Part 2 –Political power systems


Editor’s Note, March 2024: This document is old and has been used for economics courses.

In principle, the demographic shock with the retirement of the baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 and the entry into the labor market of the “hollow” classes born after 1975, was to reverse the situation from the years 1996 – 2000 onwards, since the number of young people entering the labor market is much lower than the number of very large exits. There should therefore no longer be unemployment, but rather an unmet need for labor.

We have known since that relocation, deindustrialization, the automation of production work, and now, in 2024, the development of AI, artificial intelligence, have greatly reduced the need for labor. The consequence is well known, that structural unemployment remains at around 10%, which mainly penalizes young people.

We know the cause of this structural unemployment in France: the insufficient number of jobs created.

1) the origins of unemployment


“Every human community must, in order to meet the needs of its members, use its working capacities, that is, its capacity to use and transform its natural environment to produce material goods and useful services. There are many reasons why the mobilization of these working capacities is not total; such under-utilization is observed, except in exceptional periods, in all the social systems that history allows us to observe. It is not sufficient to define the existence of unemployment, a situation in which an individual is looking for a job and cannot find one. Unemployment arises only in specific forms of social organization characterized by the generalization of the wage-earning sector as the dominant form of implementation of paid work. Thus, several conditions must be met in order for unemployment to appear.

  • Unemployment involves a break between social working time, intended to provide income, and private or domestic working time, intended to directly meet the needs of the family group.… The variation in their respective working hours, and therefore in the level of satisfaction of needs, serves as a regulator; social work and private work are constantly intertwined in concrete activity.
  • The emergence of unemployment presupposes that social work is the subject of a market exchange, i.e. that the worker sells his labor force to an employer. It is the failure to find a buyer for one’s labor force that defines unemployment.
  • Unemployment arises with the generalization of the wage-earner; in this context, the worker has no other possibility of participation in social work, and therefore of a source of income, than to obtain paid employment.
  • The story of unemployment is therefore one of the extension of the wage system, in other words the extension of the capitalist mode of production.”

2) the interdependencies between employment, unemployment and inactivity.

Unemployment is not just the residual gap between job offers and demands. The level of unemployment in some ways determines the level of employment. The strategy of the companies will use employment more or less according to the level of constraints of the labor market, the balance of power with the unions. In the event of a crisis, the State will help to create jobs in companies and this aid has a deadweight effect which tends to disappear when unemployment is low.

The link between unemployment and inactivity also varies according to the level of employment. When unemployment is high, young people tend to remain inactive and pursue education, and women tend to work in domestic jobs without applying for jobs, which further minimizes the number of job seekers. Conversely, at a time of growth and job creation, these audiences are looking for jobs. This applies to industrial jobs which are more male-oriented and to tertiary jobs which are more female-oriented. The destruction of industrial jobs creates unemployment for older men, while the creation of jobs in the service sector causes women to ask for work, which also increases the number of job seekers.

Nonetheless, remaining in unpaid domestic employment now means depriving ourselves of a sizeable source of income and constraining our standard of living relative to a household model of two full-time, open-ended jobs.

3) the rise in unemployment is based on a permanent component and a cyclical component

“the permanent component is the result of the distortion between the steady growth of the French labor force and the almost stagnant trend in overall employment. As a result, those entering the labor market face enormous difficulties in finding employment, mainly school leavers and women whose participation rates have continued during the crisis the upward movement they had begun earlier. Moreover, the rise in unemployment has led employers to exercise greater selectivity in hiring: faced with multiple applications, they can raise the threshold for their demands. Therefore, holders of low levels of training or qualification will be victims of this development.”

“the cyclical component is associated with the industrial recession phases; the main ones break out in 1974, 1980 and 1991. They are marked by growth rates of gross domestic product close to zero or negative. … The growth in unemployment is abrupt; it results mainly from job losses suffered by workers: redundancies, the end of precarious jobs…. Unemployment is concentrated in industrial jobs and is most prevalent among men; it affects all categories of industrial jobs, including skilled workers.

In slow growth phases, the permanent component is dominant; unemployment evolves unevenly. In the industrial recessions, the cyclical component is superimposed on the former and its influence prevails: unemployment is rising rapidly, but inequalities are being reduced as industrial restructuring hits previously relatively unaffected groups (adult men, skilled workers).”

4) unemployment is an unequal phenomenon

the statistical analysis describes the situation

  • the unemployment rate for women is much higher than for men, regardless of age (on average, 3.5 percentage points higher).
  • youth unemployment is more than double that of adults, regardless of gender (on average 10 percentage points higher).
  • Unemployment rates reflect occupational hierarchies: among workers, the unemployment rate for skilled workers is 7.3%, that for unskilled workers is 17.1% (INSEE survey, 2001).
  • These inequalities tend to be reduced by the rise in unemployment during crises affecting all categories of workers. But rising unemployment fuels other, deeper and more volatile social fractures.
  • When faced with the risk of unemployment, international comparisons show that people do not have the same response, do not put in place the same means of prevention.
in 2001SetMenWomenUnder 25

“In Germany, unlike the other four countries, the youth unemployment rate is only slightly above the national average, while in Italy it is triple; in the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate for women is lower than that for men, while it is double in Spain.

