Thursday, 1 June 2006

Cue Card Libertarianism - Unemployment

Unemployment: [n.] That of which there is not nearly enough. Politicians, bureaucrats, and the excess of lawyers and accountants they make necessary should be added to the ranks of the unemployed forthwith.

Were that to happen, with the reduction in taxes and regulations and the concomitant leap in prductivity such a joyous event would presuppose, the number of real jobs that would become available would rise even more impressively than it is already thought to be. Too often in present-day New Zealand, the productive are to be found cap in hand asking permission from the unproductive in order to produce. For the good of all of us, the unproductive have to be put in their place and the productive left free to produce.

The 'full employment' supposedly enjoyed by New Zealand prior to the eighties was an illusion, just as it is now. Armies of people were then 'employed' but were not working, as evidenced by the dramatic improvements in productivity which followed the shedding of tens of thousands of jobs in newly corporatised and privatised industries. The irony today is that thousands more are now working, but are not just unproductive -- there too many thousands working far too often on putting hurdles in the path of those who are productive, or who would be if they were not so shackled.

We might perhaps have been better with featherbeds than with petty fascists, but the fact is we would be better with neither. Real jobs create wealth, they don't seek to shackle those who are creating wealth.

NZ is is still awash in bureaucracy, and in the state worship that fuels the affliction. The quantum leaps in unemployment that began during the Muldoon administration were the inevitable result of decades of living in a Fools’ Paradise to which the Greens et al would bid us return. And the recent year-on-year quantum leaps in the infestation of bureaucrats over the are the inevitable result of not having abandoned the state worship that still afflicts New Zealanders.

If there was a revolution in the eighties, then it certainly hasn't been inside New Zealanders' heads. The state worship imbibed by many with their mothers' milk is still with us, and still weighs us down.

The surest and quickest way to end the periodic crises of unemployment permanently is, as always, to walk the path of freedom. To get the unproductive permanently the hell out of the way of the productive, and let laissez-faire rip. To let the law of supply and demand determine the real price of labour – minimum wage laws should be scrapped and the Employment Court should stop making it impossible for employers to fire anyone (which deters them from hiring in the first place). A time limit should be placed on the dole (“Its chief effect is to turn the unemployed into the unemployable” – Dean Inge) and Company Tax first cut to the bone and then scrapped.

Employers should not be made financially liable for their employees’ pregnancies, their hobbies, their after-hours accidents, weddings, funerals, etc, unless they voluntarily take on such responsibilities. The state’s role should be confined only to providing the machinery for parties who wish to prosecute for breaches of freely negotiated contracts. The underlying principle here is: what’s good for freedom is good for business; what’s good for business is good for jobs.

Part of a continuing series explaining the concepts and terms used by libertarians. Originally published in The Free Radical. The 'Introduction' to the series is here. The series so far is here.
LINKS: Cue Card Libertarianism - Not PC
TAGS: Cue_Card_Libertarianism, Libertarianism, Politics, Politics-NZ, Economics

1 comment:

  1. When comparing to the 80's everything has been changed. Those days they worked hard, but now instead of hard working, everyone wants to earn more money in a short span of time. Money is the first factor of all nowadays. There is no unity and mutual understanding, this leads to unemployment


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.