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Economic IssuesViews: 539
Feb 19, 2010 6:20 pmEconomic Issues#

Ken Hilving
Each year, we get better at automating production. The product is incidental to this. Design work is primarily CAD, reducing the time frames, expanding the knowledge base, and shortening the cycle from concept to production. Production takes ever greater advantage of CAM, insuring accuracy and consistency of the work, and allowing in many cases a "lights out" factory. Communications and process controls improve the quality and consistency of raw materials, arriving as they are needed.

In services, these same principals allow customers to select goods, have totals computed, and make payment without ever dealing with a salesperson. Inventories are kept current, stock management is automated. Use online sales, and the process is almost a lights out operation for the retailer.

Banks have almost done away with tellers between ATM's, direct deposit, and online banking.

Much of the medical services could follow the same path. Few tests actually require medical staff to perform, and outside of the emotional value of human contact.

The use of pilots in air transportation is more about perception than need. The same could be done with most other transportation, except for the emotional need for "someone driving".

We could go on, but the point is that a great deal of what used to be work is or could be done faster and better thanks to technology.

I have suggested before that we have five currencies - time, money, security, knowledge, and prestige. Our economic systems are primarily based on one currency - money. Today, we an incredible wealth of time as computers and machines do the work. Today, we have greater security in our products thanks again in large measure to machines and computers. Our access to knowledge has never been greater. We are, in general, the richest generation of humanity in time, security, and knowledge.

Ironically, our money based economy creates a social condition where our wealth of time has come from a lack of needed work. Lack of work means a lack of money, which means a lack of personal security. Yet all of our technical advances are increasing our wealth of time and reducing our ability to work. Meanwhile, money continues to concentrate with a few who control production. Equally ironic, that money and production control means its value is fading.

What began as a way of expanding the work output to overcome labor shortages has now replaced the work output of a labor surplus.

Not a rant, not a solution, just an observation. We are on the verge of something new, or we will tear it all down and start over. Time to rethink objectives and requirements?

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Feb 20, 2010 5:32 amre: Economic Issues - it's rarely about the money, but when it is, it is only about money#

Ken Hilving
Charlie Rose had a panel discussion about the current US economic issues of debt and deficit. One of his guests commented that the ability to grow the economy was key.

The same rules apply everywhere - economic growth is the engine of money based economies, and almost all of us are in money based economies. Economic growth is measured in jobs created, for which people trade their time for money, so that they can trade their money for goods and services, so that people have jobs producing goods and services.

Meanwhile, all of our advances in productivity and in technology have a consistent long term result of reducing jobs...

And Moore's Law goes merrily along, applying not just to computers but to everything touched by technology. Better, faster, cheaper. Obsoleteness must be planned, because otherwise our goods could easily outlive our grandchildren's grandchildren.

I don't want to return to the bad old days of working dawn to dusk on the edge of survival. I don't want to give up the wonders of modern life, and don't want to deny them to anyone else in the world.

So how do we enjoy all this innovation when it's about the money, and only about the money??

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Feb 20, 2010 8:57 amre: Economic Issues#

James Booth
.
"We are on the verge of something new ..."

We absolutely are.

> time - no real change but in how we use time
INCREASE

> money - as it accumulates at the "top"
DECREASE

> security - how to measure on a personal level, relative to what ?
?

> knowledge - depends on personal initiative
+ or -

> and prestige - how to measure on any level ?
?

_______


Our current "system" involves "cyclical consumption" and "taxation"

- both of which require the average person to have "income"

(I still maintain that a "paycheck" is not entirely "income"
... but that leads to other discussions.)


Most individuals require "job" to have income.

Automation replaces "jobs"

The capitalist system as it exists requires "consumption" (more sales) for profits

... and requires "automation" (less overhead) for profits.

Something has to give.

The current system cannot be "fixed"

The current system must be replaced.

_______


Natural distribution systems worked well thousands of years ago, "ordering" behaviour within communities
- rewarding or discouraging certain activities as "god-king" shepherded the people.

