ISSUE 1878 — 1 October 2303

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sweden beats unemployment

wedish President, Veronica Nlund today unveiled her radical new plan to resolve the nation's chronic unemployment problem. Under the unconventional plan, working hours will be linked inversely to the unemployment rate. That is, when unemployment rises, official working hours will be reduced. Punitive measures will also be introduced to discourage overtime and other methods that may be used by companies and staff to circumvent the policy.

The plan will be implemented by the Department of Prosperity headed by Prosperity Minister Matts Mulway. Initially, working hours will be revised quarterly as the program is phased in cautiously. But after two years, revisions are expected to be made on a monthly basis in concert with dynamically delivered unemployment figures. The ultimate goal is to sustain a true unemployment rate of around two per cent.

The program is strongly based on a mathematical formula developed by the department. For example, when unemployment rises by half a percent, working hours can be reduced by 15 minutes (the aim being to restore equilibrium). To ensure compliance with the plan, stronger penalties and disincentives for overtime will also be introduced.

The formula is based on the following equation, though it is certain to be finessed and fine-tuned during the next few years:

equation stating that working hours equals x minus y over two, where x is current working hours and y is the unemployment rate

President Nlund, in her explanation to the parliament, said "the notion of unemployment is an artificial construct of modern economics. 10,000 years ago, there was no such thing. That is, when a village's workers finished the necessary chores and tasks, they stopped work. If it only took four hours to pick an apple orchard, then work finished. Every single able worker was employed to get the available work done, rather than having anyone excluded.

"In other words, all capable workers laboured until all the work was completed. There was no such thing as the '30 hour week' or the 'six hour day' - notions which today exclude many able and willing workers from the labor market. My government's new economic plan, my government's new employment blueprint, acknowledges this reality and addresses it.

"Sweden, on this historic day, announces this plan with great pride, and sincerely hopes it solves this protracted problem not only here, but offers a model that other countries around the world might care to investigate."

President Nlund denied the plan was a response to the rapidly spreading worldwide protest message that "overtime steals jobs." Anti-capitalism groups have been spreading this mantra and it has taken hold across the world. Governments have been unable to ignn jj i u y yyyy yy tzz zzz zz zzz zh jgrf sdopiutr as 8488 98898= 88 7 5 3 5 6 66555 54 ||\\|| [[[[// ERROR ...

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Issue number one was precast on 1 September 2001

Senior Dimensionist (21st century): David Tyrer

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