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Is the Rise in Unemployment Reversible?

Among the plights of the economic crisis is the contraction in production, both in the industry, and in the overblown services sector. This occurs due to contraction in the market, in foreign trade, private consumption, and in the global stock markets. Job cuts are expected not only in the private sector, but also in the public sector, primarily because governments are driven into implementing emergency plans, part of which means cutting expenses and diminishing the workforce among civil servants.

The current global crisis is nothing like traditional cycles of economic and financial activity, which has always been characterized by crises and recoveries. The continued advancement of humanity toward a single, global system, toward a network of increasingly tighter connections in economy and in society, and toward complete interdependence is an unavoidable process of change. If we can adjust our relations, including our economy and society, to the changes happening in the global-integral world, we will be able to obtain equilibrium with the laws of the new system. That new balance has many advantages to us, yet we currently perceive some of them as negative, even disastrous. Among the most conspicuous of those trends that we perceive as negative is the permanent decline in employment.

The decline in consumption is not transient, nor is the contraction in industrial activity and output. They are both obligatory and reflect a return to reason after an age of over-consumption and its resulting damage. The failing current global economy, with all its competitiveness, egoism, and intrigues, will return to its natural size: a balanced economy. The contraction of industry, services, trade, and the public sector are also mandatory.

All of the economic systems that have spun out of control over the last 30 years, the era of the rule of extreme neo-liberalism, will return to their natural sizes, that are required to provide for the needs of the human race on reasonable, equal, just, and harmonious levels.

In the 2011 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Economic Sciences, Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz gave an insightful lecture, titled, “Imagining an Economics that Works: Crisis, Contagion and the Need for a New Paradigm.” [81] Near the 15-minute mark of the lecture, Dr. Stiglitz made the following comment: “Today, about 3% of the population is engaged ... in agriculture in the advanced industrial countries, and they produce more food than even an obese society can consume.”

Evidently, there is no need for an employment rate of 90%, nor even of 50%. 20% employment is more than enough to cover all essential needs in agriculture, industry, and services of the human society. In other words, the current trend of growing unemployment is not a passing phase, but a new phase humanity is entering.

As we can see, humanity’s return to reasonable consumption means that hundreds of millions all over the world will be permanently out of work. If we adopt the suggested program for educating the unemployed, that change will be a welcome one. It will enable us to accelerate the shift in our interrelations to match the global and connected world that humanity has become, where everyone is dependent on everyone else in every aspect of life.

If we do not properly address the challenge of mass global unemployment, it could undermine and topple governments and regimes, creating a worldwide catastrophe.

[81] “Short films from the 2011 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Economic Sciences,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online,

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