When city-states began trading "at distance" caravaneers realized they could manipulate "letters of credit"

The more they were trusted, the easier for them to create additional "bills of credit" backed by nothing and trade them as if they were backed by assets stored "somewhere"

Coinage (iron, copper, silver, gold) became wealth and the power of coinage replace "god-king" as ruler.

Since then, for the last 5-6,000 years and longer, "natural rule" has been usurped by a "hidden" class of "international bankers" which subverts natural distribution of goods and services within "city-state" and poses "city-state" against "city-state" in a never-ending cycle of pillage and plunder, in which "international banker" always has a "cut" no matter who lives or dies.

The pillage of "precious metal" stores from "city-state" is little more than the frequent draining of all "creative effort" (blood, sweat and tears) of any population, for the benefit of "someone else" with always a percentage going to the "international banker"

Now that the power of corruption has reached a global scale, it essentially requires another planet to continue to grow, so even that "tapeworm" has to somehow change if it is to survive.

Yes, "We are on the verge of something new ..."

... and "We are the ones we have been waiting for."


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Feb 20, 2010 5:16 pmre: re: Economic Issues - it's rarely about the money, but when it is, it is only about money#

James Booth
.
My response to a private message seems more appropriate here where a diversity of comment may proceed ...
_


Seems odd, I suppose, to anyone who knows me, that I would seem to be promoting "monarchy" or "kingship"

- a rather large "bone" I am struggling with in my studies right now to be sure.

There are, and always will be, "bad men" among us, but ...

In earlier times there was a natural order of "things" in which "God" (however defined by a local group) was in some "heaven" under which "king" or "pharoah" was "embodiment" and through which a dedicated "priesthood" served "the people" of a tribe or village or burgeoning "city-state"

... and in that way, whatever "produce" the "god(s)" supplied to a community (including locusts, sufficient but not excessive rainfall, not too cold and not too hot, etc.), assuming the *human* ruler (intermediary) was indeed beneficent, as most had to be to survive at all and to continue to occupy some "throne" from which was distributed "the fruits of the earth" (that same produce), all was as well as could be.


With "coinage" however, the priesthood were easily convinced that they, too, could accumulate "wealth" and so were thus corrupted first (U. S. parallel today is any president's Cabinet).

Once corrupted, the advice of the "priesthood" to the natural leader began to change, no longer favouring the *health* of the people who allowed the ruler to sit upon the throne.

The health of The People (with coins in their pockets now elevated to "kingly status") began to slip from any control borne of a natural leader, whose own obsession with accumulating "precious wealth" became even more corrupt than the priesthood.

Agitation among The People when dissatisfied with a year's "harvest" could then be, and was, and is, directed toward a competing city-state (usually one which has amassed a great store of "wealth"), thus reducing the power of the "god(s)"

... and thus was "civilization" moved from a natural competition for "resources" to a now millenias-old state of constant war.


Egos of kings or presidents are massaged in the process, to be sure ...

... but no king or president sits long in power over any state without approval of those who finance such "leaders"

- nor have they for thousands of years.

Strong or weak as individuals, kings and presidents can easily be replaced if they "go their own way"

Leaders may survive for a time as long as they will deliver the message to "war" when called upon to do so.


It was suggested that I am presenting an "us against them" scenario

... and I apologize if any of this is read in such way.

In the natural world, the body is born to live.

It is not hatred of the leech, or the mosquito, or the tapeworm, for which one removes the offending organism.

It is the Will to Live for which the draining of one's Life Force is naturally minimized as much as possible.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Feb 20, 2010 5:30 pmre: re: re: Economic Issues - it's rarely about the money, but when it is, it is only about money#

Ken Hilving
The points on the corruption of intent, and the massaging of a leader's ego by those in advisory/supportive roles, seems to apply in any organization. The particular belief system involved or area of involvement (religious, moral, economic, etc.) doesn't seem to matter.

