No Such Thing As An Opinion!

Do high-unemployment countries have populations that are lazier and less intelligent?

Ever stop and think about what a country's unemployment rate means about that society?

Why do some countries have high unemployment rates?  I suspect the most popular answer might be this:  "There simply aren't enough jobs to go around". Or perhaps: "There aren't enough people with the skills required for the job openings".

But are either of those reasons really valid?

Let's start with the latter.  If there weren't enough people with the required skills, then those jobs would stay unfilled (assuming recruiters didn't settle on hiring less qualified people, which must occur at times).  When the jobs stay unfilled, then the businesses doing the hiring would tend to struggle versus their competitors (the ones who were able to find hire the qualified people). And of those businesses that struggle, some would go under.  And when they go under, they are no longer hiring.  The shortage of qualified people suddenly decreases.

Wouldn't a shortage of qualified people lead to a economic adjustments, as described above?  Is it possible that the current unemployment rate is already a result of economic adjustments?  Is it possible that there is actually a demand for far more highly qualified positions than currently exist?  That such demand decreased to it's current level, as a result of inability to find qualified people?

It seems plausible that some of the unemployment is due to an inability to find qualified workers.

But is it really the case that we have a society such that:  Of, say, 100 people, they've created, say, 20 jobs that require highly qualified skills,  even though there are only 10 people with those same skills?  

Listen, I understand that society can be inefficient. After all, look at all the people graduating from teachers' college who never get a job as a teacher.  Too many graduates, not enough teaching positions. 

But is society so inefficient as to create a 15% unemployment rate? (Forget the official ~5% USA unemployment rate - it doesn't include people who've given up looking for work).  Isn't 1 in 7 a huge inefficiency rate?  If you got seven people together, would you expect them to be unable to find a way to put the seventh person to work? 

And what about the other argument?  That there simply aren't enough jobs to go around?  I have strong doubts that that would account for most of the unemployment. 

Think about this:  If you have a society of 100 people, why would businesses simply leave able people unemployed and sitting on the sideline?  If you have a business, and your competitor has a business, wouldn't one of you tend to hire an unemployed person, in some role, in an attempt to get an advantage?

This leads me to think that there are likely other factors causing unemployment.  To figure it out, start by visualizing what employment is:

Someone with assets gives some assets to another person in exchange for labour.  That's it! 

Before people even had assets, they had to get the assets from somewhere they were available.  Under the ground (mining) or at ground level (fruits and vegetables, trees).  Assets are always there.    In fact, I would argue that society has far more assets then are required to create jobs.  After all, why is gold even considered an asset?  Who was the first person who decided to pay someone to buy their gold?  And why did subsequent people decide to buy and sell gold?

How could there be a shortage of jobs primarily due to there not being enough jobs to go around?  If the assets are there (and they are always there), then why isn't there 100% employment?

It seems to me that the main explanation is that the able bodied population is either unable (not intelligent or skilled enough) to access those assets, or is unwilling to access those assets (lazy, or not motivated enough). 

And in the instances when those assets are accessed yet unemployment still occurs, I suspect the main explanation is that the unemployed are unwilling to work in exchange for those assets (again, lazy, or not motivated enough).

Think about it like this:  You take 100 able bodied people.  Strip them of all of their assets.  Ship them to an island.  And see what happens.  What would happen?  They would start accessing the resources, creating assets, and begin trading with, competing with and hiring each other. 

Except for the people who simply don't have enough motivation, intelligence or skills, to participate.

After all, if some unemployment is due to people being unable to physically work, why wouldn't some unemployment be due to intellectual limits as well?

This leads me to think that if a country has regularly high unemployment rates,  the future employment prospects of the unemployed are bleak, indeed.



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