Let’s remove unemployment
Unemployment exists in order for employers to be able to buy cheap labour.
Through policy, employers maintain the unemployment rate at a level that suits
them best. A higher unemployment rate produces a cheap labour force because the
workers are pressured to accept poorly paid jobs in order to feed their
Consequently, underpaid workers are not able to buy enough goods produced by
private companies. It seems that an unemployment rate of about 5 percent suits
the employers best. Thus, economists accept this as a "normal" state. This
"normal" state allows the exploitation of workers through low labour costs while
the total workers’ purchasing power is still large enough for private companies
to produce profit.
Today’s economy recognizes cyclical, frictional, and structural unemployment.
Cyclical unemployment is the result of oscillations in the process of expansion
and recession of production which oscillates demand for work. The economists do
not see that burden of crisis and benefits from profits should be more equally
Frictional unemployment is the result of people willing to move between jobs,
careers and locations. The economists do not see that workers should do it in a
day. Structural unemployment is the consequence of a change in technology which
results in an absence of demand for the available workers. The economists do not
see that prequalification of workers should also be the responsibility of those
who profit the most. The economists today are so indoctrinated with false
teaching that they believe unemployment is the unavoidable price which must be
paid for technological development. They even believe that
not a positive thing. I want to stress here that 0% unemployment will solve
most of the existing economic problems.
The current philosophy of economics is based on the preservation of capital as a
requirement for the protection of the individual. This is wrong. As a result, we
can see the deterioration of the individual and capital.
Society regulates our freedom if such a freedom endangers others. A stronger has
no right to endanger a weaker and if done, the stronger will be
legally punished. Can you imagine what life would be like without law governing
the rights and obligations of citizens? But there is no such law in the free
market. A stronger producer might suppress a weaker from the market and thus
endanger their survival. If we have adopted that a stronger is not entitled to
threaten a weaker in daily life, why does it not exist in the economy? It must
exist. It will be accomplished by the regulation of working hours. From this
point on, a much better society and economy will necessarily emerge.
The unemployment of workers cannot form a sane basis for the formation of a good
society. A good society can only develop on equal human rights. A just society
requires the availability of work to everyone. In order to achieve a proper
balance between the supply and demand of labour, it will be necessary to create a
balance between the number of jobs and workers. If job creation is not needed,
full employment will be achieved by reducing the work hours proportionally to
the unemployment rate. This is a political measure which needs to be accepted by
people and must be conducted in both the public and private enterprises.
Access to the free market is a privilege that society gives to entrepreneurships
and they must pay for this privilege in a way that satisfies society. This
will be the best accomplished by the regulation of working hours.
The shortening of working hours will reduce employees' salaries proportionally
to the shorter working hours. For example, an unemployment rate of 10% will
shorten the working hours of all workers by 10% and the workers' wages would be
10% lower. The 10% saved will be deployed to the newly hired workers. With this
point of view the employers would not be burdened with additional labour costs
and all workers would be employed. Initially, the workers would perceive the
lower wages as a disadvantage, but in the long run their salaries will
significantly grow because the employers will be forced to increase workers'
salaries in the reduced work market in order to hire workers.
The shortening of working hours will bring great benefits to society. Firstly I
need to point out that a slightly lower salary for workers is not even close to
the disadvantage the unemployed workers bear by receiving no salary. Such a
measure would guarantee that unemployment and economic insecurity of workers can
no longer exist.
People are accustomed to fluctuations in living standards depending on the
performance of the economy. The purchasing power of wages fluctuates more than
the unemployment rate due to changes in supply and demand, economic crisis,
inflation and deflation. Workers silently accept such fluctuations in purchasing
power. They accept that they live worse through the crisis. So, why would they
not accept this measure in the name of solidarity among workers, which will help
them establish a healthy long-term basis to achieve higher standards of living?
Shortening work hours proportionally to the rate of unemployment will not only
eliminate unemployment but it will also solve the problem of exploitation. Here
is a simple explanation: If there are a total of two workers who apply for a
total of one work post, the competition among the workers will reduce the cost
of labour; the worker who gets the job will be exploited. If there is a total of
one worker and a total of two jobs, the competition among employers would
increase the wage of the worker. Regarding this, the reduction of work hours
proportionally to the rate of unemployment will put workers in a better position
in the production process. A lower availability of workers will raise the value
of the labour of workers and thus, employers would pay workers more than they do
Overtime work will continue to be allowed. In the Western world, overtime work
is paid time and a half. Employers who intend to solve labour shortage with
overtime work will not reduce unemployment. Then the policy that follows the
will of the people will further shorten working hours of all employees, and
employers will have to pay more overtime hours. Let the employers themselves
realize whether it is more worth it to hire new workers or to pay more overtime
hours per worker.
The task of a good policy is to simplify regulation as much as possible while
achieving the greatest positive impact on society. Today's policy regulates
minimum income which has a very limited impact on the overall distribution of
incomes. In the developed world, a large number of workers earn minimum wage
while inflation reduces the real value constantly. Workers of the American
corporation Walmart generally receive minimal income due
to the high unemployment in America. The salaries in Walmart cannot cover basic
needs, and so the
workers receive social assistance from
Government. They live at the expense of U.S. tax payers while Walmart
continues to be one of the most profitable companies in America.
A good policy will regulate the length of working hours and not the minimum
income. When unemployment is removed by reducing work hours, employers who need
more labour must take it from other employers by offering more money because
available workers do not exist. They will have to compete by increasing workers’
wages in order to attract workers from other companies. This will cause a chain
reaction in which the workers’ wages will rise. If employers do not increase
wages they would simply not have workers. This is just a fair labour market. The
regulation of a minimum income will not be required any longer. There will be no
need for unions as intermediaries in protecting workers' rights.
