The Western world has long depended for its standard of living on having an educated workforce and technical know-how not available in the rest of the world. This position is fast being eroded as developing nations catch up.
The Western world is profligate in its use of natural resources and must urgently move towards sources of energy, industrial processes and lifestyles which are sustainable and non-polluting.
A series of short term measures and electoral bribery have given us an unstable economy while key issues have not been addressed.
It is a paradox of our present economic system that although there is a shortage of jobs there is no shortage of work to be done.
Liberals do not believe that the solution lies in the creation of a low wage economy. Our proposal is the introduction of properly funded and planned Community Employment Schemes paying real wages for real work and concentrated on improving local environments through building and maintenance projects.
In a fast changing world, employment opportunities are greatly enhanced by the availability of training and by flexible patterns of work. Wider use of job sharing, a more flexible approach to retirement and workplace childcare facilities would all help to increase people's employment options.