Monday, October 4, 2010

Jobs and Justice March

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people showed up in Washington, DC to "demand" jobs.

Yeah. How's that working out for you?

Actually, it turned out to be a get-out-the-vote for the Democrats. Republicans were scorned for their repressive values, their I've-got-mine-screw-you economic principles and their constant conjuring of fear, nameless, faceless terror, orange alert Muslims are coming fear!!!

Look out! It's Sarah Palin! Run for your life! And vote Democrat!

But even the job demanding is a ridiculous exercise.

We workers have no standing to demand jobs. We are pathetic beggars, kneeling before our masters and petitioning for a means to live. They can afford to sneer at our pleas, because as long as we limit ourselves to believing that we must sell our labor power to get money to buy us things, we will NEVER be a threat enough to them that they would supply us with such means.

There are 300 million people in this country, and almost 7 billion people on this planet.

It is absurd to believe that we need that much 40 hour/week labor. We need less labor all the time. (Although when the oil runs out that will change.)

But there has been a surplus of labor in class-divided society for centuries, even before capitalism. We are told that part of the reason for the Crusades was to get rid of some surplus people. The Black Death, which killed off 1/3 of Europe, was a boon to workers, driving up the price of labor, until we reproduced enough to drive down our wages again.

The Americas, Australia and South Africa used to provide a place for surplus European labor to immigrate.

We now have a super abundance, more than we need, all produced with very little labor.

The only way to have everyone employed is for everyone to work fewer hours. When I bring this up to people, they invariably say "But I couldn't afford to work less hours!"

Well, no, not on the wages we are getting now! Obviously, if everyone worked fewer hours, and we produced enough for everyone, then the proceeds of your labor would be worth more than it is now.

In other words, we all pitch in to produce enough for everyone, and then everyone has enough.

The people who suck the profits from the proceeds now would no longer be allowed to do that. Yes, the masters who sneer now while they lay off people for profit would be demoted.

They would have to work like everyone else, and be entitled to a modest, decent standard of living, like the rest of us.

Because if you restrict yourself to calling for "jobs", you get the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, Homeland Security, Big Box stores, McMansions covering farmland, endless road-building, and the rest of the environment-destroying economy that we live under.


David G. said...

Great article, Wage Laborer!

Capitalism is on its last legs although its Dark Princes will do everything in their power to keep it going (like promoting endless war, etc).

As well, global warming will force us to move in a more sustainable direction which will mean a move back towards a more rural economy.

And if the U.S. became the dis-united States and got rid of Washington, this too would be a good move because power would be more divided, less able to be misused and abused.

Take care!

Pangolin said...

This concept is absolutely forbidden in the U.S. public sphere. We simply cannot admit that we have more than enough, food, clothing, housing and entertainment for everybody right now with about 25-30% of our available worker hours unused.

If we were to truly investigate the dubious utility of most post-secondary education that labor surplus would grow to 40% or greater.

The excuse of capitalists is that certain people work harder, produce more or have specialized skills that justify yearly incomes that equal 20,30, or 50 normal lifetime incomes of average workers. It's obvious rubbish as the Wall Street collapse and government bail-outs of corporations demonstrates.

It's all a pathetic justification for fraud and income inequality. The war on public education is simply to cover that fraud.

Anonymous said...

When billionaire CEO's/politicians hire cheap labor (illegal is the cheapest - they won't even say anything if you forget to pay them at all), you can see how "trickle down" works.