Minimizing the danger from this would make an excellent new thread, but is a tangent, I think, in this thread.
_____

As for our choice of metaphors, I think our selection will often lead to polarization. Put someone in the "company" of leeches and tapeworms, and they are likely to get defensive.

Likewise, ignoring all the good and all the potential for good that the current system has enabled seems like a waste. Might we do better by building on the positives? Can we improve rather than replace, evolve rather than revolt?

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Feb 20, 2010 9:28 pmre: re: re: Economic Issues - it's rarely about the money, but when it is, it is only about money#

James Booth
.
I am happy to pursue this elsewhere, with anyone who is willing.

What got me going was the "it's rarely about the money, but when it is, it is only about money" part.

As was said above, "almost all of us are in money based economies"

... and it seems to me the challenge is to break the "vice grip" hold *money* has over us.

We worship "coin" and fiat currency as "promise to pay" thinking we are accumulating gold, or silver, or such as we cannot eat, or plant, breathe or drink.

All the while, coin and currency is manipulated "above and beyond" whatever "government" we create so that a portion of whatever we earn or create is always taken from us in ways we often do not even detect.

The appeal of "money" as default means of exchange, while ignoring those other currencies, is rooted in the "rules we have to play by" as long as we allow "government" to monopolize our transactions with each other

... which leads us all to the question posed:

"... how do we enjoy all this innovation when it's about the money, and only about the money?"

Perhaps it is just me who is only now realizing how deeply rooted is the system of "monetary creation and emission" - how long that system has overridden the intentions and purposes of peoples and governments around the world.

It does not matter, in my opinion, "who" is responsible for such a system, who imposes it and maintains it.

The end result is the same for all of us, regardless whether capitalist or communist and whatever "ist" or "ism": that as long as that system continues to drain wealth from our local communities we are slaves to it - wittingly, willingly, or not.

How do we free ourselves FROM that slavery to transact freely ?


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Feb 21, 2010 1:44 pmre: Economic Issues#

James Booth
.
As elsewhere, once again here there is an "elephant in the room".

The elephant stands on your, or another person's foot; the elephant waters the mistresses furniture and causes a stink; the elephant's trunk in my pants causes me excitement I dare not allow.

Each of us has separate and distinct complaints against the "power" of the elephant.

Disregarding that power makes our efforts unworkable.


Money itself is not to blame and ought to be one of those currencies we use rather than accept a "return to the bad old days".

That our "economy" IS "money based" - as presented in the opening statements of this thread - is not OUR choice, is not any accident, and is not something we can so easily, after five or six or more thousand years of practice, simply "do away with".

That our economy is "money based" - when we do look at the origins of that system which has long been imposed on all nations - is a design which "taxes" our blood, sweat and tears in ways most of us today do not even suspect.

We have talked elsewhere about the imposition of *debt* on simple peoples, aimed at depriving them of their birthright - their own lands - as legal thievery, and it is no different for us, beholden to corporation or political party, "voluntarily" paying "income" tax on what we receive in *exchange* as if our paychecks were, as according to the IRS, all INCOME

... which is a refutation of those same "currencies" so often mentioned, of which we all have Right to share freely with each other, without paying *tribute* to some force beyond our control, and beyond the control of any legitimate government we choose to form.


Yes, again, I quite agree, "We are on the verge of something new ..."

... and in that way we do not have to "tear down" anything, but we do have to take full account of "what is in the room" in order to decide what must be done.

A leech or mosquito or tapeworm is, as part of Creation, able to survive on its own; or if it does not survive due to our unwillingness to nourish such creatures, and that our lives are improved and lengthened by not feeding them, is not any discredit to us as individual living beings.

Money issued by government, borrowed as it is from the Money Power, is NOT our ONLY means of transacting with each other, and if our freedom to transact with each other is inhibited by use of the medium created and issued, or withheld, by Money Power, then our course is to make use of other "currencies" available to us, and we have no records to show how much trade there is "under the table" or through open exchange such as barter or the use of Time Dollars, Social Credit, and the like, because those of us who encourage use of our "other" currencies do not report our transactions to any private agency which disguises itself as part of our elected government.


