Does Welfare Have To Be The New Normal?

As a nation, we are dangerously becoming dependent on the State. Anytime more people are being paid not to be productive, it imperils our liberty and democracy.

In recent years, the welfare state has expanded, propelled by the deterioration of the middle class and the fear that people experience on the edge of poverty and in poverty. This condition is creating a political movement to provide an all-encompassing security blanket to protect Americans from all vagaries of economic life. There’s now a welfare program for everything from losing a job to food and healthcare assistance to having money to pay the rent. While such need has become increasingly necessary with seemingly endless duration, it is transforming our nation from self-dependency to State dependency.

According to official data from the Census Bureau, 46.5 million Americans live in poverty with essentially 43 percent of all those on welfare officially considered poor. But the reach is far greater as over 150 million Americans receive monies from the State through Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits, unemployment and other non-means and means-tested financial support funded through tax extraction and national debt.

Such dependency will not cease until our nation addresses the reality that tectonic shifts in the technologies of production destroy jobs and devalue the worth of labor, forcing people to resort to low-wage jobs and welfare support as their ONLY means of financial subsistence.

The reality is that increasingly EVERY human is having more and more interactions with machines and fewer with human beings. There is no escape from technological unemployment long-term as much more is to come.

The field of robotics is at the vanguard of this new wave of automation. The broad universal definition is a machine that can perform the job of a human. Robots can be mobile or stationary and hardware or software, but ALL are instruments of productive capital and ALL are the private property of corporations and businesses OWNED by individuals.

Business investment in machine and robotic super-automation hardware and software is more than it’s ever been. But what are not back are the jobs.

The percentage of Americans with jobs is at a 20-year low according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A significant cause of this low rate is due to tectonic shifts in the technologies of production and job destruction resulting from off shoring production to global economies who pay workers far less. In every industry, we are witnessing fewer interactions with other human beings. While conventional economists, academia, and political leadership has called upon education as the solution, the changes are coming so quickly it will be difficult for workers to retrain themselves and effectively compete for far fewer jobs over time. They are disadvantaged to compete with super-computers, which can program themselves to improve their performance. Even if the entire American population was college educated, there still would not be the need in the private sector to create jobs in numbers that match the pool of people willing and able to work due to human work constantly being eroded by physical productive capital’s ever increasing role. Technology increasingly is demonstrating skills on a par with and even surprising human skills.

While entrepreneurs will continue to create new business opportunities, the reality is that they will not be hiring large numbers of people. Public companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, for example, represent in total about $1 trillion in market capitalization value. Yet together they employ fewer than 150,000 people––less than ALL the new entrants into the American workforce monthly in past months.

Annual investment by U.S. manufacturers in new technology has increased significantly since the “Great Recession” ended, and research institutions and robotics companies, funded by venture capital monies, are constantly searching for innovations to provide businesses solutions that lower the cost of production and operation and gain competitive efficiencies to maximize profits.

Technological invention and innovation is the ONLY means to effectively return manufacturing to the United States. But realistically, the global competition will be intense as other teams of engineers and scientists in other countries compete to create ever more sophisticated human-intelligent machines, super-automated processes, robotic workers, digital computerized operations etc. Thus, even if offshore manufacturing returns to the United States, well-paying jobs will be fewer than ever as most of the jobs will go to “robots.”

Sadly, unless addressed and the system reformed, State dependency is the prospect and the plight of a growing segment of the American population, solely dependent on low-pay hourly wage jobs and supplemental redistributive government welfare, which costs taxpayer billions of dollars, if not future trillions, and furthers our dependency on tax extraction and never-ending national debt and interest payments.

While our productive technological capability has been evolving for over a century during a period of labor demand, and initially made us better at our jobs, now it is becoming so sophisticated and prevalent that it is making many workers obsolete, even in the relatively labor-intensive service industries.

At the same time the situation is ripping our nation apart with one segment of the population declaring “laziness” and opposing minimum wage laws, Food Stamp benefits and Medicaid expansion, and another segment promoting job dependency, government-dictated wage laws (not free market), and socialistic welfare support. Both see ONLY a job as a source of income for the majority of Americans and fail to recognize that job creation is not a viable long-term solution, and that the non-human factor of production resulting from technological invention and innovation makes many forms of labor unnecessary. Both also fail to see that the majority of Americans are being systematically denied equal opportunity to acquire private sector individual wealth-creating, income-generating productive capital property ownership on the same terms that the wealthy ownership class now utilizes. Rich people are able to use their investment’s earnings to pay off the capital credit loans used to finance their investments, without having to use their own money or deny themselves consumption. The unfortunate result is that the rich get richer through their continued concentration of productive capital ownership and the vast majority of Americans struggle with progressively less well-paid job opportunities, the devaluing of their worth as laborers, and the prospects of falling into poverty and dependent on tax extraction from the productive sector. As a result, politicians have continued the incurrence of national debt to support supplemental welfare programs that increasingly more Americans require to make ends meet.

