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A Question On Job Creation.

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If I were to place an advert for a full time gardener in the paper, offering a weekly wage of ten pounds for 40 hours work- have I created a job?

According to the cult of economics the answer is yes I have, because people are of course free to accept or reject my offer of employment.

This being so why is there a problem with anyone having a job? After all for a fraction of what the goverment pays people on Job seekers allowance they could offer the unemployed full time jobs at a rate of 1 pound for a forty hour week.

At a stroke the unemployment problem is solved- we have full employment and we save taxpayers money.

Ok- I do see a problem with this idea- 1 pound a week is not enough to provide people with the means to stay alive- they will likely starve to death over the long term, which is-I admit- a drawback.

So this 'job creation' lark is not as easy as it first appears- it seems that simply offering people a sum of money to undertake a given task is not enough- the sum of money must in some way reflect the needs and requirements of the people being employed.

So in order to create a 'job' it seems that I must pay enough to allow the people I employ to meet the costs of living- which not only means food but also shelter, energy, transport to work ect.

This is terrible- a real blow to my bottom line. But there is a loophole. Suppose I can get the goverment to subsidise the incomes of my workforce using the tax and /or benefits system? So now even though I don't really pay a living wage my workers can still live because they receive state handouts.

But here's the question I am not clear on- if my workforce can only live due to the subsidies they receive from the state- am I a job creator?

Are the jobs I advertise in the paper real jobs- or are they some kind of 'Zombie' jobs?

If so do we need to revise the way that unemployment is categorised by adding a third category?- The employed, the unemployed and the Zombie employed?- a sort of undead army who shuffle through the rush hour crowds unnoticed and who are apparently economically functional- but in reality are not functional at all- in reality they are feeding on the flesh of the truly employed, draining their economic strength and eventually weakening them to the point where they too become zombies.

At what point does a job become a zombie job?

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Placing an advert doesn't create a job. A job is only created if/when your offer is accepted.

Most jobs in our economy are "zombie" jobs with no real economic benefit, it's not just the subsidised jobs you reference, a significant number of public sector jobs are of no utility because either the role itself is pointless, or - if it is essential - it is essential to the running of a pointless organisatiion.

It's one way of dealing with the redundancy of humanity due to the technological progress and automation issues you mentioned in your other thread. A central authority captures some of the wealth through taxation and redistributes it through public expenditure works, welfare and make work schemes.

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If I were to place an advert for a full time gardener in the paper, offering a weekly wage of ten pounds for 40 hours work- have I created a job?

According to the cult of economics the answer is yes I have, because people are of course free to accept or reject my offer of employment.

This being so why is there a problem with anyone having a job? After all for a fraction of what the goverment pays people on Job seekers allowance they could offer the unemployed full time jobs at a rate of 1 pound for a forty hour week.

At a stroke the unemployment problem is solved- we have full employment and we save taxpayers money.

Ok- I do see a problem with this idea- 1 pound a week is not enough to provide people with the means to stay alive- they will likely starve to death over the long term, which is-I admit- a drawback.

So this 'job creation' lark is not as easy as it first appears- it seems that simply offering people a sum of money to undertake a given task is not enough- the sum of money must in some way reflect the needs and requirements of the people being employed.

So in order to create a 'job' it seems that I must pay enough to allow the people I employ to meet the costs of living- which not only means food but also shelter, energy, transport to work ect.

This is terrible- a real blow to my bottom line. But there is a loophole. Suppose I can get the goverment to subsidise the incomes of my workforce using the tax and /or benefits system? So now even though I don't really pay a living wage my workers can still live because they receive state handouts.

But here's the question I am not clear on- if my workforce can only live due to the subsidies they receive from the state- am I a job creator?

Are the jobs I advertise in the paper real jobs- or are they some kind of 'Zombie' jobs?

If so do we need to revise the way that unemployment is categorised by adding a third category?- The employed, the unemployed and the Zombie employed?- a sort of undead army who shuffle through the rush hour crowds unnoticed and who are apparently economically functional- but in reality are not functional at all- in reality they are feeding on the flesh of the truly employed, draining their economic strength and eventually weakening them to the point where they too become zombies.

At what point does a job become a zombie job?

the group of people you describe exists already. children, pensioners, students, long term disabled, housewives/husbands, basically just people not looking for work.

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There is no requirement at all for your job to provide a living wage. You can only pay what you can afford.

This is what is happening in the States at the moment with the notorious "MacBudget" and fast food workers in NY going out on strike. I assume in the States there is no housing benefit or tax credits.

It becomes blurred when the management/owners make wage savings and pay themselves the difference. theoretically if you underpay you wouldn't get staff, or would experience high staff turnover which was the point Henry Ford was making.

