Why?

We had this argument in the 18th Century and America settled it for once and all with it’s frontier.  Why are we revisiting it again?  Could it simply be put that the economics of today rival the disparities of income existing in that time, and with our poor appreciation of history we are again repeating the same mistake?

 The British social srtata (between top and middle class) moved further apart from 1745 to 1875.   That translates to the exact time period of the Industrial Revolution from its inception, to the the beginning of the formation of labor unions.  When employers experienced work stoppages causing their companies to lose money, it was decided that perhaps paying them a more of a pittance was not that bad an idea after all.

Furthermore, during that time frame emerged the philosophy that labor forces HAD TO BE DISCIPLINED.  Since the Industrial Revolution require humans to attend machines that went non stop through day and night,   the necessity to always have a human being present to operate it. This  shifted all attention away from mankind’s social needs and directed it to be decided strictly by an economic perspective.  It  accented the philosophy that work came before life making rather commonplace conversations like this:  “I don’t care if your children haven’t eaten since yesterday.  You want to buy food?  You be here at eleven o’clock sharp.  No,  change that!   I’ll fire you if you are not here by 10:59.”  The fact that this notion of human behavior was actually honored and promoted gives credence to it’s level of acceptability.

If conversations like this take place in YOUR workplace, than you need no further proof that the philosophy of where work fits within our lives, has returned to where it was in the latter part of the 1700’s……

In reality, we as human beings need to live our lives,….  and incorporate work somewhere within that pattern.

Austerity can be summed up in two words:  debtors prisons.

Financiers of old, felt that if a person became to indignant to pay their bills, then the state, using money from its tax payers, was responsible for culling those people from society, and using them for its will.   It was felt that fear of austerity, would cough up the missing funds and help cut those investor’s  losses.

But over time, they found that you can’t squeeze anything out of zero.

If the indigent have no assets, you can’t take them.

Eventually all those in debtors prisons got sent to America or Australia where they became productive citizens.   (That could explain Georgia’s mis-behavior today).   When these positive results were seen by society back in England debtors prisons disappeared and bankruptcy became the next evolutionary step.

The difference between bankruptcy and debtors prisons, was the common sense that if you took everything a person had, divided it up between the creditors, and then let him go, it was overall cheaper to society as a whole,  than incurring the cost of  incarcerating him on top of all the debt he owed. Upon forgiving the debt,  at least there was a chance he could go on to become a benefit to society, thereby adding his small slice to the future GDP of that nation.

Bankruptcy is a wonderful  thing.  Creditors get some pay back, or if not, at least get solid knowledge they should finally write off that debt,  and those who  once owed,  can go forward. It is important to remember that bankruptcy and fraud are too distinct entities.  If someone uses fraud to achieve wealth, then that case needs to go to court, to be decided on laws affecting fraud.   But 99.99% of bankruptcy is not fraud.  It could be a bypass built around one’s city, diverting all hotel traffic to the outskirts.  It could be a diagnosis of cancer, and the choice of  one’s  survivors to extend that person’s life, and the choice of an insurance company not to pay for that extension.  Good bankruptcies need to be separated from the frauds.

Likewise, within the realm of bankruptcies, there needs to be a separation between those happening to individuals through no fault of their own, and  those CAUSED BY HARM intentionally and legally being done to society to benefit a certain perpetrator.   Bain Capital is in the news.  They buy a property, close it down, and put the real estate up for sale.  Those employees who can’t find a job,  declare bankruptcies.  Are they…  morally required to reimburse that new company for payments the old company made to that now bankrupt companies pension plan?  They are if a court says they are.  If Bain Capital gets a legal judgment requiring such a reimbursement payment, then that out- of- work person is simply out of luck.  Bankruptcy ensues.

Leading us to Greece and Spain.  Should citizens be held accountable for the failures of their  government?  Aren’t corporate presidents held accountable for the failures of their companies?   What?  They aren’t?

YOU MEAN THEY GET BONUSES  WHEN THEY COMPANIES FAIL ?  AND THE BIGGER THE FAILURE THE BIGGER THE BONUS  THAT THEY RECEIVE?

Yes, that is exactly how it appears to be.  

Yet we impose austerity upon those who have no connection to the amount owed, and who are in no way responsible at all for the losses their sacrifices are being taxed to pay.

We are in a sense putting them into a financial prison. Saying we are taking everything you make for the next 20 years.  (Wasn’t that the entire underlying philosophy of Soviet Russia and Maoist China?)

That alone, makes the comedy of pursuing austerity apparent.

It is like against your will (but doing it to keep your job), agreeing to go on a company outing with your boss to Atlantic City, and then, when he unfortunately does badly at the roulette table, find out belatedly that he is taking the losses out of your and your coworkers pay over the  next few years since you agreed to ride with him…..

So fight back Spain.  Make them lose ALL their money……..  🙂   Bottom line, they can’t take it if you don’t choose to give it….

Advertisements