A brief comment on those reprobates who would hate and starve the poor, even as they immiserate them to control unemployment
Openly talking about unemployment as a policy tool is back on the agenda
Of course unemployment has always been an important policy tool under capitalism. That is what makes mistreatment of the unemployed so disgusting. The unemployed are being used to control inflation, even while they are denied aid, and, to add insult to injury, condemned.
Consider two beliefs:
The state should not economically support the unemployed or should support them only to a very minimal degree. It’s everyone’s responsibility to have a job. Taking from people with jobs to pay for those without jobs is akin to theft.
At the moment, the unemployment rate is not high enough. We need to increase unemployment through monetary, fiscal, and industrial policy in order to reduce inflation, or if inflation is not currently high, remove the risk of inflation.
These two beliefs have often been advocated by the conservative side of politics, and by liberals also. I won’t single out individuals, but sometimes both are advocated by the same person. When we spell it out like this, it is transparently monstrous to believe both these things at the same time. It amounts to saying “we should arrange a society so that certain people are starving, but it would be wrong for the government to help them, also the victims of our policy choices - policy choices that we are explicitly making- are somehow responsible for their own condition through their laziness”.
Not only is the conjunction of these beliefs obscene, but the very fact of the possibility of belief number (2) should undermine belief (1). “People have their own stuff which they’ve earned through their own effort, the government has no right to redistribute that” doesn’t really make sense in a world in which the system through which we “earn” or “legally” acquire anything is carefully managed to ensure a portion of the population cannot earn or legally acquire anything at any given time. If my earnings depend on the system ensuring there’s a stock of people like you in poverty, then “you can’t take anything from me to give to him, because it’s mine” is a ghoulish sentiment. Where’s your gratitude for the sacrifice the unemployed have made for your wealth?