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There is no requirement at all for your job to provide a living wage. You can only pay what you can afford.

This is what is happening in the States at the moment with the notorious "MacBudget" and fast food workers in NY going out on strike. I assume in the States there is no housing benefit or tax credits.

It becomes blurred when the management/owners make wage savings and pay themselves the difference. theoretically if you underpay you wouldn't get staff, or would experience high staff turnover which was the point Henry Ford was making.

I believe there are tax credits (EITC) in the US - apparently mainly if you have children.

There also seems to be some form of housing benefit for poor people who rent.

Likely it's all less "generous" than in the UK. Who knows?

Like a lot of other stuff the idea of tax credits seems to have originated in the US (it started there about 1975).

Edited by billybong

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Placing an advert doesn't create a job. A job is only created if/when your offer is accepted.

I think you'll find that the DWP takes a different view- they consider them jobs and thus insist people apply for them- even when in many cases the pay on offer is little more than a commission based fantasy.

Most jobs in our economy are "zombie" jobs with no real economic benefit, it's not just the subsidised jobs you reference, a significant number of public sector jobs are of no utility because either the role itself is pointless, or - if it is essential - it is essential to the running of a pointless organisatiion.

It's one way of dealing with the redundancy of humanity due to the technological progress and automation issues you mentioned in your other thread. A central authority captures some of the wealth through taxation and redistributes it through public expenditure works, welfare and make work schemes.

I take your point- I was just wondering at what point a job becomes a zombie job in the 'private' sector- and by extension at what point an entire corporation might become a zombie corporation in the sense that it's net contribution in terms of wages and taxes is less than the value of the demand it sucks up from those companies that might not offshore their profits and might pay higher wages- if they were not forced to compete with zombies.

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I think you'll find that the DWP takes a different view- they consider them jobs and thus insist people apply for them- even when in many cases the pay on offer is little more than a commission based fantasy.

I'd still call it a 'job oppourtunity', and reserve the term 'job created' for actual employment. Sorry if I appear overly pedantic but the term 'job created' had a specific and defined meaning in government circles - including the DWP.

I take your point- I was just wondering at what point a job becomes a zombie job in the 'private' sector- and by extension at what point an entire corporation might become a zombie corporation in the sense that it's net contribution in terms of wages and taxes is less than the value of the demand it sucks up from those companies that might not offshore their profits and might pay higher wages- if they were not forced to compete with zombies.

That's the beauty of a proper free market. You get the price signals that let you work out this stuff (or lets it work itself through). Otherwise it's people picking "winners" based on vested intetest, prejudice and illinformed personal opinion.

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I believe there are tax credits (EITC) in the US - apparently mainly if you have children.

There also seems to be some form of housing benefit for poor people who rent.

Likely it's all less "generous" than in the UK. Who knows?

Like a lot of other stuff the idea of tax credits seems to have originated in the US (it started there about 1975).

EITC http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/EITC,-Earned-Income-Tax-Credit,-Questions-and-Answers

Help with housing costs http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/rental_assistance

Remember, the US has Fair Market Rents - heaps of stuff here http://www.huduser.org/periodicals/ushmc/winter98/summary-2.html and here http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/fmr.html

Note that the US government subsidy is equal to the difference between the FMR and 30 per cent of household income. See the thread on "affordable social housing" http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=192081

Oh, and while we're at it, HUD Homes. Properties bought by the US government from lenders who've foreclosed on them, and then sold on to buyers. http://www.hud.gov/buying/comq.cfm question 2 and follow the links.

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America's Great Depression by Rothbard, in it he does appear to argue that people can either choose to work or not, which means that your hypothesis would appear correct that if you offered work for £10 and it was taken up you have created a job. Although clearly its not that simply as the wage needs to meet your living costs.

The offer of work for £10 doesn't mean you have created a job, you are clearly offering work at a wage you can afford to pay whether the labour market will accept it is another matter. However as the Austrians would argue that unemployment benefit is distorting wage levels because you have to offer above what you can get for "not working".

However the question is clearly very complex once you start analysing the problem.

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So if we define a job as a scenario in which the person being employed can live without state support- how many actual jobs are out there- as opposed to zombie jobs that only exist due to state largesse?

I'm fairly certain that when the government counts the number of people employed in the UK it includes those people who claim tax credits and housing benefit as being 'employed'- when in fact they are not- at least not according the above criteria.

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So if we define a job as a scenario in which the person being employed can live without state support- how many actual jobs are out there- as opposed to zombie jobs that only exist due to state largesse?

