No Jobs and No Oil: The Unsustainability of Full Employment and Cheap Energy (2010)
Cheap Energy and Oil Employment Dissertation – Industrial capitalism functions because of an equilibrium in the supply and demand of two crucial commodities: jobs and oil. Without either of the two, societies based upon such an economy will crumble. Capitalist society requires new markets and industries which must constantly be found to enable economic growth and to replace jobs lost by technical efficiencies.
But what if the supply of jobs cannot increase forever, but the demand for new jobs continues to grow? Industrial society is also dependent upon the supply of cheap energy. In the 19th Century, following the growing use of coal, an even denser, cheaper and abundant source of energy was tapped in the form of oil – industrial society flourished.
We’ve now become complacent upon our supply of energy. But what if the supply of oil cannot increase forever, but the demand for more oil continues to grow? The conclusion is simple: full employment and high energy consumption cannot be sustained. The death of industrial capitalist society as we know it is unavoidable.
Capitalist societies may be plagued with numerous ailments, inequalities and conflicts, yet they are generally coherent – they function. Whilst no doubt not the only aspects which make them functional, their existence is extremely dependent upon two things: wealth distribution and cheap energy. Without wealth distributed to an individual, it is impossible for them to buy things.
If an individual is unable to buy the basic necessities for life, then either they will die or they must reject wider society and provide those necessities in other ways, for example through a subsistence lifestyle. Jobs provide the main form of wealth distribution for industrial capitalist societies. Although benefit systems distribute wealth to a minority of jobless individuals, they are funded by taxing the jobs of others.
Unless a completely different system of wealth distribution were adopted, without a high level of employment industrial capitalist society would collapse. Therefore, industrial capitalist society – the society in which we live – is dependent upon jobs.
- 10,000 words – 36 pages in length
- Excellent use of literature
- Good analysis of subject area
- Well written throughout
- Ideal for sociology students
1: An Autobiographical Introduction
2: Industrial Capitalist Society: the importance of jobs and oil
3: Why The Supply Of Jobs & Oil Must Continually Grow
4: Emerging, Disruptive Technologies: the unsustainability of new jobs
5: The Peak Of Oil Supply: the unsustainability of cheap energy