Full Employment Means Nothing.

I know that all of the liberals are screaming about employment. But even if there was no unemployment, if too many people were working for minimum wage–or if minimum wage had been abolished–it wouldn’t improve the general standing of society.

We would be much better off with a strong safety net and 10% unemployment than we would be with 0% unemployment and none.

Some of us have forgotten that at some point in the 70s, the discussion turned from some kind of minimum guaranteed income (there were competing proposals from Nixon–!!!–and McGovern, to name a two) to not giving money to people who don’t work, as if they were subhuman–Nixon later coined the term “workfare” after abandoning his guaranteed income proposal.

Then came the myth of the welfare queen and the window was moved to the right so that only “working” people were worthy of even the slightest break (even as the system moved to destroy the working class).

People who don’t work for various reasons are still people. Some, like those who rear children, are doing the most important “jobs” in our civilization. Others are probably worth paying to keep out of jobs where they wouldn’t do very good. (Just by way of quick example: don’t you wish they would really leave the pickles off your sandwich when you ask for that? or, better: lowering the retirement age to 55 so that younger, cheaper workers can get jobs.)

It’s all fine and good to wish everyone back to work. But it won’t solve all of our social problems, even if it will solve many political ones. Families are under strain. Income would help. But, so would being able to get by on one income instead of two.

We need some good old fashioned socialism as much or more as we need to punch more clocks for the man.