Each country therefore provides a response according to its culture. Germany, through its apprenticeship system, is looking after its young people in terms of employment. In the countries of the South, family traditions continue: first men, then women, then children.

In France, we have said on this website that this phenomenon of unemployment occurs in a tradition that favors technical capital over labor, a modern expression of the 700 years of defiance that leaders have towards the people who for more than four centuries between 900 and 1,300 had developed a flourishing society on the basis of a network organization and a common property managed by monastic orders, knighthood and then by free cities or more or less emancipated from a royal power that was increasingly weak and ruined. This massive investment in machinery and technology, with no regard for people, was justified by the need to avoid overburdened staff burdens and then by unjustified competitiveness requirements. The organization of power in French society is for us directly involved in the management of unemployment, which reflects the defense of private rather than general interests. The result of this search for maximum benefit is that our production system uses only one age class, that of adults. Another example is the maximum use of precariousness in many branches of the tertiary sector. In defense of employers, the desire of politicians and the National Education to develop and then defend a vast monopoly in the youth training system played a key role in the low participation rate of young people aged 15 to 24. The same objective of raising the level of qualifications of young people at Bac or Bac+2 should have been based on a joint organization of training between schools and companies, as in Germany or the Scandinavian countries.

Differences in unemployment rates also exist in geographical terms between the east coast of France, which is in the process of de-industrialization, and the west coast, which attracts tertiary enterprises (proximity to beaches, the sea, etc.).

At the level of the occupational branches, the construction sector is the largest (11.1% of the total unemployed), with cyclical variations, precarious employment and low-skilled labor. Trade makes extensive use of precarious employment. The energy sector (3.6%) is in the best position because its employees, the majority of whom are in the civil service, are the most protected against job loss.

Diplomas remain the best way to prevent unemployment

Unemployment rate by degree.
without diplomas or FFS15.940.045.6
CAP, CEP14.622.626.3
Higher Diploma10.414.011.3

5) the conditions for entering unemployment.

“The integration of young people at the end of their training has been improved, the number of women who stop their work following marriage or birth is decreasing. On the other hand, unemployment is increasingly the result of dismissal. In 1975, they accounted for 50% of the total number of unemployed men and 28.3% in 2001. By contrast, the number of unemployed persons entering the labor force following the end of precarious employment has increased from 4.8% in 1975 to 41.7% in 2001. For women the rates are 7.8% and 38.8% respectively.

The accumulation of precarious jobs that lead to periods of unemployment largely reflects this social divide, except that now it is only the inactive or even the few self-employed who find themselves deprived, a large proportion of employees (about 20% of the active population) also find themselves in a poor social situation and become poor workers, as in the 19th century, which we thought we were forgetting about this misery.

Overall, the evolution of the causes of unemployment is therefore characterized by the increasing weight of decisions taken by employers and by the decline in the factors which reflect the activity behavior of the population.” This fact is added to many others that it increases more than a social malaise, a feeling of injustice and a repulsion towards the ruling class accused of bias and of breaking the national cohesion between France from above and France from below.”

6) getting out of unemployment

“Employability, the probability within an unemployed population of finding a job during a given period, is mainly a function of seniority in unemployment. The likelihood of finding a job decreases as the duration of unemployment increases. The criteria for selecting employers encourage this exclusion of the long-term unemployed.

The fact that a precarious employee loses his job and quickly finds another cannot be interpreted as good employability. The exit from precarious jobs to full-time, indeterminate jobs is much less. “On the other hand, those who have lost a sustainable job find it harder to get out of unemployment, but when they do, they are more likely to get a stable return to work.”

7) the typology of the unemployed.

“In a context of mass unemployment, labor market selectivity increases; it tends to divide the unemployed population into subgroups whose employability is largely determined by their employment history.

Repetitive unemployment: mainly concerns young people who have recently left school and women who, after a long break, are seeking to return to work. This category is characterized by a high percentage of low-skilled workers and former holders of precarious jobs.” They have little entitlement to unemployment benefits and cannot be picky.

Conversion unemployment occurs mainly among workers who, until then in stable employment, have been made redundant economically.” It is mainly men who come from industry and construction. They receive relatively favorable compensation.

