There is no such thing as unemployment?

So an Austrian plumber I know sometimes suggests that unemployment is typically (or always?) voluntary.  People lack jobs because they choose to remain idle rather than work for the going, market clearing rate.  He points out that at the correct wage he has quite a lot of fence post holes he would hire someone to dig.  Be warned, he pays by the hole not by the hour.

This Zero Hedge post observes that 1 million jobless recently applied for 50 thousand fast food jobs.

Sounds pretty close to involuntary unemployment to me.



One response to “There is no such thing as unemployment?

  1. Mr. White….I’m positively thrilled….it’s so good of you to drop by.

    Aside from noting the possibility of a bit of tarnish on your meliorism, I will gladly concede that we do, clearly, need more such lower wage jobs. Of course, you might even take this news as evidence that, as unemployment benefits begin to expire at a more rapid pace, the market forces that I’ve been talking about will, indeed, manifest in more serious interest in work at the proper “market rate” wage. We may also discover that it’s quite a bit lower than the government’s official minimum.

    I’ll also suggest that we’ve not travelled far enough down this road yet to quite yet know how many hamburgers (or fence post holes) the economy really needs. I’m beginning to suspect that, just as our discovery that we don’t need (or, rather, can’t afford) quite so many McMansions and big-screen TVs, we’ll find that we do need more fence posts.

    But, for the time being, I’m willing to bet that (so long as I still have a “pre-crash” job myself) I’ll get my holes dug yet. By the way, I wonder how many of that million aren’t even on the government’s official unemployment tally. Any guesses?


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