Why unemployment should not be a policy tool
As I noted the other day in this blog – What is it really about? – we spend a lot of time discussing and analysing growth rates and ratios and all sorts of things and sometimes lose track that what really matters are the people underneath the mass of statistics.
So that requires constant attention to labour underutilisation rates etc so that the “we are at full employment” mantra (when 12.5 per cent of willing labour resources are idle) does get too much traction.
But deeper down is the concern that unemployment and the economic hardship it brings impacts on our personal relationships within our families and beyond. And the more I think about it the only thing that matters is how “well” we fare at that level. And at that level, all the financial ratios and growth rates pale into insignificance and you are confronted with other realities that are much more important.
Mitchell then goes on to quote Shakespeare (which others now seem to be doing).
On this theme, I have been reading some poetry this week. I have always believed that economics students should take liberal arts courses to pre-dispose them to more gentle feelings about humanity before they launch into providing policy advice that harms their fellow humans.
Of course, to our elites -- and this includes those who service the elite, like "Democratic strategists," "scholars" at think tanks, mainstream economists and, let us not forget, our career "progressives" -- the issue is not "fellow humans," but human resources: Peasants, slaves. Or animals. "As flies to wanton gods are we...."