Hurrah! Jobs for all the long term unemployed! There will be feasting and rejoicing on the left tonight!

Yes, amazing, isn’t it? Finally the Tories are giving in to the left’s great demand. That jobs should be provided for the long term unemployed. It’s just so wonderful to see that finally, finally, those dim bulb capitalist bastards have seen the light. All that work by Neal Lawson, Richard Murphy, Michael Meacher, all of their protests and arguments are now being accepted. If there is a long term unemployment problem then it is the duty of government to create jobs for those people to do.

Excellent isn’t it?

Tens of thousands of long-term jobless welfare claimants will have to work for 30 hours a week doing community service or lose their unemployment benefits, the Chancellor will say.

My congratulations to all of them for getting this through, even if their party isn’t actually in power at present.

56 thoughts on “Hurrah! Jobs for all the long term unemployed! There will be feasting and rejoicing on the left tonight!”

  1. I remember it back in the 90s, my dad and several older men were on a similar scheme. Doing a load of stuff for other people, plus of course finding time during the same days to contact employers, search for jobs etc. Worked really badly in practice last time, whats different this time?

  2. “Community service” – there simply isn’t enough to go round. Really what kind of stupid world do these people inhabit? That service requires definition, scoping, planning and managing – and there isn’t the money to do that.

    Governments seem to think that volunteering (or ‘community service’) is a cost free activity – say it and, as if by magic, hedges to trim, gulleys to clear, paperwork to shred and, no doubt, sacks to sew will appear for them all to do.

    At least in the good old days of the corvee there were pyramids to build.

  3. Polling suggests there is continued support for welfare crackdowns. That’s what this is about – it doesn’t have to work, it doesn’t even have to be actioned (they can blame the LibDems for blocking it, and the LibDems can take credit for being goodies).

  4. Simon Cooke – ““Community service” – there simply isn’t enough to go round. Really what kind of stupid world do these people inhabit? That service requires definition, scoping, planning and managing – and there isn’t the money to do that.”

    Of course there is. The government has more than enough money to do anything. What is more this is likely to be cost saving. No doubt when it comes down to it a lot of people on benefits will turn out to be Nigerians with sixteen different NI numbers.

    But even if it does, so what? There is no shortage of work that can be done. If it costs too much to find something useful to do, get them to turn up to an abandoned warehouse and sit there for 9 hours every day. Chairs and an attendance list. Don’t need more than that. While they are sitting there, they will be 1. thinking about getting a better job and 2. not stealing my DVD player. Win-win.

    “At least in the good old days of the corvee there were pyramids to build.”

    Best investment Egypt ever made. 5000 years later and they are still Egypt’s biggest export earner. If only Cameron had that sort of foresight.

  5. ukliberty – “Polling suggests there is continued support for welfare crackdowns. That’s what this is about – it doesn’t have to work, it doesn’t even have to be actioned (they can blame the LibDems for blocking it, and the LibDems can take credit for being goodies).”

    Indeed. Robert Putnam found that social cohesion is less in racially diverse areas. Successful welfare states are all racially homogeneous. Britain has chosen to be more like Brazil and less like Sweden. Thus we will have the same sort of society as Brazil. Largely mixed race with the darker skins at the bottom. While the very White ultra-rich avoid the clogged, poorly maintained and incompetently managed roads by flying to work in a helicopter.

    The younger members of British society have only known this world. They are even less tolerant of welfare spending.

    Welcome to the favelas.

  6. SMFS-

    The Pyramids weren’t an earner for about 4900 of those years though. The building of them was a net cost, which is why most Pharaohs made do with a more modest resting place underground.

    “Jobs are a cost, not a benefit”. That’s the bottom line. It’s only worth having somebody work if they produce more than they consume in costs. It is highly questionable that there is sufficient profitable work to be done by Osborne’s serfs, because as we all know, if there were, somebody would be already doing it and making a profit in the process.

