Young Canadians who are facing long-term underemployment (your humble scribe included) will be pleased to learn that Mr. Stephen Poloz has some advice for us:
“When I bump into youths, they ask me, you know, ‘What am I supposed to do in a situation?’ I say, look, having something unpaid on your CV is very worth it because that’s the one thing you can do to counteract this scarring effect. Get some real-life experience even though you’re discouraged, even if it’s for free,” Mr. Poloz told reporters Monday in Ottawa.”
What a coincidence: my father gave me the same advice a few months ago.
Of course, my father, unlike Stephen Poloz, is not the Governor of the Bank of Canada, but I suppose that it’s too much to expect that the person whose four-hundred-and-thirty-thousand-dollar-a-year job it is to oversee the economy would offer unemployed people something beyond paternal advice. I mean, it’s not like he’s in a position to put a dent in the unemployment rate or anything like that.
He was also a bit mum about a few minor details, such as, for example, what young Canadians are supposed to eat and where they are supposed to sleep while we’re giving our labour away for free over an indefinite period, but I’m sure that he, having a degree in economics, must have some suggestions. Perhaps the Toronto Dominion Bank will generously volunteer to forgive my tuition debts.
Now, this statement isn’t exactly “Let them eat cake” in terms of pithiness, but it’s coming close in terms of sentiment. But what really gets my gall up is the fact that Stephen Poloz, Canada’s top economist, apparently doesn’t even understand basic economics. So what, however many million under- and unemployed Canadians are supposed to start giving their work away for free all at the same time? And this is going to get us all jobs, rather than, for example, driving the unemployment rate up even further since there are apparently millions of people who are willing to work without being paid for it?
Is economics even a real intellectual discipline, or do they just give you degrees and cushy jobs for saying what those in power want to hear? Is there some way I can get in on this scam? Work isn’t working.