Posted 2 years ago on March 3, 2012, 1:05 a.m. EST by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom
from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
The root cause of nearly all the world's problems is that most people lack income.
It's not lack of Wall Street regulation.
Lack of income is the primary cause of most of society's problems in education, healthcare, housing, poverty, inequality, crime, unequal political power, low standard of living, neighborhood blight, unemployment, unequal justice.
And people only lack income because most of their income is taken from them.
In 2012, the average US worker produced $65 in income per hour but was only paid $16.57 of it. Since workers have very little bargaining power in the market, they aren't paid for 75% of what they produce.
So the solution to nearly all the country's problems is simple: Give people the choice to work for an organization where they have a right to keep 100% of what they produce. Give workers genuine, Lockean property rights where they can keep the full fruits of their labor.
If workers were paid 100% of what they produce, it would mean:
- A minimum income of $115,000 per year
- A work week of just 20 hours
- Getting paid an income to go to school
- A guaranteed pension at retirement
It would make everyone wealthy which would solve most of society's problems.
We can give workers that choice by getting the govt to simply pass a "Jobs Bill" which authorizes the Fed to provide whatever investment money is necessary to launch enough new democratic companies to fully employ everyone who wants to work in one.
These democratic companies would give each worker the right to equal ownership and to keep 100% of what they produce. All income would be paid to workers and paid based on the amount of production they contribute.
They would make up a democratic sector which would then compete against the private sector for workers and customers.
Doing this will give all workers the freedom to choose whether they want to work in the private sector where they lose most of their income or the democratic sector where they don't.
It could create what economics Professor Gar Alperovitz calls the second American Revolution because it would likely mark the end of capitalism. Nobody will want to continue working for a capitalist firm where they are broke when they have the freedom to work in a democratic firm where they are wealthy.
Capitalism Does Not Work
With 50% of the US living in or near poverty, the govt releasing data on wage earners for the first time ever which shockingly shows 50% are making less than $26k, 18% of workers unable to find a full-time job, 55% of workers being wasted in pointless jobs that machines can already do, 1.6 MILLION kids who are homeless, nearly everyone (92%) dissatisfied with the economy, 70% hating their job and 70% having financial problems, it is clear that the economy does not work. Everyone's broke.
But people aren't broke because they aren't producing enough. They're broke because capitalism is a system that allows a few people at the top to take most of the income that workers produce. It's a system that exploits workers.
It's a system where the tiny few who have bargaining power live lavishly by exploiting the many without bargaining power who are left in poverty.
Everyone in the US in 2012 should be wealthy. We produce $15.4 trillion in goods and services every year. That is $50,000 per year for every man, woman and child. That is $200,000 per year for a family of 4.
And that is $65 per hour for each hour every worker works, $135,000 in yearly income per worker.
But because of the way capitalism allocates income, we have a world where most are in poverty instead of a world where everyone is wealthy.
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Capitalism is a system that uses exploitation to concentrate most of the wealth in the hands of the few. This doesn't just cause poverty, it also destroys democracy. Because these wealthy few naturally use their wealth to rule over society. So capitalism always ends in plutocracy, not democracy.
Democracy is a Greek word. But it is not a Greek word for "voting" or "mob rule" or "majority wins." It is Greek for "people power." A modern liberal democracy means political power and freedom rests with everyone equally.
Since everything you do in society requires money, your income determines how much political power you have and determines how much freedom you have.
A person with $1 billion has 50,000 times more power than a person with $20,000 to get someone elected to government or to lobby government to their cause or to use the media to lobby the public to their cause.
And they have 50,000 times more freedom to live how they want--to live in whatever house or neighborhood they want, to drive any car they want, to attend any school they want, to get any medical treatment they want, to pursue any hobby they want, to travel to any place they want or to work any job they want.
A society where some have 50,000 times more political power and freedom than others is not democratic.
Of course, the tiny minority at the top still only have a tiny minority of the vote. But since they use their income to own all the businesses, politicians, governments, and media, they have full control over the public discourse which they effectively use to not only convince the vast majority that the raw deal they are getting is fair, but to also make it taboo to actually question it! So nobody votes what's in their best interest.
How To Make Society Democratic
Just like we replaced monarchies (and its private ownership of government) with democracy so the means of law making are equally owned by and accountable to everyone, we should replace capitalism (and its private ownership of the economy) with democracy so the means of production are equally owned by and accountable to everyone.
One way to do this is to get the Fed to fund a network of democratic companies so workers have the freedom to choose whether they want to work at a privately-owned capitalist firm or at a worker-owned, democratic firm.
Capitalism doesn't exist because it is such a great deal for everyone. It's a terrible deal for most. It exists because there is no alternative. It has a monopoly over the economic system. If it had to compete against a democratic system, it would lose.
In capitalism, half of all income is paid to owners of capital. How much you get of that depends on how much you have to invest and how lucky you are investing. The other half is paid to workers. How much you get of that depends on how scarce your skills are.
So in the private sector, income is allocated based on how wealthy, lucky or scarce you are. It's a system where a lucky, wealthy few take the vast majority of income and where Kim Kardashian and baseball players get paid a hundred times more than brain surgeons.
That's no way to run an economy. And that's why our economy has so many problems.
In the democratic sector, every company is owned democratically which means they're owned equally by all workers. That enables it to pay 100% of the income to workers and pay workers based on how much production they contribute.
No income is paid for investing your private savings. If you want to get paid, you have to produce. In order to produce, you have to work. And income wouldn't be paid to workers based on how scarce they are. Instead, they are paid based on how much they produce. How much you produce depends on how hard you work.
So income would be allocated based on a democratically approved plan that all the companies participate in, that pays all income to workers, and that limits differences in income between workers to only what's necessary to get them to do hard jobs and give their maximum performance in performance based jobs. Doing this would pay workers from $115,000 per year to $460,000 per year, as explained here, for working just 20 hours per week, as explained here.
In order to give workers the choice of working for a democratic firm, we just need to elect people to govt who will pass a "jobs bill" (a politically feasible idea) that will authorize the Fed to fund enough new democratic companies to employ everyone who wants to work in one. The Fed currently gives capitalist firms $90 billion per month and has given them trillions over the years. It's only fair that they do the same for democratic firms.
This can also be done at the state and local level. They can contribute to funding new democratic companies and also get their govt to buy from them.
Since workers would get a much better deal in a democratic firm, it would likely be the end of capitalism. Most workers would quit their private firm to work at a democratic one.
A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM WORKS
A democratic system of labor-owned firms works. Mondragon, the most notable example, is a collection of 250 companies with 100,000 workers that has out-competed capitalist firms for 50 years. Economics professors Gar Alperovitz and Richard Wolff are popular advocates of this system who study the success of thousands of labor-owned firms in the US and elsewhere.
The most notable academic research was done by Stanford University which showed co-ops to be 6-14% more productive than capitalist firms and at worst just as efficient (page 16).