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Jobless? Blame the System, not Yourself!

by Alan Bradshaw Monday, Aug. 18, 2003 at 5:30 PM
mbatko@lycos.com

"The economy dictates how many will be unemployed because no jobs are available. 10% of the workforce don't get lazy at a certain point of the business cycle..Each downturn sends millions more into unemp-loyment. Unemployment is a social problem."

Jobless? Blame the System, not Yourself!

By Alan Bradshaw

[This article is reprinted from New Unionist Nr. 302, August 2003. More articles can be found on http://www.newunionparty.org.]

Polls show that most people in the US blame the individual for his or her unemployment. To them, those with ambition find a job and those without ambition don’t.

This idea has been nurtured by the employers and their media mouthpieces for many years. And they have been very successful. Harry Mauer in his book “Not Working” says, “But what astonished me – more than any other discovery in the course of writing this book – was the degree to which unemployed persons blame themselves.”

The truth is, however, that the economy decides how many jobs are available.

If the economy calls for so many machinists or coal miners, workers will step forward to fill these positions. Workers will get the necessary education to be teachers, nurses and engineers, and step forward to fill these positions. Millions of low-wage jobs are also filled, even though they don’t pay enough to get these workers out of poverty.

It follows that the economy also dictates how many will be unemployed because no jobs are available. 10% of the workforce don’t get lazy at a certain point of the business cycle while just 3% are lazy at another point in the cycle. Each downturn sends millions more into unemployment. Their willingness to work, their ambition, doesn’t save them.

Unemployment is a social problem, not an individual failing. Worldwide it is a scourge. It is a result of the operation of capitalism.

Indeed, it is very desirable from the point of view of the capitalist class. Unemployment keeps wages, which vary according to supply and demand, lower than otherwise. It also means there will be workers available when needed for industrial expansion.

If the unemployed were to correctly blame capitalism for their plight, the system itself might come under attack. They might even demand decent jobs as a right. They might even agree with Martin Luther King Jr. who said,

“In our society it is murder, psychologically, to deprive a man of a job or an income. You are in substance saying to that man that he has no right to exist.”

Workers need to reject the false claim that the individual is responsible for his or her idleness when they are not allowed to work. It is the system that decrees that hundreds of millions worldwide will not find jobs.

Unemployed workers have a choice. They can join those who blame themselves for their jobless plight. Or they can join those who want to create a system that allows everyone to work, a system owned and controlled by the workers themselves, who enjoy the full fruits of their joint efforts.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 53 posted about this article.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
au contraire, A.B. john fish Monday, Aug. 18, 2003 at 11:12 PM
Loser's Mentality Meyer London Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 2:11 PM
Loser's Mentality worker Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 2:21 PM
Train Crash Meyer London Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 2:32 PM
Train Crash worker Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 2:40 PM
not well informed about the train schedule Meyer London Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 2:52 PM
Cuber worker Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 3:02 PM
I guess that explains kelkins Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 3:04 PM
yeah it's the best ** Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 3:10 PM
Millions Meyer London Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 3:14 PM
Yeah. London Meyer Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 3:18 PM
Millions worker Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 3:29 PM
I got an idea kelkins Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 4:13 PM
wonderful system Meyer London Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 5:14 PM
Some Old Soft Shoe History of the World, Part 1 Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 5:22 PM
Meyer, you can't possibly be that stupid. Rich Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 5:39 PM
Fortunately for all of us... pol Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 5:44 PM
They don't want a seat. pol Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 6:11 PM
conquered nations, stolen resources Meyer London Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003 at 6:51 PM
Capitalism and Communism: One tortoise, one hare, one race. Rich Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 11:32 AM
Rich, you crack me up Billions Moron this War Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 11:59 AM
Good job addressing the fact of my argument. Rich Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 12:19 PM
^ once again Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 12:21 PM
America-Hating 101 Rich Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 12:27 PM
wonderful C&P! Billions Moron this War Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 12:34 PM
blah Rich Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 12:49 PM
Billions Moron this War Billions Moron this War Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 12:58 PM
Alamo and other adventures Meyer London Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 1:14 PM
correction Meyer London Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 1:16 PM
US Meyer London Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 1:20 PM
war v Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 1:22 PM
Billions Moron this War Billions Moron this War Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 1:29 PM
above ? Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 1:47 PM
conquered land not stolen Herman Goering Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 2:06 PM
Nice hat, Rich Dan'l Boone Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 2:12 PM
The land belongs to whoever can conquer and defend it. v Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 2:14 PM
world governed by aggression, force anti-Nazi Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 2:29 PM
"Do you have any disagreements at all with Herr Hitler?" Rich Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 2:40 PM
Nazi v Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 2:45 PM
An important Message from your President GWB Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 3:03 PM
unfair Adolf Hitler Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 3:12 PM
Yeah, what Adolph said! Isaac Newton Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 3:31 PM
Good point Issac Inquisitor Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 3:40 PM
Sanitized for your Protection Sanitized for your Protection Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 3:49 PM
a question v Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 4:09 PM
talk about not confronting the facts ** Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 4:50 PM
Nor has Meyer expounded upon Vietnam Rich Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 4:53 PM
Cuba? Nam? Come on, guys! tpfkamw Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003 at 9:13 PM

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