I'm fairly certain that when the government counts the number of people employed in the UK it includes those people who claim tax credits and housing benefit as being 'employed'- when in fact they are not- at least not according the above criteria.

It's all too intertwined to make anything other than guesses, educated or otherwise.

First we had hunter-gatherers and no state at all, then the emergence of agriculture and the ability for a smaller subset of the population to do the work required to support the whole population. It's all built from there with the number of individuals required to do the real base productive leg work falling and falling. All the other stuff - art, literature, fashion, music, space exploration, prostitution, flower gardens, films, sculpture, ipads, hanging gardens of babylon etc - that everybody else fills their time with has a subjective value. We can debate the utility of these things but it's just our opinions, you will value things I believe to be pointless - and vice versa. In a free market people vote with their wallets and price signals tell you what has value, so we can better allocate resource, The government is no better at telling the difference between a real or a zombie job than you or I, because it's all subjective.

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But what if the non-job has some benefit to the government? Shouldn't they pay something towards an outcome they want? Less crime, lower housing costs, more children etc etc...

Not that I agree with tax credits. They distort every thing I was taught as a kid.

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But what if the non-job has some benefit to the government? Shouldn't they pay something towards an outcome they want? Less crime, lower housing costs, more children etc etc...

Not that I agree with tax credits. They distort every thing I was taught as a kid.

An outcome that is wanted has value to the person who wanted it. The big question is does that value justify the expense?

There's a Senator in America who managed to get an airport built in his state because he held the balance of power on some big decisions. He created jobs in his state by directing a disproportionate amount af fedrral money that way. To me those are the most clear cut examples of zombie jobs I can think of. I don't think the people who work there would see it the same way.

Edited by SpectrumFX

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If I were to place an advert for a full time gardener in the paper, offering a weekly wage of ten pounds for 40 hours work- have I created a job?

According to the cult of economics the answer is yes I have, because people are of course free to accept or reject my offer of employment.

This being so why is there a problem with anyone having a job? After all for a fraction of what the goverment pays people on Job seekers allowance they could offer the unemployed full time jobs at a rate of 1 pound for a forty hour week.

At a stroke the unemployment problem is solved- we have full employment and we save taxpayers money.

Ok- I do see a problem with this idea- 1 pound a week is not enough to provide people with the means to stay alive- they will likely starve to death over the long term, which is-I admit- a drawback.

So this 'job creation' lark is not as easy as it first appears- it seems that simply offering people a sum of money to undertake a given task is not enough- the sum of money must in some way reflect the needs and requirements of the people being employed.

So in order to create a 'job' it seems that I must pay enough to allow the people I employ to meet the costs of living- which not only means food but also shelter, energy, transport to work ect.

This is terrible- a real blow to my bottom line. But there is a loophole. Suppose I can get the goverment to subsidise the incomes of my workforce using the tax and /or benefits system? So now even though I don't really pay a living wage my workers can still live because they receive state handouts.

But here's the question I am not clear on- if my workforce can only live due to the subsidies they receive from the state- am I a job creator?

Are the jobs I advertise in the paper real jobs- or are they some kind of 'Zombie' jobs?

If so do we need to revise the way that unemployment is categorised by adding a third category?- The employed, the unemployed and the Zombie employed?- a sort of undead army who shuffle through the rush hour crowds unnoticed and who are apparently economically functional- but in reality are not functional at all- in reality they are feeding on the flesh of the truly employed, draining their economic strength and eventually weakening them to the point where they too become zombies.

At what point does a job become a zombie job?

..the Zombie Gordo the clown created this situation ....these people enjoy more benefits than the fully unemployed ..a fools paradise for a poor / broke country like ours ....the lefties still think it's champagne time ...but the country is being being throttled to death by that clown's action plan ....ohh..what a mess...what an end..... :rolleyes:

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..the Zombie Gordo the clown created this situation ....these people enjoy more benefits than the fully unemployed ..a fools paradise for a poor / broke country like ours ....the lefties still think it's champagne time ...but the country is being being throttled to death by that clown's action plan ....ohh..what a mess...what an end.....

The point is that 'these people' are the fully employed- it's just that those who employ them don't pay them enough to enable them to live so the state subsidises their wages.

Perhaps I could re frame my original question like this;

If I offer an amount of money for a weeks work that is not enough to live on but the state makes up the difference for me- have I created a real job or a zombie job?

I'm thinking zombie.

And if I also arrange my tax affairs so that I pay no corporation tax in the UK I seem to have hit on a winning formula- I have my business located in a country in which reasonably educated workers and consumers are available, there is good infrastructure and a strong system of laws- none of which I contribute to- in addition the wages of my employees are subsidised by the government.