This should not be what America is about. Instead, our focus should be on OWNERSHIP CREATION in which employees of companies and other ordinary citizens OWN full-dividend-paying-and-voting stock in the corporations they work for and patronize, and build over time a diversified portfolio of wealth-creating, income-producing stock assets that will provide them a second income beyond their reliance on a job. We need to reform the system to provide equal opportunity for EVERY American to become an OWNER, just like the wealthy ownership class, and significantly improve their long-term financial security. The focus needs to be on FUTURE sustainable production and broadened individual ownership. This will put us on a path to prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice and in the short-term significantly grow our economy with “full-employment” opportunities as EVERY American benefits from two sources of income and as we build a FUTURE economy that can support general affluence for every man, woman, and child.

We are at the horizon of a new technological frontier and the capabilities of computerization and robotics are projected to exponentially expand. The work in this FUTURE economy will be largely done by “machines,” and support general affluence for EVERY citizen.

As we build this FUTURE affluent economy, consumer confidence will be strengthened and businesses will benefit from an expanding population of “customers with money.” This will drive the demand for products and services the economy will be capable of producing, while achieving environmental renewability and sustainable viability. At the same time United States credibility and leadership around the world will be restored as our economy booms and we successfully alter the choices people must make between choosing alternative, more costly “greener” choices that do not threaten the environment and their very livelihood.

While this is not a short-term “click-the-switch” solution, in the short-term we must not fail those who require supplemental support. But we need to adopt a long-term solution that will eliminate and drastically reduce dependency on tax extraction and national debt and build a FUTURE responsibly sustainable economy that can support general affluence for EVERY citizen and provide financial security into retirement.

For more on how to accomplish such structural reform, see “Financing Economic Growth With ‘FUTURE SAVINGS’: Solutions To Protect America From Economic Decline” at  http://www.foreconomicjustice.org/9206/financing-future…economic-decline

Support the Agenda of The Just Third Way Movement at http://foreconomicjustice.org/?p=5797 and support the Capital Homestead Act at http://www.cesj.org/homestead/index.htm and http://www.cesj.org/homestead/summary-cha.htm. See the full Act at http://cesj.org/homestead/strategies/national/cha-full.pdf.

Transform Western Power Into Community Investment Corporation – Perth Herald Tribune

Western Power, privatisation. WA Labor, WA Liberal Party

On October 8, 2016, the Perth Herald Tribune writes:

When asked by Perth Herald Tribune whether she would be interested in the privatization that would make all of Western-Australians residents shareholders Ms. Skender expressed her interest.
Such privatization is not only possible but also economically efficient. Here is how it would work.
Imagine that the company made investment on behalf of all Western Australian citizens – and by merely registering to vote, or just living in the city, citizens would receive dividends on those investments.
Citizens of Western Australia can transform the Western Power government owned company into a Community Investment Corporation (CIC). This would provide WA citizens with a free equity stake in economic investments made by the CIC.

Transform Western Power into Community Investment Corporation

This is a concept I have been advocating since the late 1960s. See The Citizens Land Bank: What It Is and Is Not at http://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/citizens-land-bank-what-it-is-and-is-not/

Basic Common Sense Is Key To Building More Intelligent Machines

robot workers

It’s good to learn on the job

SM/AIUEO/Getty

On October 5, 2016, Sally Adee writes on New Scientist:

“…the most startling consequence of a workable hybrid architecture, Bryson points out, is that it could enable machines to convert their representations into reusable symbols – analogous to language or words (see “Conversational skills“).”

“This experiment barely scratches the surface of what we believe is possible with this architecture,” Shanahan says.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23230941-600-basic-common-sense-is-key-to-building-more-intelligent-machines/

As technology exponentially progresses, the non-human factor will simultaneously eliminate the necessity for masses of human labor, with “machines” performing the work that humans had previously done.

With increasing punditry, scholars  and others are writing about the impact of the Second Industrial Revolution where tectonic shifts in the technologies of production are destroying and degrading jobs due to the shift from labor worker input to the non-human factor––human-intelligent machines, superautomation, robotics, digital computer operations, etc.

The question that requires an answer is now timely before us. It was first posed by binary economist Louis Kelso in the 1950s but has never been thoroughly discussed on the national stage. Nor has there been the proper education of our citizenry that addresses what economic justice is and what ownership is. Therefore, by ignoring such issues of economic justice and ownership, our leaders are ignoring the concentration of power through ownership of productive capital, with the result of denying the 99 percenters equal opportunity to become capital owners. The question, as posed by Kelso is: “how are all individuals to be adequately productive when a tiny minority (capital workers) produce a major share and the vast majority (labor workers), a minor share of total goods and service,” and thus, “how do we get from a world in which the most productive factor—physical capital—is owned by a handful of people, to a world where the same factor is owned by a majority—and ultimately 100 percent—of the consumers, while respecting all the constitutional rights of present capital owners?”

