Workfare creates unemployment

THE GOVERNMENT’S new workfare rules, forcing the long-term unemployed into unpaid work, will not in any way help the long-term unemployed. At the end of the “Help to work” schemes, only a handful will get new jobs they would not otherwise have got — and those jobs will be the worst: parttime, zero-hours at wage rates that will leave the workers not just dependent on in-work benefits but hungry as well.

But reading the Government’s claims in papers like the Daily Mail will delude millions of people under the false impression that the Government is really trying to help the feckless and idle into a proper job. Surely getting a bit of real work experience, albeit unpaid, must help these people in future job interviews, they claim.

But of course workfare does stop people getting proper jobs and it throws people who already have a good steady job on the scrap heap to add to the total unemployed because employers will always go for a bargain if they can get it and free workers supplied by the Government is a really good bargain. It boosts profits no end. Bosses who can get free workers no longer need their existing paid workers.

The real reason there are not enough jobs to go round is not simply due to the massive Government cuts in the public sector. The private sector is just not investing in manufacturing or service sector jobs because there are bigger profits to be made by buying land and housing and sitting back while the prices shoot up.

There are also profits to be made in banking through dealing in futures, hedge funds and all the wind, water and fairy dust schemes that abound. It is not real money; it is all based on debt, quantitative easing and other chicanery but it does deliver a fabulous life style to the 0.1 per cent right at the top and we all know who has to pick up the real bill — us, the workers.

Furthermore, since workers throughout the capitalist system are all suffering loss of jobs and a general drastic reduction in living standards they cannot afford to buy anything they do not really need. Millions cannot even afford the basic necessities. So there is no point in manufacturing a lot of goods that no one can afford to buy.

It is the classic capitalist crisis of over production as described by Karl Marx.

The global elite ruling class are crushing us so far we can no longer function as a working class. We are being crushed into the ground.

But there are parts of the world that are starting to look a bit better. In parts of Africa, southern Asia and Latin America the prospects for workers are rising. The Chinese are investing in real development and production. But more important than that the workers there are getting together in real trade unions — disregarding anti-union laws, defying death threats and the bosses’ goon armies. And they are starting to win real improvements — just like our great grandparents did 100 years ago.

They are now leading the fight for workers’ rights and building organisations that can and will challenge the global rule of capitalism. We need to follow their example.