Unem­ploy­ment is a prod­uct of cap­i­tal­ism: peo­ple who are no longer need­ed are sim­ply made redun­dant. On the tra­di­tion­al fam­i­ly farm, there was no unem­ploy­ment. Aus­ter­i­ty expos­es the mod­ern economy’s lack of inter­per­son­al con­nect­ed­ness and the morale costs that this implies.

Work‐sharing might keep more peo­ple mar­gin­al­ly attached to their jobs in an eco­nom­ic slump, there­by pre­serv­ing their self‐esteem. Instead of lay­ing off 25% of its work­force in a reces­sion, a com­pa­ny could tem­porar­i­ly reduce work­ers’ hours from, say, eight per day to six. Every­one would remain employed, and all would come a lit­tle clos­er to Keynes’s ide­al. Some coun­tries, notably Ger­many, have encour­aged this approach.

via Aus­ter­i­ty and Demor­al­iza­tion by Robert J. Shiller – Project Syn­di­cate.


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