ship products back to us).

The only solution that the IMF's chief economist calls for is an extra monetary stimulus.  Now, I'm no economist, but printing more and more money does not seem to be working.  As the old saying goes, "hard times call for hard solutions", but the only solution the government is calling for is "spend, spend, spend".  It's not working, and amidst all this political hoopla with the primary elections last Tuesday, a lot of people seem to be under the illusion that this problem can be solved politically.  We'll just vote the Democrats out.  Well, two years ago, it was the Republicans that needed to go, because we wanted "hope and change".  And, assuming we still have a functioning government in 2014 or 2016, it'll be the Republicans who will be in disfavor and we'll turn back to some purported "savior" in the Democratic Party.  Some people I talk to feel that we won't see an actual "recovery" for five or ten years, and a lot of people would probably look at them as being pessimists.  If anything, I feel they're being optimistic; I don't think that things will ever return to what they were.  In order for there to be any recovery, we need not merely jobs, but the right kinds of jobs, that emphasize production of goods.  But that won't happen due to the already mentioned "labor arbitrage".  So the jobs that will be created will be more along the lines of "Walmart Greeter" or "suntan parlor clerk" or "restaurant cashier", and you cannot have a real recovery (that of job creation) on the backs of jobs like that. 

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