How Capitalism can make itself work for everyone?

Capital


Disclaimer: The Public Economist does not necessarily agree with the views expressed. It is fourth in the series of seven pieces which Gary has generously agreed to share with TPE.

At death, individuals should be discouraged from passing on their wealthy estates to their heirs. Instead, as a substitute for inheritance and gift taxes, impose a transfer tax on the recipients whose holdings exceed $1 million in value, thus encouraging the super-rich to spread out their monopoly-sized estates to all members of their family, friends, servants and workers who helped create their fortunes, teachers, health workers, police, other public servants, military veterans, artists, the poor and the disabled.

As for education, we should re-established the extension of public K-12 to include tuition-free public colleges and universities, and trade schools, for those students who meet the minimum academic requirements.
The reality is that, except for a relative few, the majority of the population, no matter how well educated, will not be able to find a job that pays sufficient wages or salaries to support a family or prevent a lifestyle, which is gradually being crippled by near poverty or poverty earnings. Thus, education is not the panacea, though it is critical for our future societal development. And younger, as well as older people, will increasingly find it harder and harder to secure a well-paying job — for most, their ONLY source of income —and will find themselves dependent on taxpayer-supported government welfare, open and disguised or concealed.
For decades employment opportunity in the United States was such that the majority of people could obtain a job that could support their livelihood, though, in most cases related to a family today, it requires the father and mother to both work, if they aspired to live a “middle-class” lifestyle. With “Free Trade” those opportunities began to disintegrate as corporations sought to seek lower-cost production taking advantage of global cheap labor rates and non-regulation, as well as lower tax rates abroad. This resulted in a chain reaction forcing more and more companies to outsource in order to stay competitive (thus the rise of Communist China, India, Mexico, and other third-world nation economies).
At the same time, tectonic shifts in the technologies of production were exponentially occurring (and continue to do so), which resulted (and continues to result) in less job opportunities as production was shifted from people making things to “machines” (the non-human factor) of technology making things. The combination of cheap global labor costs and lower, long-term-invested “machine” costs has forced the worth of labor downward, and this will continue to be the reality. Our only way to far greater prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice is to embrace technological innovation and invention and the resulting human-intelligent machines, super-automation, robotics, digital computerized operations, artificial intelligence (AI) ,etc. as the primary economic engine of growth.
This will require a highly educated workforce employed in the development and building of a future economy that can support general affluence for EVERY citizen.
For decades employment opportunity in the United States was such that the majority of people could obtain a job that could support their livelihood, though, in most cases related to a family, it eventually required the father and mother to both work, if they aspired to live a “middle-class” lifestyle. Higher education was not typically required. But today and into the future, higher education, including advanced trades learning, will be required to compete with students globally.
With “Free Trade,” employment opportunities began to disintegrate as corporations sought to seek lower-cost production taking advantage of global cheap labor rates and non-regulation, as well as lower tax rates abroad. This resulted in a chain reaction forcing more and more companies to outsource in order to stay competitive (thus the rise of Communist China, India, Mexico, and other third-world nation economies).
At the same time, tectonic shifts in the technologies of production were exponentially occurring (and continue to do so), which resulted (and continues to result) in less job opportunities as production was shifted from people making things to “machines” (the non-human factor) of technology making things. The combination of cheap global labor costs and lower, long-term-invested “machine” costs has forced the worth of labor downward, and this will continue to be the reality. Our only way to far greater prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice is to embrace technological innovation and invention and the resulting human-intelligent machines, super-automation, robotics, digital computerized operations, etc. as the primary economic engine of growth.
While the rate of technological progress is directly proportional to the number and quality of the people engaged in the fields of science and engineering, economic policy is the mechanism that fuels investment and development of technological innovation and invention. This is where education is critical to our future societal development.
Education should be encouraged and expanded. Everyone should have the opportunity to personally develop their own exceptional innate abilities and unlock their creativity. That, for many Americans, means the opportunity to earn a college or university degree.
But except for the personal development benefit to advancing one’s education, the reality is that far less “educated” people will be necessary in the long term to produce the products and services necessary and valued by society. This is due to the exponential development of human-level artificial intelligence, which is embodied in advanced automation and robotics.
Those college graduates who do succeed within the fields of science and engineering are hired workers to do what? Our scientists, engineers, and executive managers, who are not owners themselves of the companies they work for, except for those in the highest employed positions, are encouraged to work to destroy employment by making the capital owners’ assets more productive. How much employment can be destroyed by substituting machines for people is a measure of their success––always focused on producing at the lowest cost.

Gary Reber

Gary Reber

Gary is Founder, Director at For Economic Justice. He is Editor-in-Chief at Widescreen Review. He Studied Binary Economics at UC Berkeley, Planning and Economic Development at the University of Stockholm, Economic & Political Development at Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and Urban Planning at the University of Cincinnati, DAAP.

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