Canada's Head Central Banker Has A Modest Proposal: "You Should Consider Working For Free"

Tyler Durden's picture

Nine short months ago, the clever people running the show in Europe suggested a number of measures including "unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees". 'Unpaid' work sounded a lot like slavery to us then but it seems the arrogance is contagious as Canada - that bastion of freedom - suggests that the employment situation is so bad that young people should consider working for free. As The Globe & Mail reports, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said 'Adult children stuck in their parents’ basements because they can’t find adequate employment should take unpaid work to bolster résumés as they wait for the recovery to take hold'.


Here is Europe in January, the Centre of planning and Economic Research in Greece has proposed a controversial measure in order to deal with the problem of increasing unemployment in the country.

The measure includes unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees. Practically, what is proposed is the abolition of the basic salary for a year. At the same time the “export” of young unemployed persons was also proposed to other countries abroad, as Greek businesses do not appear able to hire new personnel.

And here is Canada today (via The Globe and Mail),

How bad are things in Canada’s job market? Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says bad enough for young people to consider working for free.


Adult children stuck in their parents’ basements because they can’t find adequate employment should take unpaid work to bolster résumés as they wait for the recovery to take hold, Poloz said Monday in Toronto.


The Bank of Canada estimates about 200,000 young people want to work or work more, and Poloz said they may be scarred by prolonged unemployment that prevents them from moving out on their own. He said he’s been asked for advice on how young people can find work.


“Having something unpaid on your CV is very worth it, because that’s the one thing you can do to counteract this scarring effect,” Poloz told reporters was his advice to discouraged youth.

And now Canada shifts to the US "slack" model...

Job market indicators suggest there’s significant slack in the economy even with an unemployment rate that has fallen to the lowest in six years, Poloz said.


“The unemployment rate as it is today overstates the amount of improvement we’ve actually had because in the background there are discouraged worker effects,” Poloz told reporters after the speech.




“Unlike workers with experience who lost jobs during the recession, youth who couldn’t find work during the recession face a much greater challenge,” she said in an e-mail Tuesday. “With little to no experience and major gaps in their resume, they must compete every year for entry-level positions against a new cohort of starry-eyed bushy-tailed recent grads.”

*  *  *

As we concluded previously, whether it’s Europe in the 1930’s or the US during the same period (conflicts between strikers, the National Guard and armed militias), unemployment can create a powerful cocktail of unrest.

So a reminder for Canada's elites, turning your nation's young into slaves does not seem like a good solution to us...

*  *  *

We can't help but see the irony that one hand we have the US president demanding raising minimum wage (i.e riasing the cost of labor for those on the margin of employment) as Canada's leadership see unpaid work (i.e. cutting the cost of labor) as a way to grow employment...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
kowalli's picture

Slavery back, HOOray... oh,wait..


cifo's picture

Not exactly for free, but for karma.


scrappy's picture

Why work for nothing?

Just stop eating.

Sideways Libertarians!

Market efficiency at it's finest.

ZerOhead's picture

It would be even better if the unemployed masses could pay the jobmakers to work for free... you know... considering the resume value and all.

Think for yourself's picture

that's what the volunteering industry is about. Kids will accept stupid reasons for doing menial work and pay hundreds of dollars a week for the privilege of doing so.

Hohum's picture

Without a minimum wage, employers can offer employees as low as $0.01/hour.  13th Amendment problem avoided!

FieldingMellish's picture

I can't see 25-yr-olds being too happy about this.

Seasmoke's picture

If I were them , I would work for a revolution army against any elite over the age of 49.....there will be plenty of PAID jobs at the end of that apprenticeship. 

Atomizer's picture

He must of been referring to his job. If not, drag his ass to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Give him free cement shoes. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

It's a Bank Governor suggesting this.  Who could have guessed?

