Responding to Mass Unemployment: A Backward Glance



Now, as fifty years ago and at other times in our history, chronic mass unemployment afflicts Britain: millions of people have no work to do. That is the outcome of the widened gap between economic activity and employment. At times like these, those who through good fortune and ;their abilities govern the nation or otherwise enjoy privilege and prosperity under existing conditions, are generally moved to do something. The compassionate wish to help combines with a strong instinct for survival to produce action. What precisely those in authority do depends on what they make of the economic processes that have thrown up this harvest of despair: in other words, on which economic analysis they believe. However, the options between which they choose have varied rather less than we might imagine over the centuries of development in the study of economics. The debate between Southey and Macaulay has a very contemporary ring to it.


Unemployment Benefit Unemployment Insurance Royal Commission Mass Unemployment Charitable Trust 
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Copyright information

© Robbie Gilbert 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of OxfordUK

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