Can unemployment be totally eliminated in a given community? Capitalist theories and practice clearly suggest that it is not possible. Even in the most prosperous economies there is always a certain percentage of unemployed varying according to the health of the economy but never actually reaching zero. Yet some suggest that pre-capitalist societies did not know of the phenomenon of unemployment. And many have pointed to the fact that there is no expression or word in African languages, for example, describing a social reality that may be compared to modern unemployment.
Can a community achieve zero unemployment? Some communities in Latin America and in Chile in particular seem to think it is possible and have been acting upon that belief. They developed a paradigm that resolves around new forms of social responsibility for local entrepreneurs, employee-owned enterprises seeking sustainability not profit, extended family supportive network, community work and voluntarism. And they seem to be achieving the goal!
In the attached presentation, Howard Richard, a Professor Emeritus of Economics who have been actively involved in the conception and implementation of a zero-unemployment programme in his own community in Chile, presents the new paradigm: A departure from the narrow focus on 'employment' to the promotion of 'livelihood'. Perhaps as Prof Richard, quoting Michel Foucault, concludes, ' Our greatest political problem is lack of imagination.'
|Zero Unemployment (2).ppt||3.96 MB|
|Zero Unemployment (2).pdf||2.03 MB|