    And there’s that other problem. If you have half a million people picking up litter for their dole, you’re putting the professional litter picker uppers out of work. It seems our ruling class have two great fascinations; one is building unnecessary railways, the other is litter. I’m really not sure there’s enough litter to go around for this new War On Litter. I seem to remember that Mrs Thatcher combined the two obsessions by appointing Mr Richard Branson to be official Litter Czar. How did that go?

    Still, I’m sure this will get many votes from the surprising number of delusional numpties who think the entire population consists of (a) Nice Middle Class People Like Us and (b) Dole Scroungers. It’s interesting to note the classical Calvinist slogan on the conferene “Hard Working People” it says. Not a word about whether they’re producing anything. No room for “People Who Produce A Lot”. So long as you’re working, even if you’re consuming value in the process, that’s what matters. Like Mr George Osborne; works very hard, produces a negative quantity of value, like the rest of the worthless shower of parasitic shits that rule us.

    Next year’s conference slogan: “Being nasty to poor people to try and win back your votes after the gay marriage thing”.

    I can never decide whether it’s the Left or the Right who are more odious when they turn populist.

  7. For anyone wanting to see just how well these workfare schemes work the DWP has just released its quarterly report….

    [See here: >> https://www.gov.uk/g…-september-2013]

    Some interesting figures to pull from it…. 31,600 from the ESA group joined the program…. 310 got a job that lasted more than 3 months (some will now have lost it)… so a quick calculation, that’s 0.9%….

    Only 4.5% who have been on the work programme have found work…. before any of this was introduced the figure was 5.5%… so the billions of £’s spent on workfare has REDUCED the amount of people moving into work…. (206,870 enter the work programme,7,760 found work)….

    The DWP said they would expect the numbers to be at least 16.5% when handing out the contracts…. Not 4.5% and less than before any of this existed (the time wasted stops people finding work, always the risk, now confirmed)….

    So why is it these workfare providers are now going to be handed more tax payer money?…Your tax is paying to *stop* people finding work….

    Whatever people think ,those are the facts…. (not that the Tories (and that includes their yellow-bellied bag-carriers) will give a shit, as we all know they don’t deal in facts)

  8. It’s about feelings. It’s about feeling like something is being done, even if the something is fucking useless.

    Plus, this is probably another creep towards “national service” from the rhetoric, which will no doubt please SMFS et al no end.

  9. Firstly.. what Ian B said.

    Secondly.. they are idiots. Forcing people to work for benefits is a shit idea because it’s a gift to those who want to talk about the ‘nasty party’, it’s difficult and expensive to administer, and because not much use will come out at the end of it.

    If the government fancies getting loads of nice community projects done, and is prepared to stump up for someone to do the logistical stuff, and thinks that some of the long-term jobless would be good candidates for the grunt work, then ASK them to do it. Make it voluntary, and pay the minimum wage.

    1) If you made it voluntary and wage-paying, then if not enough people volunteer then that’s a bullet through the head of the ‘they’d work if there were jobs for them’ argument.
    2) The volunteers will be the people who are most motivated to get work, thus you’re expending your efforts/money on the people most likely to actually go and get a real job.. enabling you to say how well things worked out.
    3) People who want to be there will do a better job, do it more efficiently, and comment more positively on the experience. Forced servitude just manufactures a whole bunch of disgruntled people for the BBC to roll out.

    Just like ‘workfare’, this is something that can give the people who want to get back into work a springboard. Just like ‘workfare’ it will fail because it’s about punishment, not opportunity.

  10. This is obviously just another gimmick.

    Gimmicks, IT disasters, feeding the bureaucracy and fighting crazy wars (which end up making us worse off in every way, instead of wars of plunder which were at least worth fighting for the spoils) are all modern politicians seem to be good for.

    A lot of the readers of this blog see that as a reason to do away with much of government; others see it as evidence that we need bigger government, done to us rougher, harder and faster.

    All that said, there are a lot of perfectly able people who are just taking the piss.

    Can’t get a job? Start your own little business. Plenty of eastern Europeans running little hand car wash operations now, just as a for-instance.

