Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Work without money

A mechanic in a garage. Has to change the spark plugs on a customer’s car. He goes to the storeroom and speaks to the storeman there. The storeman grumbles a bit and then reluctantly goes and gets the appropriate spark plugs. The mechanic then goes and fits them to the car. Meanwhile, the storeman bills the customer for the parts and labour and sticks a price on an invoice. Money to be paid and collected.

This storeman, being the efficient chap he is, noticed, when deducting the spark plugs off the in-store totals on the computer, that he was getting a bit low and it was time to order some more from the main suppliers. On the phone he gets. He could have done it by email, but he likes chatting to the girl at the other end. And so he chats to the girl at the other end and in quite a long due-course he manages to order the needed spark plugs along with a few other bits and pieces. The storeman receives for this pleasure one invoice. Money to be paid.

This nice girl on the other end of the phone at the main suppliers is also a very efficient girl. She notices on her computer that she is now getting low and so she emails the manufacturer requesting some more. She could have phoned, but she didn’t like the automated switchboard she’d be initially put through to. No thank you. In return she receives her invoice, money to be paid. And along the chain it goes. From manufacturer to supplier and on eternal. All receiving their invoice. Money to be paid.

Why in this great chain of exchanges can we not just forget about the invoice and money to be paid bit?. We’re all intelligent grown ups. We understand that to live as we do requires a little work from everyone. All doing our bit. Whatever that may be. So we still make the phone calls, send the emails, attend a few meetings here and there and some even do some proper work. We just stop doing the little ritual that we do at the end of it all. The money thing. Being without it is not going to stop things from being done.

What will happen? Once money has become a thing of the past. Life will go on pretty much as it has always gone on. The only real difference being that nobody is stressed out by having to worry about how they are going to pay their monthly bills and find the money for all the other expenses of life. Everybody’s in quite a pleasant mood really.

There will however be those whose jobs quickly become redundant. Bankers, insurance, 75 percent of bureaucracy, charities, cashiers, and robbers, to name a few. No big deal though. This would also effectively mean that there are more people available to do less work. If we got our heads screwed on, within a comparatively short space of time we could shorten all our working weeks and increase our holidays.

We can start making full use of the technologies available to us. Gone will be the fear of job losses often associated with modernisation. In fact we will find ourselves welcoming such developments with open arms. Giving as much assistance as possible.

Shut the factories building the rubbish. Open new factories that will allow us all to build the quality goods. Things that will last. That look good. That people want. That are the best that we can do. Things to be proud of. They don’t cost anything other than the effort and time were willing to put in.

Once installed, how much in terms of resources or manpower used is this system going to need to maintain it? A lot less than is used to maintain our present system. And we would be getting a better service. We could all have the best that is available to us and into the bargain put less effort in to have this best. Money doesn’t come into it.

I think we might find that the problems presently plaguing our health and social care services sort themselves out without too much energy or thought being expended by anyone great or small. After all, we already have the knowledge and already have research programmes presently running which means we will be adding to this great store and developing better treatments in the future. We already make use of technologies and have an array of apparatus that assist the persons working in these fields. New and improved are already in the pipeline. We already have a multitude of drugs, balms, creams, ointments, medicines, herbs, remedies, and cure-alls available to us. And new ones are already planned for the future.

We already have a workforce. Willing and able. After all, they are willing to work in a system which hasn’t looked after them too well. I should think that they would be more than willing to work in a system which did look after them. And gave them all the support and resources that they needed to do the job. Drugs that at the moment cost pennies to produce but can cost small fortunes to purchase will become available. Hospitals would start being run according to an area’s need and not according to some budget or grandiose plan dreamed up in support of this budget. If a hospital needed something, then it could have it. And if by chance something was not available, then we make it so. So let’s put an end to cutbacks and closures. Let’s have that new ward. That new scanner. The A & E department.

What would happen with education? At the moment the cost of higher education tends to impede access to it for the majority. Normal education also tends to suffer from shortages and cutbacks due to diminishing budgets. We also seem to be ingrained into this system whereby we go from infants to primary to secondary to sixth form. And that is it. Education done unless you happen to have the money to pay for it. Education should be a lifetime pursuit. Whether it is to increase or advance your career opportunities or purely for pleasure and personal interest. Ridding ourselves of money is the only way we are ever going to be able to do this.

