Thursday, August 13, 2009

Labor and laborers

Moral: Wherein we look at foundational issues related to economics, as labor is a big one.


And, we don't mean labor that has organized as a union. Nope. Labor is the core of the economy.

Which means? Capitalists suck, especially if they exploit the core of their economy. Why? Infantilism, so to speak? We'll explain in due time. Let us just say that 'capitalist' may have the same derivation as capitalism, but there is more to the story. Think of it as 'Adam Smith' for the future.

You know, your mother carried your butt and endured your natural infantile self (God bless the mothers!) for a long time. But, we're not talking that type of labor either. Besides, you were expected to grow up and contribute.

No, the labor that we're talking about deals with hands-on and real stuff (which rules out the gaming of speculation beyond some minimal set that is basically the third derivative (see, Note 1, calculus, folks, not the charade as currently flim-flamed up us all)) with the speculator as Jerk. Ah, how can that be in this day of lights-out and automation? Again, we'll eventually get there, but we can consider a few things, first.

How many people do you know who have never worked with their hands in any meaningful sense? A corollary would be someone who is waited on hands and foot which is okay for the infant and the invalid. Consider though, working out with weights or letting oneself burn energy on a treadmill while pulling energy from the grid does not count.

In that case, we ought to be pushing energy back to the grid from people's activities. Ah, is that too much like the horse-drawn mill?

So, where are we going with this? One bane of capitalism, as it has descended into the casino type, is the classist view that splits management and labor. No, don't throw the Marx label, yet. Remember, we're trying to grow a democracy here in the western world which implies that any ought to be able to rise to a leadership (in the most ideal sense) role.

It's what happens after that rise that we need to consider, too. Jimmy (President Carter) was wise enough to grab the occasional hammer. Some seem to just want to pull in the goodies. George (the real President Washington) let lose of the 'imperial' crown, for which we ought to be eternally thankful.

Somehow, capitalism has warped itself into interminable bickerings between those who are at the core and those who mainly seem to want their hubris-ed selves eternally adulated. Oh, some go to jail eventually (to wit, made-off).

Our task? To look at the thing closely to determine how it can (not ought to) be better. Part of the work will be de-structuring (yes, used advisedly) some myths that have developed, especially those related to markets and labor.

Also, we'll need to tackle a basic inconsistency in the current economic mix. You see, how many times have you heard that consumer spending is a large part of the GDP? Too, you know that many consumers have essentially been left with massive debt that may take generations to honor. That is, this is true for the consumer of the 'labor' earnings as the fat cats (the capitalists, excuse me) have taken more than their share. Wait, it's still too early for any Marx-laden label.

So, let us ask. How is the consumer to spend and to support the economy on a debt-oriented framework? Well, the problem is partly due to labor not getting its proper recognition as the 'core' of the economy. How much partly? We can determine this. Just wait.

Remember, democracy is one of our cherished goals. And that, fat cats , does not mean that the poorer (relative term - with no hidden implications related to class) need go out and put their lives on the line for youse guys and gals.

So, labor is the core, in several ways, to the economy of our nation, yet the idea is that the corporation rules (see WSJ 08/09/09) as something un-linked from any nation. We need adjustments in our thinking, indeed.


11/04/2011 -- Tech Ticker asks a good questions about the darker side of Apple. Are any of the other tech companies any better?

11/16/2010 -- A recap of sorts.

10/14/2010 -- Capitalism, as known now, requires an endless supply of suckers, unfortunately for those who play the labor role.

.09/24/2010 -- See Image and know why we need a new look at capitalism.

01/07/2010 -- We need to look at capitalism, closely.

12/19/2009 -- We ought to build things to create jobs.

12/10/2009 -- More roles include the consumer and the economy.

12/01/2009 -- The consumer as focus.

10/06/2009 -- Labor sees more of the consequences of near zero than do many others.

09/09/09 -- We'll need to look at UUUN, as a framework.

09/07/2009 -- Labor Day.

09/04/2009 -- Markets work, since they handle undecidable issues bottom up. That approach will always outperform the top down, along almost all axes. Too, there are people who worry about how we can help the human/labor/consumer found the economy fairly.

08/20/2009 -- Note 1: 'Derivative(s)' has been used a few times in the posts. The context may imply the usage, hopefully. But, in general, we're talking two types: 1) from finance, where 'derived from' is the proper interpretation (or as one may surmise from posts here and elsewhere, something from nothing), 2) the usual mathematical variety.

Modified: 11/04/2011

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