I want to give you a brief history of the economy in my life time. In the early sixties there was a constant cycle of boom and bust. They were rapid and extreme highs and lows in economic output caused; I say artificially, by manipulating the money supply. The root belief was based upon actions derived in Keynesian economics.
Keynesian economics emphasizes unemployment resulting from insufficient effective demand for goods and services in the economy (cyclical unemployment) as quoted from Wikipedia.
By the seventies the powers that be decided that there was not enough flexibility in the money supply to manipulate for the sake of control purposes without causing dramatic rollercoaster rides in the economy. The primary fear was politically derived because people will naturally try to even out there own lives for the sake of their own personal peace of mind, and as aftershocks of the sixties mega rioting carried on into the seventies. even protesting through the year 1975.
Again I re-emphasize this is my statement and you will find no other quote here because these are my conclusions based on my personal memories but I believe it to be an accurate assessment.
In 1971 Nixon and Congress took the U.S. off of the gold standard completely releasing gold to float freely on the world markets. The primary reason for taking gold out of the picture was because it was realized that there was not enough gold in the world to cover the last gold backed currency in the world. 'Our dollar'. The government had secretly printed more money and laid it out in the worlds money supplies than we had gold to back it with. In other words if the world economic situation went bad other nations could not reasonably expect to be able to exchange the dollar for the more valuable gold.
What went on behind closed doors in cigar smoke filled back rooms can only be speculated upon but I believe it can be inferred that during the sixties other nations in protest of our involvement in Viet Nam tried to cash in and we probably refused to pay up. Setting about a chain of events leading to the decision to can gold as the standard.
I suspect that set about murmurings of war with the U.S.. Again complete speculation on my part but it would explain why Democrats and Republicans alike kept our military massive and our nuclear weapons stockpiles monstrously huge. As a note: we by ourselves had enough nuclear weapons and delivery systems to wipe out every major population center in the world. The question always being raised even in this day is still, why ?
By the eighties under the great Ronald Reagan the U.S.. resurged as the world leader, as he reigned in Keynesian economics and installed brilliant men to chair the Federal Reserve and with the previous near catastrophe still fresh in their minds, got control of the insane behavior of government cooperation with ultra greed. It took a generation of turmoil(20 years) to overcome the good 'ol boyism' of that day but the economy and the people of the U.S. even the world have enjoyed the modern day and unprecedented economic spoils of that victory.
Again my own inferred thoughts.
Now once again the U.S. is faced with instability. The people are unemployed. A misnomer really, only 10% are "officially" unemployed but it is enough that every family in this country has one or more relatives or close friend who is chronically unemployed.
Why is that? If people don't have the money to adjust and adapt to the current economic climate, then when the downfall came people who were already in over their head were completely unable to literally flee to another job in a more prosperous region, or start their own home grown little business to perhaps tide them over. Even more importantly create the next group of industry giants employing the millions of people directly and peripherally that would set us up for the 'next recovery'. The Rollercoaster theory.
Unemployment has several labels associated with them none of which include the explanation called, 'I am not working because I don't want to work'. An overlooked but highly influential emotional tug on a huge portion of the public.
Never the less the different types of named reasons for unemployment are:
Structural unemployment; involves mismatches between demand and
supply of laborers with the necessary skill set, sometimes induced by disruptive
technologies or globalisation. Classical or neoclassical economics
Classical or neoclassical; economics tends to reject
these explanations, and focuses more on rigidities imposed on the labor market
from the outside, such as unionization, minimum wage laws, taxes, and other
regulations that may discourage the hiring of workers (classical unemployment).
Yet others see unemployment as largely due to voluntary choices by the
unemployed and the time it takes to find a new job (frictional
unemployment). Behavioral economics highlights phenomena such as sticky
wages and efficiency wages which may lead to unemployment.
I take this from wikipedia mainly because it is a good generic explanation I think and in the nature of saving time in writing this article.
I am going to add a fourth type of unemployment and call it Political unemployment; that is unemployment caused by decisions made by policy makers with intent which prove to be disruptive to economic cycles.
What I think we are seeing here; unemployment wise, is all of the above.
My summary I wish would be short and sweet.
The reason for the unemployment today is that corporately we have taken too; as a nation, trying to paint a rosy picture which is based upon lies and deceits. The effort is to say that things are looking up to take advantage of human beings herd mentality, if such a mental state exists.
The frailty of such a idea is that people do not want to be thought of as a herd animal, and consciously ignore, and fight that belief.
There is a corporate attitude that thinks that people would or could be herded into nice cushy office green jobs when actually; because of animalist survival traits of men, it is more like packing too many rats in a cage with not enough food.
The rats will kill and eat each other leaving one fat, diseased, (not good to cannibalize) short lived rat. This metaphor is to say the company that believes that people are animals , are destined to wither and die. Their corporate flame extinguished on the ashes of history because people do not want to be thought of as mere stinky animals, but want to believe that they have been raised above the gutter of instinctive behavior to dominate their surroundings like no creature has ever done before. Also the same for any nation or empire for that matter.
With the ability to continue not only themselves but their kind as a whole. It is as if by design man instinctively knows that he has the power to out think even nature, in the belief that one day; given time, man could manipulate for man's posterity, even the earth. A bold statement and naysayers would say that is crazy, but I think that it is certainly possible given time, that we could one day manipulate titanic energies to extend mans sentient existence in this universe beyond natures current norm, rather than become extinct due to mainly natural cause ie. a LEA event(Life extinguishing).
This thought line is of course quite an aberration from the unemployment issue I started out with but my intent of course it to make an attempt to highlight a bad direction with intellectual thought. The underlying or subconscious thought that people are animals. Even if they are it is very bad to try and herd them somehow, and I really believe this is exactly the root cause of our current economic debacle.
Yes I do believe we still have some serious problems that we have not overcome and cannot do so truly until the primary causes is/are dealt with. I Fear that the underlying infection of me-ism has managed to survive this near cataclysmic economic implosion. It leaves a boiling caldera festering while the magma chamber beneath refills for the next outburst of total greed based economic expansion. I want to believe that mankind is smarter than that but only time will tell. I believe the self-centered attitude has survived because the downturn was not severe enough. Horrors that I said that. I suppose a question could be raised insisting that I am a heartless buffoon rather than just a foolish one. I mean just look at all of the people that would have been hurt by this already troublesome financial situation had it of been worse. Yes; they are, but they are hurt more by continuing to live beyond their means. Our nation is hurt by living beyond it's means. I find it an abomination in fact to mortgage my unborn great-grand children's future to satisfy my(well....not mine) current personal needs. I would rather die than sacrifice my progeny to poverty or worse wars over money. I really think the sacrifice should be made now to ensure that future generations not have to pay for our selfish wants today.
I think I will end this here because my blue collar vocabulary wants to poke its ugly head out.