On Unemployment

Firstly it isn’t always obvious whether or not technology is a good thing.
Tale of two countries the divide between Silicon Valley and the rest of America
I came across the above article from Hackers News,and it got me thinking about disruptive technology and its effects on workers. Recently in a conversation with a close friend, he was annoyed at me when I pointed out I could using Maths probably get a job easily once I graduate. With the blend of skills I’m developing that is possible, and the reason he was probably annoyed was that he felt insecure about his own chances. Having been under-employed for two years one shouldn’t forget the problems that such predicaments put on the person. Umair Haque speaks in his tweets about the human cost of such tragedies. If there is a greater noxious ill in humanity than unemployment I’m not sure what it is.

Why Unemployment Matters
Megan McArdle speaks poignantly about the effects of unemployment and the psychological effects.
How a new Jobless era will transform America
What is most concerning is how conceited some people sound, I’ve young friends who have the chance for great careers and they seem oblivious as is much of those in power about the human cost, and to speak in the parlance of my Aunt ‘the effects on the working man’. I think that work is a lot like fibre, we feel a lot better when we have sufficient amounts of it, and the political debate being against those on Welfare (stoked by a combination of pseudo-feudalism – the Tory position in the UK, and the horrible small mindedness of the Tea Party in the US which is stopping the sort of tax rises that are necessary).
We’ve forgotten the public realm. To tackle mass unemployment we need creative public action, and lets not forget that it was creative public action that sent people to the Moon. The naive view which comes from Libertarians is that taxation is theft. I certainly fell prey to such ideas until I read the following article.
The definitive attack and destruction of an obscure (and in my opinion talented) philosopher Nozicks’ views on Anarchy, State and Utopia.

Thanks in no small part to that silence, we have passed through the looking glass. Large-scale, speculative risk, undertaken by already grossly overcompensated bankers, is now officially part of the framework, in the form of too-big-to-fail guarantees made, implicitly and explicitly, by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, the “libertarian” right moves to take the risks of unemployment, disease, and, yes, accidents of birth, and devolve them entirely onto the responsibility of the individual. It is not just sad; it is repugnant.

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