I believe we can evolve rather than revolt easily enough, but to "improve rather than replace" - when the current usurious system drains our "wealth" (not just silver and gold, but blood, sweat and tears) at every turn - is not possible.

We must learn to employ ourselves: ask a neighbour to provide such service as he is skilled and able to do in exchange for what we can offer from our own "currencies"

... and stop sending a portion of our "earnings" or anything else we have "offshore" to some counting house which provides us, and our community, nothing in return.

There are ideas and "movements" underway to change how our produce is distributed, and to that end we must begin again, to the greatest degree we are able, to produce what we now depend on others to provide.

We can finance our own projects within our own communities, support local business, make sure our local citizenry is as healthy as possible and ready as possible to individually contribute to the "domestic product" of our own town or city, county or state.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Feb 22, 2010 2:04 pmre: re: Economic Issues#

Ken Hilving
I am wondering if the challenge is a matter of scale.

Individual
Family/friends
Friends/neighbors
Neighbors/community

An approach that can change the economic issues at these first four levels might scale up? With the six degrees of separation, an approach that works at these four layers might not even need to scale to encompass the global economy?

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Feb 23, 2010 2:59 amre: re: re: Economic Issues#

James Booth
.
Yes, in part.


When the "state" - government, at any level - that government legitimately formed BY The People, which IS The People, and operates FOR The People - NOT the form of government we have today - requires supply of some commodity, or service, that "state" (a town mayor could do this, State Governor, or president of nation) might issue its own "tender" - legal currency within the limits of that *jurisdiction* - which tender or currency could then be used by farmer, or tailor, or one engaged in transport for hire, to exchange for service or commodity that business owner requires to continue operations, including payment for wages of those who freely provide their labour toward those operations, and such currency would continue to circulate within that jurisdiction, finding its way back to the farmer or tailor or teamster as one or another person within the community also requires products and services from same.

The difference should be plain to see: there is no siphoning off of any portion of "assets" or "produce" or "energy" in the form of interest (rent) paid toward the *financing* of government operations by a "third party" outside, disinterested, and irresponsible (to The People) entity which thrives only on The People's (and thus government's) need for "liquidity".
_


Seems to me we survived many thousands of years without a "global economy"
... and will no doubt do so again as result of our current "crisis"

- a *crisis* which I believe no doubt has been brought on by design to *congeal* the so-called "global economy" - not for our (general population) benefit, but for those who have created yet another "war" (disruption of the flow) so as to create more short-term streams of "income" as the "rebuilding" process has to be financed for the "victors" to show themselves as "benefactors"

Whatever alternative approaches we design and implement individually, in small groups of "family and friends" and extending to neighbours, and to neighbouring villages and towns, have already been labelled "financial terrorism".

We know that as we "nibble away" (the best we can do initially) at the profits of The Money Power, especially in the Digital Age where our thoughts and movements are "plain to see" by anyone who wants to track them, The Money Power will resist our efforts the more our efforts affect its "bottom line"

If we get too big individually, we fall; if we stay low, we "get big" collectively.

Whether such a "movement" will even have any real effect seems doubtful, but cannot be realized at all without some attempt at it.

Such "scale" begins always with the individual, how the individual chooses to live, whether to honour the Light or dwell comfortably in the Darkness, what example the individual sets, first and primarily for self, but as well for others to choose, if they will, to follow, or better, on which to improve, and then demonstrate as a yet better example (evolution of society).

As ever, it is those small steps, or utterances, of some "crazy" who might, for instance, declare the Earth is actually *round* instead of flat, which spark paradigm shifts.

I have come to a point in my life where I have decided the "bloody revolution" is nothing more than the "last stand" resistance of The Money Power to a *paradigm shift* that is not in its interest
... and of course as "bloody revolution" is *war* it is thus another "profit center" for The Money Power.

We win through not playing by someone else's rules.

