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  • Whenever unemployment comes down - even if only very slightly - it sounds like really

  • good news. It's great that productive forces in the economy are growing and therell

  • be a little more money in people's pockets soon

  • But if one gets more ambitious about human potential, the picture gets more complicated

  • and darker than what governments make out.

  • Unemployment means being, generically, out of work.

  • But let’s coin a new word: MISEMPLOYMENT

  • It means being in work but of a kind that fails to tackle with any real sincerity the

  • true needs of other people: merely exciting them to unsatisfactory desires and pleasures

  • instead; the way Primark, Patek Philippe and might.

  • This man is misemployed:

  • Similarly, a man employed by the Sands Casino in Las Vegas to hand out flyers to tourists

  • in order to entice them to use slot machines is clearly 'employed' in the technical sense.

  • He's marked as being off the unemployment registers. He is receiving a wage in return

  • for helping to solve some (small) puzzle of the human condition of interest to his employers:

  • that not enough tourists might otherwise leave the blue skies and heat of main street to

  • enter the air-conditioned halls of an Egyptian-themed casino.

  • The man is indeed employed, but he’s also in truth dramatically misemployed.

  • His labour is generating capital, but it is making no contribution to human welfare and

  • flourishing. He is joined in the misemployment ranks by people who make cigarettes, addictive

  • but sterile television shows, badly designed condos, ill-fitting and shoddy clothes, deceptive

  • advertisements, artery-clogging biscuits and highly-sugared drinks.

  • The rate of misemployment in modern economies is very high.

  • While we may be genuinely grateful for any job were given, at the back of our minds

  • we all - as employees - hope for something else:

  • that our work can contribute in some real way to the common good; that we can make a

  • modest difference.

  • Governments have, with some success, been learning techniques to reduce the overall

  • rate of unemployment. In the language of the field, they do this by 'stimulating demand.'

  • Though technically effective, this method fails to draw any distinction between good

  • and bad demand and therefore between employment and misemployment.

  • The real trick to bringing down the rate of misemployment isn't just to stimulate demand

  • per se, it’s to stimulate the right sort of demand: to excite people to buy the ingredients

  • of true satisfaction, to want the things that really matter, and therefore to give individuals

  • and businesses a chance to direct their labour, and make profits, in meaningful areas of the

  • economy.

  • Employment figures aren’t irrelevant - they matter a great deal. They are the first things

  • to be attended to. But these raw figures mask a more ambitious index we should get around

  • to building in the future: one that measures misemployment and hence shows how intelligently

  • and responsibly we are deploying human capital, that is, using up people’s lives.

Whenever unemployment comes down - even if only very slightly - it sounds like really


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B1 中級

失業 (Misemployment)

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    羅紹桀 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日