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Progress and Unemployment

on Wednesday, 01 May 2019. Posted in The Social Dividend

39. How do we deal with unemployment?

If it were simply a matter of work we know that anyone can dig a hole, fill it up, dig it again and fill it up once more. An unemployed person occupied in this manner would not make a single penny. Why focus on work and jobs when it is money that is needed? The solution does not lie with work; it lies with the products that must be sold. An increase in the sales of products could even give employment new life.

The system ironically requires that work be done in order to have access to goods whose production requires the input of less work.

40. We do not want mechanization to take away our jobs.

What? Is progress an enemy of mankind? Must we give up on education and all discoveries? Must we close all universities and end research?

Progress must not be done away with; it must be applied to freeing mankind.

41. Could progress be a good thing?

Of course. The machine is worthwhile and a step in the right direction even if it replaces the work of 10 men. This is an indicator of progress.

Progress frees us from working for material well-being and gives us more time for leisure. Everyone must be able to purchase what progress makes possible. Progress should improve the quality of life and liberate us from worries about the future.

42. How can mechanization become an ally?

This alliance would be created through the distribution of a Social Dividend which would be a source of purchasing power in addition to salaries. The Dividend would enable the population to buy the abundant products available because of technological advances and progress.

43. Would the Social Dividend be the source of an additional tax borne by those who work?

The Social Dividend should not be confused with social programs such as welfare and employment insurance. The funds used in the latter programs were taken from the earnings of other members of society through taxation.

Social programs demoralize recipients by financially penalizing those who would work. A recipient who accepts work, even at minimum wage, can lose his benefits. Receiving benefits can be humiliating; the recipient is made to believe that he is living at the expense of others.

The Social Dividend has none of these negative features. It is an income distributed to all since it belongs to everyone. It creates a burden for no one and is not paid out of borrowed money nor from taxation; neither is it inflationary as it is backed by goods and services. The Social Dividend is not charity. It is akin to the distribution of revenues to “shareholders”. Advances in the processes that accelerate the volume of production call for advancements in the amount of money that is available in society.

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