    There is a problem, but this is not the solution; I’m not sure what it is, or even if there is one – certainly one which is politically possible.

    Maybe, in the long run, we really are just all fucked.

  11. I am not unemployed but I have had taxes thieved from me for 4 decades now.
    And, if I was forced to go on benefits, these NuBluLabour cunts think that I am going to perform slave labour to “earn” what I already paid for?
    I know that they never put any money away and all I paid them was pissed-up against a wall long ago. But I don’t give a shit.
    I think the jobless who have paid in should just push into govt premises and start taking govt so-called property to sell. Call it social justice.

  12. KJ-

    so the billions of £’s spent on workfare has REDUCED the amount of people moving into work

    This makes sense. When the State forces negative (aggregate) value on the economy, the economy responds by shrinking; every job created destroys more than one job elsewhere. Or, more precisely, every £1 of wages paid results in more than £1 of wages being lost in the economy elsewhere.

  13. @SMFS:”get them to turn up to an abandoned warehouse and sit there for 9 hours every day. Chairs and an attendance list. Don’t need more than that. While they are sitting there, they will be 1. thinking about getting a better job and 2. not stealing my DVD player. Win-win.”

    Hey quit nicking my ideas! I’ve long been of the opinion that the solution to the growth of welfare, and the problems it entails, could be solved not by making cutting welfare payments, or by harsher eligibility criteria, but just by making the collection of them require your physical presence for a substantial part of the day, and be very dull. Hence the idea of every town having a warehouse somewhere full of plastic chairs and a TV showing BBC news 24, where everyone has to show up everyday for X hours, clocking in and out, just like a real job. Then get that days ‘pay’. Don’t do the time don’t get the money. Solves the problem of people with multiple NI numbers, people working on the sly, people who can’t be bothered to get up etc etc. But doesn’t stop someone who is in real need from getting cash immediately. Solves the whole ‘waiting for the benefits system to catch up’ scenario when people lose their jobs and try to claim benefits etc. Very flexible – allows people to move in and out of work at a days notice, or work part time and still get a few days benefit to top it up. But the boredom required to get the cash would incentivise people to do real jobs for their income rather than sit in a warehouse for hours on end. Its the modern day workhouse, without the work. The payments could actually be quite generous IMO, because the savings from fraud and layabouts, not to mention the massive reduction in staffing, would be substantial.

    And there’s another plus I’ve just thought of – absent fathers. You could say that if you have kids your daily rate goes up to allow for them, but only if you prove by DNA test which kids are yours. So if you want extra cash for your kids, you’ve got to admit to them. Thereby providing the CSA with free information for the future, if someone gets a better job.

  14. You could say that if you have kids your daily rate goes up to allow for them, but only if you prove by DNA test which kids are yours.

    The problem that you’ve got there is that the Wimmins Moovment are resolutely against DNA testing of paternity, because it would reveal how many men are being screwed out of child support for children that contain none of their DNA.

    There was a famous medical study done back in the Good Old Days when everyone was decent and moral; in the USA, at a maternity hospital serving nice, white, middle class couples. They were testing to see if blood groups were inherited, nothing controversial. But they found, by accident, that the cuckoldry rate was about %10.

  15. Talking about the more general “sit in a room” problem; having been unemployed I can honestly say that sounds quite appealing compared to sitting alone when you’re skint. You can’t afford the pub or any other social activity. Going somewhere paid for by the State where you could have a chat and see somebody, that would be a quite nice antidote to the blues.

  16. This goes some way to showing why a Basic Income Guarantee beats a Job Guarantee – though why anyone would think the latter should be in breach of NMW is beyond me. Even if you call it ‘workfare’.

    What kind of Job Guarantee do its proponents imagine will work in the UK? As Simon Cooke says it all requires management and a compliant work force. Not like India where you can provide almost endless government-subsidised agricultural labour to soak up the rural unemployed. The marginal product of any such job in the UK seems likely to be so small (eg litter picking) that the whole thing couldn’t be worthwhile.

