It's summer again! Now that I finally have nothing to do and no employment prospects for the foreseeable future, I figure it's time to go ahead and revive the ol' blog. I miss it terribly. I know you do too. Without a World Cup like last summer, the topics will be varied and eclectic. On the docket and in my thoughts: some amateur philosophy, some current events/politics, and of course, some music. But first up, a quick rant (oh goodie!) about my unfortunate lack of employment prospects for the foreseeable future.
You see there's a major social problem developing in America today. In addition to lots of working-age people suffering from extended bouts of unemployment, lots of young people entering the labor market—high school graduates, college graduates, and graduate graduates, like me—can't find real jobs. Of course a number of things are to blame for this current predicament—John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, other Republicans—but everyone's (non) solution to the problem seems to involve the debt ceiling or Medicare. The effects could be pretty devastating for this generation of graduates—a number of studies, as well as common sense, suggest that extended difficulty finding a job out of school can have negative long term consequences on one's career and mental health. When you have 3 graduating-years worth of depressed people with dim career prospects, well...it's not good for society.
This became a personal problem for me when I applied for a job, had an interview, only to find out the next day that—surprise!—there was no job opening at all, because the person who was supposed to leave in order to open up the position wasn't leaving after all.
It's no surprise to find people unwilling to leave their jobs since the economy is doing so poorly, but it might be good for the labor market overall if we could shrink the supply of labor, leaving the jobs for people who really need them. Supply-side economics gained dubious fame in the 80's for the contention that lowering income taxes could increase government revenue by reducing the opportunity cost of work, and therefore increasing the supply of labor and getting more people to work. The contention that the revenue gained from an increased number of taxpayers would outweigh the revenue lost from the lower tax rate was never really believable, but the effect of the tax rate on the labor market is likely spot on. At the moment we don't want to increase the number of people willing to work, though, because there aren't enough jobs for all the people seeking work. Why not turn supply-side economics on its head and increase income taxes? This would push people out of the labor market who, on the margin, don't really need the work or have something better to do, and leave room for the rest of us, especially those of us starting careers.
Jacking taxes to give people incentive to retire may not be the best long term strategy for a healthy economy, but it seems worth considering in the short term. And the extra money the government gets could actually be used to do something revolutionary: hire more people to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure! What an idea....for a fantasy universe.