NC Swede

The blog of a North Country Swede!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

NCAA sports is akin to slavery

Read "Let’s Start Paying College Athletes" by Joe Nocera on the OpEd page of today's The New York Times.

It clearly shows how today's "enterprise" management is focused on not giving labor—in this case the athletes—a fair share of the wealth they produce.

In fact it is my hypothesis—actually, I believe it is a fact—that our style of "free" market capitalism is managed/controlled to redirect as much as possible of the fair share of the wealth that labor produces to the managers/controllers of the enterprises that market/sell the goods and services in the marketplace.

It is doubly ironic when workers design and build the robots that replace workers.

And with a greater share of the wealth generated by the marketplace, and all the power and perks that brings, comes a greater share of the control of the market ... which feeds back into even greater control over the worker's access to the wealth-producing job he or she needs to earn a living. And the worker spirals down into as near a form of slavery as the law allows ... or, to put it another way, rents him or herself out as a mule.

Nocera's article clearly shows all this.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Workers must have jobs in a market economy

It's simple, very simple. In order to live in a market economy, a worker must have a job that pays a living wage.

We are barred—generally—from being hunter-gatherers to provide for ourselves and our families by the economics of today's global marketplace. However, there is more than enough productive work to do, and accumulated wealth to prime the pump of productive work—jump start—to give everyone willing and able to work a wealth-producing job that pays a living wage. And if that is not done in a market economy where the medium of exchange is money then the worker becomes a new type of slave in order to have a job. We workers have become mules, renting ourselves out for enough to buy hay.

Let me repeat it in another way, if we need money to get the things we need to live, then we need a job to do the wealth-producing work to earn the money to get the things we need to live. And it is up to the market "controllers", the "keepers of the keys to the marketplace" to provide access to wealth-producing work through a job.
Please note: There is a real difference between "work" and "wealth-producing work". Not all work is wealth-producing work ... unless you factor in the benefit of doing work itself for the worker.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Two basic marketplace principles

     There are two basic marketplace principles that we the workers—the folks who work for a living using our minds and bodies producing goods and services for the marketplace—should be able to support. Our support for these principles should come even while we are divided by the acrimonious debate among ourselves in response to the "divide and conquer" strategy of those who control the wealth we produce. Needles to say, I call them "the controllers."
     These two principles apply to our market economy, and it is my strong belief that a market economy where goods and services—the "real" wealth of a nation—can be freely produced and exchanged, bought and sold via the medium of money—is the best by far for the common good.
Note: If you have trouble with any of this so far and you work for a living—I mean doing work that produces real value/wealth, not work that controls the value/wealth produced—then you have been thoroughly brainwashed—in my humble opinion—by the controllers—aka from history as the "plantation owners"—on the one hand or the anti-marketplace activists on the other. And, yes, these labels may need further explanation.
     The first principle is that in a market economy where we have to exchange goods and services via the medium of money—which I believe maximizes efficiency in the exchange—in order to live, every able-bodied person willing to work must have a job that pays at least a living wage. A "job" is doing work for an enterprise—that could be oneself—that produces goods or services that have real value—create wealth—in the market economy in which the enterprise operates. For these purposes government is an enterprise.
     The second principle is that in a market economy all costs of producing the goods and services must be matched to and taken from the income received in the exchange of these goods and services. Simply put, I can't dump the waste from my farm, factory, mine, store or other enterprise on you and then expect you to pay for the harm it causes to you. To do otherwise is to capitalize income and socialize cost.
     I would suggest that if we the workers would concentrate our efforts on maximizing the effectiveness on these two market economy principles we would go a long way toward creating equitable economic justice and maximizing the common good. Assuming that by "common good" we mean "of benefit all of us." 

Addendum October 13, 2011. Edited December 31, 2011: And yes, FDR presented an "Economic Bill of Rights" to the U.S. Congress in 1944. It included:
 The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
 The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
 However, it had four more rights, enough to get us arguing among ourselves under the "divide and conquer" strategy of the controllers.

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.
In these last four rights, the controllers picked their strongest points in rebuttal of FDR's Economic Bill of Rights and fought it to a standstill. I believe the two principles I have set forth—the first principle being the focus of the first four of FDR's Economic Bill of Rights and are nothing new and my second principle based on elementary fairness—are overwhelming supported by we the people and if adopted into the legal fabric of our nation—we are a nation of laws—then we will have laid the cornerstone of equitable economic justice. And without them, we will continue to to suffer the deleterious vicissitudes of the monopoly side of capitalism.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ahhhh ... is Obama getting his groove back?

Y'know ... maybe Obama is learning. Maybe it's beginning to dawn on him that Timothy Geithner was more interested in his own financial services career than in Obama's political one ... and making big banks whole while the people flounder.

But Obama still has a steep climb out of the hole he dug himself following Tim's guidance.

Medical costs? Obama gave up the public option and now has to cut medicare and medicaid to keep us from going over the edge ... or so the political conventional wisdom tells us. And he had the hammer of the single-payer system to beat the Republicans over the head with if they didn't want the public option. (I couldn't believe it when he folded so early in the struggle.)

Taxes? Obama gave up on letting the Bush Tax cuts die last December (2010) and now has to use political capital--if he has any left--to call for the Buffet Rule. (I wasn't as surprised by his not letting the Bush Tax cuts die after the ludicrous surrender of the public option in healthcare.)

However ...

Tom Friedman's column today in The New York Times,Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?, said a lot:
"Mr. Obama gave us the credible $447 billion jobs program, but his deficit reduction plan announced on Monday to pay for it and trim long-term spending does not rise to the scale we need."
Like I said, maybe Obama is learning how to get his groove back, but he still has a long way to go before he's there ... and it still doesn't look like he will be there by next year's election ... which is a damn shame ... really ... when you think of what the Republicans are bringing to the table. Ah, what might have been

Ah well, he gives good speeches ... so he can always earn a living on the dinner circuit.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tim Geithner: Last Man Standing

With the departure of Austan Goolsbee, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, Tim Geithner is left as "the last man standing."

Geithner with his Wall Street viewpoint, should never have been selected as an adviser to the president in the first place. And he should have accompanied Larry Summers out the door. By that time in late 2010, it had become obvious that the Geithner-Summers economic policies had slowed the recovery before it had a viable head of steam.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Speaking of democracy, let us remember ...

"Aristotle once said that 'democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.' We as a country are moving further and further away from that ideal."
-Charles M. Blow, "The Bin Laden Bounce"
The New York Times, OpEd
Saturday, May 7, 2011