Damien on… How To Solve Unemployment
The government immediately lowers the age of retirement by five years – then every successive year, by a further year. You’re welcome.
Oh… you want more? Okay. Since the West lowered trade barriers, some thirty-five years ago, it was always inevitable that jobs would become “out-sourced” – and with automation, even more jobs would disappear. Thus, any concept of full employment became a FOLLY by 1980.
Of course, no Western government would ever admit that. They preferred to go on about New Job Creation. But the few jobs actually created were I.T. positions with nonsense names.
Therefore, the ONLY way to accommodate the ever-increasing number of unemployed is to lower the retirement age accordingly – releasing ever more jobs for school-leavers.
All right – there is one TINY problem with this solution. Unless you install gas-chambers for the retired, they will need SUPPORTING. I.e., every year, the government pension bill will rise, placing an ever-increasing tax burden on those who are doing whatever work out-sourcing and automation have left them.
But hey – I’m not an economist. The Chancellor Of The Exchequer will have to figure THAT one out. My pleasure.
STILL not enough? Well, since the genies of outsourcing and automation cannot be put back into the bottle – the problem of financing those dispossessed of employment HAS to be addressed.
The latest idea being floated by HMG is that the retirement age be RAISED – so far, from 65 to 66 – which suggests Tory-boy Cameron and his lovely new assistant Cleggy intend to follow the suggestion I made at the top of this piece – except IN REVERSE.
Naturally, Tories (who mostly have private pension plans enabling them to retire at 50 – or even earlier, if the pressure gets too much for the little darlings) will point out that life expectation has INCREASED and so the prolls’ years of toil should follow.
But as a burned-out ex-service engineer who quit the rat race at 50 himself – financed by SAVINGS – the prospect of the goalposts of State Pension receding into the distance fills this scribbler with disquiet.
You see, thanks to the World financial meltdown, his nest-egg has SHRUNK somewhat. And whilst he knew the markets go up and down in ten-year cycles and had thus taken that into account – what he had NOT reckoned on, was that the POUND would go down the crapper TOO.
Thing is, here in the Land Of Smiles, things have gotten fraught of late. But social conditions have no bearing on economic ones. When America plug-holed, things on the street were fine – it was those silly banks with their toxic sub-prime loans that did it.
Likewise here, in 1998 – the Tiger currencies went down the dumper because banks were loaning too much money to developers who had failed to ensure their developments had end-users. But again, on the street, all was jake.
And while Britain is not yet on FIRE – she has been FOUND OUT. The old dear has been shuffling papers for decades, while her economy has RUN OUT.
All of which means this chronicler has been hit TWICE – once by the drop in share values (about 35%) and AGAIN by the slide of the Western currencies against the Baht (ANOTHER 35%-odd).
Thus his personal fortune currently stands at 65% of 65% of what it was three years ago – which is (calculator out) 42.25%. That means a drop of 57.75%. In other words, his total money has TANKED by well over HALF. Boo-hoo.
Therefore, that State Pension has gone from being a bonus in his declining years – to a bloody NECESSITY. And seeing it wave bye-bye, one year at a time, is not a happy prospect.
But will it ever happen? I recall the Torybastards trying this once before. At that time, they wanted to “means-test” state pensions. Their spin was that rich people, with private pensions, did not NEED the state pension, thus it should be saved for those who did.
However, what it ACTUALLY meant was that any pensioner with ASSETS – like a house they had worked their whole lives to acquire – could have found themselves potless.
But luckily, at that time their plans were thwarted by the COURTS, who ruled that since the prolls had paid their taxes for 50 years, on the promise of a state pension at 65 – HMG had a CONTRACT to pay it, regardless.
I just hope the courts REMEMBER that PRECEDENT, when Cameron and Cleggy make their move…