If a person's better off on the dole than at work, we have a problem
Sometimes when people write about economics, it is easy to forget that behind every economic statistic is a personal story.
Each sanitised economic figure when shorn of its personal testimony rarely reveals much. That is the point of aggregated data: it serves to dehumanise. But this process misses the central political point, which is that each economic data publication should move us to think about the society we live in because each figure is a father, mother, husband, wife, daughter, brother or sister.
Behind this antiseptic world of economic data are the human stories, perhaps most poignant when we are talking about people who have no work.