It started with an item from Chris Dillow painting the immigration spike as a symptom of the skills gap using the latest unemployment figures to support the idea. Then Jackart responded with the thesis:
The "skill" in question is the willingness to turn up for work, work for a full day, then turn up again the next day, sober. This "Skill" needs to be repeated 5 times a week, 48 weeks a year.
Chris has now posted over on Liberal Conspiracy something that I can only suppose is meant to be a rebuttal. It lacks somewhat given that all it actually does is throw into the ring a bunch of statistics. Yes it is fair enough to point out that the headline figure includes people who while not "employed" are making themselves useful, keeping house, or worshiping at the temple of knowledge for example, but that doesn't actually counter the key point of Jackart's argument. There are at the core of the figures a number of people who are doing their damndest to avoid acquiring or holding down a job. How long should the welfare state support these people for? Is it just a touch of crypto-fascism within me that means I occasionally agree with those that say that there should be a cut off point after which someone who has no intention whatsoever of being a useful member of society, whether through employment or otherwise should be cut off, completely. And if we go down that route how do we safeguard those that need the help, those that have genuine health problems that prevent them from being part of the workforce for example. Or is this country rich enough that we can afford to keep a few spare humans knocking around for the hell of it and pay economic migrants to do the work instead?
As the title suggests unlike most of these posts where I rant away and make firmly sure you know what I think, on this subject I really don't know my own mind.