  17. So now there will be two groups who get to do enforced community service: those sentenced by the courts and the unemployed.

    I thought they were trying to shed the nasty party image, not wear it as a badge of honour.

  18. Talking about the more general “sit in a room” problem; having been unemployed I can honestly say that sounds quite appealing compared to sitting alone when you’re skint. You can’t afford the pub or any other social activity. Going somewhere paid for by the State where you could have a chat and see somebody, that would be a quite nice antidote to the blues.

    Government to Crack Down on Welfare Social Clubs
    Unemployed being paid to sit around and chat

  19. Ian’s analysis The ” jobs are a cost not a benefit” one is the sort of bollocks occurs when applying pure economic ideas to everyday life.
    The concept of “job” doesn’t really apply in a wellfare state because everyone is in receipt of the income a “job” would provide, to some extent or another. Hence some peoples reluctance to get a real one..
    It’s better to think of it in terms of consumers & producers. We are all consumers. We eat, if nothing else. That’s obvious. But we are all producers as well. But if you assign a value to what’s produced, you need to accept the concept of negative numbers.
    Someone in work, earning enough to cover what they consume & paying net taxes is in positive territory. They create a surplus for the welfare state. Someone in employment consuming more than they earn & requiring welfare support (negative net taxes). Is in minus territory. Someone not earning & therefore needing total welfare support is again in minus territory.But you can also have a minus sign in the “employment ” column. Ian, unemployed & sitting around skint produces a fat 0. However, another person skint but on the streets stealing from cars, shoplifting, vandalising property, creating single mums & whatever else dole bludgers get up to can start piling up some impressive negative numbers in that “employment” column. So spending to put them in the position where they don’t have the opportunity to do those things can have a net benefit overall. Maybe it’s unfair on decent people unemployed through no fault of their own but if you’re running a collective system you have to do what’s fair for the collective not what’s fair for individuals. Or don’t run a collective system & don’t expect to benefit from it.

  20. That’s all very nice BIS–but the scum won’t work for dole, they will just up their criminal income to cover dole loss by more thieving. As always only the honest/decent will suffer.

  21. Short version of the above.
    If you’re going to have a socialist system (Which is what the welfare state is. There’s no freedom of choice whether you partake) in the midst of a market economy (Freedom of choice). Then you can’t complain if it’s run on socialist lines. To each according to his needs. From each according to his abilities. If his abilities are zero, he still has to tun up & contribute that zero.

  22. UKLiberty: “Unemployed being paid to sit around and chat.”

    Currently we’re paying them to watch ‘Jeremy Kyle’ or work in the black economy, so still sounds like a WIN!
    to me…

  23. IanB – in the 90s there were two families I know of within my county who had a child neither parent was related to by DNA – only found out when CSA tested the child. Mix up at hospital.

    I daresay the charity I work for could put in to manage some of these ‘volunteers’, we’ve done it before for free. Getting work out of them, tad harder. Maybe get an hour or two work a week out of some…

  24. If you’re going to have a socialist system (Which is what the welfare state is. There’s no freedom of choice whether you partake) in the midst of a market economy (Freedom of choice). Then you can’t complain if it’s run on socialist lines. To each according to his needs. From each according to his abilities. If his abilities are zero, he still has to tun up & contribute that zero.

    If you’re going to have this kind of economy and political system, you can’t complain when in the bad times there are lots of unemployed – some of them unemployed for over two years.

  25. Would any single one of you like to read what the policy actually is? Or would that be too difficult?
    It only applies to those who have been continuously unemployed for more than two years.
    So arguments about the amount of unpaid work available or the %age moving into jobs are plain stupid – in fact, even more stupid than Osborne’s proposal.
    Of course it is PR but it has the advantage of shutting the Daily Mail up. Also my not-quite-neighbour who works unpaid for charities because he can’t get a paid job will probably welcome it.

  26. If you’re going to have this kind of economy and political system, you can’t complain when in the bad times there are lots of unemployed – some of them unemployed for over two years.

