Rule 3 of Neo-liberalism, there are no jobs, that’s righ none, zip, nada and zilch jobs, they don’t exist and when they do they’re mostly useless, essentially they’re non-jobs so don’t count as jobs. Obviously employers are quids in and employees quids out. Now three experts I know on Twitter would point out the bleedin’ obvious of course there are jobs look at the figures, employment ratio at the highest ever, claiment for JSA back at pre crisis levels and everything is just marvelous on the jobs front, look at the figures for goodness sake! What a good idea let’s do that but I just want to point out the experts I’m referring to are @Frances_Coppola @FlipChartRick and @StrongerInNos . These are good people, brilliant at what they do and well worth a follow on Twitter. They all know more than I do but then again, so does the average aardvark.
I do know some stuff though and here I must delve into the murkiest of realms of “evidence” that of anecdote. We all have our areas of expertise and one of mine is lunchtime drinking and the imbibers of alcohol in the most British of establishments, the pub, what’s left of them. Now Burma Bernie, or BB, as he is known has a place in his local, where all the DJs of Blackpool meet up to swap knowledge, gossip, musical trends but mostly to get drunk. BB is the pub character full of stories especially about his time in the army and the somewhat bawdy experiences he had. I have no idea what Bernie actually experienced in the army, even his rarely sighted wife doesn’t, or won’t, say.
His occupation is that of a pot basher, a kitchen porter at hotels. That is all he has ever done or wanted to do. A small inheritence allowed him and his wife to buy a small house, immaculately kept, and raise a family. His wife worked at the Premium Bonds as a civil servant, they got by until they were utterly betrayed by Neo-Liberalism. Mrs BB is now an unemployed #WASPI and who the hell wants to employ BB? His right arm is shot through with arthritus and he’s slow. His job became seasonal then non existent. Mrs BB was shed from the workforce during the various restructures at the Bonds but the DJs won’t see BB without a job. Each year we gang up on a hapless hotelier to employ BB for the season, because in some small enclaves we look after each other.
The way BB got a job is the same way, in fact just about the only way, anyone can get a job. You need someone on the inside putting in a word for you or odds on you’ve no chance, in short you use your network to secure employment. God help you if you have no such network or lose touch with it because you’re finished. Key transferable skills might look good on your CV but mean sweet FA in the real world. unless of course you have some internal leverage in which case it’s something to chat about during interview before getting the the job you were going to get anyway. A lot of jobs aren’t advertised until it’s been decided who’s going to get it, the advert is just to be seen to be compliant with employment law.
Anyway I said I’d look at figures, let’s get back in to the world of empirics and factual evidence. What better way than a chart, I like charts, so here is one Frances Copolla posted on twitter. I would like to point out I am using this out of context, I am in no way inferring I know how she views it, but it’s very relevant to what I’m writing about. look at this chart behold and rejoice there is a record low number of unemployed young people everything is gas and gaiters.
These are the facts and they’re indisputable, they’re in a chart for goodness sake what more do you want? Well let’s look at the chart shall we? The figures peaked in 2012, around this time an economic miracle occurred and the rate more than halved. Now call me Sherlock but this explanation doesn’t seem to fit the facts. I don’t know about you but I missed this economic miracle. I’m rubbing by in the gig economy, like many others, because I can’t find a job. I only have these gigs because I am quite well connected but some months can be quite alarming. Where have all those people gone? The BBC has been ivestigating.
“There’s no chance to put money towards the future. We have spent lots of nights sat down crunching numbers and it keeps me awake at night,” said young mum Laura Davies. The 26-year-old lives with her partner in Bournemouth, and said that together they earn the equivalent of a full-time salary but it’s only enough to get by on.
“I’m at that age now where I’m looking at other people and thinking, oh my god, I’m still stuck in my parents’ home,” said Emma Harris, 27. “I pay my mum rent because she doesn’t have the funds to pay for a deposit for me.”Emma works full-time in London as a charity fundraiser, but the cost of accommodation in the capital is still too expensive for her to move out of her mum’s house in Hertfordshire.
So we have gone from a single wage earner being able to afford to raise a family to a two earner household just scraping by, I wonder why the marriage rate has dropped? We, as a society have a choice, we can have a buffer stock of employment or a buffer stock of unemployment, the latter has been chosen for us. Well for them anyway.
To get a non job you need to be old or have children. Ever wondered why there is such a plethora of part time non jobs? They’re carrots dangled before the hopefuls of full time employment that never arrives. All these non jobs are heavily subsidised by the state I wonder why the housing benefit bill has skyrocketed? Or why the bill for in work tax credits is reaching for the moon?
I couldn’t begin to guess but for more and more people rule 3 holds. There are no jobs and that is by design of the Neo-liberals. The fun bit of course that even if you do reach that nirvana of full time employment your marginal tax rate can exceed 100% of your extra income, at the least it’s at the 70’s super tax rate, I thought the Neo-liberals said that was a Bad Thing? Not for we the plebs it seeems. Kitty S Jones makes similar points and is well worth a read.
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