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.