The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Four Pillars of Future Progress: Part 2—Employment

The Four Pillars of Future Progress: Part 2—Employment
By Tim Krenz
'For the Hometown Gazette
April 5, 2020

Throughout all history, the nature and type of labor employment that people do changes. Called work, the employment of personal time to a task necessary for subsistence and investment will continue to change as civilization and technology, and the needs and wants from them, always evolve. Why? How people need and want to spend their productive and leisure time changes with the work demands that labor (work) will have to supply. From subsistence societies, like hunters and gatherers, to farmers, herdsmen and cottage industries, to factory workers and commercial services, as history changes those demands and expectations of consumers change. Now, on the threshold of a truly digital and connected era, including near-Artificial Intelligence (AI), demands of consumers will change how they as employees fulfill both expectations and requirements.

On that bottom line, everyone wants some things from their efforts, or need some things from the efforts of other producers. Whether they want more disposable income for material pleasures, or more leisure time like early retirement, or employment that uses skills and education, or simply some type of spiritual satisfaction from the fruits of their labor, these demands of consumption and productivity need the supply of energy: Energy in the form of harnessed and converted fuels (“capital” or kinetic energy) and creative labor (“sweat equity” or potential energy).

The types and opportunities for employment need some thinking and planning to achieve. By that, I do not mean centralized or government-directed planning, that type that only offers enforced slavery or poverty on most, and a welfare for the fewer rich as a goal. The last 100-plus years has seen the failure through oppression, and the resulting brutality, of such notions of centralized political-economic decision-making. By planning, I simply mean looking at the criteria for renewing the power of individuals to choose their own course, and to secure their place in the market of ideas and labor. By freeing the process, but ensuring the fairness and equability of it, freer markets return the balance to where capital and workers cooperate to create prosperities, and not waste its energies.

A good plan for future employment must utilize the educational skill sets of the work force, or actively build those skill sets the future needs. (See “The Four Pillars of Future Progress: Part 1—Education Determines Destiny” in the previous issue of this paper). Second, a plan must build a fair and equitable system for both the opportunity and the reward for the willing and qualified workers. Without both empowerment and incentive to pursue employment, the future of the world's prosperity looks bleak. We must figure out a system going forward. This cannot fall into the realm of predetermined outcomes, which do not necessarily produce equality or fairness, as history shows. Policy or designed outcomes only suppresses employees and dissipates efforts into inefficient uses of capital (a form of kinetic energy) and rents on capital (a form of potential energy). For when focusing energy inputs on maximum outputs, energy in markets gets used efficiently, but also conserves energy (again, potential energy) needed for capital expansion.

Finally, a plan for future employment must suit the economy that will exist later, the one that evolves in free development, and not the false expectations of the past or present one. Looking forward into the future, people cannot predict exactly how that economy will look. (See part four of this series at a later date). One can, on the other hand, forecast the types of things it will need. While not necessarily designed by accident, a future economy needs to focus less on the desirable whims of today's fads, and more on the intelligent development of all facets of progress—education, employment, energy, and economy. The economy, to the extent that it responds to human influence, must take an all-encompassing approach, but ultimately, as it evolves, and for fairness and equability, it must utilize the freest supply and demand functions possible within some limited constraints.

This ultimately leads to the need to address the four main groups in the current socio-economic system. On the one hand, defying any label, the world has a group that sees work as a requirement for the rewards of any fruits people get in the world; some even with the “You don't work, you don't eat,” mantra (I actually heard that phrase used once by someone at a political meeting years ago). They see work as duty to self and want to impose it, even if in inhumane slavery and starvation, on others. Another group demands someone else's fruits must get shared with them, by some type of unexplained right to theft through crime or legal theft through tax policy. A third group, called rentiers, live on the fruits of previous investments, whether stolen, granted, earned or inherited. A fourth group, well, they fall in the cracks of those who cannot work or work full-time, due to impairment or injury.

How many people fall into each classification? No one can really know, for different metrics and analysis will all give different results. Regardless, these four groups exist and co-exist in uncomfortable stress and tension. To the surprise of all of them, none have a right to judge, and no one has the right answer to either a right or wrong solution, other than they have a right to their own opinion, property and personal choices.

Unfortunately, this tension and all the counter-productive arguments prevent progress. How to address these choices of right, property, equal access, and opportunity will become the greatest fundamental problem to solve going forward into the future. However, this problem remains one of political choice, and it mostly exists in emotional and irrational resentment and jealousy. Suffice it say, the choice to work and to choose what type of employment to have, must all get ingrained in the system, beyond the four requirements above (education, equal opportunities, risk/reward, and a freer market) for any plan of future progress in employment. Yet, no one wants to talk sensibly about the issue of those willing, unwilling, unable, or unnecessary to employment in a traditional sense of a job.

Eventually, societies will have to make political-economic decisions about what people actually need, what they hopefully want, and provide some system for providing the basic access necessary under a fairness and equability doctrine. The world just needs to remember two features that will keep the world prosperous and at peace: That NO ONE has a right to steal property of others or the common property, and, second, that governments can no longer hold justly to a socialist-capitalist system (like that in the United States) that merely provides capital welfare for the rich (rentiers). This decision will happen, inevitably, whether or not the future needs to supply less than full employment for the demands of an evolving AI economy. Anything else just dissipates energy, and wastes both capital and humanity (not to mention the earth itself). Time will only tell.

In politics, as in economics, supply will meet the demands created for it. Two options exists to plan for the future of employment. One way uses centralized, government-decision-making, where the population gets relegated to stations, to all-encompassing stagnation, where the focus comes not so much from the energy inputs (kinetic and potential energies), but one of outcomes not wholly fair, equitable, just, nor satisfying to anyone but those in control of the politics. This does nothing but dissipate energy into unproductive uses or a form of economic (or environmental) pollution (or corruption). The other way to plan forward, uses the inputs themselves, the energy (“capital resources=kinetic” and “creative labor=potential”), and lets the supply of creative labor create the demand for consumption by all the employed. I make one note here: “Real” wealth, like all energy, never gets created or destroyed, it merely changes “hands” or form. This way of free market moving forward, like gravity, allows the efficient uses of the energy inputs to stronger results, that satisfy the needs and wants, or the supply and demand, all of which creates a more stable balance. And by stable balance, it can translate into the political-economic decision-making that meets all the criteria, especially choices, opportunities, risk/reward, and freedom absent of oppression or even disguised and impoverished slavery. A freer market for employment on these principles can also maintain the checks and the balances of energy/wealth, and create a safety net, and preserve access to entirely public goods and services. For example: Take health-care: Why should good health go only to those able and willing to pay blood money to get it?. Answer that yourself. And this sounds complicated. But really, free markets of supply and demand in employment work as simply as a neighborhood lemonade stand run by kids. Remember that. In short, progress in any human future can only happen when people can freely choose it, and freely preserve it. Plan it now for yourself, and let the future happen.