It will get worse

At 19:00 CET on the 22nd of October, Kultura Liberalna hosted a debate on unemployment amongst young Europeans and a crisis of trust in the labour market. This debate was in Polish and took place in Kultura Liberalna’s Poddasze Kultury premises at 15 Chmielna Street, Warsaw.

We are used to regarding economics as a serious and scientific discipline. but is this perception well justified? Six years after the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression broke out, we are still very far, not only from identifying its causes, but above all from finding ways to manage its consequences. Although, some economists claim the crash was brought on by an over-reliance on the free market and a lack of control over financial institutions, many others argue that the market actually worked well and that what caused the recession were excessive regulations.

Such discussions may heat up the universities and the pages of broadsheet journals, but young Europeans – who have, as yet, been worst affected by this crisis – are less and less interested in these arguments. In some countries the level of unemployment amongst this demographichas reached 50 percent and there appear to be only slim chances of any improvementin the near future. “You’ll be worse off than your parents” commentators proclaim. Yet, instead of passively agreeing with the diagnosis, would it not be better to consider how to change this state of affairs?

Who is to blame? Is it, as claimed, young graduates with their unrealistic expectations? Perhaps their schools – these “factories of the unemployed”, as one Polish CEO has described them – which apparently ignore the needs of the labour market? Yet what are these so-called “needs”, which we constantly hear about the market having? What if they are just a smokescreen, covering up a lack of ideas on how to deal with the problem? Do we really have to liberalise labour law and agree to more flexible forms of employment? Such recommendations are sometimes well justified, but where do we have to draw a line? If the apparent “cure” is to entirely dissolve the social security system, which we painstakingly built up, won’t it turn out to be worse than the illness itself?

Who is therefore responsible for the fact that every fourth young European is unemployed – the state, demanding employees, neglected markets, unrealistic schools or all of us and our lack of mental flexibility?

Participants:

Moderator:

Karolina Wigura is the head of Kultura Liberalna’s political department, a Marshall Foundation scholar at the Viennese Institute for Human Sciences and an adjunct employee of the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Sociology. She studied sociology, philosophy and political science at both the University of Warsaw and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and is known for writing Wina narodów. Przebaczenie jako strategia prowadzenia polityki [The Wine of Nations. Forgiveness as a Political Strategy], for which she received the Józef Tischner Prize in 2012.

Unemployment agency

Speakers:

Katarzyna Kasia is a philosopher and graduate of the University of Warsaw’s Department of Philosophy and Sociology. Recipient of a fellowship at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she is the author of Rzemiosło formowania. Luigiego Pareysona estetyka formatywności [The Development of Handicraft. Luigi Pareyson’s Aesthetic Formation] Katarzyna also translates the works of Italian philosophers (such as Pareyson and Vattimo) and writes for Kultura Liberalna, primarily on matters of art and philosophy. Her work for Kultura Liberalna doesn’t, however, end here and she is a member of the editorial team for the journal’s review of philosophical literature. She also works on co-operative projects with Polish radio.

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz is a Polish doctor and Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe [Polish People’s Party] politician. Since 2011, he has been serving as the Polish minister for Work and Society in Donald Tusk’s cabinet. Previously, he worked as an assistant at the Jagiellonen University in Cracow, before in 2010 he was voted onto Cracow’s town council. His father is the Polish ex-health minister, Andrzej Kosiniak-Kamysz.

Peter Szumlewicz is a Polish journalist, author, publicist and editor. A graduate of the University of Warsaw’s Philosophy and Sociology Department, he spent several years editing the magazine Bez Dogmatu and the web portal lewica.pl, for whom he still works as the editor of lewica24.pl. He has been widely published in, amongst others, Przeglądzie, Gazecie Wyborczej, Trybunie and the Polish edition of Le monde diplomatique. He also well known for being a founding member of Krytyka Polityczna and his television work, having featured in numerous TVP programmes since 2010. Recent books from Peter Szumlewicz, include Ojciec nieświęty [Unholy Father] (2012) and Niezbędnik ateisty [Atheist Essentials] (2010).

Joanna Tyrowicz is a senior economist at National Bank of Poland and adjunct professor the University of Warsaw’s Economics Faculty. In addition to these roles, she also works in co-operation with DG Employment and the World Bank. She was educated at both the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the University of Warsaw and has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, Indiana University, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies and IZA, Bonn. She specialises in labour economics.

 

Będzie Wam gorzej.

Bezrobocie wśród młodych Europejczyków i kryzys zaufania na rynku pracy. W środę dwudziesty drugi październiku, po polsku – ul. Chmielna 15, Warszawa.

Jeden z największych bestsellerów tego roku napisał… ekonomista. Szerzej nieznany wcześniej Thomas Piketty z Paryża stworzył monstrualne dzieło o nierównościach. Książka sprzedaje się na całym świecie niczym gorące bułeczki. A to przecież nie jedyne „gorące” nazwisko. Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen – nazwiska ekonomistów wymieniane są dziś z mieszaniną czci i nienawiści, zupełnie jak niegdyś wielkich filozofów polityki.