The reduction of work hours is not a new idea. At the beginning of the
nineteenth century, Robert
Owen realized the absurdity of
daily work that lasted between 12 and 16 hours. In 1817 he proposed the
reduction of work hours to 8 hours a day so people would have 8 hours a day for
recreation and 8 hours for rest. Employers were strongly opposed to it and did
not let the reduction occur. The workers were very dissatisfied. The first
significant worker resistance occurred in Chicago, on May 1st, 1867, and the day
was declared International Labour Day. The struggle between employers and workers
has been difficult and often bloody. It took around 100 years of struggle for
the idea of the eight-hour workday to be accepted worldwide.
But this reduction of work hours is not enough today. French
socialists in power adopted a new
law in 2000 which shortened the work hours of all employees from 39 to 35 hours
per week. They did this in order to reduce unemployment and enable more free
time to workers. But the shorter work hours did not lead to an increase in
employment because employers burdened employed workers more. That says to me
that there is not even a need for a seven hour workday because the automation in
the manufacturing process has reduced the need for manpower. Socialists should
have been aware that the employers, who are accustomed to exploiting workers,
would not easily give up. The socialists needed to implement a higher reduction
of work hours, until employers are forced to hire unemployed workers. I would
recommend decreasing the work week length to 30 hours per week. The struggle
between the privileged and underprivileged people has never been easy. The
French Socialists were not sufficiently committed, and ten years later the
Conservatives abolished the limitation of 35 work hours per week. So the idea of
social justice lost once again.
Privileged people always find a way to oppress the marginalized and that has
always been the main source of problems in society. But in the 14th century, a
huge natural tragedy helped the disenfranchised. The Black Death killed
one-third of the European population, which produced a huge labour shortage. "The
shortage of servants, craftsmen, and workmen, and of agricultural workers and
labourers, left a great many lords and people without service and attendance". The
crops in the fields languished because there were not enough people harvest
them. Suddenly, workers and their labour were in much higher demand, enabling
those who survived the Black Death to be in a much better position to negotiate
work conditions. Historian and economist Thorold
Rogers recorded that the peasants
were given virtually everything they asked for. Wages
have increased significantly (2-3 times) and the higher purchasing
power of people has improved the economy.
More about this can be found here:
The Economic Impact of the Black Death.
Now what? Shall we wait for a new tragedy of humanity, or will we, in the name
of justice and solidarity among people, be smart enough to shorten working hours
as long as unemployment exists? Only that would force companies to hire
unemployed workers. Only that would build justice and balance in the process of
production and distribution. Such a regulation of the market will use "the
invisible hand" to balance the demand for labour and income heights in the most
acceptable way for workers and employers.
Increasing the wages of workers will be at the expense of employers. Employers
would not like it, of course, but they must understand that they cannot earn
more if there is not a large enough consumer purchasing power. They must
understand that the purchasing power of the society cannot be increased without
increasing the wages of workers. They should understand that there is not a
better distribution neither for employers nor for workers than the one achieved
through a fair labour market. Shortening work hours proportionally to the rate of
unemployment would ensure a fair distribution to society. A fair distribution
will provide greater purchasing power to the people, which will ensure a greater
flow of goods, which would again bring greater profits to the owners of capital.
This would eradicate the current economic crisis because the crisis is primarily
based on the lack of trade in goods and services. Shorter work hours will form a
better capitalism and bring prosperity to society.
I received a lot of criticism about the fact that more expensive work propels
capital to where labour is cheaper. Is that not the situation that we have today
anyway? Does capital not go to Asia? But this situation will come to an end,
because if workers in developed countries do not earn enough they cannot buy
enough of the goods that the large capitals produce. The less the capital
invests in society, the less profit it receives. The capital which invests more,
profits more, and more easily survives on the market. The same will happen when
the new labour market regulation is accepted by society.
On the other hand, the departure of capital cannot bring workers into
an existential threat any more. The eventual increase in unemployment caused by
the departure of capital would result in a greater reduction of working hours of
workers, thus economic security would still be guaranteed to all people. The
shortening of working hours will reduce the incomes of workers but they would
remain high enough to provide a decent life. Capitalism has spent a lot of
energy in developing the consumer mentality, which is very unnecessary, and
egotistical character trait of workers which is wrong. The solidarity in
shortening working hours will fundamentally change it.
The question is why has such a simple idea never been suggested? The reason
should be sought in the conspiracy of
big businesses, which by their economic power prevent the advent of new ideas
that can improve society. Big businesses supported the ideas that cannot improve
society. Big businesses supported Marxism as the leading ideology of the Left
because big businesses have always known that Marxism cannot create a good
society, and as such it does not constitute a hazard to them. Otherwise,
Marxism, as a vehicle of the violent revolutionary ideology, would have been
outlawed. Marxism is useful to big businesses because it mistakenly directs the
Left. This is proved by the practice of the socialist revolutions.
Thanks to the conspiracy of big business, my ideas do not have access to the
media, universities, politics, and so, nor to the people. This article has been
sent to hundreds of news publishers, predominantly
left-oriented, and only
Research published it. But one day the idea
of reducing work hours proportionally to the unemployment rate will break
through and society will necessitate its implementation. This will reduce the
privileges of employers and increase workers' rights. It will also reduce the
difference between the earnings of employers and workers. In such an
environment, capital will lose its significance. A fair labour market will
spontaneously initialize a new social and economic system that will replace
capitalism and greatly meet the needs of society as a whole. I have presented
this system in detail in my book Humanism.
Humanism would be equally acceptable to all people and would further improve
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