If you have what you believe to be a good idea as alternative to "what is" then do it, and if others like it, they will do it too; if they do not like it, they will tell you.

As you discuss merits of an idea you both like, together you will "tweak" it and improve it and begin your own Kaizen with it, and you just do it.

That is, after all, what the "caravaneers" did, on the road, when they first thought of writing "extra" (counterfeit) receipts for the "valuables" they had been trusted to store, but which folks in the next town could not possibly count to verify.

To this day, the success of their "idea" has been in keeping it secret - quite the same reason The Federal Reserve today will not allow its "books" to be audited, or that there are not records of the activities, during its first hundred years of existence, of the Bank of England.


Just do it, as they say : )

You are a cell member of a financial terrorism network.

Just do it.


JB

Private Reply to James Booth

Feb 23, 2010 6:42 amre: re: re: re: Economic Issues - evolution of work concept?#

Ken Hilving
So initially work was life. Don't work, don't eat, and it had nothing to do with money. Hunter/gatherers need to hunt and gather.

Fast forward a bit and we got to specialization and barter. You hunt for me and I will turn your bear teeth into a nifty necklace.

Moving forward and we got trade. Somebody is swapping something for bear teeth one place, and later swapping those bear teeth for something else. Once those teeth get made into a necklace, they're swapping that and yet another place. The middleman evolves and then goes mobile.

Dragging all those products around got old. Meat spoiled, helpers drank the beer, and at one place we didn't have anything anyone would trade for. Money fixed that.

Finally we get to industrialization. Now its work for money, and money for everything else.

In less than 10 generations, we have hit a point where work for money isn't valid because no one needs the work. Production is up, quality is up, but now no one can swap their money for it. Necessary jobs continue to shrink, and make work jobs are just a step away from being automated.

What if we did away with the work for money concept, and went to a money for living concept? Automation continues along, getting better. Money, always an illusion, keeps production going and allows individuals to still choose.

Think Monopoly, with $200 for passing GO. We can adjust the amount, change its symbol, and instead of GO we could put "money" into individual accounts based on day of the month, or birthdays, or some other cycle.

Keep a lid on it through automatic deposit. No inheritance - you die and your account goes to 0.

What about innovation, creativity, and new products? What about production improvements? Seems to me I have heard enough people talk about enjoying what they were doing enough to pay for the privilege that there will be no shortage of people choosing to "work". Except it won't be work, it will be passion.

Mom was like that taking care of the house and kids. Dad was like that working on the car and tinkering in the basement.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Feb 23, 2010 3:22 pmre: re: re: re: re: Economic Issues - evolution of work concept?#

Joseph Lynders
" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "

I am pretty sure this politically incorrect point should be considered here and maybe even explored as at least one of the possible causes of our present conditions to some extent.

I think it was Chesterton that said something to the effect that when we humans stop believing in God we don't start to believe in nothing. We start to believe in anything.

I am thinking that Chesterton may have meant that we humans tend to take something else as our god.

Certainly acting as if you believe in God is frowned on these days sending many people in search for something in which to believe.

There are many good folks doing their best under the circumstances who have chosen to believe in money. Others have chosen health, youth, power, strength, music, technology, innovation, creativity, sex, winning, competition, energy, environment, knowledge, thinness, fatness, looks, and even global warming as their god to worship out in the open.

With so many people worshiping at so many diversified alters it is likely an impossible task to ever expect to bring them together enough just to find a common ground in which to communicate.

The worse part about our situation is that no one is trying to bring anyone together. We just keep using our creativity, our innovation and our resources to build more and different politically correct alters at which to worship.

I guess that leaves the question; How's that working so far?

NOTE: This is a think piece.

Have a good IDea today,

02/23/2010 Joseph F. Lynders FTg/M/?

Private Reply to Joseph Lynders

Feb 28, 2010 3:03 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Economic Issues - evolution of work concept?#

Ken Hilving
I have no opposition to anyone addressing the questions raised here in religious terms.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

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