Unemployment -- The Price of Progress?
Sikkema, Karen Ann
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Two harsh lessons came out of the 1930's; the consumer was to be penalized, through the employer, for unemployment created in the process of producing what he would buy. Secondly, the private market could not be relied upon to generate "charges against incomes in a way that would prevent the rise of unemployment to critical levels. The first was a consequence of the establishment of the unemployment insurance system and experience rating. The second resulted in the passage of the Employment Act of 1946. How much this legislation helped the "Okie" is questionable, and is not pertinent in this examination of unemployment. The crisis which hit Oklahoma and the rest of the United States in the 1930's is important because it demonstrated that unemployment not only changed a family's diet, but also changed the family's position in the society in which it existed. Unemployment not only has economic implications, but as urbanologists testify, has sociological and political implications which have revealed themselves recently to be chaotic. The summer of 1967 has generated a sense of urgency about correcting the disproportionate unemployment among Negroes. This, to a great extent, is structural disproportionment. In the United States the present administration is supporting two wars, one in Viet Nam; the other against unemployment. Before examining the causes and predictions of present unemployment, it is essential to describe unemployment, and the many ways it reveals itself. Then, after analyzing recent trends in levels of unemployment, aggregate demand, and output per worker, some insight can be gained into the question, is unemployment the price of progress?