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The Politics of Unemployment

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Tags Calculation and KnowledgeInterventionismProduction TheoryValue and Exchange

01/11/2016Hans F. Sennholz

The modern age of economic intervention began under the pretense of helping workers. Professor Sennholz demolishes the entire edifice that gave rise to this movement.

We were told that workers must be organized into unions. They must have job protection. Their safety must be guaranteed by legislation. There must be a minimum wage. People under the age of 15 must never engage in remunerative work, for that would be exploitation. And workers need retirement income. If unemployment rises, nothing short of full scale central planning is required!

So on it goes, except for one inconvenient fact: the age of intervention accomplished precisely the opposite of its stated goals for workers. The unemployment of the 20th century was government created. And today, workers are taxed, regulated, and regimented to their own detriment.

Here is the uncompromising case against the entire interventionist regime erected on behalf of workers. No one does a better job in showing how the state has harmed the very group that it claimed to be backing.

Sennholz refutes dozens of theoretical fallacies and exposes the bad policies that flow from them. His focus on current trends like "mandated benefits" explains how they have so drastically increased labor costs. He also deals with the feminist arguments against the free market, and makes a strong case for the benefits of the underground economy. A principled and readable work that unfies theoretical rigor and a passion for liberty.

 

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
Author:

Hans F. Sennholz

Hans F. Sennholz (1922-2007) was Ludwig von Mises's first PhD student in the United States. He taught economics at Grove City College, 1956–1992, having been hired as department chair upon arrival. After he retired, he became president of the Foundation for Economic Education, where he served from 1992-1997. He was an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute, and in October 2004 was awarded the Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize for lifetime defense of liberty.

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