All of the progress that the US has made over the last couple of centuries has come from unemployment. It has come from figuring out how to produce more goods with fewer workers, thereby releasing labor to be more productive in other areas. It has never come about through permanent unemployment, but temporary unemployment, in the process of shifting people from one area to another.
In the name of compassion, Obama advocates seemingly endless extensions of unemployment benefits because his economic theology holds that by paying people not to work, you will create jobs. It not only fails to factor in the obvious deterrent that extended benefits have on their recipients but also falsely assumes that transferring money from one pocket to the next generates more spending - by some mythical multiple factor, no less. Back on planet Earth, studies reveal that extending unemployment benefits results in more unemployment.
I'm not yet convinced that we will face an unemployment problem created by AI. There will certainly be some occupations eliminated - drivers of vehicles, many production jobs, etc. Whether this creates mass unemployment depends on how quickly this happens. If it happens overnight, it will be a huge disruption.
You would think that if any group in America had 20% to 25% unemployment, it would generate all kinds of attention. The Labor Department would understandably and necessarily begin to concentrate on what can we do to reduce this level of unemployment. Congress would give great time on the floor for debate on what can be done.
When we reject unemployment as an economic instrument as we do and when we reject also superficial remedies, as socialists must, then we must ask ourselves unflinchingly what is the cause of high unemployment. Quite simply and unequivocally, it is caused by paying ourselves more than the value of what we produce. There are no scapegoats.
No politician can praise unemployment or inflation, and there is no way of combining high employment with stable prices that does not involve some control of income and prices. Otherwise the struggle for more consumption and more income to sustain it-a struggle that modern corporations, modern unions and modern democracy all facilitate and encourage-will drive up prices. Only heavy unemployment will then temper this upward thrust. Not many wish to confront the truth that the modern economy gives a choice only between inflation, unemployment, or controls.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Free migration within Europe means that countries that have done a better job at reducing unemployment will predictably end up with more than their fair share of refugees. Workers in these countries bear the cost in depressed wages and higher unemployment, while employers benefit from cheaper labor.
You know, there is an argument to be made that these extensions of unemployment benefits keep people from going and finding jobs. In fact there are some studies that have been done that show people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out.
The skills and productivity of American Workers, not to mention the taxes they pay, are the greatest economic resource our country has. To condemn large numbers of them to unemployment, to deprive the Treasury of their tax contributions and to force them to live on unemployment at public expense is the most expensive luxury any society ever chose to buy.
Because tax cuts create an incentive to increase output, employment, and production, they also help balance the budget by reducing means-tested government expenditures. A faster-growing economy means lower unemployment and higher incomes, resulting in reduced unemployment benefits and other social welfare programs.
Full employment does not mean literally no unemployment; that is to say, it does not mean that every man and woman in the country who is fit and free for work is employed productively every day of his or her working life ... Full employment means that unemployment is reduced to short intervals of standing by, with the certainty that very soon one will be wanted in one's old job again or will be wanted in a new job that is within one's powers.
We need a candidate who's going to be a fighter for freedom. Who is going to get up and make that the central theme in this race because it is the central theme in this race. I don't care what the unemployment rate's going to be. Doesn't matter to me. My campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates.
If the ordinary wage-earner worked four hours a day, there would be enough for everybody and no unemployment - assuming a certain very moderate amount of sensible organization. This idea shocks the well-to-do, because they are convinced that the poor would not know how to use so much leisure. In America men often work long hours even when they are well off; such men, naturally, are indignant at the idea of leisure for wage-earners, except as the grim punishment of unemployment; in fact, they dislike leisure even for their sons.
If the ordinary wage-earner worked four hours a day, there would be enough for everybody and no unemployment -- assuming a certain very moderate amount of sensible organization. This idea shocks the well-to-do, because they are convinced that the poor would not know how to use so much leisure. In America men often work long hours even when they are well off; such men, naturally, are indignant at the idea of leisure for wage-earners, except as the grim punishment of unemployment; in fact, they dislike leisure even for their sons.