Do you know what the Phillips Curve is? I didn’t. I mean I knew the basics of its output, but I didn’t know it had a name. It’s the relationship between inflation and unemployment.
Basically it states that the lower the unemployment rate, the higher the inflation rate and vice versa.
If you live a free-market philosophy you’d largely believe that low inflation is good, somewhere around 2 per cent is what the European Central Bank targets as its inflation rate. Which is smack-bang in the middle of the 1-3 per cent range targeted by the Reserve Bank here in New Zealand.
The Phillips Curve is now considered too simplistic, but it is just one example of what I’m talking about. A similar device is the “Natural rate of unemployment” which won a Nobel fucking Prize for Mr Neolib himself Milton Friedman. This argues that if you have very low unemployment then you have wage stagnation too.
So in a nutshell, what I’m saying is that neolibs argue for the existence of *some* unemployment. There has to be, they say, or we’ll face high rates of inflation or low wage increases.
So if we take this as true (and I’m not saying that I do, just that there are many who do accept one, or both, of these hypotheses) then we have to accept that there are people who will always require welfare. To live. Not for anything other than to live. To not die. And so if we are going to have a structured system where there are people who absolutely have to receive Government money to not die then we need to make sure they get enough money to not die.
This is where it all merges in with what Metiria said (oh god it’s another reckon on this. I know but go with me here). Met wasn’t “encouraging people to commit fraud”. She was saying that within the current structure where there has to be unemployed people, they have to commit fraud just to have enough to fucking live. And so that system is fucked. And we need to change that system. Not commit more fraud.
If some people will always have to be unemployed literally because the system is arranged that way, we have a moral responsibility to care for them. And in New Zealand when Ruth Richardson delivered her Mother of All Budgets, the National Government asked “what is the minimum someone needs to live on?” then made the benefit FUCKING LESS THAN THAT FIGURE. That is obscene. And no-one has offered to rectify this. Until now.
Yes there are some people who don’t want to work, but also there are a lot of people who HAVE to be out of work. Because of the fucking structure of our stupid economic system. So if you’re going to subscribe to this economic system then you have a moral imperative to look after those who you are forcing out of the labour market.
And at the moment those people do not receive enough to live off. So there’s an obvious solution aye? More money.