Karl Marx may have had a dismal failure when it came to communism, mostly because it fails to take into account human greed. When everything is divided equally, the one that divides everything will inevitably take more for himself and his friends and give everyone else less. Capitalism is falling prey to the same thing: greed is making more and more people want greater and greater returns and are using devalued labor costs as the way to do that. Combine this with technology that is making jobs obsolete, and we have a serious problem.
Right now, we appear to be headed for an epic default, The exact same things we saw before the last crash are all appearing again: stagnating housing sales , falling wages, record unemployment (which is being disguised), questionable economic programs that do nothing to fix the problem and a complete lack of ability to arrest anyone for anything connected to destroying the country. After last month's buying boom, April sales have slid into low numbers signaling the American people are tapped out. It is also coming to light that the bond buying program used to prop up the economy last time may have been nothing more than a shell game. People are questioning how Belgium was able to buy nearly $150 billion in Treasury bonds which would have been 25% of their annual GDP. Many think the US used Belgium as a sort of shell company to buy the bonds themselves to prevent the dollar from crashing to Earth. It is not out of the realm of possibility as the money junkies are spinning as many plates as possible right now.
But what to do with all of this when, if history repeats itself, our economy, and the world's go belly up some time later this year, with perhaps a total Depression sometime in 2015? We need to admit that capitalism, in this latest form, is not working. First off, there are not enough jobs for the amount of people in this country. That is fact not hyperbole. If we have no welfare program, and no jobs, the end result is tens of millions homeless and unemployed. That is not sustainable.
So first, we raise taxes on the rich and corporations. They currently pay nothing so even a slight raise would be a step in the right direction. We raid any offshore account that any US citizen or corporations has, and if they haven't paid taxes on any of it, depending on how much it is, they get to go to the worst prison we can put them in. Put a few bankers in Rikers and see how fast things change for the better. We legalize weed, creating a huge new industry, and decriminalize the rest, effectively closing hundreds of prisons and saving billions in taxpayer funds going nowhere. Recent studies say the legalization movement is killing Mexican drug cartels, which means we have done more damage to them in the last few months without firing a shot than the entire DEA has done in 35 years.
We are also going to have to face facts that we are going to have to pay some people to stay home. I know that gets the right wingers panties' in a bunch, but there really is no other solution. Over the next decade, up to half of all current jobs will be obsolete. You read the right: HALF. The reason for this is that 3D printers will become cheaper and more prevalent destroying manufacturing on a global scale. As they enter homes, people will be able to make whatever they want without buying it. Within twenty years, cars, houses and even food may be replicated destroying capitalism in it's wake. There simply won't be enough things to create anymore that requires work. This is a fundamental shift in economics for which we are woefully unprepared.
The theory then is to change the way we do things. We can start by coming up with an arts program in which gifted individuals can be paid to stay home and make music, paint, write, invent or do anything else as long as they can show a decent body of work. If we started this, we could start becoming world leaders again as people would have time and the ability to make great works of art that have all but disappeared. Are there any great painters anymore? I certainly don't see any and I see lots of new comer art, most of which is kind of sad. How about philosophers? The last one worth his weight was Bertrand Russell and that was decades ago. We are becoming a stagnating group, which the same level of decline seen in Rome before it's fall. The end of intellectualism is the end of society and considering the level of crap on TV, it seems we are not that far off. The only thing we seem to do well anymore are spectacle levels movies and high tech devices. Everything else seems to be on auto pilot.
Capitalism is dying. There is nothing we can do to fix that at this point as progress has rendered it ineffective and unequal. Communism is not the way and pure socialism is not going to work either. So then what? Well some smart economist better start figuring a new economic forum because everything we have is not working. The ideas above are a good starting point. Why not set a livable minimum wage and a high maximum wage? That way inequality never gets too bad. You still have the rich and the poor, which will probably be a problem for some time, but you don't have the destitute and the super rich either. I am not an economist even though I have studied political economics for decades now. We need some new thoughts. Any ideas from the peanut gallery?