On January 26, 2013, Erin Hatton writes in The New York Times:
Politicians across the political spectrum herald “job creation,” but frightfully few of them talk about what kinds of jobs are being created. Yet this clearly matters: According to the Census Bureau, one-third of adults who live in poverty are working but do not earn enough to support themselves and their families.
A quarter of jobs in America pay below the federal poverty line for a family of four ($23,050). Not only are many jobs low-wage, they are also temporary and insecure. Over the last three years, the temp industry added more jobs in the United States than any other, according to the American Staffing Association, the trade group representing temp recruitment agencies, outsourcing specialists and the like.
Low-wage, temporary jobs have become so widespread that they threaten to become the norm. But for some reason this isn’t causing a scandal. At least in the business press, we are more likely to hear plaudits for “lean and mean” companies than angst about the changing nature of work for ordinary Americans.
The reality is that full employment is not an objective of businesses. Companies strive to keep labor input and other costs at a minimum. Private sector job creation in numbers that match the pool of people willing and able to work is constantly being eroded by physical productive capital’s ever increasing role. Over the past century there has been an ever-accelerating shift to productive capital––which reflects tectonic shifts in the technologies of production. As businesses strive to keep labor input and other costs at a minimum, low-wage and temporary employment is sought and/or human-intelligent machines, super-automation, robotics, biobotics, digital computerized operation, etc––the non-human factor of production.
Most Americans are not earning enough income to properly support themselves and their families. The country is experiencing a widening divide between an elite income class with well-paid salaries and dividend and capital gain income from stock ownership and low-pay wage earners and those dependent on taxpayer-supported government welfare funded by extracting taxes and incurring national debt.
This situation will continue to worsen. Americans need to WAKE UP and realize that the FUTURE is one of technological unemployment and underemployment. As private sector job creation continues to deteriorate most American incomes will decline, which will result in a downturn in the economy as there will be fewer and fewer “customers with money” to purchase the products and services society needs and wants. The result: no or significantly reduced opportunity for income.
In the past decade and previous to that Americans were increasingly relying on CONSUMER DEBT to finance homes, cars, vacations, education, and their material affluence. This is the worst debt because it does not generate its own income stream to pay for its self unlike applying the logic of corporate finance, which is self-financing and asset-backed credit for productive uses to grow the economy. People invest in capital ownership on the basis that the investment will pay for itself. Ordinary Americans are shut out of this opportunity because our financial institutions require a form of loan security and relay on “past” savings and equity, which ordinary Americans, and by that I mean the majority, do not have. What is need our proposals to free economic growth from the slavery of “past” savings.
The new reality of technological unemployment is not going to go away. This reality is the result of technological innovation and invention, tectonic shifts in the technologies of production, and an obsolete union movement stuck in job creation and “more pay for less work” instead of bargaining for employee ownership and increased incomes resulting from dividends earned as stock owners in corporate America.
We need REAL solutions, which combine JOBS CREATION and OWNERSHIP CREATION.
Democrats and Republicans need to represent the well-being of ALL Americans with a priority on strengthening the economy and significantly generating income for ALL Americans.
There is a solution, which will result in double-digit economic growth and enable ordinary Americans to become affluent. The Just Third Way Master Plan for America’s future is published at http://foreconomicjustice.org/?p=5797.
The solution to broadening private, individual ownership of America’s future capital wealth requires that the Federal Reserve stop monetizing unproductive debt, including bailouts of banks “too big to fail” and Wall Street derivatives speculators, and begin creating an asset-backed currency that could enable every man, woman and child to establish a Capital Homestead Account or “CHA” (a super-IRA or asset tax-shelter for citizens) at their local bank to acquire a growing dividend-bearing stock portfolio to supplement their incomes from work and all other sources of income. As well national debt needs to be focused on growing the private sector of the economy simultaneously with facilitating private, individual ownership of FUTURE productive capital formation. Policies need to insert American citizens into the low or no-interest investment money loop to enable non- and undercapitalized Americans, including the working class and poor, to build wealth and become “customers with money.” The proposed Capital Homestead Act would produce this result.
The fundamental economic solution is to create income for EVERY American by simultaneously broadening private, individual ownership of FUTURE productive capital economic growth and fully paying the profit dividends to the new American owners of the income-producing capital assets of our corporations.