“Why Don’t the Unemployed Get Off Their Couches?” and Eight Other Critical Questions for Americans:
But aren’t there small-scale versions of economic “rebirths” occurring all over America?
Travel through some of the old Rust Belt towns of this country and you’ll quickly notice that “economic rebirth” seems to mean repurposing buildings that once housed factories and shipping depots as bars and boutiques. Abandoned warehouses are now trendy restaurants; a former radiator factory is an artisanal coffee shop. In other words, in a place where a manufacturing plant once employed hundreds of skilled workers at union wages, a handful of part-timers are now serving tapas at minimum wage plus tips.
Of course the thing about looking at any individual unemployed person is that you can always find something they can do to get a job, even more so when you don’t care what job they get. However, doing so for all of them is impossible in a situation where there are more unemployed than there are job offers.
John Emerson on why Thomas Piketty “strikes at the heart of liberal Democrats’ first principle of political economy”:
Piketty’s “r>g” formula denies specifically this point. And not only did he disprove the liberal economists’ fundamental principle, he did it using the tools of liberal economics. For forty years or so American workers’ incomes have been stagnant or declining, and as the years have gone by this tendency has intensified. But there has been no theoretical explanation for these very evident facts, and without a theoretical explanation liberal economists felt that their hands were tied; these were things that everybody knew, but no one knew it in a proper scientific way.
What they teach you in England if you have to go on one of those mandatory re-education classes for the unemployed: how to wipe your bum.
Worried about the economy but not sure what exactly the problem is? Tried to educate yourself but it’s all too hard? Help is at hand, with the business Insider’s Complete Guide To America’s Jobs Crisis And The Failure Of Monetary Policy Using Animated Gifs. If nothing else you can enjoy the pop culture references.