Challenge an Economist

Looking at historical facts has led me to believe that humans are strangely incapable of learning from the past. We still have poverty and deprivation on the one hand and incredible riches on the other just as we did thousands of years ago.

Why is it that some people think that money can make money? Do we forget that it does not grow on trees and that someone somewhere has to work for every dollar that is made?

I should like to challenge a clever economist to work out a formula which tells us what would happen if everyone on this planet could make a decent living. Would the economy collapse if profits were limited to say five percent with any excess used to create work for the underprivileged?

My simple theory is based on the principle that everybody would be better off if the poor could afford to buy the food and clothing they need. Every dollar they spend would not only pay the production line worker´s wages but also boost the income of the factory owner. Would it be so terrible if the rich became richer more slowly?

So ideally instead of increasing profit margins and ploughing billions into weapons we could spend that money on building factories in underprivileged countries. Let them produce the goods they need. People there would then not feel the desire to flee to other countries to escape starvation. Instead we now build fences and police the borders to keep the migrants out.

Unfortunately we know from experience that the ideal world will never happen as humans are apparently not able to think straight. Even rules in religions have been misinterpreted to give power to the few and wars have been fought in the name of god.

What hope is there for the future? Will the cycles of history be repeated with cultures perishing in revolutions ? Why do the statesmen not get together and develop a new concept for people to live peacefully together and share the wealth this planet has to offer. Are they too busy looking after their own interests and winning the next elections? They seem to forget that we are all of us only here for a limited period. Are we allowed to burn the world´s resources in our lifetime?

Generations have been asking these questions and nobody has found the answer yet. Although it would be so simple if everyone was prepared to abide by the rules and not follow Charles Dickens´s Martin Chuzzlewit´s maxim – Do them before they do you.

In the 1960s there were songwriters wanting to make people think. Take Bob Dylan or Evans & Lee. Have they changed the world? At least they tried.

About Pat Harrison

Painting and drawing have been my passion from early childhood. I have attended numerous exhibitions in England and Germany. Presented with the Judges Award at a show I now have one of my paintings on permanent display at a museum in Greater London with growing sales and commissions.
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5 Responses to Challenge an Economist

  1. Rob Ward wrote:
    Hi Pat
    I have just read William Templeton McAllister’s post and found it extremely interesting, one thing in particular that struck a cord was his comments on automation, it took me back to the late 1950’s when I was a Electrical Engineering student with a large industrial company and became involved in the company’s development departments efforts to automate, automation was in its infancy then but even so we were developing radio frequency heating systems where on machine could replace the jobs of four people, I remember thinking at the time that future factories would employ significantly less people and in my young naivety thought that this would be a good thing, that it would free people enabling them to pursue their real interests and of course as work was not available the government would have to pay them a wage, this would come from extra taxation on the enormous profits they would make. Oh dear what a mistake not realising the depth of corporate greed, that companies that had built their industries on the sweat of Britons would become global, closing down at home and setting up automated sites on foreign shores where even the minimal labour they employed was cheap. Just shows!

  2. joe sixpak says:

    you are clearly unable to understand how the real world works
    and are lost in some socialist utopia fantasyland

    doing what you suggest would make things worse for everybody

    we have four problems

    too many people – breeding faster than jobs can be created – plus too many lazy parasites

    automation that makes orkers with the really good jobs 10x more effective thus eliminating the need for more of them

    globalism aided by the internet that means usa salaries have to drop until those in the rest of the world rise to meet in the middle

    structural problems caused by too much government wasting too much money and killing jobw with too many useless regulations

    • “too many people – breeding faster than jobs can be created – plus too many lazy parasites”
      It has been proven many times over that when few of your children survive into adulthood, overbreeding becomes a problem. With decent jobs and incomes, the overbreeding ends as children survive. As for the lazy parasites (a nice way to introduce racism into the equation) the true lazy parasites are those who sit around and do nothing while their money works for them in the stock market. Those who do the work are being driven into poverty while company profits are driven disproportionally higher so that more can be paid to the stockholders. This form of usury was bitterly debated at the founding of this nation, culminating in the Burr/Hamilton duel.

      “automation that makes orkers with the really good jobs 10x more effective thus eliminating the need for more of them”
      Automate less. By taking the emphasis away from the stockholder as priority number one, you arrive at a point where, as the original writer said, “the rich become richer more slowly.”

      “globalism aided by the internet that means usa salaries have to drop until those in the rest of the world rise to meet in the middle”
      NAFTA, and the elimination of Glass/Steagall were huge mistakes, that qualified Bill Clinton to go down in history as the best Republican president in the latter half of the Twentieth Century. The oligarchs who now run this country want to lower the wages of the middle class. I disagree with the original writer about no one learning from the songwriters of the ’60s and ’70s. The oligarchs learned that with comfortable incomes, the middle class had time to take to the streets and end an unjust but very profitable war. When every household member has to hold down two jobs to make ends meet, you have no more of that nonsense.

      “structural problems caused by too much government wasting too much money and killing jobw with too many useless regulations”
      There is a lot of money wasted by our government. We should be spending tons more rebuilding our infrastructure (creating many good jobs), rather than building battleships and airplanes that don’t fly. Even the military says they don’t need all the funds they are getting. The oligarchs have you convinced that they are being over regulated, but they have no concern about the air we breath, or the water we drink, as long as they get more money. Ask any supporter of the Keystone pipe line and they will mistakenly tell you that we need the oil. In truth, the pipe line is to get the oil to our biggest petro-seaport for sales overseas.

      In closing I would like to add that I did live in England for many years, and the National Health System there is FANTASTIC. Don’t be misled by those who want to buy this country. Now is the time to stand up and fight. We might be able to get our democracy back.

      • Thank you for your detailed analysis. There are so many points I quite agree with. The people who could introduce change are often funded by the people who do not understand that more money in the hands of the workers would also benefit them. John Ford started his business by paying higher wages than anyone else which enabled his workers to buy his cars. Investors forget that money does not work, it just sits there until somebody works for it.
        PS I am impressed by your website.

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