Exclusionary unemployment is a third category, the development of which is one of the most unacceptable consequences of the economic crisis. These are workers who enter the labor market with disabilities such that their chances of integration are very low in a context of increased selectivity. Unless they benefit from specific measures, they seem condemned to very long-term unemployment, which leads to a deterioration of work skills, discouragement and ultimately abandonment of the search for a job. At the same time, their rights to compensation are diminishing or disappearing.” This population consists primarily of “older” workers. The crisis is affecting new categories: young people with insufficient education who, if they refuse to enter the cycle of precarious employment and repetitive unemployment, find themselves on the margins. In addition, adult workers who are victims of economic redundancies in regions that are losing their jobs and no longer offer the possibility of retraining. “


Unemployment rate by age and sex
as defined by the International Labor Office (ILO)

Source: INSEE, Employment Survey.
Age rangeSex1975200120102017
15-24 yearsH5.515.122.823.1
25-49 yearsH1.
50-64 yearsH2.

8) the trauma of unemployment.

“It affects all aspects of individual, family and social life.

Unemployment is first and foremost a loss of social status. ‘Dismissal is perceived as an arbitrary exclusion from a productive process which the worker has ensured the development of. While the whole ideology, including employers, emphasizes the crucial role of workers in the efficiency of economic activity, workers are suddenly aware of their situation of total dependence: they can be rejected without the quality of their work being called into question and without their contribution to the company’s past prosperity being taken into account. Unemployment is therefore seen as a process of devaluation…”

We shall return to this aspect in great detail because, in a networked organization based on common ownership, this exclusion and devaluation do not exist. We know that these are consequences of the abuse of employers’ individual property rights.“Employed work is also the basis for the structuring of time, both working time and non-working time. Unemployment is not experienced as free time but as empty time; the experience of idleness generates boredom, anxiety and guilt; it causes an inability to take advantage of the available time and, in particular, to develop alternative activities’. We want to leave this time structure conditioned by labor, that is to say by the decision of an individual owner. We are going to develop working time as part of a life project and associate it with the project of a generation, a unit of measurement common to those who can contribute and share a rather homogeneous group culture.”

The impact of unemployment on family and social ties, on financial difficulties, is well known. They stem largely from the fact that the corporation and its system of power impose a unique pattern of acquiring wealth to the benefit of those who own the means of production and to the detriment of those who can only offer their labor force to the former. The alternative to networking is the solution to eliminate these dysfunctions. We will come back to this in great detail.

9) theoretical explanations of the causes of unemployment.

“In political debates or in the media, three sources are mentioned which can be summarized in a cartoonish way as follows:

  • Unemployment is caused by the influx of new entrants into the labor market or by the unjustified presence of certain groups of people in the labor market.
  • Unemployment is due to the unemployed: it is bad will, bad information, incompetence, excessive demands, even laziness that explain why some people remain unemployed; the one who really wants to work always ends up finding a job.
  • Finally, and not to be forgotten, mention should be made of the instrument for the universal explanation of all social phenomena: technical progress.

Demographic change, the increase in the female labor force participation rate and the interruption of positive migration balances cannot explain in themselves the break-up of 1973 and the sharp increase in mass unemployment since then. It is not the labor force that has changed, but the evolution of employment. The US and Japan have had faster labor-force growth, yet their unemployment rate is lower than that of France. “These results are inconsistent with the view that the growth of unemployment is simply a consequence of the growth of labor resources.”

Population change follows labor market trends: use of immigration in times of labor shortages, as in the 1950s-1960s. Then it was changed when the state decided to extend the duration of studies and encourage early retirement in the 1980s when it became unnecessary to train employees over 50 years of age in programmable automata (teaching them the calculation of integrals, etc.), office automation, etc. “The evolution of the labor force is the result of a pattern and pace of growth.”

‘The inadequacy of the qualifications acquired in relation to the requirements of newly created jobs would explain the unemployability of certain categories of workforce. The responsibility then lies in the poor functioning of the training system, whether it be initial training or continuing training… The result is frictional unemployment mainly due to imperfect labor market organization and various obstacles to mobility.” This explains some difficulties on particular labor markets (catering, hotel, personal services, etc.) but this inadequacy of training systems cannot be held responsible for the drop in activity and low growth due to a lack of competitiveness of the workforce. The United States, whose training system can be criticized, has a low unemployment rate, while Sweden and Germany, which have an exemplary training system, were not spared a sharp rise in unemployment in the 1980s. “In international comparison, there is no overall correlation, either in time or space, between the level of training of the labor force and the level of unemployment. This is not to underestimate the importance of the training effort for economic performance but to reject the thesis of a causal link with the level of unemployment.”

“Nor is the argument for mass unemployment that the job search has become more complicated, forcing the unemployed to extend their search until they find the one that suits them. This would be true if the volume of unfilled job vacancies increased, but it fell during times of high unemployment. In general, in times of high unemployment, voluntary unemployment falls and job seekers are less demanding.

Change is often brutal, and the introduction of new technology is a temporary source of frictional unemployment. This frictional level of unemployment can be tackled by efforts in the field of training, but the arrival of new technologies is constantly disrupting the labor market. In the long term, the phenomenon is observed: it is a social spill from one sector to another. The current problem is that the loss of jobs in the service sector through the introduction of new communication technologies will no longer be compensated by sufficient job creation in industry or the primary sector.”

