Simple Truths About the Politics of Unemployment

Simple Truths About the Politics of Unemployment

Unemployment is not only an economic issue; it is also a political one. No government can afford to ignore it. A flourishing economy and ample jobs give governments legitimacy. They lose legitimacy if the economy stagnates and good jobs become scarce. Evidently, voters refuse to consider unemployment a necessary part of the social order or something governments can do nothing about. Politicians who do not bow—or seem to bow—to this public pressure risk losing their mandates. Conservatives thus have to choose between political expediency and ideology. Their ideology leads them to believe that they cannot do better than the market. It makes them reject any suggestion that markets might malfunction. On the other hand, political expediency demands that they seem concerned about unemployment

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima