Monday, November 20, 2017

Bill Mitchel — Unemployment is miserable and doesn’t spawn an upsurge in personal creativity

Here is a summary of another interesting study I read last week (published March 30, 2017) – Happiness at Work – from academic researchers Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve and George Ward. It explores the relationship between happiness and labour force status, including whether an individual is employed or not and the types of jobs they are doing. The results reinforce a long literature, which emphatically concludes that people are devastated when they lose their jobs and do not adapt to unemployment as its duration increases. The unemployed are miserable and remain so even as they become entrenched in long-term unemployment. Further, they do not seem to sense (or exploit) a freedom to release some inner sense of creativity and purpose. The overwhelming proportion continually seek work – and relate their social status and life happiness to gaining a job, rather than living without a job on income support. The overwhelming conclusion is that “work makes up such an important part of our lives” and that result is robust across different countries and cultures. Being employed leads to much higher evaluations of the quality of life relative to being unemployed. And, nothing much has changed in this regard over the last 80 or so years. These results were well-known in the 1930s, for example. They have a strong bearing on the debate between income guarantees versus employment guarantees. The UBI proponents have produced no robust literature to refute these long-held findings.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Unemployment is miserable and doesn’t spawn an upsurge in personal creativity
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

12 comments:

James said...

People living in a market economy are miserable without an income that allows them to enjoy the resources available, the dogmatic view that MMT pushes about work, is becoming increasingly tiresome to read.

If they're really interested in testing their "work sets you free" view of the world, give unemployed people a living wage, and then come back and see how sad they feel.

Matt Franko said...

Right James, true "laborers" (the people who really like to "work") are only probably about 25% of the people out there...

Neil Wilson said...

What's increasingly tiresome is the belief that you can get something for nothing in return. Perennial student grants might be the fantasy of the idle middle class, but your average working class person wants a job, not a handout.

If you want something you have to do something in exchange first. Time to drop the toddler attitude and grow up.

Matt Franko said...

Neil you are somewhat assuming that income is only deserved by the laborers... there are other types of people out there...

And the underlying condition is surplus anyway... we don’t need everyone trying to be laborers...

Matt Franko said...

Here this young woman busts her butt playing tennis and doesn’t even pickup her check what is she doing laboring? I don’t think so:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/09/caroline-wozniacki-prize-money-us-open-forgot

Noah Way said...

Matt and Neil perpetuate the myth of meritocracy and vilify the poor for being lazy. Talk about tiresome ...

Matt Franko said...

What I'm saying is not everybody is a born laborer... its a substantial question as to whether or not only the laborers deserve any income... it requires a lot of thought...

Besides there are only about 1,000 to 2,000 of us globally who would even consider the question "JG or UBI?"... the rest are stupid around this question...

We're an elite group in this regard we should start acting like it...

Neil Wilson said...

"Neil you are somewhat assuming that income is only deserved by the laborers"

I'm not Matt. Stop being ridiculous.

If you want me to grow carrots for you to eat, you'd better be creating something real for me to enjoy. Otherwise I'll just grow fewer carrots for myself and those who make my machinery and take Friday off.

And that's what it ultimately boils down to. What are you going to do to ensure those who do the real work show up on Friday and we are able to obtain the effect of the Pin Factory?

The alternative is to rip apart the Pin Factory - as they did in Zimbabwe.

Noah Way said...

Matt is so convinced of his own superiority (there are only about 1,000 to 2,000 of us globally) that he is blind to reality.

Neil is afraid he'll starve without indentured servants to farm his carrots.

Ben Johannson said...

"And that's what it ultimately boils down to. What are you going to do to ensure those who do the real work show up on Friday and we are able to obtain the effect of the Pin Factory?"

You could try selling the Pin Factory to the workers. But capitalism or death, I guess.

Matt Franko said...

"What are you going to do to ensure those who do the real work show up on Friday"

We could easily cut back to a 4 day work week currently...

The people doing the labor would make more munnie than the ones on the JG or the UBI so they would be motivated by the munnie...

The other thing is that currently we throw out half of the carrots we farm... ie we throw out half of the food we farm...

With today's surplus conditions on steroids, if we say that one person's labor could provision 3 non-laborers, then the laborer should make 3x the non-laborer... iow the non-laborers UBI would pay the laborers some multiple of the UBI...

Would continue current "inequality!" conditions but too bad we're not created equal...

Matt Franko said...

Ben nothing stopping that in Venezuela or Zimbabwe currently.... why is it not happening?

Dont tell me "neo-liberal conspiracy!" I know, I know...