In the minds of most people having a job and having enough purchasing power to get what they need to live are the same thing. It seems to most that they cannot have one without the other. Indeed their hopes of a good future rest upon having a job. The fact that machines have been replacing people in the work place, at an ever increasing rate, for the past 80 years has made earning a decent living a thing of the past.
2007 addenda: One in six U.S. Factory jobs has vanished since 2000 - Pace of loss has accelerated with increase in imports - April 21, 2007. A total of 3.2 million - one in six factory jobs - have disappeared since the start of 2000. Many people believe those jobs will never come back. Eighty-four percent of Americans in the labor force are employed in service jobs, up from 81 % in 2000. Vice chairman of the Federal Reserve during the Clinton administration, says that the number of jobs at risk of being shipped out of the country could reach 40 million over the next 10 to 20 years… Those lost manufacturing jobs are fueling an intense debate over globalization - the increasing connection of the United States and other economies… Last year's trade deficit was $765.3 Billion. $232.5B of those imported goods were from China. In 1943 and 1944, with factories working overtime to build the ships, tanks, and planes needed to fight World War II, manufacturing accounted for 4 out of 10 jobs in the U.S. This was the peak in manufacturing jobs. The remainder of jobs was split almost equally between the farm and service sectors of the economy. (Today, manufacturing now accounts for 1 job in 10, services with slightly less than 8 jobs and the remainder as farm jobs… In just the last 16 years, manufacturing has declined as a percentage of the work force in 48 of 50 states.
Full employment is widely ballyhooed as a corollary of prosperity and social well-being. It is the hope of the politician, and almost full employment is the hope of the businessman and industrialist. It is also a desirable social condition from the viewpoint of the moralist. Furthermore, full employment is in agreement with the social objectives of the engineer, (but not in the same sense as for the other three.)
The politician in office wants full employment for his constituents. Full employment means that they are all getting an income and are thus able to pay taxes. It also keeps them out of mischief, *especially the kind of mischief that leads to social change or even to a change of political administrators.
Employment stabilizes people in an area so they do not move around and learn as much about what is going on elsewhere. There is nothing like full employment to tranquilize the people, and a placid population is highly desirable to the politician.
The businessman wants full employment, but not quite. Employed people mean customers with money, and what good is business without customers with money? *But the businessman wants just enough unemployment so that he can be choosy about the employees he selects for his business.* In other words, if employees are relatively abundant, their price value goes down and there is a wider choice. Few things irk a businessman more than to have a scarcity of available employees, which means that he has to take what he can get and has to pay them high wages.
By 2013 there were 180,000 foriegn workers in Canada. Then there are the off-continent businessmen who get their own employees to immigrate and work for them producing goods for export; the local job seekers are ignored. Those who will not be silent about this are labeled racists and punished, shunned, silenced.
By 2014 the sector of our economy that employs the most men is truck driving. As odd as this may sound the fact is that driving trucks employs more men in Canada than any other kind of employment.
The moralist wants full employment because full employment means that people are earning a "virtuous" living and have more money to contribute to the collection plate and to the charity drives. But he does not want them to have a very high income, otherwise, they might begin to enjoy this life too much and not look forward with enough eagerness to the hereafter.
Politicians have promised the American people full employment -- in the near future and around some corner -- maybe. This is not, however, an inconceivable goal considering the politician's capacity for creating boondoggling employment. But, we ask, why should upwards of half the working population be employed at jobs that are not socially beneficial? It matters little whether these created jobs are strictly make-work relief projects, whether they are in unnecessary government employment or whether they are in government subsidized enterprise. They are, for the most part, socially wasteful occupations financed by government credit. Boondoggling might be considered a socially useful activity only if the welfare of the society demanded that everyone be fully employed. But, if work is considered merely as a means of production, and not as an end in itself, there is not much to be said in favor of boondoggling.
The engineer has a different concept of full employment. To an engineer, full employment means the balanced-load (24-hour) operation of all energy-consuming devices in the area at a high load factor.
When the principal energy-consuming device employed to do man's work was the human engine, with a per capita rating of one-tenth horsepower or less, there was something to be said in favor of full employment for human being. _In those days,_ the only way to produce more was to work more human beings longer. Toil was essential to survival. But there has been a fundamental change in the type of energy- consuming device used in production and service. The first shift away from the human engine was the employment of other kinds of animal engines, such as horses and oxen. Even the dog came in for a share of this energy conversion. But, so long as men and animals were employed to do the work, it was impossible to concentrate enough power in one place to do a really big job. When such a job was attempted, it usually bogged down in the face of the tremendous task of maintaining the engines, of which fuel (food) was the principal item.
Changes In Operation:
With the successful development of the steam engine, the concentration of power was advanced. Much bigger jobs could be contemplated. The cost of maintenance went down. The bulk or mass of the engine per horsepower became less, and the factor of fatigue that plagued the human engine was eliminated.
Something else also happened. This was a change in the mode of production and management. When the human being was the principal prime mover, only a small amount of work gravitated to him. This meant that the typical enterprise was in or around the home. When the steam engine was set up, a larger amount of work gravitated to the site of the engine. As a consequence, factories came into being; and the human engine moved to the factory to serve merely as a _secondary_ energy-consuming device to supplement the work of the principal prime mover, the steam engine.
