Removing unnecessary jobs 0
By braikar, 14-11-2013 - 20:25 in Economics, Society

This topic must be addressed as often as possible, because most people just can’t understand how that is possible in the current economic paradigm.

Lets look at some examples of what is happening!

In the banking sector, jobs keep disappearing as time goes by; some are evidently outsourced to cheaper countries, but many also just become useless because the internal/external logistics of the bank have been improved.

To take an outdated example, before computers, there were many people assigned to printing documents, sorting them and placing them in archives. Nowadays these jobs have almost disappeared, because the sorting and archiving is an automatic process handled directly by the software of the company, there are some people needed to maintain the software, but no one is needed to print, carry, set up shelves etc.

Other categories of jobs like that are ‘doomed’ to extinction; like data inputting, people that are hired to just copy down printed papers of spreadsheets into a computer, or hand written forms that must be entered into a software etc. The more things become digital from the start, the less people will be needed for these jobs that will become useless.

Humans should rejoice in the prospect of these news, however the opposite is true, people worry about losing their jobs, losing a salary. And they should, because in the actual system this is evidently what happens.

We should rejoice, because if these opportunities were handled correctly, it would mean more free time for all of us! We have to look at the by picture. So lets take huge numbers for that sake.

Imagine that a government suddenly could get rid of 500000 government officials, because the tax/judiciary/income processing had been so simplified and set up as an automated computer system that all of these people are not needed any more to answer redundant questions, perform redundant tasks, etc. The common reaction would be for the general populace to be outraged at the laying off of 500000 employees and the government would be happy to save so expenses. Lets say these employees had a salary of 24000$ a year, including social security, retirement funds etc. in an average European country we could double that amount, taking into account what the government actually needs to spend per employee. Therefore, the government spends 48000$ a year per official, for an official that earns a net income of 24000$ a year.

Thus in total, the government, in the actual system, will spare 48000 x 500000 = 24 billions of dollars! That’s quite a huge chunk of savings for a government. The laid off officials, in the actual system will just complain, obviously. However if we were more clever there are much better solutions to play with.

What does the government pay for on top of the salary of these officials? Mainly social security and retirement. Taking into account that the retirement money will in the future (when the officials are retired) be used to pay for:

  • electricity bills
  • gas bills
  • water bills
  • food

These are basic necessities to have a good, simple life, provided that, by that time, each official has finished paying for the mortgage on their main house, which is usually the case.

So instead of the government laying off these 500000 officials, the government could simply keep on paying the salaries and the social security and remove payments for the retirement funds. Making hugely approximated estimations we could estimate the government spends 24000$ of salary and 12000$ on social security a year and 12000$ on retirement funds. The government could simply stop paying these retirement funds and invest half that money directly to start investment to ensure that by the time these officials are retired they won’t need to pay any more for electricity, gas, water and food, this means these officials won’t need as much of a salary when they are retired because these things will be free for them by the time they are retired.

Lets say these 500000 officials are 15 years away from retirement. Instead of paying 500000 x 48000 x 15 = 360 billions $ over the next 15 years, the government could pay only; 24000 a year for salary and 12000 a year for social security, hence 500000 x 36000 x 15 = 270 billions, it leaves 90 billions of economy by removing retirement funds, now the government could spend only half of that saved money, 45 billions $ over the next 15 years to implement the infrastructures that will allow these officials to have free food, electricity, gas and water by the time they are retired. These officials still would have already 25 years of retirement funds in the ‘bank’, hence a guaranteed retirement salary, but that won’t be as big as if the government had continued to pay the last 15 years. But instead of needing that money, these officials will be left with less expenses once they are retired because the 45 billions will be spent on securing an infrastructure that allows them to have plenty of food locally, electricity, gas and water for free. This can be achieved with 45 billions $ invested over 15 years! Maybe not for petrol/gas, but electricity could be provided by wind/solar power and food by having set up the farms for that purpose.

On the overall, over 15 years the government, instead of laying off 500000 officials, will have just stopped paying in the retirement funds and invested them straight into infrastructures that will mean that these officials won’t need as much money on basic necessities once they are retired, while the officials not losing their current salary and the government still saving 45 billions over 15 years. These officials laid off from their old position (while still keeping their salary), will just need to change position to become the entrepreneurs taking care of that change which will benefit them directly once they are required.

 

This example is gross and simplified, but it is a real feasibility. It is even more advantageous, assuming inflation still goes up every year, instead of paying more and more every year that goes by as they are retired, these officials will enjoy free basic necessities that won’t increase in price, because it is all self-sustained.

I’ll come back with more examples in the future, because this must be understood, jobs disappearing is an evident outcome of the automation and simplification of outdated redundant tasks. It is inevitable. But instead of simply laying off the people that must go because their actual job is no longer necessary, there are ways that these people can still keep their salary, while the employers spends less on paying for ‘future required funds’, because part of that money could be directly invested into rendering that need of added income unnecessary in the future. Because people are laid off, and nowadays that just means more money for the shareholders. This must stop, people are laid off, because their job is no longer necessary, while the production output of that company remain the same without these people working on that previously needed job; so the company laying them off has the money to pay for them even though they are nor performing their previous job! hence these laid off people must just be assigned to new roles, which will be beneficial for the future by making infrastructures that will freely support our basic needs; which once we have a house are reduced strictly to electricity, water and food.

There are ways to make closed loop water purification systems on moderately large scales for neighbourhoods, their are ways to make independent electric production systems on moderately large scales, there are ways to have local food gardens, that won’t maybe supply us with a huge diversity of foods, but will at least supply us with more than enough to live on, without spending a penny!

We have the technology, we have the means, we have everything to achieve what I’m describing. All we lack is people understanding how that could work! And that’s always been the first limiting factor of humanity, our own beliefs! If we don’t think it’s possible, or cannot envision how to do it; we just won’t do it! Please spread these ideas. Exposing these ideas does not make me an utopian, a communist, right wing, left wing, etc. I just can imagine and envision what is possible with what is at our disposal! And this is clearly possible and is an unavoidable outcome of where out society is heading, the more industrial production becomes automated, the more people will lose their jobs in these working environments, so we’ll have more people free to set up the structures that will enable us soon enough to be self-sustained in terms of basic needs. Once that is done we’ll be free to go back to our own personal passions, even not doing anything is an option once this society structure I envision is functional.

All that is needed is for humanity to realise this is not an utopian dream of some wacko lunatic! It’s a real possibility.