“So there is a relationship between technical change and employment, but that relationship is not automatic. It is a function of the economic and social processes that operate in three main areas:

  • the criteria for guiding research and selecting innovations
  • level and methods of meeting needs
  • the conditions for the use of the labor force.

Technical change is not, by its nature, job-creating or job-destroying; it modifies the conditions for determining the level of employment. Will it result in more consumption, more leisure time, more unemployment? The answer lies not in technical progress but in the ways in which the production system is regulated.’

10) the heart of the matter

10.1 exhaustion of an accumulation regime

‘After 1945, the generalization of the mass consumption model led to high productivity gains (economies of scale) which ensured both the profitability of investments and the possibility of an increase in the purchasing power of employees. “While productivity growth rates are closely correlated with output growth rates, they remain at a slightly lower level and, as a result, the amount of work required is slowly increasing. A slow movement to reduce working hours amplifies the change in terms of the number of jobs… it is the virtuous circle.

But this virtuous circle can be maintained only by increasing investment until the return on invested capital falls: the rate of return on invested capital falls. Companies then take on debt to continue their investments, and rising inflation becomes a useful tool to pay back loans more easily. “All the elements are in place to break this pseudo-equilibrium of rapid growth. The crisis in the international monetary system from 1971 onwards, the cyclical policies of slowing activity adopted by most countries in 1973, the quadrupling of the price of oil at the end of 1973 will combine to effectively trigger this break.”

To emerge from this crisis, two models have been put forward:

  • “Restoring the conditions for economic performance based on a logic of productive flexibility. Accelerating the introduction of new technologies, competitiveness is based on the quality of products and services. This presupposes qualified, motivated and adaptable working groups; the stability of the wage status is guaranteed in return for the acceptance of new forms of work organization, the organization of working time and occupational mobility combined with a training policy. In the medium term, agreements define the conditions for consistency between the respective levels of employment, productivity and wages. In different ways, Germany, Japan, and Sweden sought such solutions in the 1980s.
  • the systematic restoration of market mechanisms and microeconomic profitability criteria. ‘It implies maximum flexibility in terms and conditions of employment and pay, which leads to a precarious wage relationship. Anglo-Saxon countries, with varying degrees of success, have made this their preferred option. With the 1990s, it seems to have triumphed. In the eyes of regulatory theorists, the wrong model drove out the good. Employment and wages have become the adjustment variables of the system.”

10.2 accumulation of harmful rigidities

That is the view of the OECD; today, it is the dominant view.

10.3 the debate between “classical” and “keynesian” unemployment

“Since the onset of the crisis, there has been an ongoing debate between those who blame the slowdown in activity, the decline in employment and the growth in unemployment on the insufficient level of aggregate demand, and those who blame the same phenomena on the fall in the profitability of capital.”

“The ‘classical’ theory has been corrected by Edmond Malinvaud’s theory of fixed price equilibrium (often referred to as the ‘imbalance theory’), “which adopts an assumption opposite to the classical theory: that of price rigidity in short periods. The equilibrium is therefore achieved not by adjusting prices but by adjusting quantities: if the supply is greater than the demand, some offers cannot be met and, conversely, if the demand is in excess, some demands are not met. This problem allows the existence of involuntary unemployment to be taken into account; it arises when, for a given wage rate on the labor market, the quantity of work offered is greater than the demand for work from employers. Because wage rigidities prohibit immediate adjustment, some workers willing to accept the prevailing wage rate will not find work. Over the same period, the misalignments may be in the same or opposite directions in the labor market and in the goods market. Under these conditions, two types of unemployment can arise.

  • keynesian unemployment results from the combination of excess supply in both markets: firms are willing to produce more but do not because of insufficient demand; workers enter the labor market and cannot find jobs. Inadequate levels of economic activity explain the existence of this unemployment, while both workers and employers would like to achieve a higher overall level of employment and output.
  • Traditional unemployment results from two markets running surpluses of opposite senses. As in the previous case, the available labor resources are above the level of employment, but in the goods market the situation is reversed: companies offer less than the demand. This may be due to a lack of productive services (physical constraint) or to the fact that a higher level of production is deemed unprofitable by enterprises (market constraint). Over a long period, the first constraint is similar to the second: the lack of productive equipment results from too low a level of investment in the past, which is explained by the fact that additional investment was deemed unprofitable by the companies. So it is the lack of profitability that leads to classic unemployment.”

In principle, classical unemployment cannot be sustained, but is transformed into Keynesian unemployment because of demand pressure (according to Malinvaud). “Keynesian unemployment does not create any automatic rebalancing mechanism; it can recur indefinitely in the absence of an appropriate economic policy; the persistence of Keynesian unemployment generates potential classical unemployment that will manifest itself whenever recovery begins; indeed, the low level of investment gradually creates a situation in which it will no longer be profitable for entrepreneurs to meet an increase in demand.

