Would a government want unemployment to be kept high? Watch

ozzyoscy
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This is probably an accidentally damning verdict of the schemes and ideas from the past years to 'help unemployment' or cut down JSA claimants, but could there be a viable reason for keeping unemployment high that Joe Public could never realise? Or is it really just governments thinking throwing money at contractors to not look for jobs for claimants or mandatory unpaid placements in retail could somehow help rather than damage?

I can see this just sounds like a veiled attack, but I'm legitimately asking because I see this and think there must be a political reason and that they're pretending to try and help, but wanting figures stay high (or even make them higher).
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Clip
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Gordon Brown was blatantly trying to create a client state. Whether or not that includes the unemployed is debatable - but he certainly wanted to engineer millions of Labour-dependent voters.
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SHallowvale
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It is possible that they may view high rates of unemployment as meaningless, or at least not much of an issue.

Alternatively, the situation may be a little too rough to just 'deal with it'. It seems ridiculous to say that there is a nicely packed ''solution'' to the problems facing this country (unemployment included). If there was, then why hasn't the government used it? Surely if they are to solve the problems, they'll remain in power? It's my belief that issues which face us have solutions, but they take years to function, or are difficult to impliment, if not impossible.

But don't take my word for it, i'm not an expert.
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creak
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Well, the higher the unemployment rate and the worse the job market, the more desperate people will become and they'll be forced to accept worsening pay and conditions. Can't see anyone in this government having a problem with that, unfortunately.
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Arbolus
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I can't see why. Common sense should tell politicians that if they ensure people have stable jobs, those people are going to be more likely to vote for them.
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pol pot noodles
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(Original post by ozzyoscy)
This is probably an accidentally damning verdict of the schemes and ideas from the past years to 'help unemployment' or cut down JSA claimants, but could there be a viable reason for keeping unemployment high that Joe Public could never realise? Or is it really just governments thinking throwing money at contractors to not look for jobs for claimants or mandatory unpaid placements in retail could somehow help rather than damage?

I can see this just sounds like a veiled attack, but I'm legitimately asking because I see this and think there must be a political reason and that they're pretending to try and help, but wanting figures stay high (or even make them higher).
Do you realise that under the coalition private sector employment has increased massively and overall employment is also down?
That's not even comparing us to our European peers, many of who are in double digit unemployment rates.
To be fair you wouldn't realise any of that though listening to the BBC or Labour with their constant negative rhetoric.
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ozzyoscy
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(Original post by pol pot noodles)
Do you realise that under the coalition private sector employment has increased massively and overall employment is also down?
That's not even comparing us to our European peers, many of who are in double digit unemployment rates.
To be fair you wouldn't realise any of that though listening to the BBC or Labour with their constant negative rhetoric.
Figures are irrelevant in elections. But anyways, I was wondering more about the ideas that come out. Like mandatory work placement at a shop for two weeks or lose your benefits. That just leads to the shop itself getting rid of their staff, not replacing the ones who leave, and/or lowering all the hours of paid staff to make way for the free labour. So unemployment goes up.
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leinad2012
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As demand can be derived from employment/ disposable income, a high unemployment would lower demand.

As inflation is derived from demand, lower demand would lower inflation.

So if, economically speaking, the government had a policy conflict between lowering unemployment and lowering inflation (which they do) and decided stabilising inflation was more important, then theoretically they WOULD want unemployment higher.

Of course, this is only theoretically speaking
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pol pot noodles
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(Original post by ozzyoscy)
Figures are irrelevant in elections. But anyways, I was wondering more about the ideas that come out. Like mandatory work placement at a shop for two weeks or lose your benefits. That just leads to the shop itself getting rid of their staff, not replacing the ones who leave, and/or lowering all the hours of paid staff to make way for the free labour. So unemployment goes up.
Except there's no election going on and the figures are from an impartial organisation.
I don't know the ins and outs of how work placements work, but in theory it's illegal to fire someone simply to hire a cheaper replacement. Again, the fact that private sector employment is up (especially in low paid jobs where the bulk of work placements are) and the economy is growing would suggest that heaven forbid the government might have done their homework and prevented companies from simply laying off their workforce and getting jobseekers in as free replacements. Everything you say has been suggested here on TSR by doomsayers in the past yet no one has produced any evidence to support the theory and it remains nothing more than conjecture.
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freedomtocreate
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I think that most jobs will not be full time, they will be part time as business can afford more people at lower hours. Or the alternative being that we work longer for less money. The cost of living will eventually be very high which will cause the gap between the rich and poor to become larger. People will become desperate and accept any job, unemployment will fall but we still will be working for less.
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idontthinkso
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The only thing politicians care about is being re-elected. If you can come up with a reason why high unemployment results in a higher probability of being re-elected then yes.
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Futility
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(Original post by pol pot noodles)
Do you realise that under the coalition private sector employment has increased massively and overall employment is also down?
I presume that you meant to say that overall unemployment is down under the coalition? Which, well, it isn't:

