The Moral Imperative and Social Rationality of Government-Guaranteed Employment and Reskilling

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The Moral Imperative and Social Rationality of Government-Guaranteed Employment and Reskilling

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dc.contributor.author Wisman, Jon D.
dc.date.accessioned 2009-02-26T21:48:41Z
dc.date.available 2009-02-26T21:48:41Z
dc.date.created 2008-11
dc.date.issued 2008-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1961/5045
dc.description Working paper No. 2008-20. 47 pages. en
dc.description.abstract Unemployment exacts a high cost to its victims, not only in lost income, but also in terms of quality of life (insecurity, depression, abandoned families, divorce, suicide, poorer health). It also exacts a high cost to society in terms of lost output, foregone tax revenue, depreciating human capital, and increased costs of welfare, crime, and health care. Yet modern wealthy societies have, principally for the sake of price stability and to avoid the budget costs of a full remedy, chosen to tolerate a substantial level of permanent unemployment. This article explores the moral conditions of this social choice and its rationality in terms of social welfare. It makes and develops support for two claims: society’s tolerance of involuntary unemployment is morally wrong, and it is socially and economically irrational. It concludes that government should guarantee employment by serving as employer of last resort and where appropriate provide for retraining. en
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Economics, American University en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.rights Copyright © 2008 by Jon D. Wisman. All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies. en
dc.subject.other unemployment en
dc.subject.other employer of last resort en
dc.subject.other social morality en
dc.subject.other social rationality en
dc.subject.other happiness en
dc.title The Moral Imperative and Social Rationality of Government-Guaranteed Employment and Reskilling en
dc.type Working Paper en


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