“The Young are too Fussy.”

When presented with a problem, the implications of which the left don’t like, their response is usually to malign the “right-wingers” asking the question and pretend the problem doesn’t exist, rather than deal with any issues raised. Do you need an example? Claude at ‘Hagley Road to Ladywood’, one of my favourite lefty blogs, helpfully provides.

Our young people are too fussy when it comes to jobs”.

…And the evidence for that would be…?

Jack, of course, because it’s the typical sweeping generalisation that you hear with increasing frequency from the kind of people who 1) don’t appreciate their luck and 2) have a tendency to hear one anecdote and generalise.

Like “media personality” Janet Street Porter, or Frank Field MP on last Thursday’s BBC Question Time – the latter telling the story of some stroppy kids grunting that for less than £300 a week they wouldn’t even consider a job.

And so the Daily Mailers of this world hear an anecdote or two like that, and voila’…the hundreds of thousands of young people toiling away for shit wages in assorted pubs, supermarkets, Greggs, Starbucks and the rest turn into ghosts.Link

Absolutely. Most people have learned that to get a good job, you must first hold down a shitty one. But in London, try getting your coffee served by a native-born English Barrista. In East Anglia, you will almost never find an English-born vegetable-picker. Not that immigration is a problem, quite the opposite, but in high wage areas, the problem is that benefits are too generous relative to take-home wages and living costs. Benefits are too difficult and bureaucratic to get to risk losing them by taking insecure or seasonal work. The combination of these mean the low-skilled who qualify for benefits, won’t risk them by taking insecure jobs which result in the same or even lower take-home pay.

Surely rather than high minimum wages which in the long run reduce the supply of low-skilled jobs, why not reduce non-wage costs like National Insurance? Why not simplify and flatten out of work benefits, and ensure sensible marginal withdrawal/tax rates (which are at some points up to 107%) mean that it is always significantly better to be in work than not?

And so does the increasing army of bogus “self-employed” people, many of them youngsters with no pension rights, sickpay or holiday pay (check out the hairdressers trade, for an idea), forced to call themselves “self-employed” just so that their employer can dodge national insurance and every other obligation.

So, what Claude is complaining about here is that people have found a way round the huge non-wage costs, by hiring self-employed people where possible. People take these jobs (like me) because they might be all that’s available, and eventually we come to enjoy the flexibility and control they often offer. Some people value flexibility and control over working hours

Not to mention, the millions whose email inbox these days contains more job rejection messages than spam. Because, in case you didn’t know, it’s official news that in parts of Britain “[a]lmost 80 unemployed people are chasing each job“.

I have never, once, ever successfully applied for an advertised job. I’ve gone “temp to perm” and once I had marketable skills, I speculatively hawked my CV around and had a position open up for me.

Nah. You heard it. Janet Street Porter said it. “Our young people are too fussy when it comes to jobs”. “They don’t try hard enough”. “They’re picky”. “They don’t pull their finger out”.

Janet Street Porter is undeniably Ghastly. But “they don’t pull their finger out” put more sympathetically perhaps means “they” don’t know how to find work, and quite understandably get disheartened by the rejection letters. I don’t blame the young people. I blame (if anyone) school careers advisers who think finding work in the private sector is the same as applying for a teaching post, and who don’t teach how to find work in the modern world.

I don’t know about you. But I don’t know one single person who only accepted jobs strictly related to their studies, or that didn’t settle pretty much straightaway for something well below their expectations. Not one.

I know lots of educated erudite people, all of whom are successfully employed in some way or another. Unlike your average leftie however, I don’t assume myself and my social milieu to be representative of the general population. Economists call what Claude is doing here the “availability heuristic”.

And you can be sure Janet wouldn’t like it if cliches were thrown about that people develop her kind of mindset from hanging around too many golf clubs or “dinner parties”. And where, while munching on a canape or two, you hear anecdotes from some other media guru whose posh kid called Camilla, Rupert or Hubert is still travelling around the world while waiting for the perfect job offer to follow their successful degree in PR.

You’re suggesting Janet Street-Porter is posh? Can there be such low-expectations! I love the scare quotes around “dinner parties”. But why not around “Golf Clubs”? “Munching on Canapes”? “Posh Kids called Camilla, Rupert or Hubert”? “Travelling around the world”? “Degree in PR”? Generalisations: don’t they just sound hateful? Oh. Only when it’s a generalisation you disagree with, eh, Claude? Finally, I doubt Janet Street Porter, or any actual posh people give a shit what the proles think of them. Neither do the “middle class” which is regularly and systematically demonised and ridiculed as selfish, grasping, sharp elbowed.

Generalisations: don’t they just sound hateful?

Yes, Claude they do. But lefties don’t spot their own hypocrisy even when you beat them round the face with it.

The fact is Claude and his ilk have opposed anything to make the problem of job hunting easier for the young and low-skilled. Removing job protection and reducing non-wage costs increases the supply of jobs. Minimum wages and expensive job protection mean the low-skilled are priced out of the labour market, probably permanently. He opposes any reform of the Benefits system, Especially when done by Tories. Labour MP, Frank Field comes in for demonisation for daring to suggest reforms which might help solve the problem, and are pretty much identical to those proposed by (savage right-winger) Iain Duncan-Smith. It’s against the rules of the Tribe to work with the hated, vicious enemy.

Left-wing solutions like raising minimum wages and job protection legislation appear to be doing “something” and may even be popular. But they don’t work, at best they increase structural unemployment. At worst, they’re the reason why fifteen percent of our population will probably never have a job. That’s it Claude, you and your middle-class, safely employed buddies (you said it…) keep your boot on the face of the scum, whilst pontificating about “Daily Mailers” whom you’re accusing of the same. Incidentally the Daily Mail, hateful though it is, is the paper of choice of the thousands of small businessmen, who are ACTUALLY providing jobs. Enjoy your circle-jerk over clean consciences. Pull up the drawbridge behind you, there’s a good chap.

Update. Hagley road to ladywood’s comment policy reads “Comments that contain racist, homophobic or generally abusive or insulting language won’t be published. Same with non-constructive, inflammatory stuff.” Both the truncated version of this post, and a subsequent comment have dissapeared. I guess, like most lefties “free speech” means “free speech for those who agree”. They really don’t like it up ’em, do they?

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