When internal combustion engines and hydroelectric power entered the social scene, man became still less important as a prime mover. Today, he is doing less than two percent of the work being done in manufacturing industries. Since the human being constitutes but a minor fraction of the energy-converting capacity of this Continent, he can be all but ignored _in the technological design for full employment._ As a prime mover, his rating is so low, his cost so high, and his behavior so unreliable that every time he can be displaced by an electric motor or engine an advance in efficiency, productivity and quality follows. So the technological design for full employment would reduce human toil to a minimum and employ more kilowatt-hours.
A high-energy, balanced load operation is the central idea in the technological design of social operations. The engineer would see that energy is utilized in the most efficient way so as to meet the requirements of abundant living for the whole population.
Then he would smooth out the oscillations to an even, balanced load, operating 24 hours per day and 365 day per year. Surplus and inefficient equipment would be reconverted into scrap or something else more useful. The human engine, in so far as is possible, would be retired from productive employment. Thus, we would have full employment of the most efficient energy converters on the Continent. This would result in a level of production which is _impossible_ when a low-power, low-efficiency converter like the human engine is used. More goods and services would be available to the population and the human being would have much more time and opportunity for self-expression and enjoyment of living.
Politicians will not like this form of full employment. Their capacity for control of energy-consuming devices is limited to the control of inefficient human engines. The control of a high-horsepower engine calls for a technician, not a politician. So, politicians would have to fade out of the social picture in favor of those far more informed and far better qualified.
Businessmen will not like this form of full employment either since business is geared to the distribution of a scarcity. More production would mean the end of scarcity and, hence, of business. [The environment can then be preserved.] :-)
The moralists may not like it, for they would have to develop a dynamic new philosophy of living and place less emphasis on an escapist philosophy based on the concept of misery in this life and abundance and leisure hereafter.
These old leaders must give way to a new leadership which is already here. The advance in science and technology during the past few decades has completely changed the conditions under which we live. The scientists, the technologist and the engineer must come forth and take the responsibility which social change is thrusting upon them. They must volunteer for this job or the march of events will require that they be drafted.
There are many people who cannot grasp this new concept of full employment, even after it has been carefully explained to them. Their thinking is still stifled with the superstition that man must work "to earn a living." And these people will insist on asking this question: "How will people be able to buy the abundance that is possible if they don't work to earn the money?" It is almost as futile to attempt an answer to this question -- one which the people who ask it comprehend -- as it is to attempt teaching calculus to a child, but we shall make an effort.
Work is done in order to provide goods and services for human beings. There is little that can be said for work merely for work's sake. So, work is necessary only that these goods and services may be produced. The more work, the more goods and services available, everything else being essentially equal. Man, himself, cannot do enough work with his one-tenth horsepower to provide more than a minimum standard of living. So, in order to produce enough goods for a high standard of living, technology must be employed. Since technology is so much more efficient than man, it is fitting that man be retired and other engines employed to do the work. That accounts for the production end of the problem.
Since goods and services are of little use unless they are consumed by human beings, the next step is one of distribution to the consumer. Manpower does so little of the work that it would be foolish to attempt dividing up the purchasing power on the basis of the human energy expended. In any case, it would not be adequate to purchase the goods produced by machines, _even if much higher wages were paid._ Furthermore, it would not provide a satisfactory means of getting purchasing power to ALL consumers. How about the children, the sick, the aged and the physically handicapped, for example? Obviously, a new basis of distribution such as energy accounting must be used.
As North American citizens, we all have a stake in the Continent. This stake entitles us as a right of citizenship to a share of what this Continent produces, in the same way as a stockholder in a corporation is now entitled to a share of what the corporation produces, not on a basis of ownership rights. Things get out of balance when a few successful manipulators are able to accumulate ownership rights over most of the Continent and its produce, while the great majority of citizens are swindled out of their birthright.
Therefore, adequate distribution means that equitable ownership rights in this Continent must be reestablished for all of its citizens. Then they will be able to draw upon the productive capacity for their respective shares of the produce.
The only problem then is to balance production and consumption -- produce what the people want to consume in the quantities that satisfy their wants -- and distribute it to the places where it is to be consumed. How can we all get the things we want without having a job? Well, Technocracy's Energy Accounting System is designed to accomplish these functions.
So far, Technocracy Inc. has produced the only design for full employment, full production and full consumption yet offered to the people of North America. The politicians, the businessmen and the moralists cannot provide any of these. The most they can do is provide full employment for some human beings, that is, if boondoggling, waste-work expenditures of human energy can be called full employment. But, they cannot provide full employment for the technology of this Continent. If they attempted it, the productivity would be so great that it would completely ruin the Price System."
One argument that always comes up is based on the erroneous assumption that "things have been as they are for hundreds of years; so, why don't we keep them that way and let well enough alone?" It would hardly seem necessary to point out that things are NOT the same as they were for hundreds of years. The large-scale use of technology is scarcely a hundred-fifty years old, and most of it has been developed in the last 60 years. It is this use of energy through technology that is producing social change.
A Price System is any social system whatsoever that effects its distribution of goods and services by a system of trade or commerce based on commodity evaluation effected by means of debt tokens, or money, debit cards, et cetera.
The term Price System must not be confused with such terms as profit system,
or capitalist system. The factor of ownership does NOT alter the mechanics of
operating a Price System, and it may be added in passing, that unless it be in
some remote and primitive community, none other than Price Systems exist at the