11) the economic policy challenge

“Theoretical debates about the nature of contemporary unemployment are not just academic refinements. They have been at the center of the clash between the two competing economic-policy strategies since the crisis erupted. Depending on which diagnosis is made of the root cause of the rise in unemployment, the solutions will differ.

Liberal-minded economists believe that we are fundamentally dealing with “classic” unemployment. The aim is therefore to create a profitability-investment-employment dynamic… Such strategies have inspired the policies of most industrialized countries over the past 20 years. They faced an obvious challenge: widening profit margins implied pressure on the other two components of the national product, the wage bill and public levies. If so, how can profits be expected to turn into investment when aggregate demand is being squeezed? If investment comes, it will be productivity investment, aimed at improving competitiveness in the face of stagnant demand, not capacity investment, aimed at raising output. As a result, they will be destructive rather than job-creating.

The only way out of this contradiction is to increase the share of the national production system in the world market…. But, if that outcome is achieved, it should be emphasized that it can be achieved only at the expense of competing economies. If liberal policies become more widespread, each country will use its policies to depress aggregate demand globally while hoping to expand its market share there. It is a negative-sum game, which creates a regressive cumulative cycle.

By contrast, a Keynesian interpretation of unemployment tends to focus on boosting economic activity through action on aggregate demand. “It’s the demand-production-employment dynamic…. National experiments based on this logic failed under the pressure of “external constraint”: under current structures, demand stimulus has inflationary effects and runs up against the existence of inelastic supply-side industries. To maintain a growth rate that is higher than that of competing national economies is to produce a trade deficit that inevitably calls for a return to austerity.

The only way forward is at the international level; harmonized national stimulus policies, differentiated according to different economies’ initial circumstances, should ensure adequate trade compensation. The problem is that the success of these strategies requires countries that, because they are doing well on inflation and the trade balance, would sacrifice this relative advantage on the altar of global stimulus. Experience shows that these hopes are futile: these countries are more likely to model themselves than to give up the situation they have acquired for the benefit of others.”

12) an equilibrium unemployment rate

With economies unable to restore full-employment equilibrium, there would be new conditions for market regulation that would produce the amount of unemployment needed to achieve macroeconomic balance. “Keynesian and neoclassical currents offer two interpretations of the determination of an equilibrium unemployment rate.”

12.1 the Philips and NAIRU curve

“Historically, there has been a negative relationship between the unemployment rate and the rate of nominal wage growth. In times of low unemployment, workers are in a good position to demand wage increases and, in good times, employers pass on wage increases to their prices. This triggers a self-sustaining movement of inflation. The reasoning is symmetric for high unemployment.

An economic system must necessarily balance unemployment against inflation. This arbitrage defines a non-accelerating inflation rate of pay (NAIRU), the level of which is determined by the characteristics of each economy. One important consequence is that stimulus policy works only if the effective unemployment rate is higher than the NAIRU. Otherwise, it will accelerate inflation. When the fight against inflation is given priority, high unemployment rates may be needed for a long time.”

12.2 The ratchet effect

In one period, an economy’s behavior has an impact that continues in subsequent periods. “For example, a cyclical shock that causes a surge in unemployment can permanently increase the equilibrium unemployment rate: deterioration of professional capacity due to long-term unemployment, impact of the behavior of steady job holders (and their unions). For example, the three economic recessions since 1973 could have ratcheted up the equilibrium unemployment rate each time without an active policy to eliminate their lasting consequences.

“The equilibrium unemployment rate is not an inevitable rate of unemployment. The equilibrium unemployment rate reflects the structural features of an economy and the economic and social policy choices it has made in the past. Another policy may aim to transform these characteristics.’

13) A critique of economics

The observation of national disparities in the level and evolution of unemployment leads Philippe d’Iribane to question, rightly, the patterns of explanation that would rely only on the taking into account of macroeconomic performance. Only an analysis of social logics and cultural models seems to make it possible to understand the different reactions observed to the same global economic conjuncture. It contrasts, for example, three contrasting national approaches:

  • in the US, all work is considered honorable, regardless of status or pay, so people are willing to take jobs on labor-market terms; they are unemployed for a short time because of this market logic
  • in Sweden, a work ethic rooted in mentality means that the community is obliged to offer an activity to all its members, but puts strong pressure on them to accept the jobs offered and thus the changes in employment structures associated with restructuring
  • in France, the nature of the job occupied defines the social position in a stratified and hierarchical system; employers and workers alike have incorporated a concept of “socially acceptable” jobs: faced with an imbalance in the labor market, a worker would rather remain unemployed than suffer a downgrading that he or she would experience as a disqualification; on the other hand, employers will forego offering jobs that they know to be “unacceptable.”

This thesis highlights an important fact: unemployment is not the product of economic determinism. But this analysis explains above all the differences in national reactions to the disruptions of the labor market, it does not look at the origins of these disruptions… Economic analysis remains necessary to understand the break in the model of growth of full employment and the resulting increase in unemployment.

