Many people think that economics generally concerns money. However, economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Money is a component of economics, as much as hunger is. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines money as “something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment." This definition can be interpreted as including barter trades as well as favors. If we consider the very real fact that each person is born with a unique set of skills and talents, then it is logical that we would each contribute the results of those talents while relying on the talents of others for things we cannot produce.
In other words, we seem to be designed for bartering. Another way to look at it is that we are all cogs in the machinery of society. Each of us has a part to play, individualized contributions, for the rest of us to use. The problem is that the wealthy and corporations (and by extension, Society) define what skills and talents are considered” marketable” (also known as “allowed”). Schools geared towards training students to fit into one or more of those allowed skills (roles). Anyone who cannot assimilate will be shunned or simply go hungry.
I have seen several talented people waste their real skills because they need to earn a living. Taking this into consideration, now extrapolate further to include the stagnant wages, tax cuts for the wealthy, the rising cost of living, and a cut-throat job market and it doesn’t take a great imagination to consider this economic structure imploding.
What will happen is that living wages will become unretainable for workers, causing them to purchase fewer goods and services. The means of distribution is currently based on ownership (the owner of goods sells it to retailers; retailers mark up the prices and then consumers buy from the retailers). If distribution grinds to a halt because owners are keeping profits up by keeping costs (wages to workers) down will drive down consumer buying power. At some point, the workers will revolt (most likely against one another).
Of course, there are those who believe competitive (free) markets should drive the cost of goods. The theory is in competition, each seller will cut down their selling price to undercut the competition. This implies that buyers can then manipulate the cost by not buying from certain sellers, causing the other buyers to try and undercut the seller who is gaining customers. However, in America, there is no such thing as a free market. There are plenty of protectionist laws to ensure that shareholders are protected and that a larger company will buy up the smaller companies.
That may sound fair, but all those smaller companies have employees who are ultimately laid-off, forcing them back into the cut-throat job market. Or worse, they must dip into their savings until a job is available that matches their last income. Now take that further by exploring the gig economy and the corporate preference for contractors over permanent employees.
This is a brutal economic system that will not hold for much longer. Therefore, I propose allowing the workers to control the means of production and distribution in collectives (Anarcho-syndicalism). “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs." By eliminating money, these collectives could establish a better approach to production, distribution, and consumption. The Spanish Revolution of 1936 saw the anarchist movement take root in places like Catalonia. Workers controlled the means of production. Everything was free. Everyone contributed to a factory, service, or farm. There was no theft. There was no need for police. Everyone had a say in a very democratic syndicalist manner. Everyone got a far better return on their work than we could ever dream of.
Imagine doing that here in America. We don’t have to go to that extreme. There are middle grounds that can be reached. This page will have links to my articles about economics, including my preference for Anarcho-Syndicalism.
Another Reason to Hate Santorum
People are Angry
A Cautionary Tale?