Why are we so afraid of unemployment?

Tom Lehman TLehman at lor.net
Sun Mar 19 05:08:19 PST 2000

Juchang He--One thing you might want to consider is the establishment of the extended vacation(ev).

In the early 1960's the United Steelworkers of America negotiated a benefit with the steel corporations called the extended vacation. The idea behind the extended vacation was to reduce unemployment and layoffs in the steel industry. How it worked was the more senior employees were entitled to 13 weeks paid vacation every five years. While on extended vacation the employee received their base pay, their benefits were maintained and their seniority was not broken. After their vacation was over they returned to their workplace and their job.

Unfortunately, we lost this benefit in 1983 due to global competiton, elimination by the steel corporations of production facilities, an economic recession, and a lack of resolve on our own part to wage a national steel strike over this and other issues.

As far as I know we were the only labor union in the USA to negotiate this benefit with the corporations--if--other labor unions in other industries had follwed our example we would have more good jobs today in the USA.

If it is true that the unemployment rate in China is as high as 17% of the workforce---the last thing you in China want to do is follow the lead of the American corporatists and their corporations. Tell the American corporatists you want the same pay and benefits they pay in the USA and that you want more!

Tom Lehman

chang wrote:

> This message is dedicated to people all over the world. You can print it,
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> Subject: Why are we so afraid of unemployment?
> by Juchang He
> E-mail: chang at public.shenzhen.cngb.com
> Why are we so afraid of unemployment? It is because people are afraid of
> poverty. Unemployment will bring people poverty. If there weren't poverty,
> people wouldn't be afraid of unemployment. Therefore, if we can solve the
> problem of poverty, people won't be afraid of unemployment.
> (People's living standard can be divided into four grades. The first grade
> is necessary consumption of education, clothing, food, housing and
> transportation. The second grade is ordinary consumption, which means buying
> some more clothes and purchasing TV sets and washers, etc. The third grade
> is extravagant consumption, which means going to hotels, restaurants and
> dancing-halls and taking cars, etc. The fourth grade is over-extravagant
> consumption.)
> How can the problem of poverty be solved? When there appears inadequate
> production of consumer goods of the first and second grades, the government
> should instruct people to produce consumer goods of the first and second
> grades. In this way, unemployment will be decreased and poverty will be
> eliminated.
> Are people who have jobs protected from poverty? Of course not. People with
> low wages have to face poverty as well. In this case, the government should
> stipulate a level of the lowest wages in the form of law, and all the wages
> shouldn't be lower than this level. In this way, the problem of poverty will
> be solved.
> Is finding a job the only way to eliminate poverty? Of course not. If there
> is overproduction of consumer goods of the first and second grades, the
> government should provide the unemployed with relief funds instead of
> finding jobs for them, because, at that time, social wealth is adequate,
> even more than needed. So the unemployed will never live in poverty.
> Economists simply tell people how to eliminate unemployment, rather than
> tell people how to eliminate poverty. I think this is unscientific. Their
> current strategy will conceal the economic condition of a country, so as to
> make social poverty remain the same year after year in the world. Economists
> should be aware that poverty is far more harmful than unemployment. It is
> because people are afraid of poverty that they are afraid of unemployment.
> Therefore, economists should tell people how to eliminate poverty rather
> than unemployment. If economists fail to tell people how to eliminate
> poverty, they shouldn't call themselves economists.
> Sincerely,
> Juchang He
> E-mail: chang at public.shenzhen.cngb.com
> Welcome to My Homepage
> <http://sites.netscape.net/juchang/homepage.html>

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