Monday, August 25, 2008


The Artificial Creation of Employment Act (2032). A World Council-supported solution to the problem of surplus unemployment. Social scientists have established that in order to ensure a reasonably tranquil world, the number of people with jobs must at least marginally exceed the number of unemployed. On the other hand, a large pool of well-qualified people who are out of work is essential to controlling inflation, keeping wages down, maximizing profits and ensuring that wage-earners remain docile and fearful of losing their livelihood.
Experts now agree that while the ideal economic level of planetary unemployment probably lies somewhere between 35% and 49%, even the smaller figure may be too high to be certain of avoiding periodic outbreaks of public unrest. To maintain the peace, therefore, many people have to be given “artificial” jobs with obvious costs to the net level of productivity.
An irony of technological progress is that an employment level of only 10% to 15% of people of working age would theoretically be sufficient to satisfy the entire world demand for goods and services - which means that an estimated two thirds of existing private-sector jobs could be eradicated with no loss of production and a significant increase in quality.1 In other words, most people are simply not required for purposes of productive work, and their prime social function is simply to consume.
As usual, the private sector is in two minds about ACREM. On the one hand, it is clearly a burden on taxpayers - and particularly on corporations2; on the other hand, in addition to maintaining public order, it ensures the existence of enough credit-worthy consumers to keep the wheels of business turning. In a nutshell, business needs to maximize sales and the number of shoppers, while minimizing tax liabilities and the number of salaried employees, a contradiction reflective perhaps of the impossibility of finding a perfect solution to the administration of life.
ACREM is specially burdensome for corporate downsizers because companies denuded of personnel may sometimes be obliged partially to re-staff; and although ACREM salaries are paid by the government, the taxes required to fund them are levied on the private sector. Moreover, the new staff, who are seldom the ones originally made redundant, require training at company expense, which in turn gives rise to additional administrative costs. Since ACREM came into force, the advantage to corporations of reducing staff numbers has become negligible; which is why a campaign is now underway to have the Act rescinded. Licensed street begging and “holding camps” for the unemployed are among the alternatives under consideration.
1 See, for example, Wetherspoon and Thorpe, “More for Less - The Drive for Global Maximization”, Megalo Press, New York, 5th edition, 2015. Also ERROR THEORY.
2 All companies are obliged to pay an ACREM premium.

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