Wednesday, January 25, 2012

0% unemployment - why not?

Some worry that having a job ready for every willing worker will cause price inflation, but if government reduced the supply of money through increased taxation of UNearned income at the same time, perhaps we could have jobs enough for every willing worker AND stable prices, all with a balanced government budget as well.

So how do we increase the number of jobs offered by private businesses? Simple, bribes. Instead of penalizing employers by forcing them to pay a tax for every hour of work they create, we could pay them instead, or at least not tax them when they do the right thing.

But how would taxes get paid? By taxing other things to the same extent. We can tax carbon-rich fuel purchases, and lessen the destruction of our climate, and the climate-dependent agriculture that feeds us. We can tax financial speculation, which will also slow speculation's price instability. We could apply sales tax to real estate sales. The list goes on.

Too many jobs - it's a situation we'd all like to face - we could pick and choose.

But doesn't onrushing technological change eliminate jobs continually?

What is all this technology FOR? It is for us; who, overall, are basically average people. When technology or Friedman tells us that average is over, it is time to say 'lighten up a little'.

We could cease US tax credits for research and development until that R & D serves humankind. This will increase federal revenues, while slowing job elimination. But what about the U.S.'s global competitiveness?
Nationalism is a poor excuse for surrendering to the technological change of which we should be, and in fact are, masters.
Our recent industrial technological triumph; the global advance in manufacturing method, is in doing more with less, that is more production with less labor, yet as resources run out globally, it will be labor that we have in surplus, and resources that we must strive to use efficiently.

But if we start to tax the rich more, won't they flee to tax havens en mass? Here is where worldwide co-ordination of wealth taxation comes in. Capital Flight isn't leaving earth orbit soon - problem solved.

Humanity, which is mostly pretty average, deserves better than a rat-race to environmental and social, and financial disaster. We've been able to form huge nations, and work together within them, despite different languages and cultures. We, the citizens of the world, can agree to work together so that everyone has a fair, and good, chance of earning a decent living. While the accelerating annual increase in our human numbers will soon make this more difficult, there's no reason to pretend that this desperate individual game of living with ever-increasing unemployment, like some mix of musical chairs and russian roullette, makes sense.

Brian Cady

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