Thursday, December 8, 2016

If They're Starting To Even Consider This...

...Then you know more and more of the folks who make decisions in the halls of power are seeing cracks in the current economic operating system.

And as they are desperate to preserve it no matter what you can imagine the depth of their concern if they are willing to start sending trial balloons like this into the air. I mean, seriously? Free money in the land of "hard work" trumps all?

And whether it would work or not, as a practical matter, especially if the holders of capital, and large stakes in specific commerce, were not also willing to take a corresponding cut in profit margins (however you might do that through taxes or outright legislative limits to prices), is a very big, questionable proposition. And the thing is, something like that would have to be contemplated because Capitalism works within a specific range of parameters. That is just the way it is. This is why so many other attempts to keep it while also pursuing more socially equitable redistributions of output (as with Communism, or the various flavors of Socialism -- the two are quite different no matter what the Right Wing of politics tries to tell you) rarely work, or rarely work for very long; especially when overall global competition is always ratcheting up.

This is why you truly have to start over in coming up with a viable alternative to this operating system. Starting over so that you can take the technological change that has put those cracks into the current system and use it in a completely different, and more advantageous way for everyone. And in that there must necessarily be a complete rethink on how we do production and distribution; indeed a rethink on the ongoing viability of money itself and the factory mentality of social organization that has been the mark of Capitalism.

This is where we are at. A precipice of some very stark choices. More and more of those in the halls of power know this, even if you do not. You would do well to educate yourself if you don't understand this. Those cracks are true fault lines and the pressure is building. It is not a question of if they will release that pressure, only rather of when.

DEC 7 2016, 2:59 PM ET

Is Universal Basic Income the Answer to an Automated Future?