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JOBS

 

Lots of people today are unemployed even though they are willing--even desperate--to work reasonably. So why are they unemployed? It's because no employer can make a profit by hiring them (and no non-profit organization or government has enough money to hire them because Big Money controls how the money for these organizations is budgeted).

 

In an egalitarian society there would be no involuntary unemployment. Instead of being based on profit the economy would be based on those who work reasonably producing things and services for each other and sharing them freely with each other according to need and reasonable desire (not buying or selling them.) Anybody looking for work could just pitch in where others were already working. This would mean either that everyone could work less there and produce the same amount and enjoy more leisure, or people could work the same as before and produce more. The decision would be made democratically by those in the local community who are for equality and mutual aid (the egalitarians, in other words the great majority of people).

 

If somebody couldn't pitch in anywhere because they lacked the necessary skills or knowledge, then they could attend school or be an apprentice to learn what they needed to learn and this would count as reasonable work so they would still be able to have for free the things and services that they reasonably need or desire, just like anybody else.

 

Of course somebody who was not willing to work reasonably would not have any right to the fruits of the economy (they would be, essentially, beggars.) What is or is not "reasonable" work would be decided democratically by the egalitarians in the local community. Undoubtedly they would think that children, retired people and those unable to work would be counted as people doing reasonable work even though they did no work. People taking care of children or anybody else would be considered as doing reasonable work. But somebody who most people would expect to do some work but who simply refuses, with an attitude of "work is not for people like me--I'm special," would no doubt be excluded from the category of "those who work reasonably" and be denied its benefits.

 

If you still think we need rich people to create jobs, please read this little parable: "No Jobs on this Island."

 

 

ON THE JOB: WORKING CONDITIONS, PAY AND BENEFITS & MANAGEMENT DECISIONS

 

Most workers in the world, including in the United States, are paid way too little compared to what they deserve and their working conditions are worse than what they could and should be. This is because businesses are operated by the owners (the capitalists) to make a profit. Profit comes from paying workers less than the value their labor adds to the commodity they produce. When the capitalist claims to own the commodity that other people (the workers) produced, and keeps all of the money he/she gets from selling it, it is theft--legalized theft.  This is why. When the capitalist sells the commodity part of the price he/she gets for it corresponds to the part of its value that was added to it by the workers but for which the workers were not paid: this is the profit. The profit is equal to the price obtained for the commodity (which is, on average, its true value when sold in the market place) minus the cost of production (what the capitalist had to pay for wages and benefits and working conditions, plus what he/she had to pay for raw materials and machines and machine maintenance and work space and software etc.). If the capitalist returned to the workers (in the form of wages and benefits and good working conditions) all of the value they added to the commodity, then the cost of production would rise to the point of being equal to the selling price of the commodity. There would be no profit for the capitalist. Capitalism--producing for profit--must therefore deprive workers of what they are rightfully owed--the entire value that they add to commodities. This is why we need to abolish capitalism with an egalitarian revolution.

 

In an egalitarian society run only by egalitarians (i.e., people who support the values of equality, democracy and mutual aid, in other words the great majority of people), the question of how much workers should be paid does not even arise. Why not? Because workers are not paid a wage or a salary. People who work reasonably are all--equally--allowed to take--for free--whatever products or services they want according to need or reasonable desire; scarce things are rationed according to need in an equitable manner determined by all the egalitarians in the local community democratically. Who decides what is "reasonable" and what is an "equitable manner"? These are decided by all of the egalitarians in the local community democratically, and only by them--not by any "higher" governmental body.

 

Management decisions--what to produce, how to produce it (including working conditions and whether or not to work on holidays), who to give (not sell!) the product or service to--are, today, made by capitalists for the purpose of maximizing profits. Making retail workers work on holidays such as Thanksgiving is one particularly outrageous example of how we live under a dictatorship of the rich. In an egalitarian society all the workers in an economic enterprise are equals--there is no "owner" who bosses the "employees" around. The workers in an enterprise democratically make all of the decisions that, today, are made by the owners of the business (or their paid managers.) These decisions are made in the context of a government based on voluntary federation (described below). This means that the final authority on how the resources of a local community are to be used rests in the local assembly, at which all the egalitarians of the community (and only they) are invited to determine, as equals, the policies that particular economic enterprises must adhere to. These policies in turn implement the egalitarian principle that decisions about what products and services to produce, their quality and manner of production and the people they are given to (not sold!) reflect the values of equality and mutual aid.

 

Local assemblies mutually agree with other local assemblies to share products and services among all who work reasonably according to need and reasonable desire. We call this a "sharing economy." Each local assembly, when deciding what is reasonable for its community, will want to make decisions that are seen as reasonable by the other local communities, because otherwise the mutual agreement to share products and services among many local communities would come to an end, to everybody's disadvantage.

 

These mutual agreements among local communities are facilitated by the local assemblies sending delegates to meet with delegates from other assemblies and to hammer out proposals for the local assemblies to carry out or not as the local assemblies wish (the delegates craft proposals--they do not write laws!). In practice, there is back and forth negotiating between local assembliies and the delegates crafting a proposal, until a proposal is worked out that enough assemblies agree with to make it actually happen. We call this kind of government "voluntary federation."

 

In an egalitarian society the workers would no longer be taken advantage of by a wealthy capitalist class claiming--wrongly!--to own everything that people need to produce the products and services we need or desire. Workers would be the equal of everybody else, and would participate in making all the decisions that today are made by the capitalist class. Instead of profit-driven decisions making the lives of working people worse than they should be, decisions will be made by working people themselves to make life as safe and secure and enjoyable for everybody as humanly possible.

 

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READ THE BOOKS IN THE "NO RICH AND NO POOR" SERIES

 

Articles by Dave Stratman

Articles by John Spritzler

Turn the World Upside Down (John Spritzler's blog #1)

End Class Inequality (John Spritzler's blog #2)

 

Books

We Can Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life by Dave Stratman

The People as Enemy: The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II by John Spritzler

NO RICH AND NOPOOR: The Populist Goal We CAN and Must Win

DIVIDE AND RULE: The "Left vs. Right" Trap