What we remember for the rest of our movement

  • unemployment is linked to the generalization of labor, to a production model in an economic system based only on individual property.
  • the roots of the crisis since 1973 have been either capital accumulation that limits profitability or consumer goods that saturate markets and depress demand. The crisis was linked in 1973 to a high level of inflation which broke the previous virtuous circle which had existed since 1945.
  • national responses based on community values or a dream of freedom of enrichment reduce unemployment by making job seekers accept available jobs quietly.
  • unemployment accentuates the role of employers in social selection and creates a general sense of injustice.
  • Economic policies that limit inflation and defend currencies increase the level of balanced unemployment: in 1994, the French unemployed were sacrificed on the altar of the euro’s introduction. In 2003-2004, unemployed Europeans continue to bear the brunt of the strong euro and the anti-inflationary policies of the ECB (European Central Bank).
  • Liberal economics seems incapable of spreading its theories to all countries, lest deflation explode.
  • Keynesian economics tries to address the unmet needs of our societies, but runs into the problem of short-term returns on investment.
  • No solution is being promoted to emerge from the crisis, except for the harmonization of national economic policies at the global level. Faced with the negative consequences of its utopias (an unrealizable part in the operation of a system), our economic system advances a new utopia.

In France, unemployment is rather structural in nature.

Despite the pickup in growth, it remains at a high level. It is closely linked to the relatively rigid structure of the labor market (significant labor legislation, involvement of the social partners). In the US, unemployment is more cyclical in nature. A flexible labor market makes the volume of employment more sensitive to changes in economic conditions. There is also the explanation for the dominance of paternalistic leadership in countries with poor social relations: paternalism increases the level of unemployment, while in countries with cooperative relations between workers and employers, the level of unemployment is much lower and the return to full employment is faster.

We complement this analysis of unemployment in France with a slightly more in-depth study of the structure of unemployment according to degree levels and gender. Unemployment is a considerable loss of skills use and thus a lack of productivity gains. Faced with significant structural unemployment for decades, the unemployed are a category of citizens who have an interest in leaving the liberal system of power to develop our citizen networks of social life again. So it’s important to look at what’s happening at that level of credentials.

chômage en France par niveau de diplôme et sexe

source of both tables:

Between 2001 and 2017, the table on the distribution of the unemployed by diploma and gender shows first of all that women without a diploma are 1/3 less in 2017 than in 2001. On the other hand, they more than doubled with a post-secondary degree. Overall, there was little change in female unemployment (17.36%), while men’s unemployment increased by 50% over this period.

The age structure of unemployment provides an initial explanation. Unemployed persons aged 50 and over increased by 128% between 2001 and 2017 (163% since 1982). Unemployment among 15-24 year olds has fallen by -15.65% between 1982 and 2017 and by -27.42% since 2001.

In 2017, for diplomas, the major event is at the level of the BAC or the BP (Professional Patent). These figures reflect failures at the start of tertiary education followed by a period of unemployment. Unemployed men without a diploma or with a Bachelor’s degree account for 45% of all unemployed men, as do women. This is an enormous and significant feature of the dysfunction of French society, which is more a juxtaposition of social-professional groups that ignore each other than a society that is united in the same culture and that develops sustainably. Here we find one of the characteristics of the systems of power that divide and rule.

To say that the Baccalaureate serves no purpose is very easy but false because a professional insertion and reorientation is more accessible with the Baccalaureate than without any diploma. The priority is therefore to find training other than that offered at universities, and the solution lies at university level. This solution, we have shown, is the elimination of its function of selecting elites. If this proves impossible for political reasons linked to the functioning of the liberal system of power, in the networks of social life, this dysfunction does not exist and this is one more reason for these young graduates to leave this system.

At the BAC+2 level, there is a clear difference between men and women as if employers prefer women in tertiary occupations. The deindustrialization of the country certainly explains this situation by the decline in the number of jobs for senior technicians in factories.

In 2017, of all the unemployed, women came first at the Baccalaureate level (11.94%) and men at the CAP,CEP level (15.10%) just ahead of the non-graduates (13.70%). Education may no longer be a job guarantee for all graduates. This is the consequence of the French Disease that we have described from data between 1984 and 1994 on the achievement of productivity gains and their uses. France does not know how to create jobs and, above all, skilled jobs to accommodate all its new graduates.

These tables allow us to define one of the priority targets to be sensitized and educated in order to leave our systems of power. It is the citizens who have graduated from unemployment who have the most interest in developing social life networks, participatory local direct democracy. The unemployed without jobs are in the first instance a training effort which social life networks will only be able to take on once they have been set up on a lasting basis.

For a society without unemployment in Our networks of life

At, we do not take sides in implementing one theory over another; we leave our systems of power to build a networked organization.

We have shown that the liberal system of economic power and our systems of political power only work by using the mechanism of exclusion: the principle of authority as well as the principle of effectiveness only work by excluding those who are not satisfied with it. We’ve shown that in Authority-Power-Command.

