THE SOLUTION TO UNEMPLOYMENT – PARA SOLUCIONAR EL PARO

THE SOLUTION TO UNEMPLOYMENT 

That’s enough! We have come so far but we cannot go on this way. Together with labour unemployment it is necessary to keep in mind, bound to it, managerial unemployment and the escape of capitals from real managerial projects towards speculative activities or refuges of simple insurance of financial profitability with hardly any risk. So must the ideological nuances of the electoral programme objectives, the Marxist aftertastes of the class unions and the theoretical, fearful solutions of the incorporated power of the managerial organizations. The balancing acts of monetary variables and labour terminological verbal diarrhoea that wants to regulate almost everything must also be done away with.  It is necessary to send all that and much more to the memory trunk, to wake up once and for all, stretch, and shake off subsidized national idleness and start working. We have to begin to prosper in another way and personally take the bull by the horns and stop being passive. An important political change is not enough. An irrevocable ethical personal change in attitudes and efforts is needed. 

  After pondering over painstaking sessions of abundant Economic readings, and consulting various statistics and complex macroeconomic models, I have come to a simple and happy conclusion: The only solution to the serious problem of unemployment consists of starting to work as soon as possible instead of just staring vacantly. Although we economists usually say and write truisms such as this, I believe that it is important to insist and study such a truism in depth. 

  Von Mises, in his important essay on Economy, significantly entitled Human Action, wrote: “Human action (work) is conscious behaviour; mobilized will transformed into performance that seeks to achieve precise ends and objectives; it is a conscious reaction of the ego towards the stimuli and circumstances of the environment.” And later on: “Each action is one more link in a chain of performances, which joined, integrate an action of superior order, tending towards a more remote end. All action entails a partial performance, framed within another action of greater scope; that is to say, by means of that action we tend to reach the objective that a more ambitious performance has envisaged.” Work generates work and subsidized passivity generates poverty. Economic activity is a dynamic activity, immersed in time that is continually interlocking. 

  The Nobel Prize Gary Becker on the other hand writes: “Many workers increase their productivity acquiring new qualifications and perfecting, while they work, others that they already possessed.” Work is not only a means, a productive factor, indispensable for the human improvement of the material world, but rather it is also a means in which the selfsame worker is perfected. It is necessary to study, beyond employment, as Charles Handy does in his book The Future of Human Work, “the options that exist when we enlarge the meaning of work, to include marginal, informal work and voluntarily donated work together with classic employment. Employment, and what is earnt with it, is a part of work. The economy of employment is only one part of the whole economy, and money is just one of the rewards that working can provide.” He urges social recognition of those activities that without being within the framework of formal official employment do not stop being work. Even on occasions in fact the type of work that is scarce, because it is that which is most needed. 

  It is important to work, not to be unemployed, to do something beneficial, even without being paid. We do not believe that it is something strange and irrational. I am not only thinking about the officially registered unemployed who unofficially carry out socially convenient tasks, but also about the official pensioners that also contribute their experience, serene activity and common sense; or the millions of students that not only do not get paid but rather pay, on occasions significant amounts, to study. Also so many volunteers that in different associations and organizations, in spite of opposition from the unions, deploy their manual and intellectual capacities with a great effort. 

  But it is not only that. If we bear in mind that more than 40% of the GDP goes in all types of taxes it is also necessary to think that those that officially work, whether they are individuals or companies, do so for nothing for almost half of their working time. We must not deceive ourselves. We shall have to continue working for a long time without being paid in order to pay so much Public expenditure. The continuous negative differentials of public income and expenses of the Socialist period have led us to a National Public Debt of such a calibre that, not only ours, but the coming generation is also already mortgaged. It is no use crying over spilt milk. It is necessary to look toward the future because being unemployed is worse for everyone. The Austrian psychiatrist Victor Frankl affirmed that for life to have meaning, that is to say, to be aware of the reason one lives, is a human necessity. It is comprehensible then that one can speak of those who do not work, or subjectively consider that they do not work losing their meaning of life, falling into a degraded existential hole. It is necessary to recover the vitality of that fundamental bond that unites men in society and that leads us to the convenience of considering the human being as restless stock of creative potential activity that can be increased to infinity and from which working services later flow, not only measured in time but especially in quality. 

  When concluding this article I have a certain sensation of ridicule. After all, this philosophical stone that solves the problem of unemployment already appeared and was discovered many hundreds of centuries ago-right at the moment when man began to work the face of planet Earth with his living fingerprints. 

