The Myth of Full Employment

We hear in the news time and time again about the nation’s employment situation. President’s and their support boast of private sector job growth and low unemployment rates, and MSM tells us we are nearing, or at full employment in some cases. That is certainly not the case. We are not close to full employment, nor will we ever be. That’s a good thing.

The reason full employment is a myth is because if we hit full employment that would mean every need has been met, every service has been perfected, and every good created. Logically it makes no sense. The counter argument to that is, that we have all we need now, at this specific moment. But this is about economics, and you have to look at the full picture, not just one specific time period. You can never have enough stuff. One of the greatest things about the free market is that innovation brings about new ideas and products. Items that most of us never new existed. Take “Flex Tape” for example. If you have ever watched day time television, you’ve seen this commercial. Flex Tape is a strong adhesive tape that can be used to repair anything. From holes in pipes to even a boat that has been sawed in half. Who would have thought that there was a need for a product that is essentially just stickier duct tape?

What about cars? We know that cars can do lots of damage to the environment and that emissions from our vehicles plays a small part in climate change. There is an increasing demand for fuel efficient cars, and more environmentally friendly cars. Clearly we have some cars that meet this need, but they are expensive. If we were at full employment, we would have more cars being produced by different manufacturers thus lowering the price of these cars. Not to mention the rapid pace in innovation would have increased with full employment as well.

I don’t believe full employment is impossible. It certainly isn’t probable. A basic understanding economics can take you a long way. It will help you see through the smoke and mirrors of government and media. As you can see, I used no fancy mathematical equations, charts, graphs, or word play. Just simple reasoning. It’s this simple reasoning that can make the difference, even when looking at charts and graphs. If you want to learn more about economic myths I suggest reading the works of Thomas Sowell or Murray Rothbard, both who handle the subject more eloquently.


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