Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm not the only one who's getting a teeny bit worried

The International Monetary Fund, which is not to be confused with the Socialist International, is also viewing with alarm.

"The labour market is in dire straits. The Great Recession has left behind a waste land of unemployment," said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's chief, at an Oslo jobs summit with the International Labour Federation (ILO).

He said a double-dip recession remains unlikely but stressed that the world has not yet escaped a deeper social crisis. He called it a grave error to think the West was safe again after teetering so close to the abyss last year. "We are not safe," he said.

A joint IMF-ILO report said 30m jobs had been lost since the crisis, three quarters in richer economies. Global unemployment has reached 210m. "The Great Recession has left gaping wounds. High and long-lasting unemployment represents a risk to the stability of existing democracies," it said.

The IMF notes that people who can't get a foothold in the labor market in their 20s "lose faith in public institutions." It notes that the duration of unemployment has increased with each recession lately but has now risen to lengths not seen since the Great Depression. The IMF also notes that the "employment intensity of growth" has declined, i.e. production is more capital intensive and requires fewer workers.

There was a German-English guy in the 19th Century who predicted exactly this sort of thing, which he called a "crisis of capitalism." Basically the plutocrats keep so much for themselves that workers can't afford to buy the stuff they are selling. Much hilarity ensues.


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