Letter: Jobless problem is here to stay

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The Independent Online
Sir: While I agree with all the points made in your leading article today, I suspect it is probably too late for economic and political tinkering to do much to halt the inexorable rise in unemployment.

I work all over the world with major corporations that have had to become excellent at doing more with less people. Perhaps we shall have to go back to building giant Egyptian-style pyramids to provide employment. In practical terms, this could mean the Japanese model of very efficient export manufacturing, very over-manned services (but not inefficient), gross under-employment of women and virtually no welfare.

The other alternative is to do rather more serious new thinking about the future fundamentals of employment alongside the present piddling political palliative patchwork policies. The end of the recession will not end unemployment. The average wage in Vietnam is pounds 30 a month. China and India will soon come on- stream industrially. There is nothing except Scotch whisky that cannot be made as well, and much more cheaply, elsewhere. Some day I hope to set up a commission to work at such new thinking.

Yours sincerely,


London, W1

19 February