Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Simpler Way Of Doing Things. Abolish Money

We humans have always worked to support our life; worked to catch, grow and
produce our food, to make our shelter, our clothes and our tools, in general
to satisfy our needs. In groups tasks were shared and communities developed
by dividing labour cooperatively according to expertise and free will. All
worked both for themselves and the common good whist partaking of the
benefits accrued.

We still work to support our life but now money is a crucial factor, an
artificial intermediary between labour and the satisfaction of needs,
enabling labour to be exchanged indirectly for all manner of goods and
services. We now require money whether working within the community or
outside it. We do our work as farmer, builder, designer, cook or computer
operator using our particular skill, the difference now being we are
probably working away from our community and contributing little to it
except socially in our spare time and often it isn't the precise community
of our choice but the one we can afford in monetary terms. Moreover, we work
most of our life for an employer or series of employers who pay us more on
paper than our net salary or take home pay with the remainder being passed
on to various government agencies which, in turn, give us some back as
health care, unemployment pay and various benefits and pensions as time,
situation or entitlement dictate.

Without workers there is neither a product nor a service to sell and
therefore no money is generated for the system, no money is generated to
produce profit for the capitalists. Also, without worker input neither
national nor local governments have money of their own. They are financed
only by what they collect from employers in direct taxation and deductions
for employees gross pay and from indirect taxes. The tax on employers comes
from profit remaining after paying their bills and invoices for utilities,
goods, raw materials, other overheads and the wages bill, all of which
profit has been generated by the workforce. The deductions from employees'
pay also comes from the surplus generated by the workers but it forms a part
of the overall sum that the employer is prepared to pay for the labour

Net pay is what is deemed sufficient and appropriate according to the type
of employment. The difference in amount between gross and net pay, that
which is utilised as deductions, (all of which is paid by the employer), is
a deal struck between government and employers with some negotiation by
trades unions on behalf of the employees. (The employee always striving for
a larger remuneration in opposition to the employer looking to reduce it as
much as possible.)

Gross pay, to a certain extent, appeases workers because they perceive
themselves to be earning more than they are, although they also generally believe
they are being robbed on a regular basis, seeing a considerable amount
clawed back from what they maintain they have rightfully earned. Some of
what is transferred from gross pay to the Inland Revenue and the National
Insurance scheme goes back to workers as various benefits and payments.
Services including defence, policing, health, education and roads, and the
wages of the whole hierarchy of "public servants" from Prime Minister and
Lord of the Admiralty to lowly office clerk, ambulance driver and teaching
assistant are all financed ultimately from the surplus workers generate for
their employers as profits.. The same goes for all the buildings and upkeep
of the same, for the heating, lighting, cleaning, furnishings and all
materials, vehicles - in fact everything used in their operations from
stealth fighter to paper clip.

Today's capitalist world is much more complicated and intertwined than that
of our ancestors. We rely on international trade for many commodities and
use ultra-sophisticated technology to allow us to track transactions
worldwide; technology which, in theory, should simplify most matters, yet
somehow we have become entangled in an overcomplicated web from which it is
difficult to see a way out. Some say there is no way out of the present
system. But socialists disagree. If workers accept that they have to work in
order to live their life - and the vast majority do - does that mean that we
also have to accept the incredible complications that capitalism and working
for money involve (and that have certainly led to the miserable times many
workers are now suffering in the latest financial crisis)? Can we not simply
produce things directly for use, working for ourselves and the common good
too, knowing that others will be doing the same?

Those who work - those who produce the useful things and provide the useful
services - are the lynch pin, the vital component. They are the indispensable ones.
The capitalist, the employer, is dispensable. Removing layers of unnecessary
top-heavy bureaucracy, removing any necessity for taxation by removing the
blight of money is the far simpler way. The nurse will tend the sick, the
plumber will ensure no leaks, the farmer will provide food and the
unemployed will no longer be unoccupied for there is much to be done
cooperatively within all our communities. And plenty enough, too, for all to
partake of the fruits of our collective labour.



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