What type of jobs could the government create?

Read a bit of nonsense this morning from the so-called ‘Taxpayer’s Alliance’ about how ‘work for dole’ programmes should be expanded to save money. The effectiveness of this as a policy rest upon the idea that most unemployed people are generally taking the piss, and if we make being unemployed more unpleasant (as if it’s not unpleasant enough already), people will just go out and find a job. The idea also appeals to a certain type of person who view themselves as ‘paying for’ unemployed people to live it up on benefits, and think they should have to dance for their suppers.

Needless to say, I think this idea is garbage, and the actual problem is a lack of paid work. The solution to this seems obvious. The government should just create jobs. This is anathema to people like the Taxpayer’s Alliance, who suffer from a certain kind of cognitive dissonance about the issue. While they have no problem in coercing welfare claimants into jobs at Poundland et al as long as it pays no more than the current level of benefits, if the government were to actually create jobs paid at a living wage, these jobs would be ‘make-work’, akin to Keynes’ digging holes and filling them in again.

Even people who realise there simply aren’t enough jobs to go round are resistant to the idea that the government should simply create some, because they doubt that sufficient useful work could be found, so it’s better to leave people unemployed.

To counter this, I thought a list of potential jobs that could be created might be useful. I’ll start with a few of my own and request others to add their suggestions below in the comments:

Sports Coach

Street Musician

Street Artist

Actor

Landscape Gardner

Community Allotment Worker

English Language Teacher

Community Translator

Childcare (own kids)

Childcare (someone else’s kids)

Adult Social Care

Youth Worker

Household Energy Efficiency Installer

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19 thoughts on “What type of jobs could the government create?

  1. CHRISTe You have lost the plot. Gov’t should be investing in Creating ASSETS with Created MONEY. WE NEED 500,000 Cll Houses per/year. 60 Elderly Units. just think how many permanent jobs that would create. Not to mention all the knock on effects right across the Economy.

  2. “The idea also appeals to a certain type of person who view themselves as ‘paying for’ unemployed people to live it up on benefits, and think they should have to dance for their suppers.”

    Which is unfortunately pretty much everybody.

    The whole reason why unemployment benefit gets undermined is because of this natural resentment. Humans will naturally only share their resources with those they perceive as ‘pulling on the same rope’.

    The state pension is very simply unemployment benefit for those who are old. The reason why this is more resilient than standard unemployment benefit is that it is perceived as ‘deserved’.

    Neo-liberals know about this resentment and twist it to their own ends – providing free labour to large businesses so they can bank more profit.

    Of course that is counter to development. Businesses need to see labour as expensive so they have an incentive to invent machines, invest capital and replace jobs – which is the process by which productivity and society improves.

    Workfare schemes are counter-productive – both for the unfortunate unemployed incarcerated in them and for improved productivity in general.

    1. ‘Which is unfortunately pretty much everybody.’

      Not sure I agree totally. I think while people expect some kind of quid pro quo (receipt of benefits conditional upon actively looking for work), they don’t all feel they have the right to time manage the lives of the unemployed to the nth degree. There are a lot of people who think like that, but not a majority I don’t think.

      1. “There are a lot of people who think like that, but not a majority I don’t think.”

        It is the majority I feel. You just have to go an sample the resentment on a sink estate, or those areas that surround them. And then you have the tutting middle class. The lack of empathy is shocking and it very much falls into the “I’m feeling squeezed so I need to see everybody else squeezed” category. The empirical research is pretty convincing on that point – as does the public opinion support for negative welfare changes.

        It’s a classic divide and conquer technique, and its working.

        We need to counter that by showing that we can all have more if we just pull together.

    2. I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOU KNOW THAT PENSIONS ARE NOT A BENEFIT i .WORKED HARD FOR MY PENSION AND PAID IN MORE INSURANCE AND TAX SO I COULD HAVE A DECENT PENSION . DON,T CLASS ME THE SAME AS SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER WORKED AND RECEIVES A PENSION. WE PENSIONER,S HAVE PRIDE AND AND AS FOR SAYING IT,S A BENEFIT ALL I CAN SAY IS THEY ARE NOT NOT PAYING US ENOUGH.

      1. “ORKED HARD FOR MY PENSION AND PAID IN MORE INSURANCE AND TAX SO I COULD HAVE A DECENT PENSION ”

        No you didn’t. You just believe you did. Neither insurance, not tax pay for anything. You were effectively conned.

        Pensions are very much a benefit. They are a gift of resources from the producers of today to those that produced yesterday. And the producers of today could very well turn around and refuse those resources. And there would be nothing you could do about it.

        And that is exactly what is happening.

        Now that unemployment benefit has been largely dealt with, the attack has turned to the state pension. Hence even though we have millions unemployed and chronic underproduction the state pension age is being pushed back and the amount received downgraded.

  3. More jobs:

    HoC S**t Shoveller
    HoC Food Taster
    HoC Lobbyist
    HoC Crime Scene Cleaner
    HoC Fortune Cookie Writer

    My natural-born sarcasm, when it’s unimpeded, can be a bit overbearing at times and I’m the first to admit that. Tom Bergeron

  4. In sports coach I think already done. Champions league final Munich V Chelsea season before last being a bit sad i have watched over and over the penalty shoot out and after and it struck me how many people run onto the pitch. There must have been 50/60 ppl and yet go back to say a similar win by Liverpool when they beat Roma in a pen shoot out in the 80’s…only around half a dozen on top of the players.

    would add street entertainers… have seen some great ones over the years. Also read that during FDR’s new deal artists were employed.

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