Sufficient employment == full employment?

Proposer
timcowlishaw
State

Accepted

Vote Score

0

Age

2079 days


timcowlishaw

@timcowlishaw - over 5 years ago

This is a topic for dicussion as much as anything else. Sufficient employment to me seems a little vague and undefined. Therefore, I'd suggest full employment as the target of economic policies.

However, there's a caveat here. Is full employment necessarily possible, given the level of capacity in the economy, increased automation of manual work, etc. If it is not, do we want to acknowledge this, and instead propose something like a citizen's basic income which allows all to live in a society where under-employment is a macroeconomic fact of life? So. Do we target full employment, through taxation ,rate-setting (and direct policies such as a job guarantee, if there' appetite for it?), or do we acknowledge that underemployment is a fact of life, and ensure that our tax system and welfare state is fit for purpose in these conditions (by ensuring that all can survive, regardless of their employment status)?

@timcowlishaw edited economy.md - over 5 years ago

published: true

What policies should we propose to maintain a competitive economy that provides sufficient employment?

What policies should we propose to maintain a competitive economy that provides full employment?

Taxation

Business

Personal income tax is calculated on income generated prior to expenses being deducted. But in business, corporation tax is calculated on any profit generated after expenses have been deducted from income. It is proposed that a study is conducted into the feasability and fairness of calculating them both in the same way: either personal income tax being revised and only calculated after household costs have been deducted (ie taxing household surplus or amount put into savings rather than income), or corporation tax being calculated on the basis of revenue alone.

Personal income tax is calculated on income generated prior to expenses being deducted. But in business, corporation tax is calculated on any profit generated after expenses have been deducted from income. It is proposed that a study is conducted into the feasability and fairness of calculating them both in the same way: either personal income tax being revised and only calculated after household costs have been deducted (ie taxing household surplus or amount put into savings rather than income), or corporation tax being calculated on the basis of revenue alone.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

Good wording change, yes. 👍

DRMacIver

@DRMacIver - over 5 years ago

'scuse drive by commenting from someone not related to the project, but you did post this on twitter.

I think "full employment" may also be a little vague and undefined. For example, what do you do about people who are physically unable to work? What do you do about stay-at-home partners who are looking after children? There are a bunch of different types of unemployment and it's unclear which is being referred to.

A decent working definition might be "Anyone who is physically capable of working and wants a job has a job". There are still problems with that though. For example, do you consider people on zero hours contracts employed?

Regarding its possibility, I think it's relatively easy (for a value of easy which means a massive amount of hard work and spent political capital). e.g. a strawman plan for how it might be achieved: - Reduce working hours so that in order to get the same result you have to employ more people. If we were to e.g. cap the working week to 30 hours then you couldn't match the current number of hours worked even with 100% employment (obviously the results are not going to work out that straightforwardly, but the effect should be there). I like the NEF 21 hours piece on this, though you may find it a bit extreme. - Increase public services to create additional demand for labour (e.g. expanding public transport networks - creates employment opportunities for both building them and for running them) - Provide free publicly provided childcare - both increases demand for labour (people to provide the childcare) and increases the subset of the population who are able to work if they want to. Right now for a large class of people (mostly women) it's actually more efficient for them to not work because they're going to spend most of what they'd earn on childcare in order to do so.

Also, I think even with a goal of full employment you still need to have a system that acknowledges unemployment and has a social safety net that deals well with it.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

I'll also be proposing that we support investigation into the idea of basic income at some point: http://basicincome2013.eu/

The minor wording change is definitely sensible, but there's plenty more detail we can add, as @DRMacIver points out. If we merge this, maybe @DRMacIver would like to flesh it out some more with his points above?

timcowlishaw

@timcowlishaw - over 5 years ago

@Drmaciver - I believe the economic definition of 'full employment' is that 'all who are able and willing to work are in work', so the language change doesn't necessarily imply that all working age adults must be in employment. If this is unclear, I'd be happy to make the wording a little less technical though.

I really like your proposals for decreasing the working week and guaranteeing employment through a program of public works and childcare (which also would have excellent counter-cyclic keynsian benefits). Suggest these go in as concrete policy suggestions.

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

👍 on all the above!

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 13 January 2014 08:17, Tim Cowlishaw [email protected] wrote:

@Drmaciver https://github.com/Drmaciver - I believe the economic definition of 'full employment' is that 'all who are able and willing to work are in work', so the language change doesn't necessarily imply that all working age adults must be in employment. If this is unclear, I'd be happy to make the wording a little less technical though.

I really your proposals for decreasing the working week and guaranteeing employment through a program of public works and childcare (which also would have excellent counter-cyclic keynsian benefits). Suggest these go in as concrete policy suggestions.

— Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/57#issuecomment-32151162 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

I misread this in the first place, but given the discussion above, I'm happy. 👍

@timcowlishaw can you link the definition of 'full employment' into the proposed change?

timcowlishaw

@timcowlishaw - over 5 years ago

Yep, no problem at all!

@timcowlishaw edited economy.md - over 5 years ago

published: true

What policies should we propose to maintain a competitive economy that provides sufficient employment?

What policies should we propose to maintain a competitive economy that provides full employment?

Taxation

Business

Personal income tax is calculated on income generated prior to expenses being deducted. But in business, corporation tax is calculated on any profit generated after expenses have been deducted from income. It is proposed that a study is conducted into the feasability and fairness of calculating them both in the same way: either personal income tax being revised and only calculated after household costs have been deducted (ie taxing household surplus or amount put into savings rather than income), or corporation tax being calculated on the basis of revenue alone.

Personal income tax is calculated on income generated prior to expenses being deducted. But in business, corporation tax is calculated on any profit generated after expenses have been deducted from income. It is proposed that a study is conducted into the feasability and fairness of calculating them both in the same way: either personal income tax being revised and only calculated after household costs have been deducted (ie taxing household surplus or amount put into savings rather than income), or corporation tax being calculated on the basis of revenue alone.

timcowlishaw

@timcowlishaw - over 5 years ago

A quick note that this has some interesting background on a historical attempt at a basic income, for when we flesh out policy in that area.