The fundamental problem with the economy

The problem with the economy is simple. Workers are paid minimum wage to work as long and as hard as physically, mentally and legally possible. At the same time, goods and services are priced as high, and are made as cheaply, as possible. This simple formula creates two outcomes that are very easy to calculate. One: It costs more to live than most employees can earn working forty hours per week. Two: Most of society’s money flows up to business owners’ bank accounts.

The upward flowing money doesn’t trickle back down to the poor, because the rich just save it and spend it on expensive possessions. What little money does go to the poor employees making and selling all the expensive widgets, goes to the owners of the businesses those people work for. That’s how and why some individuals become and stay unbelievably wealthy, while millions of families stay trapped in poverty for generations.

To make matters worse, the guiding hand of the free market doesn’t correct bad business practices during economic downturns. The more money the rich exploit from the poor, the less money the majority of the population has to spend. The less people spend, the more the economy slows down. The bigger the economic recession, the fewer jobs are needed. The higher the unemployment rate rises, the greater demand for jobs there is. The higher the competition for jobs, the less pay, fewer benefits and longer hours people are willing to accept. The more businesses exploit their employees’ desperation, the more profit the owner can keep, and thus, the better the economy looks on paper. When businesses are making money, it looks like the economy is doing great, but ultimately it means life sucks as much as possible for as many people as possible.

The inevitable conclusion of this tried-and-failed economic model is a civilization where the workers starve en mass while the rich wallow in luxury until resources have been so mismanaged the system collapses.

This rarely ends with everyone dying though. Often the mismanaged civilization will plunder a weaker civilization for its resources, but that only delays the collapse. Sometimes the system is corrected by a peasant revolution. Sometimes a civilization with a better managed economy will take over the mismanaged one. Sometimes the excess poor will die or leave so that the meager resources allotted to the masses by the rich don’t have to stretch so far. Usually though, life simply drags on miserably for generation after generation of the desperate poor who have been raised on the lie that this is how the world works, and if you don’t like it, then you’re not grateful for what you’ve been given and you just need to shut up, man up, work harder and eat cheaper food.

The rarest and most fleeting scenario is the one where politicians peacefully and willfully pass laws that give workers fair claim to a share of the profits they produce and guarantee consumers a fair price on the goods and services they pay for. When this is allowed to happen, as much money as possible is kept in circulation, which means more people can live securely and comfortably. The reason this happens so rarely is because the rich always control their nation’s government either directly or by proxy. So they influence their governments to resist any legislation that threatens their smash-and-grab economic philosophy.

Even if a sane egalitarian politician could secure a term in a high level position of government, they would be unlikely to make any significant change since the system is already designed to be unfair and resist change. The only thing getting closer to the fire is likely to accomplish is getting burnt.

Violent revolutions have been tried before but have failed to produce long term change because they don’t fix the root problem. Here’s a maxim you can live by: If you have to resort to violence to fix a problem, it’s because you don’t have a solution.

Here’s a more realistic resolution. Start businesses that have an equitable profit sharing pay scale and charge fair prices. The best workers will flock to those companies. Consumers will buy from them because their products are cheaper, and people will want to support them. As these companies grow, they’ll put the slave-based companies out of business. Once the corrupt companies go bankrupt, the sociopaths running them will go bankrupt and won’t have the resources to buy influence in government. Then intelligent, sane humanitarian politicians will have a better chance of making a difference in government.

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