Solutions are to be found in the platform of the Capital Homestead Act. Support the Capital Homestead Act (aka Economic Democracy Act) at http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/, http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-a-plan-for-getting-ownership-income-and-power-to-every-citizen/, http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-summary/ and http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/ch-vehicles/.

 

The State Of American Jobs

On October 6, 2016, Pew Research released this report on The State Of American Jobs:

How the shifting economic landscape is reshaping work and society and affecting the way people think about the skills and training they need to get ahead.

Tectonic changes are reshaping U.S. workplaces as the economy moves deeper into the knowledge-focused age. These changes are affecting the very nature of jobs by rewarding social, communications and analytical skills. They are prodding many workers to think about lifetime commitments to retraining and upgrading their skills. And they may be prompting a society-wide reckoning about where those constantly evolving skills should be learned – and what the role of colleges should be.

The State of American Jobs

Unfortunately, while an educated population is absolutely desirable, even if EVERY child, woman and  man achieved a college education, even a PhD we will not have addressed the REAL problem or the solutions necessary to make EVERY citizen a productive member of society in terms of inputting into the productive sector of the economy, no matter what their education level they have achieved.

See “Education Is Critical To Our Future Societal Development” at http://www.foreconomicjustice.org/9058/education-is-cri…etal-development.

Given the current invisible structure of the economy, 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.

Three Reasons A New President Won’t Help America

On October 3, 2016, Paul Buchheit writes on Nation Of Change:

There are at least three major American failures that are too entrenched in our society to undergo change with anything less than an FDR-type effort.

Corporations Continue to Ignore Their Responsibility to Education …

The Rich Lack Incentive to Help Others: They Believe an “Invisible Hand” Will Do It…

Too Many Americans Think They’re “Exceptional”…

One Way to Help America

Inequality has ripped us apart, not only economically, but also emotionally, as people further removed from the lives of others tend to distrust each other. Tragically, it may take a war or a natural disaster to reverse that.

But there’s another way, and it’s becoming increasingly important with the technological takeover of middle class jobs. We need a guaranteed income. It’s the one way we could immediately instill a degree of equality in America, while restoring some of the missing trust in each other. The new President would probably have to institute a financial transaction tax. He or she would have to create jobs in alternative energy infrastructure. It’s unlikely, but it’s doable. It may be the only way to help America.

http://www.nationofchange.org/2016/10/03/3-reasons-new-president-wont-help-america/

A guaranteed income is a socialist solution, which destroys the principle of the natural law of individuals owning private property as it require redistributing wealth (taking from those who have and giving to those who do not have or who are determined to not have enough by the State). The solution is to make EVERY child, woman and man productive by OWNING the FUTURE product of technological invention and innovation, wealth-creating, income-producing capital assets (machines, robotics, computerization, automation, etc.)

Economist Robert Reich recently asked a similar question in a new video: What should we do when robots take most jobs? (It will happen sooner than you think.) Watch his new video to find out. Robert Reich’s as well as this author’s problem is they completely ignore that the non-human (the “machines”) means of production OWNED by individuals, singularly or in association with others (as in a public corporation), earn income from the productive input the “machines” contribute to the production of products and services. This is the REAL reason the wealthy are wealthy, because they OWN the means of production. But Reich or Buchheit (as in previous articles) NEVER advocate for broadening individual productive capital asset OWNERSHIP and instead advocate for “redistribution” schemes such as a universal basic income, which destroys the natural right to property and essentially creates dependency on politicians and the State for redistributing income derived from taxes on those who are productive through employment and/or the “machines” (capital assets) they OWN. The universal basic income would not abate productive private individual property (capital asset) OWNERSHIP, which would continue to further concentrates among the already wealthy OWNERSHIP class and their heirs.

For effective alternative solutions that protect the natural right to property and creates NEW OWNERS simultaneously with the growth of the economy see the Agenda of The Just Third Way Movement at http://foreconomicjustice.org/?p=5797, http://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/the-just-third-way-basic-principles-of-economic-and-social-justice-by-norman-g-kurland/, http://www.cesj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/jtw-graphicoverview-2013.pdf and http://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/the-just-third-way-a-new-vision-for-providing-hope-justice-and-economic-empowerment/.

Support Monetary Justice at http://capitalhomestead.org/page/monetary-justice.

Support the Capital Homestead Act (aka Economic Democracy Act) at http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/, http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-a-plan-for-getting-ownership-income-and-power-to-every-citizen/, http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-summary/ and http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/ch-vehicles/.