Pay the Machine

Let’s face the facts: our money system isn’t working but I think I have a simple fix to all of this based on an idea of labour auto-sufficiency that will drive commerce, increase the labour pool, reduce poverty, but at the same time increase opportunities for leisure and whole-life learning.

The problem is that Capitalism is as much a form of enslaving of humanity as other forms, albeit it is probably the least of the evils. You work all your life and then you retire. If you are lucky then you have some pension and savings. These are now rapidly eaten up in living expenses and health care. In this time your government has increased the debt burden. You know you’re living on borrowed time and it is a race to die before your money runs out because you’re not going to get much help from the Government.

Your Government has decoupled incomes from expenditures and has piled on astronomical levels of debt whilst being unclear where in an ageing population the income will come from to pay this off. It passes the problems to the next generation and so on and on as it has for hundreds of years.

The simple fix to all of this is that we pay machines and electronic systems a wage and tax them as if they were humans. In effect we create a new worker class and so our society will have subtly altered how mechanization impacts the fiat money system and how we view automation.

The whole problem with our system is that as long as everyone works then this roller-coaster ride will keep going. Capitalism as an economic system is very good in priming this system. The production is privately held and run at a profit and you either are the buy or the sell-side on the labour. Government spending can also prime the economy but the sheer size of the government can stall economies unless the government is competent in all factors of business from human nature to financial and that is a rare skill.

This is where there is the slavery – whilst the person providing the capital needs not do anything personal and so has maximal free time, the person providing the labour must work and so they have no free time (in the worse cases).

The way to address this imbalance is for society to achieve what I call labour auto-sufficiency. This achieved by the use of the right smart technology to develop autonomous machines and systems.

Most machinery still needs humans to run it and certainly the service industry has a vast need for humans. This though is a false sense of advancement in the labour market because our society has created a vast army of manual labourers. Mechanisation of the farm has shifted workers through the factories to the offices. It is the end of the line and increased automation in services means no further advance for the workers. So we need to start from a clean sheet and design machinery and systems that never needs the humans’ time to keep it animated but through legislation changes wages would be due to the machine or system according to its degree of autonomic activity without the need for human operators and taxes would be paid on those wages. The irony is that the automation happens today with an end result of an increased unemployment of skilled operators but the balancing social taxes are not paid.

The capital provider pays the machinery the wages but as the machinery is contracted that payment is due to the government tax department as it would a human. The wages would vary on the degree of autonomy from humans thus balancing one by the other. Government policies would then regulate how sophisticated the machinery should be accordingly and so drive developments towards increased autonomy but without the matching increase in unemployment. The underemployed workers now have an increased paid leisure or study time or can restart in a new role in effect supported by the tax payments of the autonomous machinery.

Now the capital provider could just run the machines but they still need to sell their products to someone so they need to keep the money velocity high; they’ll pay the wages or taxes to keep it primed. This is part of the social contract that keeps our society working but which is very clearly stressed right now. This labour auto-sufficiency should work across any role that a human is currently employed.

I see this as a hybrid on the way to a post-scarcity world. In time the whole idea of capital will be meaningless as much as actually working for money will be meaningless. What will have value is ideas. With autonomous machines that will do what you need, you got to have the ideas to start with. Even today a pile of money will just get burnt up if the ideas on how to satisfy the market are wrong or just not there.

In time banks won’t exist to store money as the most valuable stores will be measured in information and the most valuable intangible will be ideation. Informationalism becomes ethical and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens within the next 20 years.