Tuesday, July 13, 2010

There will be no choice; our money-based economic system must change

In a recent Fortune Magazine article, “What if there's no fix for high unemployment?” Martin Ford puts forth the well-founded proposition that unemployment may remain high into the unforeseeable future. He forecast it might never rebound to acceptable levels.

Technological advancements in computerized automation and robotics are increasingly replacing jobs in every sector of our economy. Following World War II, changes in the global economy and advancing technology gradually transitioned American workers from manufacturing to service related work. Now, advances in automation, too, are replacing service sector jobs.

From robotic chefs and waitstaff in restaurants to robotic automobile production to automated banking and very sophisticated robotic surgical procedures, computerization and robotics have taken over many middle class jobs and will continue to replace many others as we gain greater knowledge, and as innovative and improved technologies are created. Specialized artificial intelligence applications will also make high-ended and highly skilled professional jobs scarce.

McDonald's even has a new system that they have been testing so that their customers can order and pay for food from self-service kiosks. So as this trend continues even lower paid jobs will eventually be eliminated.

You will find at sometime in the future that routine doctor office visits, such as to receive a physical, will be automated, including the utilization of copay and appointment making services delivered from self-service kiosks, and the physical exam itself will be robotic-aided, or perhaps performed completely by robots.

Commercial pilots will not fly aircraft nor will captains pilot vessels.

Computerized automation and robotics are customer-friendly, they are fast, less prone to errors, safe, will lower cost, lead to lower prices, and unfortunately eliminate jobs.

Automation will also tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Those who are at the top of the corporate ladder will benefit from lower cost and greater profit, while those whose jobs are being replaced will end up with nothing. The latter will increasingly be in dire straits, and as a result, so will America.

America, as well as other nations, must find a way to manage high levels of unemployment, because with the plague of higher unemployment there will be fewer tax dollars, increased deficit spending, and drops in consumer spending. It will also mean people will increasingly rely on government for financial assistance.

There seemingly is a common cause for every problem in our world. The problem is either not solved or debilitated by the lack of money or the need for profit. It’s not because of evil intent, not usually because of a lack of knowledge, or that folks don’t have an earnest desire to solve the problem, nor is it because of a lack of natural resources, but exclusively because of the lack of financial resources – money!

The quest for money or profit corrupts government, destroys our environment, controls life, inhibits liberty, and exploits the world’s peoples.

Corporations, in order to sustain profit and shareholder value, must keep resources and products scarce and manipulate them to keep demand high. Our economic system is inherently wasteful and we are faced with the problem of unsustainable consumption.

Whether we like it or not there will be no choice, sooner or later we must transform to a social system that does not depend on the almighty dollar.

The reality is that America and the world needs fundamentally to change the way they think about money.

And, so, what it all boils down to is that America needs to lead the world in putting in place a system that provides liberty and security for all citizens equally. That system is a moneyless system, one that does not require any means of exchange for goods and services; a resource-based system.