måndag 7 april 2008

Creating jobs

In support of the proposed programme of new nuclear power stations is the claim that it will create 100,000 new jobs.

Now there are all sorts of reasons why the UK should, or possibly should not, go ahead with building new nuclear power stations, but job creation is not one of them. The an argument is often used in support of new projects of all sorts. People need to be able to earn a livelihood for themselves and their families. But you and I normally seek to get what we need with the minimum of effort. Work is something that represents energy expended - time and energy consumed. It could be argued that, for instance, an oil spill creates jobs for those who have to clear it up. This is obviously nonsensensical, but it is the same job creation argument based on the same logic. And so when politicians claiming that some project will create jobs, it should be remembered that these are human resources consumed. Beware of the argument. Underneath it is the false "lump of labour" theory, that there is only a fixed amount of work to go round. In reality, since human desires are unlimited, the amount of work that needs to be done is unlimited. If there are jobs to be done and people available to do them, whilst at the same time there are people sitting around doing nothing and living on benefit, in poverty, it is time to look at the underlying causes of this absurd state of affairs.

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