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Beyond the wage system an economy of dividend

Written by Louis Even on Monday, 01 August 2011. Posted in Dividends

Beyond wage system

Trade unions often go on strike to obtain wage increases. But as the Social Crediters know, these wage increases are included in the prices, so in the end the purchasing power of the workers has not increased at all.

The Social Crediters also wish for a better life, not only for the workers, but for each individual, or each member of society. But the Social Crediters place the solution beyond the wage system.

No one will support that the wage system is the ideal regime and that it will last until the end of the world. The salary is the modern form of slavery, of the servitude of the masses, where life is submissive to the decisions of a small number of people.

Technical progress, the introduction of the machine, the super-human energy that is involved in production, should signify for the multitude a life that is freer, more comfortable and more exempt from suffering. What will they get in reality?

There is a general increase of the level of material life, especially concerning public services. But we have above all realized a mass growth of proletarians, who, without a square inch of land or a house that belongs to them, without any means of production, barely living, living in strenuous and miserable working conditions and who are never sure about tomorrow, begging for their bread and that of their family, working in a hazardous profession that menaces technical progress.

With production that is a hundred times easier, the modern world has added night shifts to day jobs — an excellent means of disorganizing family life; it has taken the woman out of the home and put her in the sweatshop — sabotaging the family cell completely — while the young people who wish to work to found a family, have to choose between unemployment or learn to kill.

It is certainly not what could be logically expected from the physical progress in production. It is a result of a financial system that dominates economic life and follows another end than that of the good of each person. As long as this financial tyrant keeps the scepter, we cannot but receive fruits such as these.

Once the present financial system is changed for a system that is in conformity with the facts and modern possibilities of production, the salary will disappear and be replaced with a system of dividends.

Here is how engineer-economist Clifford Hugh Douglas presents the situation, in the light of physical facts and in the view of a philosophy that considers production as destined to serve human needs, not for provoking false needs to keep men materially occupied:

 

C. H. DouglasFrom Major Clifford Hugh Douglas

If we assume that the constant efforts to reduce the amount of labor per unit of production are justified, and we recognize the unquestionable fact that the genuine consumptive capacity of the individual is limited, we must recognize that the world, whether consciously or not, is working towards a Leisure State.

The production system under this conception would be required to produce those goods and services which the consumer desires of it with a minimum and probably decreasing amount of human labor.

Production, and still more the activities which are commonly referred to as “business,” would of necessity cease to be the major interest of life and would, as has happened to so many biological activities, be relegated to a position of minor importance…

In a physical sense we should be living in a world in which economic processes were carried out by two agencies:

One, as heretofore, the agency of individual effort and from an economic point of view of decreasing importance;

The other, as the result of the plant, organization, and knowledge which are the cumulative result of the effort not only of the present generation, but of the pioneers and inventors of the past. The second agency can, of course, be collectively described as real (as distinct from financial) capital.

Now it is quite easy to make out a perfectly simple ethical justification for the proposition that the share of the product due to the individual under such a state of affairs would be:

l a small and decreasing share due to his individual efforts

l a large and increasing amount due to his rights as a shareholder or an heir, or if it may be preferred, a tenant for life of the communal capital.

But in fact such an argument is far less satisfactory than the equally valid argument that the communal capital is useless to exactly the extent that any proportion of the public is prevented from drawing upon it, which is, of course, the general explanation of the vast amount of idle real wealth in the present day.

Proceeding from this stage and remembering that a satisfactory financial system is simply a reflection in figures of a state of affairs alleged to exist, or is, in other words, simply an accounting system, it is not difficult to understand that wages and salaries in relation to dividends ought to become increasingly unimportant.

Production is far more dependent upon real capital than it is upon labor, although without labor there is no production. More and more the position of labor, using, of course, this word in its widest possible sense, tends to become the catalyst in an operation impossible without its presence but carried on with a decreasing direct contribution from labor itself.

Let us at this point for the sake of clarity identify the community with the nation and in doing so be careful not to confuse administration with ownership.

It ought not to be difficult to see that a situation which may truly be described as revolutionary is disclosed.

In place of the relation of the individual to the nation:a taxpayer is easily seen to be that of a shareholder. Instead of paying for the doubtful privilege of being entitled to a particular brand of passport, its possession entitles him to draw a dividend, from the past and present efforts of the community of which he is a member.

The National Debt, which he did not create, becomes a national credit which is a reflection of the national capital which he did create.

His budget is not required to balance because his wealth is always increasing.

He is not required to fight for foreign markets, since obtaining foreign markets merely means a longer working day.

Having more leisure he is less likely to suffer from either individual or national nerve-strain and having more time to meet his neighbors can reasonably be expected to understand them more fully.

Not being dependent upon a wage or salary for subsistence, he is under no necessity to suppress his individuality, with the result that his capacities are likely to take new forms of which we have so far little conception.

– The Monopoly of Credit, 1950 edition, pp. 110-113

 

From Louis Even

The disappearance of the salary would regulate the cost, and definitely, the problems of those who receive a salary.

Under a regime of dividends, it would still be necessary to work, so then workers would also be needed. But, with a periodic dividend guaranteed to each person, permitting at least the necessary means to live, we do not see how we would need to continue in this destructive system. Instead of employees, the entrepreneur would simply have associates — workers who are competent or in formation, who accept to share with the entrepreneur the responsibility as well as the proceeds of the enterprise.

All of the present unnecessary regulations — worker’s unions, raises, bonuses, commissions, conciliation boards, negotiations, strikes, etc. — would not be in the historian’s vocabulary, it would be a regime that simply had taken too much time to disappear.

With this vision of the future possible immediately, the social creditors prefer to work in order to get out of the cage, instead of just putting a band-aid on the problem. To be pioneers, instead of being trapped in a routine.

There are still some people who, because they receive money, honors and blessings from it, wish to remain in the cage. As for the Social Crediters, they have decided to escape from the cage.

 

 

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