Nauczyliśmy się uważać ekonomię za poważną i konkretną dyscyplinę. Ale czy ta wiara jest uzasadniona? Sześć lat po wybuchu kryzysu ekonomicznego, największego od czasu Wielkiej Depresji, jesteśmy jak najdalsi od ustalenia jego przyczyn, a tym bardziej metod walki z jego skutkami. Choć część ekonomistów dowodzi, iż załamanie gospodarcze zostało wywołane przez nadmierne zaufanie do wolnego rynku oraz brak kontroli nad niektórymi instytucjami, wielu przekonuje, że rynek zadział dobrze, a przyczyną kryzysu był nadmiar regulacji.

Tego rodzaju spory rozpalają do czerwoności aule uniwersytetów i łamy pism opiniotwórczych, ale coraz mniej interesują tych, którzy załamaniem gospodarczym są najbardziej pokrzywdzeni, czyli młodych Europejczyków. Poziom bezrobocia w tej grupie wiekowej dochodzi w niektórych krajach do 50 proc. a szanse na jego szybkie zredukowanie są niewielkie. „Będziecie mieli gorzej niż pokolenie Waszych rodziców”, oznajmiają analitycy. Zamiast godzić się na taką diagnozę, lepiej zastanowić się jak ten stan rzeczy zmienić.

Gdzie jednak szukać źródeł obecnej sytuacji i czyim receptom zaufać? Czy winne są szkoły, które, ignorując potrzeby rynku pracy, „produkują bezrobotnych”? Młodzi absolwenci, którzy mają zbyt wygórowane wymagania? A może owe zmienne „potrzeby runku” są jedynie zasłoną dymną pozwalającą tłumaczyć brak pomysłów na walkę z problemem? Czy liberalizować kodeks pracy i godzić się na coraz bardziej elastyczne formy zatrudnienia?

Takie – niekiedy dobrze uzasadnione – zalecenia płyną z ust pracodawców, ale gdzie postawić im granicę? Jeśli lekarstwem ma być całkowity demontaż osłon socjalnych, czy nie okaże się ono gorsze od choroby? Kto zatem odpowiada za to, że co czwarty młody Europejczyk nie ma dziś pracy – państwo, pracodawcy, rynek, szkoła, czy… my sami?

Unemployment agency

Prowadzenie:

Karolina Wigura – szefowa działu politycznego. Studiowała socjologię, filozofię i nauki polityczne na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim i Uniwersytecie Ludwiga Maximiliana w Monachium. Adiunktka w Instytucie Socjologii UW. Stypendystka m.in. wiedeńskiego IWM i GMF. Opublikowała książkę Wina narodów. Przebaczenie jako strategia prowadzenia polityki (nagroda im. J. Tischnera 2012).

Goście:

Katarzyna Kasia is a philosopher and graduate of the University of Warsaw’s Department of Philosophy and Sociology. Recipient of a fellowship at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she is the author of Rzemiosło formowania. Luigiego Pareysona estetyka formatywności [The Development of Handicraft. Luigi Pareyson’s Aesthetic Formation] Katarzyna also translates the works of Italian philosophers (such as Pareyson and Vattimo) and writes for Kultura Liberalna, primarily on matters of art and philosophy. Her work for Kultura Liberalna doesn’t, however, end here and she is a member of the editorial team for the journal’s review of philosophical literature. She also works on co-operative projects with Polish radio.

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz is a Polish doctor and Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe [Polish People’s Party] politician. Since 2011, he has been serving as the Polish minister for Work and Society in Donald Tusk’s cabinet. Previously, he worked as an assistant at the Jagiellonen University in Cracow, before in 2010 he was voted onto Cracow’s town council. His father is the Polish ex-health minister, Andrzej Kosiniak-Kamysz.

Peter Szumlewicz is a Polish journalist, author, publicist and editor. A graduate of the University of Warsaw’s Philosophy and Sociology Department, he spent several years editing the magazine Bez Dogmatu and the web portal lewica.pl, for whom he still works as the editor of lewica24.pl. He has been widely published in, amongst others, PrzeglądzieGazecie WyborczejTrybunie and the Polish edition of Le monde diplomatique. He also well known for being a founding member of Krytyka Polityczna and his television work, having featured in numerous TVP programmes since 2010. Recent books from Peter Szumlewicz, include Ojciec nieświęty [Unholy Father](2012) and Niezbędnik ateisty [Atheist Essentials] (2010).

Joanna Tyrowicz is a senior economist at National Bank of Poland and adjunct professor the University of Warsaw’s Economics Faculty. In addition to these roles, she also works in co-operation with DG Employment and the World Bank. She was educated at both the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the University of Warsaw and has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, Indiana University, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies and IZA, Bonn. She specialises in labour economics.