    This.

  27. @ Ian B
    The only time that I was skint I was in ultra-highly skilled employment but subject to a pay policy when my contractual liabilities (the largest were to a local authority) were not.

  28. @ ukliberty
    Yes, I can complain if there is massive unemployment. I have been very lucky inheriting a moderate share of my parents’ superior physical and intellectual talents, so I have survived but I can see that people are hurt by the consequences of Labour’s economic and employment policies.
    Roughly forty years ago the CEO of a technologically-leading engineering firm explained to us that Harold Wilson’s well-meaning redundancy payments act pushed him to buy machinery rather than hire workers every time there was an upturn in demand and rely on workers reaching retirement or accepting early retirement to match supply to demand in downturns. Things have only got worse since then.

  29. Well I happen to think the stars are God’s daisy-chain, and I also think it would be nice if someone in receipt of my money, whether forcibly taken from me or given by me in charity, decided that he was going to make my life a little bit better, by way of a bit of quid pro quo-ing, by volunteering to pick up a bit of litter, or do a bit of weeding. And because I think that every time a faerie blows its nose a wee baby is born, I suspect that such volunteers would rapidly find themselves in a certain amount of demand for, you know, actual paid work.

  30. @UKLib
    “If you’re going to have this kind of economy and political system, you can’t complain when in the bad times there are lots of unemployed – some of them unemployed for over two years”
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. The welfare state is a socialist system & doesn’t belong in a market economy. It belongs in a socialist command economy where you wouldn’t have people unemployed for two years. They’d be told to stop sitting around & told what to do. Without the option. Choice is not a feature of socialist economies & lefty politicians wouldn’t have anything to bleat about. Safely.

  31. The welfare state is a socialist system & doesn’t belong in a market economy.

    The same can entirely be said for a State managed banking system. And yet when the people on the receiving end of that patronage literally destroyed their own business and jobs five years ago, the government gave them a literaly license to print money. And is indeed currently now giving them more taxpayers money to keep the system running under a remarkably stupid “loans for ever higher priced houses” scheme.

    One of the most stable characteristics of the “Neoliberal” Era has been a consistently high unemployment rate. Something seems to be systemically wrong, and Neds who won’t work doesn’t seem to be that systemic problem.

    We don’t have a market economy. The people at the top of that economy are not free market workers either. So, which end should we be aggressive with? Unemployed people who can’t conjure jobs out of thin air, or a permanently crippled economy due to gross economic mismanagement and patronage of Biblical proportions? Which?

  32. There’s tons of obvious problems with the warehouse solution, a less obvious one is that rather little of the benefit paid out is directly linked to one’s unemployment – much of it is indirectly linked or has nothing at all to do with it.

    The welfare state within a broadly capitalist system we have, and to some extent it works and is an obviously good thing in principle. The Germans even have a word for it (possibly enshrined in the constitution): Sozialer Marktwirtschaft. Getting some incentive for long-term recipients to get into work is hard when it is so easy to have a lifestyle broadly equivalent to, or better than, that you would have working FT on minimum wage.

    I’d count taxpayers as being in the “compulsory community service” thing since a lot of us spend half or more of our time in the service of the community.

    I have direct experience of the cuckoldry thing – in a former life I worked in a genetic epidemiology lab. Occasionally some kid would turn up with the faulty gene we were interested in but it was carried by neither parent. De novo mutation was an extremely remote possibility, probability of zero for the everyday meaning of zero. The trial nurse had a wonderful phrasebook for saying this without saying it. As it was in a thick-as-pigshit town most of them didn’t get it anyway.

  33. I’m with Jim; I’ve long felt (and occasionally said) that clocking-on and sitting all day in a big shed is the first step towards reducing long-term unemployment.

    A lot cheaper than trying to force someone to do low-value work such as litter-picking.