OW My Balls's picture

Tell him & his entire staff to set a good example & work for free. (Modest proposal)

umdesch4's picture

Well, working in Canada, with the amount I pay in federal and provincial income taxes, federal and provincial sales taxes, property taxes, taxes on those taxes, EI, CPP, medical services plan (whatever happened to our basic health care being free?) and everything else, it's pretty close to working for free as it is.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Well, your Central Bank has an idea to cut out all of that paperwork for you.  Thanks again, Central Banks.

umdesch4's picture

But if my job gets taken over by some kid who takes this advice and is willing to work for free, who's going to pay all these taxes that are apparently so necessary?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Taxes are primarily for the benefit of the bankers.  They already bought everything..  Now is when we get to work for free.

Totentänzerlied's picture

It's bullshit. There's no upshot for bankers. No income = no taxes, no credit (debt), no housing formation. All it does is shift people from the category 'unemployed' to 'underemployed'.

Help Is Not Coming's picture

"It's bullshit. There's no upshot for bankers."

Remember that the REAL problem is the monetary system of "debt as money". If there is no income someone somewhere still has to pay off their debt to the bank with money that no longer exists and is not in circulation. The bank will simply call the note and foreclose on all of the pledged collateral. If they want your property they can either buy it with money you created from your labor and paid back to them or they will just reduce the money supply and take all of your pledged collateral when you can't repay the note. Either way they end up with all your shit.

With our current monetary system it is "Heads they win, Tails you lose".

So I respectfully disagree. There is no downside for the bankers except maybe guillotines.

25or6to4's picture

At least with old school slavery the masters had the decentcy to feed, clothe and house their slaves.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

At least with old school slavery the masters had the decentcy to feed, clothe and house their slaves.

Or prison!...  I think someone needs to ask Israel if this artifact they "obtained" and are putting to good use in Gaza can be put up for auction to the highest bidder?!!! Lord knows a Palestinian knows what it means to work for free?!!!!

Might as well get use to it when your "Masters" have outsourced all your technology for jobs overseas to find the cheapest unit of labor possible when you are no longer productive or affordable through their own actions!!!!

Son of Captain Nemo's picture


If it starts a "revolution" I'll believe it when I see it... But I'll place my bet that it happens in Canada before it ever takes place in the U.S. or U.K. first!

Tall Tom's picture

They do not have the skills to pull it off. They are a lost generation that is deserving of thier starvation.


(Prove me wrong.)

WTFUD's picture


Yes a fed, garmented and sheltered (bar windows ) slave is a healthy happy warm community slave with matching ankle bracelets.

. . but i understand you sentiment.

Osmium's picture

The only thing I can say to this is WTF?  Unpaid work will not help them get out of their parents basements.

flyingcaveman's picture

The recovery is such a sure thing, it will come directly to the basement, might as well wait for it to come to you.

skbull44's picture

"Fuck that," was the way my teenaged daughter responded to Poloz's suggestion when she read it while surfing the Internet this evening.

As an Ontario student, she has already been forced to complete 40 hours of 'voluntary' community service in order to graduate high school.

It's always nice being voluntold to do something.

The elite just keep on finding ways of screwing the little guys...

Global Hunter's picture

I am in Ontario too some of the young lads were telling me about this last summer when I was working with them.  Do private school or home schooled students have to do 40 hours of community service to graduate too or is it just the public school system?  My daughter is only a year old now but I am already thinking ahead, how I can help her opt out of this retarded demeaning scheme.

scrappy's picture

Teach her real life skills. 

The .gov decrees will mean nothing b/c it will not be sustainable by then.

Global Hunter's picture

I suspect you are correct scrappy and felt that way about 4 or 5 years ago but here we are the same freak show marches on so I would hate for her to have doors closed on her in her adult life because she didn't have a piece of paper (graduation diploma).  We definately are going to start out home schooling, I am just thinking ahead and perhaps I am too hung up on the idea of a diploma, there are a few years between now and then.  I would like to keep her out of the meat factories and brainwashing centres that are our schools if I can and or for as long as I can.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I think you are on the right track and wish we had done this. We went the private ( Lutheran) school route and though terribly expensive ( 100K for 2 kids preschool-12th grade) they got a very good education. My eldest did well in college and got a good job before she graduated. My youngest is still in community college trying to figure out what she wants to do but is tenacious and hardworking, unlike many of her peers.