Unemployment, for us and even if Freyssinet is careful to say so clearly, is the “natural” consequence of the functioning of this system of liberal economic power. An individual property can only get richer at the expense of other individual properties. Those who are wealthy enough to be able to save can put that saving into the ownership of means of production which will provide them with additional income from that saving. But to optimize its financial investment, the distribution of the added value created must be to its advantage.

The economic and financial benefits derived from the use of technical capital result in job losses. The fight for survival is about securing a secure place in an oligopoly in a market and fighting new entrants to that market. In an oligopoly, price fixing is no longer dependent on supply and demand but on the level of savings available. Consumers must dip into their savings and pay ever-higher prices to boost corporate profits and shareholder dividends. If you don’t invest your savings in equities to collaborate in this financial dominance of the markets, then your income will fall year after year: you put yourself in a situation of being excluded. Everything therefore contributes to the elimination of jobs and the non-creation of new jobs in this market.

Unemployment is the permanent output of the liberal economic system based on individual property alone. The prohibition on developing common property alone capable of enriching those excluded from this economic system (as it is capable of enriching anyone who wants to join it) on the pretext that the development of the non-market economy is capable of ruining the market economy and the state, can only aggravate this major social crisis.

The Republican pact established after 1860 on the basis of the ideas of Émile Durkheim thus breaks down: the state and its social administrations can no longer take care of those excluded from this economic system and those excluded from work: the financing of unemployment, inactivity (and retirement in particular) and health becomes a chasm because contributions are increasingly insufficient while expenditures are constantly increasing. Fiscal policy can only juggle deficits and debt repayment during growth cycles. But if growth lags, deficits become large, precluding social progress during phases of growth. Every measure has been taken by the political leadership, and none is working to stop this unrelenting mechanism. It will be the same until the social explosion until our societies return to using once again the complementarity between individual, communal and collective properties and the remuneration of work with a full currency (positive money).

Professor Jacques Freyssinet’s book illustrates the prevailing thinking. Always remain at the level of the dogmas of capitalist and liberal ideology.

The problems and the solutions come from markets, from the adjustment between supply and demand. Organizing, planning the production of goods and services according to need is absolutely alien to this pseudo-science of economics because it would recognize the primacy of politics over economics. When the needs of consumers are met, in order to avoid the risk of over-production and fatal losses for the leaders of this liberal system, it becomes preferable to reduce production and investment, to let unemployment, precariousness, poverty develop if not poverty once again present.

No one in this system is able to extend work to all human activity and does not want to develop works that can raise the standard of living and pass them on to future generations. The reason is well known. It would be accepting common ownership, common goods and political action, the use of the full currency, participatory local direct democracy as we described in the first part of the Social Life Networks.

On our website, putting labor before capital is the raison d’être of this unemployment briefing.

Abraham Lincoln has twice won the presidency of the United States by repeating the obvious fact that a majority of American voters understood: “Labor precedes capital. Capital is merely the fruit of labor, and it could never have existed if the world of work had not existed in the first place. Labor is greater than capital and therefore deserves greater consideration (…). In the current situation, capital holds all the power and this imbalance must be reversed.”

London’s financiers insisted that the president be assassinated and that such policies could not be pursued.

So…. there remains in this liberal system, the eternal unemployment that never stops developing unless the demography reverses and the population decreases, that the youth no longer loves themselves enough to ensure a level of births capable of guaranteeing a population growth.

But we are already departing from the framework of reference of the leaders of the liberal system: only the maximization of their profits must be taken into consideration and as for demography, they readily refer to Malthusian theories fighting against overpopulation with means quite simply criminal against humanity.

ordering the book: the unemployment of Jacques Freyssinet

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Other documentation relating to unemployment

The growth in question,

Le Monde, special supplement, 31/05/07 Hervé Kempf

Growth, growth, growth! Economists, politicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, all have that word in mind when it comes to talking about solutions to society’s ills. Often, they even forget that their favorite word is only a means, and pose it as an absolute objective, which would be worth by itself.

This obsession, which brings together the right and the left, is blind to the scale of the ecological crisis: climate change, but also the historical crisis of biodiversity and chemical contamination of the environment and beings. The problem is that Europe’s compass-cum-GDP (gross domestic product) instrument is dangerously flawed: it does not include biosphere degradation. This means that we are incurring ever-increasing debt. The emerging deregulation of the world’s great ecosystems is the price of that debt. If nothing changes, the annuities will continue to grow

The fixation on growth is also ideological, because it ignores any social context. In fact, growth does not in itself reduce unemployment: “Between 1978 and 2005, GDP in France grew by more than 80%,” remarks Nicolas Ridoux in the April newspaper La Décor. At the same time, not only has unemployment not decreased, but it has doubled from 5% to 10%.” The International Labor Office and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development confirm that, despite a 5% annual increase in global GDP, unemployment is not falling. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank also note that rising GDP does not reduce poverty or inequality. In reality, the permanent invocation of growth is a way not to call into question the extreme inequality of income and wealth, by making everyone believe that their standard of living will improve.

