Palgrave-Macmillan (2015)

Mark R. Reiff
University of California, Davis
Unemployment has been at historically high rates for an extended period, and while it has recently improved in certain countries, the unemployment that remains may be becoming structural. Aside from inequality, unemployment is accordingly the problem that is most likely to put critical pressure on our political institutions, disrupt the social fabric of our way of life, and even threaten the continuation of liberalism itself. Despite the obvious importance of the problem of unemployment, however, there has been a curious lack of attention paid to this issue by contemporary non-Marxist political philosophers. Non-Marxists typically view unemployment as a technical matter, and doing something about it a question of means not ends, with the solution to this question depending on the kind of empirical determinations about what causes what that are best left to economists, not political philosophers. But I think this is a mistake. Because work is a major part of our social life, as well as something that for a great many people grounds their sense of who they are and provides the basis of their sense of self-respect, those unable to find work are missing out on a great deal of what makes for a meaningful life, and not just the economic benefits that social cooperation has to offer. Those who are unemployed accordingly have something to complain about, even if we do not let them starve, and the rest of us (or at least the institutions that represent us) may have some sort of moral obligation to take action to increase the number of employment opportunities currently available regardless of any uncertainty surrounding the effects that any actions open to us might have. The nature and extent of this moral obligation is what On Unemployment is dedicated to exploring.
Keywords Austerity  Keynes  Hayek  Libertarianism  Liberalism  Inflation  Deficit Spending  Fiscal Stimulus  Perfectionism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy this book $13.99 new (90% off)   Amazon page
ISBN(s) 1137550023   9781137550026
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,740
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Problem of Unemployment.Dimitria Electra Gatzia - 2012 - Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 7 (2):36-54.
Unemployment, Recognition and Meritocracy.Gottfried Schweiger - 2014 - Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 3 (4):37-61.
It Doesn't Work.J. Bradford De Long - 1998 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 12 (1-2):59-69.
Fairness to Idleness is There A Right Not to Work?Andrew Levine - 1995 - Economics and Philosophy 11 (2):255.
On the Foundations of Hysteresis in Economic Systems.Rod Cross - 1993 - Economics and Philosophy 9 (1):53.
Burgerschap, arbeidsbestel en Recht op arbeid.André Van de Putte - 1997 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 59 (4):631-665.


Added to PP index

Total views
32 ( #346,139 of 2,462,871 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #299,182 of 2,462,871 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes