Jack Saturday

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 338, 339

What real people didn’t understand was that there is no way to compete against speculators. Speculators aren’t buying homes in which to live—they are buying houses to flip. Speculators aren’t buying corn to eat or oil to burn, but bushels to hoard and tankers to park off shore until prices rise. The fact that the speculative economy for cash and commodities accounts for over 95% of economic transactions, while people actually using money and consuming commodities constitute less than 5% tells us something important. Real supply and demand have almost nothing to do with prices. We do not live in an economy, we live in a Ponzi scheme.
Douglas Rushkoff

FULL EMPLOYMENT has been widely ballyhooed as a corollary of prosperity and social well-being. It is the hope of the politician, and almost full employment is the hope of the businessman and industrialist. It is also a desirable social condition from the viewpoint of the moralist. Furthermore, full employment is in agreement with the social objectives of the engineer, but not in the same sense as for the other three.
The politician in office wants full employment for his constituents. Full employment means that they are all getting an income and are thus able to pay taxes. It also keeps them out of mischief, especially the kind of mischief that leads to social change or even to a change of political administrators. Employment stabilizes people in an area so they do not move around and learn as much about what is going on elsewhere. There is nothing like full employment to tranquilize the people and a placid population is highly desirable to the politician.
The businessman wants full employment, but not quite. Employed people mean customers with money, and what good is business without customers with money? But the businessman wants just enough unemployment so that he can be choosy about the employees he selects for his business. In other words, if employees are relatively abundant, their price value goes down and there is a wider choice. Few things irk a businessman more than to have a scarcity of available employees, which means that he has to take what he can get and has to pay them high wages.
The moralist wants full employment because full employment means that people are earning a "virtuous" living and have more money to contribute to the collection plate and to the charity drives. But he does not want them to have a very high income, otherwise, they might begin to enjoy this life too much and not look forward with enough eagerness to the hereafter.
…When the human being was the principal prime mover, only a small amount of work gravitated to him. This meant that the typical enterprise was in or around the home. When the steam engine was set up, a larger amount of work gravitated to the site of the engine. As a consequence, factories came into being; and the human engine moved to the factory to serve merely as a secondary energy-consuming device to supplement the work of the principal prime mover, the steam engine. When internal combustion engines and hydroelectric power entered the social scene, man became still less important as a prime mover. Today, he is doing less than two percent of the work being done in manufacturing industries.

Since the human being constitutes but a minor fraction of the energy-converting capacity of this Continent, he can be all but ignored in the technological design for full employment. As a prime mover, his rating is so low, his cost so high, and his behavior so unreliable that every time he can be displaced by an electric motor or engine an advance in efficiency, productivity and quality follows. So the technological design for full employment would reduce human toil to a minimum and employ more kilowatt-hours.
A high-energy, balanced load operation is the central idea in the technological design of social operations. The engineer would see that energy is utilized in the most efficient way so as to meet the requirements of abundant living for the whole population. Then he would smooth out the oscillations to an even, balanced load, operating 24 hours per day and 365 day per year. Surplus and inefficient equipment would be reconverted into scrap or something else more useful. The human engine, in so far as is possible, would be retired from productive employment.
Thus, we would have full employment of the most efficient energy converters on the Continent. This would result in a level of production which is impossible when a low-power, low-efficiency converter like the human engine is used. More goods and services would be available to the population and the human being would have much more time and opportunity for self-expression and enjoyment of living.
Politicians will not like this form of full employment. Their capacity for control of energy-consuming devices is limited to the control of inefficient human engines. The control of a high- horsepower engine calls for a technician, not a politician. So, politicians would have to fade out of the social picture in favor of those far more informed and far better qualified.
Businessmen will not like this form of full employment either since business is geared to the distribution of a scarcity. More efficient production would mean the end of scarcity and, hence, of business.
The moralists may not like it, for they would have to develop a dynamic new philosophy of living and place less emphasis on an escapist philosophy based on the concept of misery in this life and abundance and leisure hereafter.
Full Employment
Wilton Ivie
The Northwest Technocrat, 4th quarter 1989, No. 317


  • one hundred years from now, the next generation will view today's employment as we view slavery in the 19th century.


    By Blogger Pipsty, at 10:58 PM  

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