In my past posts on this blog and also on my video series on YouTube, I’ve argued that getting people back to work was far more than just keeping a roof over one’s head and food on the table. I’ve also stated that the unemployed make really lousy consumers. This means they will be hoarding every penny left to their name, spending only when necessary. No vacation trips, no eating out at nice restaurants, no big ticket purchases like that plasma TV or car. If consumers don’t buy, companies can’t sell. Companies cant’t sell, they don’t make money, which means they go out of business or lay off staff. This in turn results in more unemployed people who won’t buy, and the feedback loop continues. It could be successfully argued that jobs and business are symbiotically linked. One cannot exist without the other.
The unemployment situation in this country is far more than a social issue. It’s a national crisis, but it’s a tough problem to fix, because the economy is anemic and companies are not hiring. An obvious solution would be to lower the corporate tax rate and offer tax credits to companies that hire people, but some might say, “that’s just giving our hard earned tax dollars away to corporations”.
All right then, so we don’t give the money to corporations. What about social services? Bah! We already give a ton of tax dollars to welfare offices and employment assistance centers, an industry based on the misfortune of those living in poverty if not outright homeless. So far those services are not giving us the return we pay as deductions off our paycheques. I can tell you as a job seeker I am less than satisfied with the services I’ve paid for over the years. Maybe that money should go somewhere else. According to the following article, that somewhere is basically everyone.
At first glance, it sounds insane. Give everyone free money, no strings attached? Crazy talk! But as the expression goes, it’s so crazy it just might work.
Think about it. Instead of dumping money into a bloated government bureaucracy that costs hundreds of millions of dollars (if not billions) per year yet produces little results, eliminate the middleman and put it in our pockets. What would each person do with the money? It’s fair to argue that some might just blow it on drugs or booze and end up killing themselves, but it was not the money that killed them: those people self-destructed. Others might put it toward rent and food, and not have to worry about getting sick from not eating properly or from exposure to the elements. Accumulated over time, that money could be spent to start a business or go back to school, which would lead to a more comfortable standard of living. From that, expect healthy consumerism to follow: vacations, TVs, computers, cars, boats, eating out. Increased consumerism means business growth, which equals more jobs created and less reliance on this stipend.
The domino effect that comes from everyone suddenly having this money is easy to see. No need for student loans. No more old-age pensions. Reduced medical costs. More tax revenue to pay for services like roads, hospitals, the electrical grid, sanitation, education, law enforcement, the military. All from this crazy idea of simply giving away free money.
It does sound crazy, but to quote Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. We’ve lived under the concept of a welfare state for decades here in Canada. Do any of you see any change in the fortunes of those who are trying to keep afloat in this Age of Austerity and the jobless recovery?
We’d be crazy not to at least consider alternatives that might work. This idea could be the solution.
Thanks for reading!