There is an urgent need to re-examine the meaning and content of this modern obsession. A new approach is to aim at reducing material consumption, that is to say the levies we make on natural resources. A European Parliament report, presented in March by MEP Kartika Tamara Liotar, proposes: “The consumption of non-renewable primary resources in the European Union should be reduced by four by 2030.”

Few politicians realize the urgency. In a press conference in Paris on 16 January, Alain Juppé said: “This is another growth that must be invented, accompanied by a decrease in waste, and we need, in a world hit by poverty and inequality, a growth that consumes less energy and non-renewable resources, a growth that respects natural balances, a growth that is accompanied by other consumption and production methods.” Very nice words. That must be kept alive, Mr. Minister!

255,000 jobs lost in France in 2009!

Emmanuel Lévy-Marianne | Saturday 7 August 2010 at 07:01

And, for the second year in a row, these jobs could not be matched, as they had been in previous periods, by the services sector’s dynamism. During these two years, it too lost substance: -112,000 jobs in 2008 and -121,000 the following year… Less sensitive to business cycles, non-market paid employment (civil service, associations, etc.) nevertheless played its role as a shock absorber. “Non-market wage employment is growing mainly due to more jobs being supported in the face of a bad economic situation ”, notes Dares. In fact, in its stimulus package, the government returned to the supported jobs that were abandoned when it came to power in 2007.

As a result, job destruction in the economy fell to 255,000 in 2009.

This profound deterioration has also led to changes in the share of stable jobs (permanent contracts and civil service) in total employment. Saved at the beginning of the crisis, employees with stable jobs were initially affected at the turn of 2008-2009, when the mortality of the companies employing them was on a sharp rise: 260,000 permanent contracts disappeared from the economy, while the few jobs that are being re-created at the end of 2009 are mostly temporary…

The destruction was dramatic in itself, but was accompanied by an unexpected phenomenon: the increase in the working population. Despite worsening economic conditions, thereby overcoming the traditional assumption that people are discouraged from entering the labor market, 200,000 people have joined the ranks of “labor suppliers,” as economists call them.

More job offers (+200,000), fewer applications (255,000 jobs destroyed in 2009): this explains three quarters of the increase in unemployment, 713,000 additional people registered on the Employment Center lists in 2009, + 20% over one year.

In this sense, the relocation of 50,000 jobs that Industry Minister Christian Estrosi had hoped for in an interview with La Tribune is not exactly on the scale of the problem. As a Treasury study notes, since 1980, French industry has destroyed nearly two million jobs. The Bercy paper estimates that 63% of the destruction between 2000 and 2007 was caused by international competition, particularly from China for low value-added products and Germany for more technology-intensive ones.


document: January 2012, Roosevelt Collective

This is the main explanation for the unemployment and precariousness that has plagued our societies for the last 30 years, so this is the root cause of the crisis that has erupted over the last five years: our collective inability to manage massive productivity gains. These gains are really considerable: meanwhile, the French economy is producing 76% more with 10% less work. At the same time, thanks to the baby boom and women’s work, the available labor force grew from 22.3 million to 27.2 million.

Source: Roosevelt Collective 2012, Proposal 13, January 2012.

The Roosevelt collective remains within the framework of a system of power based on human activity limited solely to the work proposed by the private owners of the means of production or the public or social administrations. The proposed solutions are therefore presented under the constraints imposed by this liberal system.

Einstein’s comments about the misuse of productivity gains were first echoed by Gunnar Myrdal (1974 Nobel Prize winner) to denounce the sham:

Politicians don’t want to share in the rising returns, this hot potato burning their fingers

As Reinert writes after the authors of the other school, that of intelligence and knowledge, the increasing returns are indeed “a hot potato” in the hands of politicians.

Creating a virtuous circle of wealth creation and development is not difficult, but for a ruling minority in a system of power that wants to enrich itself at the expense of others, the insurmountable difficulty arises when it comes to sharing the wealth produced.

How can we explain all of a sudden that the wealth produced by well-trained, educated, intelligent and creative human beings, who are capable of managing and finding synergies, can we explain that this wealth produced in abundance is almost exclusively allocated to a ruling minority and not to the rest of the social group? This is absurd!

No one can accept such theft, such a plunder of wealth, unless the social group is dominated by a political regime that legitimizes and hides this plunder and maintains its domination through a balance of power guaranteed by the army, the police, and masked through social conformism towards this domination of a ruling minority.

For other explanations, read the external diagnosis for a Full Currency (positive money), the economic environment. replies that the solution is old in life networks when it comes to managing all human activity. Once the satisfaction of individual needs is satisfied by the work necessary for life and survival, human activity undertakes the realization of works that raise the standard of living and are passed on to future generations. These two levels of activity are directed and managed by political action within the framework of subsidiarity and complementarity between the three forms of ownership. In the networks of life, unemployment does not exist.

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