Posted 11 years ago on July 29, 2012, 1:24 a.m. EST by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom
from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
The entire system of capitalism is unfair because it is based on theft and exploitation and is undemocratic.
Capitalism is based on theft because it is based entirely on the privatization of the planet and its resources.
Since Mother Nature does not have a store where you can purchase the planet, 100% of this privatization came by way of pillage and plunder. Like Mark Twain said, "There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed."
Privatization of the Earth and its resources means you are claiming control over a portion of the planet for your own private benefit to the exclusion of everyone else and using whatever force is necessary to maintain your control. That is theft.
When you privatize a part of the planet, you are stealing that part of the planet from everyone else.
Every single good and service we produce in our economy are produced using these stolen resources. Every single business is essentially trafficking in stolen goods. So our entire economy is actually based on ill-gotten gains.
The planet and its rich resources naturally belong to everyone equally. This gives everyone a natural, equal right to a job converting their planet's resources into useful goods and services and a natural, equal right to get paid fully for that work, as equal owners of the economy, without being exploited.
Capitalism allocates income through the market--a system that pays you based on how much bargaining power you have which is just a nice way of saying how much exploitation you can get away with. Exploitation is using another person's labor without paying them an adequate compensation.
The only way to pay workers an adequate compensation is to pay them 100% of the income, since they do 100% of the work, and to pay them based on how hard they work, which you do by limiting differences in income between workers to only what is necessary to get them to do hard jobs and to give their maximum performance in performance based jobs.
And 97% of workers are getting paid less than that. They are being exploited. Capitalism enables the 3% who have bargaining power to exploit the 97% who do not. It enables the 3% to take most of the income the 97% produce merely because they have more bargaining power. So how do you get bargaining power in a capitalist market? By being lucky or scarce.
Exploitation by the Lucky
One way to get bargaining power in capitalism and to unfairly get paid more than what you produce and contribute is to get lucky in the market. Half of all the income that workers produce gets paid as investment income to a small handful of gamblers who got lucky investing in the market like bankers and entrepreneurs.
Investment income is just welfare for the lucky. It allows guys like Mitt Romney to get paid $20 million per year every year without working a single day merely because he got lucky in the market a few decades ago. Workers produce that $20 million every year, not Mitt Romney.
Investing is gambling and the economy should not be used as a casino. It is unproductive and just robs workers of half the wealth they produce each year. Workers shouldn't have to work for free for 6 months every year just to pay off the gambling winnings of investors.
A system where workers, who produce everything, are paid half the income and a few lucky gamblers, who produce nothing, are paid the other half is absurd.
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 invest 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. We don't need private investors.
Exploitation by the Scarce
The other way to get bargaining power in capitalism and to get paid more than you produce and contribute is to simply be scarce like an athlete or a celebrity.
There is something terribly flawed with a system that pays Kim Kardashian hundreds of times more than a brain surgeon for each hour worked. But since Kim Kardashian is scarce, she has bargaining power that enables her to take more income than everyone else for the same amount of work.
And the more income you pay to the lucky and scarce, the less that can get paid to everyone else. That is how capitalism works. Half of all the income workers produce gets paid to the lucky who do no work and most of what's left over gets paid to the scarce.
The vast majority of the workers who produce everything - the engineers, doctors, construction workers, factory workers, miners, farmers, teachers - have to fight over the few crumbs that remain.
Even though worker productivity is $65 per hour, enough to make every worker wealthy, most workers are broke because they only get paid a tiny fraction of the $65 per hour they produce. Most of that $65 unfairly gets paid to the lucky and scarce.
Of course, the lucky and scarce claim that they are getting paid adequately, that the other workers are not getting exploited because it is fair to pay them 50 to 150,000 times more for being lucky or scarce. But this is nonsense because:
1) They don't work 50 to 150,000 times harder than everyone else. They don't work 50 to 150,000 times the amount of hours or put in 50 to 150,000 times the effort.
2) They didn't earn this money from willing consumers in the market. It is important to understand that when consumers purchase a product, they are not doing it because they love the way that company allocates its revenue among its workers. Consumers do not in any way endorse the way companies allocate income in the economy simply because they buy things.
Yankees fans buy Yankees tickets because they think the GAME is worth the ticket price. That is all. They don't buy tickets because they believe they should make less at their job so that A-Rod, the Yankees third baseman, can make $25 million at his.
When you pay A-Rod $25 million, that is $25 million less that every other worker in the economy can make. If consumers had a direct say on how workers were valued, no worker would ever be able to earn thousands of times more income than another worker because they would never be able to convince consumers to take a huge pay cut at their job in order to pay their inflated salaries.
3) They do not provide 50 to 150,000 times more value than everyone else. Apologists for capitalism claim that people buy Yankees tickets to see A-Rod, not to see the groundskeeper, so A-Rod deserves more pay. But this is simply not true. They do buy tickets to see the work of the groundskeeper so groundskeepers deserve the same pay as A-Rod.
Take away the vendors who provide food while you watch the game, the landscapers who maintain the beautifully manicured field, the camera operators that film the game for television, the thousands of menial workers who deliver that video to your home, and the construction workers who built that palatial stadium.
Take away all those people who supposedly provide relatively little value and who are supposedly not the reason why people buy Yankees tickets and what you have left is a bunch of guys nobody knows playing a game nobody is watching. Without all those workers, millions will not watch Yankees baseball games. They are, along with A-Rod, the reason why people buy Yankees tickets. So they deserve the same pay as A-Rod.
4) There is no economic justification that requires us to pay them this amount in order for the economy to work well. The only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to work harder. We don't need to pay people 50 to 150,000 times more income to get them to work harder.
Capitalism makes society undemocratic. Democracy is a society where people have equal political power and equal freedom. Since your political power and freedom depends on the amount of income you have, paying some 50 to 150,000 times more income than others gives them 50 to 150,000 times more political power and freedom than others. This inequality no longer makes society democratic.
Just like we replaced monarchies, and its private ownership of government, with democracy so the means of law making are publicly owned and controlled for the equal benefit of everyone, we should replace capitalism, and its private ownership of the economy, with democracy so the means of survival are publicly owned and controlled for the equal benefit of everyone.
What Is Fair
Capitalism is an unfair system that steals the planet's resources and pays you based on how lucky or scarce you are. The only fair economic system is socialism, as explained here, which makes everyone an equal owner of the planet's resources and pays you based on how hard you work in converting those resources into useful goods and services.
Socialism is simply a democratic system without exploitation. It's summed up in the slogan, "To each according to their contribution."
It's a system where you have a right to a job and equal ownership of your workplace, where 100% of the income produced is paid to workers (none is paid to investors), and where differences in income are limited to only what is necessary for income to be an effective incentive.