Should governments be held responsible for unemployment?
The following question was asked on IELTS (General module) test held in Brisbane, Australia.
To what extent do you think governments should be held responsible when problems of homelessness and unemployment arise?
Countries where social welfare schemes are properly implemented by the governments don’t have high levels of homelessness or unemployment. In fact when a country has a large number of homeless and unemployed people, it is a clear indication that something is wrong with the way it is governed. But can governments be held completely responsible for loss of jobs and homes? Let’s examine.
Both internal and external factors can have a significant effect on a nation’s economy. A good government should be able to control the internal conflicts that might be causing joblessness and homelessness. However, no government in the world can effectively control external affairs. For example, a lot of people lost jobs due to the economic crisis in 2008. Although recession was mainly in the US, its effect was felt all over the globe. In fact, the US recession caused job loss in countries like India and China. It affected India’s booming outsourcing industry. And because it was an external factor, the governments in India or China couldn’t do anything to ease its ramifications.
Nonetheless, there are many things that governments can do to reduce the severity of these problems and protect their citizens. Most governments have enough money in their coffers to ensure basic amenities like food and shelter. Governments collect taxes from the wealthy people. If this money is effectively used it will significantly improve the living standards of the poorer sections of the society. If a government fails to do it, it is either apathetic or inefficient.
In India, for example, the government has launched several schemes to provide housing and employment to people. Although the country still faces these problems, the situation has considerably improved in recent years. This is a clear indication that political willpower and proper governance can improve the economic status of a country and its people.
After analyzing the situation, it is difficult to arrive at the conclusion that governments can be held completely responsible for problems like job loss and unemployment. Of course, the governments have a role to play in easing these problems, but factors outside the control of a government too can upset a nation’s financial status.