Editorial #80 Labor vs Efficiency
In our quest for efficiency in our capitalistic system, there is a constant push to improve anything we do. Capitalism is the most humane, fair, naturally correcting, efficient form of economy ever devised with little need for government involvement or regulation. The free market works because if we don’t do the things our customer wants we won’t be paid. This systems is nearly impossible to improve upon.
The only way anyone can survive in a capitalistic system is to do, make or fix things that someone is willing to pay for because it makes their life easier, cheaper and/or saves time. The more anyone does this, the more successful they become. The capitalistic system is also the most ecological system of economics because there is always the incentive to do more with less labor and materials, saving energy and natural resources.
The socialist system is unfair, selfish and requires constant regulating and monitoring by someone, usually a government bureaucrat. There is no incentive for efficiency or put forth more effort. The only incentive is to do as little as possible as everyone receives the same amount with their goal to get what they can before someone else takes it. A minimum wage law is only possible in a socialistic society as it only rewards effort and not productivity.
The biggest ecological disaster we face today is not climate change. The climate has been changing for millions of years with the only climate change we have today is known as weather. Our biggest problem is the dealing with the waste our society generates. It is not the energy to produce our goods and services but the incentive to not waste. Everything we purchase has two ingredients, labor and materials. All the natural resources in the world have been here since the big bang and there is a physical law that state the matter cannot be created or destroyed, it only changes state. It is the effort to eliminate capitalism with socialistic ideals like the minimum wage that keeps our planet from being as clean and safe as it could be from pollution.
Any effort to increase the labor cost, by demanding a minimum wage, is causing material cost increase. There is no incentive to save anything as the labor cost to save or recycle anything is higher than the cost to make it new. This is completely against any ecological incentive to save the planet by using less of everything.
This explains a lot of the inconsistencies we see in society:
• If everyone saved all their money, and not spend and become overly frugal, the economy would implode. The old adage we preached to our children, to save money, is not good for the economy. Everyone needs to spend everything they earn to make the economy grow faster.
• The increasing of wages is making it too expensive to save anything and is anti-environmental. The movement to recycle is going away as the minimum wage increases. More waste is generated as it is too expensive to pay anyone to pick stuff up.
• Any efforts in automation and improved efficiency reduces the need for labor. This makes the cost to manufacture cheaper and contributes to the throw-away mentality as it is less expensive to buy new, than to repair.
The irony is there are no perfect answers to the world’s problems. The adage: “If everyone kept their own doorstep clean, the whole world would be clean” encourages everyone to do their part. The world judges us not by what we get from society, but by what we give to society and not forced through governmental regulations. So if we all lived by our core values of truth, fairness, sustainability and integrity and taught other through example, the world would be a much better place.
This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.