I love reading the UK press, because by and large, the quality of discourse is far beyond that of what occurs in the US. I posted on the IEA Blog, this response to the statement that, coarsely written and paraphrased here as ” Yes the Lib Dem’s may achieve power, but anything is better than ten years of substantial unemployment.” I’m a little cautious about sounding like a critic when I actually think that the IEA produces great thought. But it is far less work to criticize a good idea, than it is to refute an ocean of fantasy and ignorance. Hence I apologize if I come off a critic rather than an advocate.
Unemployment results from the government’s confusion between consumption and production in that they assume that consumption is equal to production. Their policy of general liquidity that diverted capital from production to consumption and created both recursive asset inflation, and a reduction in competitiveness. This is the broken joint in Keynesian logic. It assumes that increasing liquidity can be put to increases in production. Production means that an activity increases output while decreasing man hours, and costs. The problem for any state is to put captial, not behind consumption, but behind increases in production that cannot be achieved by the private sector.
… This concentration of capital will create new jobs, and ongoing competitiveness, from which redistributive capital can be siphoned. Private sector production increases will lead to some unemployment. Uncontrolled breeding and immigration will lead to unemployment, and particularly disadvantage second quintile workers. (A step above the bottom). So the state can divert this process by participating in funding international (export) competitiveness. The state must adopt a policy of investment, not liquidity or redistribution. Because only investment allows redistribution.
(And the government, which consumes such a vast amount of GDP is simply a redistributive system.)
A free market is a bounded market, because there are LIMITS to private investment. Since all borrowing is, under fiat money, borrowing from the middle and lower classes, and they (as we have just demonstrated) carry the risk of borrowing, then the reward for that investment should be returned to them. As such the state should borrow to create productivity increases (power, transportation, technical innovation, resource exploitation, and education) and return a portion of the profits to the citizenry as redistribution. Laissez faire both puts the citizenry at risk without reward, concntrates capital in the hands of a state sponsored class, and deprives the citizenry of opportunities.
That is how to prevent ‘ten years of very substantial unemployment’. The party that accomplishes it is meaningless. THe party that ignores it is meaningless.