What's not to like? :lol:

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The point is that 'these people' are the fully employed- it's just that those who employ them don't pay them enough to enable them to live so the state subsidises their wages.

Perhaps I could re frame my original question like this;

If I offer an amount of money for a weeks work that is not enough to live on but the state makes up the difference for me- have I created a real job or a zombie job?

I'm thinking zombie.

And if I also arrange my tax affairs so that I pay no corporation tax in the UK I seem to have hit on a winning formula- I have my business located in a country in which reasonably educated workers and consumers are available, there is good infrastructure and a strong system of laws- none of which I contribute to- in addition the wages of my employees are subsidised by the government.

What's not to like? :lol:

well who are you trying to convince about whether it is a job or a zombie job?

if youre talking about the effect on government headline unemployment figures, someone giving up looking for work reduces the unemployment figures. someone creating lots of part time work will also reduce the unemployment figures. as a result in recent years its well known that a lot of the unemployment figures have been kept low because of the rise in part time work.

in germany for example a lot of young people are in part-time work which reduces their youth unemployment figures a lot.

if people werent in these part time jobs how much would the state subsidise is a key question.

someone working 16 hours a week and getting topped up i guess is better than working 0 hours and getting 100% subsidised.

now the thing is, youre a big fan of wealth distribution, so if in a open market, pay isnt enough to live on you should be in favour of the state using taxes to help those on the lowest income as a form of redistribution, so presumably the current situation is exactly what youd advocate in terms of low paid workers being propped up by state intervention.

now i assume youre implying its wrong that companies like tesco is benefiting from this arrangement but so are the low paid workers so what do you care.

you cant complain about the state subsidising tesco workers when arguably thats exactly what you want to see happen, unless youre now arguing its a bad system of doing things...

Edited by mfp123

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I think you would be breaking the law. £10 per hour for 40 hours does not meet the minimum wage.

Are you implying that NMW stops jobs being created? Who would have thunked it?

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The point is that 'these people' are the fully employed- it's just that those who employ them don't pay them enough to enable them to live so the state subsidises their wages.

Perhaps I could re frame my original question like this;

If I offer an amount of money for a weeks work that is not enough to live on but the state makes up the difference for me- have I created a real job or a zombie job?

I'm thinking zombie.

And if I also arrange my tax affairs so that I pay no corporation tax in the UK I seem to have hit on a winning formula- I have my business located in a country in which reasonably educated workers and consumers are available, there is good infrastructure and a strong system of laws- none of which I contribute to- in addition the wages of my employees are subsidised by the government.

What's not to like? :lol:

What the state calls job creation is arbitrary.

Unless you have people freely offering and freely taking work, it's always going to be a combination of threats and slavery somewhere along the line.

If threatened people until they paid me, so that I could pay someone else, would you call that job creation? Even if you did, what purpose does giving it that label fulfil?

The government will tell people anything, if they think it will win them votes.

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I think you would be breaking the law. £10 per hour for 40 hours does not meet the minimum wage.

Luckily the government will ensure that my low wages are subsidised to evade this technicality.

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What the state calls job creation is arbitrary.

Unless you have people freely offering and freely taking work, it's always going to be a combination of threats and slavery somewhere along the line.

If threatened people until they paid me, so that I could pay someone else, would you call that job creation? Even if you did, what purpose does giving it that label fulfil?

The government will tell people anything, if they think it will win them votes.

Why would anyone freely choose to work?

Unless-of course they had no choice but to work. But if they have no choice then they have not freely chosen.

The only way we can define the choice of working as being a free choice is if we disregard the consequences of not working- but if we do that then the slaves on the plantations were making a free choice to work also.

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Why would anyone freely choose to work?

Unless-of course they had no choice but to work. But if they have no choice then they have not freely chosen.

The only way we can define the choice of working as being a free choice is if we disregard the consequences of not working- but if we do that then the slaves on the plantations were making a free choice to work also.

We're all subject to the realities of nature. That doesn't mean we must suffer the tyrannies of men.

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We're all subject to the realities of nature. That doesn't mean we must suffer the tyrannies of men.

And what if the realities of nature expose us to the tyrannies of men?

The problem with using mere acquiescence as your touchstone of liberty is that even a slave can refuse to work. Are we then obliged to assume his acquiescence was freely given- and therefore he labors in his masters fields willingly?

Does the fact that a slave chooses to work rather than suffer the consequences of not working allow us to claim that he has made a free choice in the matter? I don't think it does.

So those who claim that mere acquiescence to a set of terms and conditions proves that a free choice has occurred are not correct- and if they wish to disagree they will obliged include in their model of free choice the situation of the slave who 'chooses' to work for his master.

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