I recently wrote a post regards Obama, Romney and the state of politics in the US, UK and Mexico. But I’m going to expand on it just a little. Here’s the big issue in the UK, and I’ll bet it’s the same in Mexico and the US. We have a great education system that churns out a great mass of smart young people ready to get going in the work place. But when they get there, they find that there’s no jobs open to them. There are jobs. More importantly, there are jobs in their chosen professions. Just no jobs for them.
You end up with degree toting twenty somethings hoping to find work at the local Poundland. Or Dollarstore. Or Pesotienda. Is there a Pesotienda? There should be. The moment a recession kicks in, factories and offices close down. People lose their jobs. And the job market becomes flooded with experienced, qualified personnel ready to step into new roles. There plenty of support out there on how to handle redundancy. I imagine being made redundant is pretty tough. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But there is a way back. There’s substantially less out there for new members of the workforce on how to get on the employment ladder.
Which brings on the second problem. The National Minimum Wage. I get as aggravated as anyone when people take advantage of our benefits system. There are plenty of people who abuse the system because, quite frankly, they’re better off on benefits than on a wage. That does aggravate me. But perhaps not as aggravated as when a holier-than-thou right-wing politician (who is soaking up tax payers money at a higher rate than any unemployed person) whines that benefits should be cut back so that there’s an incentive to go get a job.
The amount we pay in benefits is not the biggest problem. No one gets rich or live the life of Riley on benefits. You can point out stories which contradict that assertion, if you want. And I’ll point you to a person who is defrauding the system. It’ll be the same person. So how about, instead of increasing poverty and homelessness through benefit cut backs, we have a minimum wage that can be reasonably lived upon. A minimum wage that’ll pay the rent and bills on a small but functional one bed flat. That will pay the food bills. Pay the bus or train tickets to work. And that will leave something, say 20%, left over. This isn’t an insignificant section of the population we’re talking about. The NMWers make up nearly 10% of the workforce. There’s another huge chunk who are at a pittance above the NMW. And then there’s those who claim benefits instead of working.
I did a quiz that is doing the rounds on Facebook. I’m pleased with the result. Not because I ‘side with Obama’. But because the figures attributed to my results aren’t extreme. Nothing in the 90%’s or 20%’s. It’s never good to end up on the extreme. It’ll usually mean, with a high degree of certainty, that you’re wrong. You’ve missed the point. And if Romney is high on up there, then you’ve probably lost touch with the real world. No one likes government interfering in their lives. But…well, the ‘inventor’ of the blog puts it better than I can. But both the problems above will never be addressed by free markets. They are the sole responsibility of government. His site is well worth reading on a regular basis, for anyone interested in politics or tech.