    Mine wouldn’t have telly though (that would be “cruel & unusual punishment” in my book); just files of job adverts.

    a) it would sort out the multiple claimants and a lot of those who are really working (not the night shifters though; perhaps we do need the telly to stop them kipping);

    b) it narrows the gap between dole and work without needing more in-work benefits, and weeds out a lot of those who aren’t really willing to work;

    c) it gets people used to the idea that if they want money they usually have to get up in the morning and have a dull day getting it.

  34. @ ukliberty
    I hadn’t realised that your appeal to liberty applied to English grammar. I had thought that you would object more to the waste involved in demanding that people turned up to do something worth less than their time.

  35. @ Richard
    The handful of cheaters are almost insignificant EXCEPT in their influence on the deserving poor.
    (FYI Booth said that if they were poor they were deserving) and the burden of proof is on those who claim that any poor individual is undeserving.

  36. john77,

    I hadn’t realised that your appeal to liberty applied to English grammar.

    Perhaps the government should force you on an intensive English language programme focusing on colloquial speechifyin’. You will be “targeted by a hit squad of specialist advisers as part of a tough approach” and subjected to an “intensive and uncompromising regime”.

  37. “the burden of proof is on those who claim that any poor individual is undeserving.”

    No it isn’t, you cretin. Have you ever taken a course in elementary logic? The null hypothesis is that wealth is uncorrelated with desert. In fact the null hypothesis is that desert is meaningless. If you want to argue a correlation then the burden of proof is on you.

  38. If we’re going to make them clock on at a warehouse why waste the opportunity and let them sit around.

    Most of the long term unemployed have been failed by the state education system. Make them work towards O level maths and English for starters. Then move on to science.

  39. @ ukliberty
    “a government hit squad” devoted to opposing pedantic english? surely they would self-combust while knocking on my door?

  40. SimonF, basic education is Stage 2 of my plan, after 6 weeks of getting in for 9 o’clock and sitting around.

    Weed out the cheaters and those who won’t be helped first (and, John77, one of the interesting aspects would be helping quantify how many of those there actually are) and then move on to more active remedial work.

  41. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “The Pyramids weren’t an earner for about 4900 of those years though.”

    They got Roman tourism. Not so sure about that.

    “It’s only worth having somebody work if they produce more than they consume in costs. It is highly questionable that there is sufficient profitable work to be done by Osborne’s serfs, because as we all know, if there were, somebody would be already doing it and making a profit in the process.”

    But if we lower costs a little, then all sorts of work becomes viable and someone would do it. Which is why we ought to move towards subsidising employment, not idleness.

    However you are not looking at the bigger picture. Sure, jobs are a cost. So is thieving my DVD player. Or drunken yoof lobbing bricks through all the front windows down my street. So are a lot of things. Which is the bigger cost?

    “And there’s that other problem. If you have half a million people picking up litter for their dole, you’re putting the professional litter picker uppers out of work.”

    Hard to believe that Britain will ever run out of litter for people to pick up. Or grafitti to be scrubbed off walls. Although I suppose once all da yoof are put to work there will be a lot less of both.

    “So long as you’re working, even if you’re consuming value in the process, that’s what matters.”

    Sociologically speaking, so it does. Working hard matters. Idleness is bad all around.

    But if you like, I am happy to return to my policy of sending them overseas to put Jamaica’s litter picker-upers out of work. As long as no legal marriage is recognised between them and the locals. Who could complain that a free Caribbean holiday plus on the job training and all the weed you can score was a mark of the nasty party?

  42. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “The same can entirely be said for a State managed banking system.”

    So your argument is that because free loading bankers get money so should free loading car thieves? I would have thought a more consistent line would be neither should get free money. Although you are wrong about the banks.

    “And is indeed currently now giving them more taxpayers money to keep the system running under a remarkably stupid “loans for ever higher priced houses” scheme.”

    It is quite breath-taking in its stupidity isn’t it?

    “One of the most stable characteristics of the “Neoliberal” Era has been a consistently high unemployment rate. Something seems to be systemically wrong, and Neds who won’t work doesn’t seem to be that systemic problem.”

