November 17, 2010
The Punk Patirot Fixes the USA Economy
With quantitative easing, people are worried about inflation!
If we don’t do anything, the Fed is worried about deflation!
By blaming our shitty economy on people who receive welfare checks, we’re having a big problem with CONFLATION!
I’m the Punk Patriot, and I’m going to fuckin’ fix the economy for you.
I was watching the news the other day, they were doing “man on the street” interviews, and I saw this one person give his thoughts on the economy: “I think thar’s too much people gittin on welfur, and too much of our jobs is bein’ sent overseas.”
Well, you got half of that right. Thanks to NAFTA, CAFTA, and the WTO, our manufacturing jobs have almost all left the country. Manufacturing is important, because it’s a job that takes a low-cost raw material and transforms it into a high-value consumable good. This happens through the MAGIC OF LABOR!
Because people are working on transforming low value materials into high value goods, the product that they create using their skilled labor has more use and therefore more value, than the stuff that they started with. Which means that they are creating wealth. Factories are not just places to create goods, they are places that create wealth. And right now, all our wealth is being created in other countries. Thats why the economy fucking sucks so bad.
I work in a boot factory. I make boots. I transform leather and rubber, both of which are relatively low cost, low value materials, into a high-value, higher-function good-- a boot.
You can’t keep your feet dry and warm with scrap leather and rubber alone. You need it to be crafted into a fucking boot. That takes skilled labor. You’re welcome.
Your retail jobs don’t do this. They simply move a product from one place to another. You will never grow an economy on retail sales, because the margins are slim, and no wealth is created by moving a product from one point to another. An economy based entirely on retail sales-- which is what we’ve pretty much had for the past 30 years, will eat itself alive- which is pretty much what we’re seeing right now.
Now, the address the conflation of “Too much people gettin on welfar”...
For whatever reason, it’s a common misconception that people receiving welfare is bad for the economy. People getting on welfare isn’t the reason you don’t have a job. The reason you don’t have a job is because nobody fucking MAKES anything anymore. Which means that all our wealth has left the country. Which means that nobody has any money to fucking buy anything anymore. Which means that the retail jobs are having to lay people off. Which means that more people have less money to buy things with. Which means that more layoffs are in the works. Which means that more people have less money to spend.
Welfare spending actually reverses this trend. If a person receives welfare spending, what do they spend it on? (DRUGS!) No! Actually they spend it on food and rent. If more people have more money to spend on food and rent, then the grocery stores can hire more people, and the superintendents are better able to afford repairs. Which means that construction and repair workers can stay employed and grocery stores can hire more people, which means that they can buy other things like cars. Which means that more people can get paid to make cars. Or whatever. Money flows in one direction-- from the bottom, up. This is a fundamental truth of capitalism. Fixing the interest rates for all the rich fucks on Wall Street can start doing more derivatives trading again doesn’t do ANYTHING to fix the economy.
Which is why Quantitative Easing is doomed to fail. Capitalism is fundamentally flawed, and supply-side economics, which apparently even Obama has drunk the kool-aid on, is even more so.
You’re not going to fix fundamental flaws by fucking around with interest rates. The problem isn’t our monetary policy, it’s our monetary system, which is biased towards savings, wall street mathematical gymnastics, and scarcity. It’s the fundamental flaws in our entire economy-- that we do NOT RECOGNIZE that the poorest people amongst us are actually the ones who create all wealth in society by providing consumer demand. If it wasn’t for consumer demand, all the pioneers of industry would be wasting their money and time. Which with the economy in recession, it looks like they’re doing.
Rich people don’t create jobs. They don’t create a single fucking job. If labor hadn’t worked their asses off striking and protesting and doing work-slowdowns, and sit-down strikes, and taking police billy clubs to the head, and being shot and killed, so that we could have all the labor laws we take for granted, things like overtime pay, minimum wage, the right to organize, a half hour lunch, 15 minute breaks, OSHA safety requirements, etc etc etc-- we’d be no different than those third world countries that all our jobs have gone to.
If we didn’t have these labor protections mandated by law, we’d be working our fingers off- literally right off our hands, getting them caught in unsafe machinery, or permanently damaged due to repetitive motion injury.
Now Randian regressives who would prefer we live in a pre-Great Depression laissez-faire, free-market system, would have us believe that we should be willing to make ourselves POORER-- by taking cuts in benefits and wages, to make ourselves richer, by having more jobs. We aren’t going to make ourselves richer by making ourselves poorer. That’s so fucking illogical I don’t even know where to begin with debunking that...
You want to fix the fucking economy? I’ll fix it for you.
First thing we need, is a trade policy where we stop importing goods from whoever is fucking over their workers the most, just because it’s cheaper to do so. We can harness the greed and consumption of America to do good work for the rest of the world. Pure free-market economics is like a child with an overactive ID and no superego telling them what’s right and wrong.
What we need is to put in a safeguard to protect us from our own greed and stupidity. If we implement a trade policy in which we only trade with countries who have labor laws and environmental protection laws at least as good as our own, then we force third world countries to give their lower class more protection by their governments, and increase their standards of living, by giving them more labor protections, and higher wages, and more protection from getting poisoned by lazy fucks that we call the “captains of industry”, who pollute because it’s cheap and easy to do so.
Second, we need to implement a MAXIMUM WAGE law. Now there’s been talk about this for a while. Some think we should just cap it arbitrarily. I think that’s wrong. I think that would stifle the GOOD things about capitalism and greed-- the incentive to make the best fucking product you can for the lowest amount of money to the consumer, so that you can make the most money you can. Capitalism works really well for creating amazing consumer goods. Like cellphones and computers. People really wanted to be able to watch YouTube videos and so now you can do it on your fucking PHONE. In fact, some of you are probably watching this on a phone. A FUCKING PHONE! That’s crazy! That couldn’t happen without capitalism responding to consumer demand.
But there’s a problem-- the Average CEO makes 10million dollars a year.
The average worker makes 40,000 a year or less. The average worker spends the majority of their income on meeting their basic needs-- which is all shit that actually makes our economy function.
The average CEO keeps it. This is called “dead money.” That money sits in the bank, or goes to wall street where it does mathematic gymnastics, but doesn’t create a single fucking job.
So what’s the solution? The maximum wage needs to be indexed to the lowest paid employee at any company. Let’s set it at say, 20 times what your lowest paid employee makes-- which is roughly the same ratio that we saw in the 1950s and 1960s, a time when the USA was far more properous. Back in the 1960s, indexed for inflation, we worked half as many hours, got paid the same amount, but the cost of living was a third of what it is now.
Today, CEOs make roughly 300 times as much as their lowest paid employees. That’s fucking absurd. If a company is doing really well, it’s because of EVERYBODY at that fucking company working their ass off, least of which is the CEO. If they have enough money laying around to give themselves bonuses, they have enough money to let everybody share in the wealth. After all, all those poor fucks are the ones who put their labor into making that company successful.. They should share in that wealth. So if a company does well, and the executive board wants to give themselves raises as a pat on the back-- go ahead. But you have to a raise that is proportional to your income-- to everybody else in your company. If you want to give yourself a raise, you have to give EVERYBODY in your company a raise.
This forces more of the wealth downwards into the lowest classes, where it belongs. Because it’s all going to end up back in the pockets of the CEOs anyways. Fixing the economy to work better for the rich and the traders on wall street, is like fixing a tree to work better for a fungal parasite. You’re going to end up killing the tree.
This is the punk patriot, to life, liberty, and pursuit of a less fucked up government.