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 country's problems is lack of income. Income is enormously important. It determines your standard of living, quality of life, political power and how much freedom you have. Lack of income is the primary cause of most of our problems in education, healthcare, housing, poverty, inequality, crime, political power, low standard of living, neighborhood blight, unemployment, justice.
But the scandal is that people don't lack income because they don't produce enough. They lack income because most of their income is unfairly taken from them. They are exploited.
So the solution to nearly all the country's problems is simple: stop exploitation. The solution is to give people the right to keep 100% of what they produce. Doing this would mean:
- A minimum wage of $115,000 per year
- A minimum wage of $230,000 per year for people who work difficult jobs (science, construction, mining, farming)
- A work week of 20 hours
- Equal ownership
- Income allocated based on what you produce
- A guaranteed job
- An income to go to school
- A guaranteed pension at retirement
Eliminating exploitation would give every worker a job that makes them wealthy, they would no longer lack income.
We can eliminate exploitation by getting Congress 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.
A democratic company is just a company that gives you the right to equal ownership and to keep 100% of what you produce. It is a company that doesn't exploit.
Doing this will give all workers the freedom to choose whether they want to work for a capitalist firm where they are exploited or a democratic firm where they are not.
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 not.
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're not producing enough. They're broke because capitalism is a system that allows a very small minority to unfairly take the majority of the income that workers produce. It's a system that exploits workers.
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.
But more importantly, that is $65 per hour for each hour every worker works or $135,000 in yearly income.
The average worker produces $65 in income per hour but only gets paid $16.57 of it. The average worker loses 75% of their income to exploitation. That's why people lack income.
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. These few then 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.
Doing this would mark the beginning of what Prof. Gar Alperovitz calls the second American Revolution. And making a second revolution happen is surprisingly simple.
One way 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 capitalist firm or at a democratic firm.
A democratic firm is just a firm that is owned democratically. It is owned equally by the workers which enables it to pay workers based on how much they produce. It is a company that doesn't exploit.
So every worker will have the freedom to join a capitalist firm where you are not an owner, where you only get paid a portion of the income you produce, where half of the income you produce is paid to a small group of people who own all the capital, and where what's left is allocated based on how scarce you are resulting in Kim Kardashian getting paid hundreds of times more than brain surgeons.
Or you can join a democratic firm where you're an equal owner and where income is allocated among workers based on how much they produce.
To allocate income based on production, income in the democratic sector would be allocated based on a democratically approved plan that all the companies participate in 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 in full by clicking here, for working just 20 hours per week, as explained here.
How To Give Workers The Freedom of Choice
Capitalism has a monopoly over society and forces everyone to live in it. A free society should have choice. Workers should have the freedom to choose whether they work in a capitalist firm or a democratic firm. The capitalist sector should have to compete against the democratic sector for workers.
In order to give workers that choice, 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 these new democratic companies. The Fed currently gives capitalist firms $90 billion per month and has given them trillions over the years. It is only fair that they do the same for democratic firms.
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 capitalist firm to work at a democratic one.
Investment in the democratic sector will work differently than the capitalist sector. In the democratic sector, nobody gets paid an income for investing their savings. In order to get paid an income, you must work.
Of course, you need investment money to run an economy. But just like we don't need to pay people to print their own money in order to make sure there's a supply of money in the economy, we don't need to pay people to risk their savings in order to make sure there's a supply of investment money in the economy.
Just like the central bank can provide the economy with the necessary supply of money, it can provide the economy with the necessary supply of investment money. Workers don't need to pay a portion of their income to investors. That means all businesses and loans will be funded with public investment funds as explained here.
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.