    I disagree. Neds who won’t work are exactly that systemic problem. Germany has welfare but until recently did not have such a problem. Because they were all German. They felt shame to be taking money for nothing. So did many British people. Not of course our feckless cousins from the south of Europe and the rest of the non-White world. They have no problems taking welfare from idiots. As our population changes from one to the other – and as the Methodism you so despise declines and our feral yoof adopt the culture of their Black neighbours – we adopt the morals of the Third World.

    “So, which end should we be aggressive with?”

    The ones stealing the most stuff. The feckless poor.

    “Unemployed people who can’t conjure jobs out of thin air”

    Yes they can. Yes they do. That is how jobs are created. They are not created by government fiat. They are all created by someone having an idea or seeing a need. And our Neds are busy creating jobs. Especially in the drug business. They are perfectly capable of doing so.

  43. There’s nothing like a comments discussion where nobody has read more than the headline, is there?

    Os said there would be three options:

    – sign on every day
    – apply for jobs
    – do this “forced work”/”forced training” stuff

    So here he solves the problem of fraud and people holding themselves back in one sweep of a speechwriter’s pen. If you are working in the black economy, you can’t sign on every day so you move out of the welfare system. If you are really totally unskilled you either learn to read/write or pick up litter. If you are in between you spend all day looking at job adverts and eventually get bored into actually doing one.

    What is the problem with this?

    Also, the number of people this will apply to is tiny. BBC news had it as 200,000. Presumably the rest of the long-term unemployed have bad backs.

    Why are people against making it a little bit harder to claim welfare in the longer term? In many countries benefits would have run out for people eighteen months before they got to this “slave labour” point.

  44. SMFS-

    As our population changes from one to the other – and as the Methodism you so despise declines and our feral yoof adopt the culture of their Black neighbours – we adopt the morals of the Third World.

    I think the culture they’ve adopted is that of the American ghetto, not the Third World, as David Starkey upset everyone by pointing out during the Riot Craze.

    Anyway, one problem is that the Methodist system- or rather the “post Victorian” system (even I wouldn’t claim everything is Methodism) doesn’t create lower class entrepreneurs. It was a system of its age, geared to large factory enterprises- the “everyone works at t’mill era” in which each class played a role and, that industrial system is now mostly passed away. The mill/mine/steel plant owners are gone, their mills, mines and foundries are gone, and so are the jobs that a compliant methodist working class just walked into, did their duty and got a wage for.

    Part of the problem then is that the system didn’t create an entrepreneurial lower class. It wanted workers, not business creators. The lower class who did and whose descendents do have that spirit were the costermongers and their ilk. Derided at the time, and still derided today as “Del Boy Trotter”, “Essex Man” and “White Van Man”. That’s what we need more of, if the poor are to drag themselves up.

    I’m not sure if drug dealing is a good example of enterpreneurialism as it seems to me (not being greatly expert in its inner workings) as a kind of tribal-based pyramid scheme.

  45. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “I think the culture they’ve adopted is that of the American ghetto, not the Third World, as David Starkey upset everyone by pointing out during the Riot Craze.”

    You say poTAHto, I say PoTAYto.

    “Anyway, one problem is that the Methodist system- or rather the “post Victorian” system (even I wouldn’t claim everything is Methodism) doesn’t create lower class entrepreneurs.”

    Apart from all the Scots. And the Quakers.

    “I’m not sure if drug dealing is a good example of enterpreneurialism as it seems to me (not being greatly expert in its inner workings) as a kind of tribal-based pyramid scheme.”

    That may be true but I would not underestimate the skills needed and required.

  46. SMFS-

    There was an early surge of Methodists, Quakers et al setting up highly successful businesses. But they weren’t coming from the proletariat, let alone the lumpenproletariat. They were a well connected lower middle class.

    I have nothing agains that; they were the backbone of the industrial revolution. But they were not from the social class we’re interested in. The agricultural workers turned into urban labour and were not in general entrepreneurial. Their job was to work reliably in the new large, hegemonic businesses, not start them. When those businesses vanished, they were left adrift because of several generations of the expectation that “jobs” would come from somewhere else.