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1on4
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(Original post by Futility)
I presume that you meant to say that overall unemployment is down under the coalition? Which, well, it isn't:

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There may be more people on JSA, but there are significantly less on (unecessary) long term sickness and income support benefits.

Anyway, That graph is far too simple to have any meaningful value.
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Swanbow
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Unemployment makes people angry and restless. Look what happened in Libya and Egypt, you have a huge youth bulge and no jobs so people go out protesting/rioting. No government really wants it, although 'scoungers' are a great political escape goat.
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Futility
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(Original post by 1on4)
There may be more people on JSA, but there are significantly less on (unecessary) long term sickness and income support benefits.

Anyway, That graph is far too simple to have any meaningful value.
The statistics in the graph do not represent the number of people in receipt of JSA, ESA, income support or any other form of benefit, it merely represents the variation in the percentage of the population whom have been recorded as unemployed over the last decade. I posted the graph simply to highlight the fact that Pol Pot Noodle's claim that unemployment figures had fallen under the coalition was erroneous.
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roh
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(Original post by pol pot noodles)
Except there's no election going on and the figures are from an impartial organisation.
I don't know the ins and outs of how work placements work, but in theory it's illegal to fire someone simply to hire a cheaper replacement. Again, the fact that private sector employment is up (especially in low paid jobs where the bulk of work placements are) and the economy is growing would suggest that heaven forbid the government might have done their homework and prevented companies from simply laying off their workforce and getting jobseekers in as free replacements. Everything you say has been suggested here on TSR by doomsayers in the past yet no one has produced any evidence to support the theory and it remains nothing more than conjecture.
The election is less than 2 years away, the whole of Westminster is moving into election mode and polls are starting to be discussed with more and more urgency. Politics is always about elections, the second the results of one are out party strategists work on how they can maintain their advantage/turn it round next time. Where the figures come from is irrelevant, they are still irrelevant to 2015, elections are won on perception not fact, if enough of the electorate believe something it is utterly inconsequential to the election result whether that belief is true or not.

There's a lot of stuff it's illegal to do in theory, in reality if you get a good enough lawyer in you can do what the hell you like, as worst case scenario you just threaten the employee with the risk of being hit for millions of pounds of your legal costs should they lose.

Of course any capitalist government wants a reasonable level of unemployment, the whole thing doesn't work otherwise, but not sure any of them actively want high unemployment
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Joinedup
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Norman lamont (tory) said during the 92 recession: unemployment was a price worth paying to control inflation.

This did raise the uncomfortable question about who was paying for low inflation and who was benefitting.

Politicians are a bit more circumspect these days so now you're unlikely to hear one blurt it out.
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pol pot noodles
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(Original post by Futility)
I presume that you meant to say that overall unemployment is down under the coalition? Which, well, it isn't:

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Unemployment was 8.1% at the 2010 General Election. It's now 7.8%. (Your graph stops at 2012, it's now mid 2013).
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pol pot noodles
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(Original post by roh)
There's a lot of stuff it's illegal to do in theory, in reality if you get a good enough lawyer in you can do what the hell you like, as worst case scenario you just threaten the employee with the risk of being hit for millions of pounds of your legal costs should they lose.
Not only is that blatant hyperbole, the figures suggest that's not happening.
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roh
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(Original post by pol pot noodles)
Not only is that blatant hyperbole, the figures suggest that's not happening.
I have sat in meetings as lawyers discussed doing exactly the above and had a PowerPoint to help demonstrate it, it is not hyperbole.
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