With right around 10% unemployment, there seems to be enormous latent potential for productivity that would need primarily a central organizing body. We’re talking about lost potential of ~500M man-hours per week! Isn’t there any way to reap benefit from that?

Have the unemployed do work for cities and towns, stuff that everyone wants done, but doesn’t have sufficient economic incentive under the normal capitalist status quo: painting the town library, building shelters for the homeless, beautifying city parks and streets. Or have them use the time online wisely: organized contribution to wikipedia and other knowledge bases, online charity work, transcription of great works into digital form, etc.

Now I’m not unemployed, I never have been, and I hope to never be. But I can’t imagine anything worse than feeling like somehow all my skills are going to waste just because external forces are keeping me from making a living using them. It seems that a sense of accomplishment and pride would go a long way to helping the depressing downtime associated with waiting for calls back to interview in a great recession.

Thought Partner: Steve Pavlina