Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Food For Thought......

It is not often these days that I post commentary from a "conservative" weblog. Today is different. Having come across a post at Always On Watch I believe has merit because it offers up great food for thought I decided to reproduce it on the pages this weblog. My hope is it generates some conversation that is thoughtful as well as respectful.

Destructive Destruction

Silverfiddle Rant!
Apologies to John Prine

Daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County,
Where good jobs are boomin' and men get good pay.
I'm sorry my son but you're too late in askin'
Mr. Jeff Bezos' website done hauled them away.

You can’t bring those Sears jobs Back

Is retail dead, destined for the obituaries along with the whale blubber industry that was replaced by kerosene lamps, which were replaced by the lightbulb?

What kind of new economy will give people meaningful work as technology ends up doing so much of what humans used to earn their living doing?
Is free money for everybody a solution? How would that work if nobody is working and paying taxes to fund it?

Will the world end up Silicon Valley’s vast domain, with the giants handing out monthly vouchers for us to shop at their company stores?

Bust the Trusts?


  1. To begin the discussion I give you the comment I left @ Always On Watch.

    Good question Silverfiddle. As technology advances, possibly exponentially, AI will eventually be doing the lion's share of work. Thus the opportunity to earn a living in the conventional sense will disappear.

    That capitalistic society that was responsible for the explosion of the middle class will be dramatically altered. Perhaps in ways we can't even imagine today. It most certainly will require we think outside the box. Most notably in how we define value in over life. At near 67 and semi-retired I've had a lot more time to think about this very issue. Frankly, Karl Marx may well have been thinking 300 years into the future.

    Good post Silverfiddle. I know my great grandchildren will be living in this environment. If humankind doesn't annihilate itself first.

  2. Inevitably times change; the last few decades the rate of change has become rapid indeed. As a school kid, I grew up where there were little grocery stores every couple of city blocks. The owners were not rich, they simply loved being
    a hardworking owner. Unquestionably America was then great-we had gone through the most vicious world war and the atomic
    age was in its infancy. We ponder that the top secret plutonium facility at Hanford, WA had been designed and built by
    the old big corporation DuPont. That company was already deep into production for the war effort, and reluctantly agreed
    to build and develop the fast breeder reactors. Their price? $1 plus cost. That was not capitalism, nor free market-it
    was patriotism. In those days it would have been horribly hypocritical to reap profits when the blood of young Americans
    was being spilled from Iwo Jima to the Bulge. When I entered the work force the company mission started with employees, customers and community. 40 years later when I retired, the company mission started with the shareholder, the return on
    investment and other short range fiscal goals. I'm not complaining, but those that have an unreasoned fear of the work
    'socialist' have but to look at the Nordic countries and Europe to see that how wealth is distributed bears greatly on
    the health of nations. It is as easy to note that socialist/totalitarian is every bit equivalent to capitalist/totalitarian: that economics and politics are separate polities, the interaction of which requires delicate
    consideration. Our science, our technology, our progress outpace our post-caveman ethics and culture. Short term planning negates long term progress and self interest surpasses the greater good. We are fooled into thinking that
    patriotism is shouting "lock her up" and demeaning the press. I came into the world before Pearl Harbor, I've lived and seen a lot...and I am saddened.

    1. Change is the only constant in human affairs. I'll be commenting (via post) either before or right after then New Year.

  3. Where does the money come from? The simple answer is that you tax where value is created. In other words , you tax businesses and corporations.

    1. True Jerry. So, are you saying individuals should not be taxed? Or should income be taxed as capital gain on an individuals labor?

    2. I think that, in general, taxes on wages should be paid by the wage payer, not the wage earner.

    3. I, after 67 years on this earth, being a productive wage and salary earner, still believe that I bear some personal responsibility for paying a portion of the money I earned to support the services provided me by the state. Both federal and my home state.

      I do believe marginal rates on individual should be lowered and corporate rates increased.

      Life is NOT free in an advanced and wealthy nation.

    4. Nor should it be. One should contribute to the infrastructures they use.

      Value added tax that you pay each time you avail yourself of a specific value works for me as well as a replacement of the IIT.

    5. If your employer is paying the income tax instead of you, in effect you are still paying for the tax because your income would be lower essentially by the amount of tax. It simply removes one of the steps of the money getting to the government, and makes it simpler for most people.

    6. For most people, their employer already sends most of your tax money to the government anyway, and you never see it now. My way, they would send all of it.

    7. Gotcha. If the individuals paycheck is reduced by the applicable tax rate for his income level so it eliminates the need to file income taxes I'm with ya!

    8. Now, the next step is to remove any reference to income tax on the salary, and it all become a tax on top of the total salary paid to employees of the company. In other words, if you get a $100 raise it all shows up in you paycheck, and what the company pays in taxes goes up by the applicable salary tax rate on that $100.

  4. We changed from a production work society to a service work society. Those production jobs paid better than a person selling ties at a department store. Why? We keep looking for good paying jobs, lets make the jobs we have better paying. That doesn't mean we have to unionize all service workers unless corporations are unwilling to pay better wages and benefits. Why should the value of workers go down just because they do different work? Capitalists have a responsibility to the society they do business in and make their profits from. Part of that responsibility is to provide jobs people can live on and products people can afford. A company might be able to survive selling to only 10% of the population, but take Henry Ford's advice and make it possible that 90% of the population can afford those products, then you have a boom.

    1. Hear Hear Jerry!!

      Henry Ford was the embodiment of a true capitalist. He became fabulously wealthy by making the automobile and the mobility it made possible affordable to almost all Americans.

      It makes sense to look out for your own rational self interests by understanding and helping others achieve their self interests. Helping others achieve their goals is often the best and surest way of achieving one's own.


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