I had wished we had explored home schooling for the amount of money we could have saved but it would have been difficult because my husband and I work full time. I hope your situation would make it easier.


Harbanger's picture

You were ahead of your time, you did the best you could.  That's what matters.  My 5 year old daughter is homeschooled and already knows Algebra and Chemistry.  It's amazing how much and how fast they can learn.  My Wife is conservative and Christian, couldn't do it without her.  I love that woman.

pitz's picture

Let's just say, the quote from Poloz will be something that the NDP and the Liberals will be able to run in advertising against the current government.  Because it is completely offensive and disgusting to expect people, of any age, to work for free.  Of course, Poloz probably doesn't understand that since he's a career public servant who has been more than generously compensated throughout his career and most certainly didn't have to put up with half of the bullshit that the contemporary younger Canadian has to put up with today.

VWAndy's picture

Krugmans utopia?

NihilistZero's picture

In Krugman's utopia they would commit vandalisim, breaking windows for free causing a boom in window repair and public safety spending.

Tall Tom's picture

They need to do more than break windows. Perhaps some full scale arson might be a start?

VWAndy's picture

Free labor? That will do wonders for unemployment.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

Working full time and being paid nothing: Unempaidment

Global Hunter's picture

OK Poloz if I want to make a career for myself as a musician or actor maybe I will join an amateur theatre company or put on some free shows, if I want to work as a NASCAR pit crew member I will try to volunteer with a small local racing team...wait shit I don't see how this is any of the central bank govenors business!  WTF?  

Mind your own business bitch because if you piss the people off too much they might think its more economical use of their time to volunteer looting your house!  

ThroxxOfVron's picture

“With little to no experience and major gaps in their resume, they must compete every year for entry-level positions against a new cohort of starry-eyed bushy-tailed recent grads.” 


'Temporarily' working for free would likely result in many businesses expecting it perpetually from that ever 'new corhort of starry-eyed bushy-tailed recent grads' -and maybe even more so with earlier vintage workers who are losing their starry-eyes and/or bushy tails who have been weathered by the last seven miserable years...

Maybe I just can't understand modern economics as well as some Central Banker/Planner can from their secure and well-paid position at the apex of the oh-so-productive monetary string-pushing system.


VWAndy's picture

I dont think there is anything wrong with your understanding of economics. That other guy thinks he is a God.

Usura's picture

Is Stephen Poloz finally admitting that central banking and government is powerless to deal with these problems?  What a breath of fresh air.  For his next act, perhaps Poloz should come out and admit that Gerald Grattan McGeer was right all along.  

Billy Shears's picture

Does this free "work" include fillng glass bottles full of gasoline and styrofoam and then stuffing in a gas soaked rag?

The Shape's picture

Business don't want to train nobody, so they lobby the government for more skilled migration, the government then tells the locals to work for free.

And in 2015 Canada is projected to have record high immigration.

You couldn't make this shit up.



pitz's picture

Its not even about training.  Today's Canadian youth are the most trained they ever have been.  Its all about the employers feeling an entitlement to get something for nothing.  Which is really disgusting.

The Shape's picture

True. You only have to look at the TFW situation. That's another flood to keep a lid on wages or alternatively ensure they can continue pay a pittance where there is a worker shortage.

Please Mr Govt, exclude us from the market. We shouldn't have to raise our wages to compete when we can source slaves from the third world and double dip by housing them in our rental slums.

ebworthen's picture

Those banks/insurers/corporations are bailed out with the public treasury so they expect free labor too.

The question then becomes why not just pay people to not work so they can buy stuff?

"That's crazy!"  Yeah, but no crazier than bailouts and central bank backstopping.

Moe Hamhead's picture

Imagine how that would look on a resume'.

Probably be expected to work for free from now on.

Freedumb's picture

Perhaps in these unpaid jobs you can learn how to survive off dog food, or how to splice electricity off public power lines, you know, skills for the new economy.

WTFUD's picture

. . . insult to injury. Hang that cunt by the neck until dead.