Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Unemployment a good thing? For economists?

A thought-provoking piece from Mark Thoma, in which he argues that many jobs that have gone deserved to go; it's the creation of new ones that should occupy our minds.

There is a pipe-smoker-in-a-leather-chair comfortableness about this (I'm not sure what the unemployment rate is for economists; should the 10 - 15,000 who failed to predict the credit crunch all be sacked?), but he may be right.

However, the allegedly self-righting mechanisms of the market may not operate quite so efficiently in a single nation's economy when there are other major causes of disequilibrium at work in the world, including quarrelsome international politics and sharp disparities in global wage rates.

An image: picture a man in his study, happily using a tiny screwdriver to adjust the mechanism in a carriage clock, while a block of frozen waste hurtles silently towards him from a passing jet liner.


Coincidentally: "... if you fail to heed the roar in your ears and fail to look up what will inevitably come, while it may surprise you, does not surprise anyone who has passed sixth grade math." - Denninger


Paddington said...

One economist that I knew, working on the East Coast for an investment firm, lost his job. He tried day-trading, went through all of his and his wife's money, and shot himself.

Sackerson said...


Paddington said...


Paddington said...

I like the Denninger quote. Most managers, lawyers, doctors and politians in the US appear to be completely innumerate.

Sackerson said...

GHS= God, how sad - an abbreviation used by Evelyn Waugh and others in letters.

Padmanaban said...

There are lots of job openings, but companies can be selective, and depending on the need, one can take their time in finding the right candidate.