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Full Employment

Failure of Keynesian policies

In the depression of the thirties, with unemployment rising to peak levels and governments toppling because of their inability to do anything about it, most economists and many political parties were overjoyed to adopt the theories of J. M. Keynes, which held out to them the guarantee that capitalism's principal troubles were over. This is not surprising since Keynes promised continued full employment — the end of depressions with their accompanying massive demonstrations of working class discontent, the removal of one of the causes of war, and the arrival of lots of other good things. Keynes, they said, had revolutionised economic thought, blotted out the growing interest in Marx’s theories, and made capitalism safe. In 1944 the three parties. Tory, Labour and Liberal. all part of the war-time National government.

The Future of Unemployment

In all countries there are numbers of economists and politicians whose job it is to analyze unemployment and try to forecast future movements, mostly without much success.

Dressed Up—For What?

It was a pleasant evening in early summer, still quite light, warm and balmy, the air laden with the scent of flowers from the park across the way. For what was normally a busy London suburb, there was surprisingly little traffic and this lent an atmosphere of tranquility—something all too rare nowadays.

 Then I saw him. He was standing in a shop doorway, a well built young man of about 23, handsome in a coarse way, and one who obviously took great care of his appearance. From his thick, brushed hair to his gleaming shoes, he was a picture of smartness, reminding one of the photographs appearing in male fashion magazines—but without the usual smile.

Economics of Unemployment

With the experience of two centuries of capitalism to go on, it might be expected that by now everything about the causes of unemployment and its fluctuations would be known. In fact, most economists and politicians are as confused about it as were their predecessors. They go on propounding old discredited theories, or the new absurdities that have emerged in the last half century. The TUC and the various wings of the Labour Party are as much in the dark as are the Tories. In defiance of the evidence, they all have a childlike faith that there must exist somewhere a magic formula that would enable them to run capitalism without unemployment—if only they and their computers could find it.

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