Without money we can all start making full use of the internet. That huge resource of information. Anybody can simply study for themselves. But if a qualification is needed or a piece of structured study desired then a distance-learning course could be taken up or university place applied for. Whatever your age may happen to be. Without having to worry about the cost or having to pay any possible loans back later in life. Plus you wouldn’t have the hassle of having to juggle work and study time. Physically and mentally exhausting oneself. Where is the pressure when money is not there? Things could be done at everybody’s pace. Whatever that may be. Entirely up to you. Then one day, society and ultimately ourselves will reap the benefits of this education.

No more will we periodically have pictures paraded across our television screens of starving fly-covered children suckling up to their starving mothers. No more will we have to dig in our pockets to fill the donation tins that seem to get rattled at us more and forever more. Us having to do this before these starving people could be fed or some catastrophe dealt with. This won’t be because for some miraculous reason there have been no droughts, or that all the crops have come up perfect, or there have been no earthquakes. Because there will still be droughts and there will still be crop failures and we will still have earthquakes. It will be because we have got rid of the barrier to dealing with these things. Money.

The first thing all of us thinks when we here of some disaster is ‘I want to help. What can I do’. Let us make giving that help easy. As a planet we have a surplus of food. And as a planet we can deal with a shortage of food in any particular area. Unfettered and acting together we can also deal with any catastrophe. Without delay. It is human nature to help. We all dug in our pockets when the charity tins were rattled. That was hard and that cost us something. Are we really going to let people starve when it is so easy to help them?. Taking nothing away from us. The truth is that in a world without money nobody will come anywhere close to starving. The structures and networks are already in place to insure all worldwide are amply fed.

The work ethic. I hate it. When I were but a wee lad I wanted to do so much. Train driver, astronaut, milkman. At number one on top of the pops. Much like everyone else. Thing is I like working. I actually enjoy my job and going to work. I absolutely detest having to do it though. I don’t mind doing extra hours. Helping out in times of need. But I hate living a life whereby I’ve got to do extra hours just to get by. This makes life so depressing. It creates conflict in myself. Working the socks off and not going anywhere fast. No thanks or gratitude for the efforts you put in. You’re being paid, what else do want. With everything you do it always seems to be somebody else that benefits or reaps the reward. Mugs. That is what we all are and that is what we will spend our lives being. Taken for a ride by somebody.

I think most people are like me. We moan about work and dream about the day when we will never have to do any again. But essentially we do enjoy doing it. Were we to have our wishes bestowed upon us and never work again we would probably die of boredom. We would start dreaming of the day when we could go back to work. We enjoy the banter. The people we meet, most of the time. The piss-take. The sense of achievement. The ribbing. The being part of something. The conversation. The working together. The arguments. The work itself. The challenge. And the friendship.

The things we detest about work are generally money related. We can change that. Then we have an atmosphere whereby those in charge are keen and able to improve conditions. Where we are not working to some clock. Where you can go home should there be no work instead of pointlessly having to stay and twiddle the thumbs if you want paying. Where there will be no them and us. Where there will be none of the demands, pressures, deadlines and conflicting interests that existed when we had money. Where we can respect each other’s positions. Plod through at a respectable pace, enjoying life and the moment. Maybe you’re in a job that is a bit repetitive. We’ve all done them at some stage in our lives. Then break the week up by splitting your hours and having two jobs. Or maybe three or four. You could do a separate job every day of the week. It’s no problem. There is no loss involved. The infirm and disabled could work more readily should they wish to be. Returning their dignity and social standing to them. Giving them the feeling of making worthwhile contributions. Something we all want.

It may be hard to start with. Ridding ourselves of these ingrained attitudes towards employment. Convincing ourselves that we are all now on the same side and any work done is for the equal benefit of all. There will be no bosses as such. There will be people will be in charge though. But there will be no bosses in the sense of ‘do that or get your butt out of here’, and there will be no oiks for them to order about either. We are a team. Working together to achieve goals which we have all understood and agreed upon. Different parts to play. But same team.

Life could be so good. For everyone. Worldwide. And it does not take any great expenditure of effort by anybody for this to be so. Without the shackles of the monetary system to hold us back, industry, administration and people will all be able to start to work together to build a world where all can enjoy life to the utmost. Where nobody is in want.

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