JJ Franch

PARA SOLUCIONAR EL PARO

Ante la situación dramática del empleo es desesperante ver cómo se trata de solucionar el grave problema del paro almacenando y mareando números y más números en las múltiples cuadrículas de los despachos de nuestros tecnócratas gobernantes. Creen que la economía es otra ciencia físico matemática donde mediante las estadísticas, los datos históricos ya acontecidos y la inducción, se descubren leyes cuantitativas y ecuaciones desconocidas que solucionarán indefectiblemente de modo regular, determinista e inmutable los problemas macroeconómicos. Queriendo predecir “científicamente” el futuro económico nos tratan como si fuésemos átomos que ni sienten, ni gozan, ni padecen y que tampoco piensan, ni se esfuerzan, ni se equivocan.

La inutilidad de tales planteamientos metodológicos queda patente cuando nos damos cuenta que la economía es una ciencia humana donde juega un papel crucial y preponderante la disparidad valorativa individual, casi siempre sorprendente, que cierra el camino a toda regularidad y a toda uniformidad o constancia. Diariamente se toman billones de decisiones humanas cuya dirección es marcada e insinuada por el deseo personal consciente o inconsciente de convertir determinadas situaciones dadas en otras más beneficiosas y acordes con los objetivos y preferencias propios y de los nuestros. Es imposible predecirlas.

Precisamente por todo ello, si alguien me preguntara cuál es la raíz del drama social a que da lugar el pavoroso desempleo en España, en Europa, y en la mayoría de los países contestaría con dos actitudes humanas generalizadas e interdependientes entre sí: el vacío de mentalidad empresarial y la falta de espíritu de trabajo continuado y cualitativamente bien hecho. Fíjense que hablo de mentalidad no de vacío de empresarios. Hay mucho empresario teórico, que busca subvenciones, prebendas, privilegios o fortunas especulativas, carentes de esa mentalidad.

En sentido estricto el empresario inventa el modelo de producto o servicio que debe guiar al trabajo subordinado en la realización de su obra, y lo proyecta determinando la especie y características del efecto futuro en que se materializará. El resto de la organización tiende a plasmar en una matera concreta y ayudada de instrumentos adecuados, el modelo antes concebido. En el empresario se gestan los paradigmas de las diversas producciones. Esa tarea directiva complementaria asume siempre los riesgos de su propia libertad, y por lo tanto su responsabilidad, tanto en los éxitos como en los fracasos. En el empresario quedan soldadas la tarea de dotar con capacidad de servicio sus bienes para hacerlos más apetecibles a los clientes potenciales y la consecución del máximo beneficio o la aspiración a lo mejor consecuencia de lo anterior. Cuanto más y mejor sirva lo que produce más firmemente se asentará una empresa en un mercado competitivo carente de privilegios, monopolios, rigideces y oligopolios.

Pero este proceso empresarial es perfectamente aplicable y generalizable a cualquier trabajador, a cualquier propietario de bienes físicos intelectuales y humanos, a cualquier persona por el mero hecho de serlo. Todo trabajador es en este sentido un empresario por cuenta ajena. Esa mentalidad empresarial, que busca realizar innovaciones en el servicio ajeno resultando un incremento en el propio beneficio, y que mejora profesionalmente en el ejercicio de esa actividad, puede y debe ser asumida, si se quiere actuar económicamente de forma racional y humana, por todo agente económico. Incluso en situación de paro oficial o siendo pobres de solemnidad. Aunque no fuésemos propietarios de ningún bien material en los que ejercer el libre poder de asignación sobre ellos, siempre seremos propietarios, por nuestra libertad, de la propia persona y, por lo tanto, de los propios talentos y virtualidades. Siempre podremos trabajar ejerciendo esa mentalidad empresarial que actúa en la sociedad en orden al fin legítimo de incrementar su patrimonio material y humano.

No me pregunten cómo concretar lo anterior porque es fácil de deducir. Toda la variada gama de medidas concretas que estimulen la mentalidad empresarial y el espíritu de trabajo son buenas. Las que dificulten su actividad buscando y fomentando la pasividad, la subvención, el privilegio o la teórica seguridad fiándolo todo al Estado, son contraproducentes.

No nos engañemos. De la misma forma que hay una tensión hacia el infinito de lo mejor y que todo es mejorable, también hay una tendencia hacia el cuasi-infinito de lo peor y todo puede empeorar. En la libre competición armónica de la vida el que no avanza retrocede. Tocamos fondo y lo rastreamos: luego retrocedemos.

JJ Franch

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