    And as I said above, it really does not help that proletarian entrepreneurialism is in our society consistently portrayed as borderline criminal, untrustworthy, uncouth and idiotic, as with the whole Del Boy and White Van stuff. It’s that Victorian costermonger class- who the “methodist-ish” higher classes did their best to stamp out- who had/ have the enterpreneurial spirit necessary for bootstrapping. Perhaps we should spend less time despising them.

  47. SMFS,

    “One of the most stable characteristics of the “Neoliberal” Era has been a consistently high unemployment rate. Something seems to be systemically wrong, and Neds who won’t work doesn’t seem to be that systemic problem.”

    I disagree. Neds who won’t work are exactly that systemic problem.

    Last I looked there are four times as many unemployed as there are positions available – we are talking millions. There aren’t millions of people who are unwilling to work – they cannot get work, there are not enough jobs. That is the systemic problem Ian B is talking about.

    I understand you are not interested in the facts, I say the above just in case anyone is at risk of believing your crap.

  48. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “There was an early surge of Methodists, Quakers et al setting up highly successful businesses. But they weren’t coming from the proletariat, let alone the lumpenproletariat. They were a well connected lower middle class.”

    I am not sure Britain had a lower middle class back then. Abraham Darby was the son of a peasant. Not exactly middle class. I would think that anyone who had to serve an apprentiseship was not middle class. Which would cover a lot of them – the founders of Barclays for instance, and Rowntree.

    “Their job was to work reliably in the new large, hegemonic businesses, not start them. When those businesses vanished, they were left adrift because of several generations of the expectation that “jobs” would come from somewhere else.”

    That is true. Not helped by Trade Unionism that caused even further dependency and institutionalisation. Nor by the welfare state. But Scotland was famous for its very energetic entreprenuers. That has changed because of the decline of their religion and the rise of the welfare state. Now the whole country lives off the public teat.

    “And as I said above, it really does not help that proletarian entrepreneurialism is in our society consistently portrayed as borderline criminal, untrustworthy, uncouth and idiotic, as with the whole Del Boy and White Van stuff.”

    I agree. But then it is next to impossible to find a single positive representation of an Evangelical either. Perhaps some of George Elliot comes close. Weird really.

    ukliberty – “Last I looked there are four times as many unemployed as there are positions available – we are talking millions. There aren’t millions of people who are unwilling to work – they cannot get work, there are not enough jobs. That is the systemic problem Ian B is talking about.”

    Again you have this childish attitude that there are a fixed number of jobs going. There isn’t. There are as many jobs as needed. At least there would be if the market was allowed to operate. People create new jobs all the time. You are simply looking at those that are advertised. Which is stupid.

    You can go to any Third World country. I recommend China. You can see every old city has a central core and is surrounded by miles and miles and miles of factories, cheap dormintories and small shops. Peasants have come in from the countryside and started their own businesses. Thus creating hundreds of millions of new jobs. The government does not hand them out. The Unions do not produce them. Hard working people who are not on the dole do. We should let them

    Although of course asking millions of cheap Third World labourers to come here does not help.

  49. Again you have this childish attitude that there are a fixed number of jobs going. There isn’t.

    In fact I don’t hold the view there is a fixed number of jobs.

    There are as many jobs as needed. At least there would be if the market was allowed to operate. … Although of course asking millions of cheap Third World labourers to come here does not help.

    Make up your mind – surely all those people can create or find jobs?

  50. The major problem with job creation is capital. And regulatory burden, which often increases the capital required. In the 1970s, my dad decided to run a taxi business. It failed. We lost the house. The only reason he could have borrowed money against the house in the first place was that we had a house.

    In a modern economy, it is very hard for those with no assets of any worth to raise the capital to start a business. Even if they can, they are likely taking on a very significant risk. Most business start ups fail. This is why most unemployed people have to look for jobs provided by others taking risks, rather than starting their own business and creating a job.

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