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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The true road to serfdom

Bend over, here it comes again: Now they are going after the minimum wage. You damned swankpots don't deserve seven bucks an hour: Will you take five? Pretty soon, you'll have to.

Obviously, the thing that's killing this economy is slow demand -- and how can demand rise when fewer people have money to spend on movies, books, booze, cigarettes and other non-essential items?

Demand would rise if the minimum wage rose. If Wal-Mart paid its employees a living wage of $12 an hour, and if every cent of the increase were passed on to the consumer, the average shopping trip would cost a mere 46 cents more. Those decently-paid wage-earners would then have money to spend on consumer goods, which would increase employment.

Instead, libertarian ideology keeps us locked in a race to the bottom.

If Michele Bachmann -- who adheres to an even stricter form of libertarianism than that which we've already had to endure -- gets her way, jobs would go only to those desperate enough to work for subsistence wages. With fewer dollars in the pockets of the average workers, fewer goods and services would be sold. Even more enterprises would shutter for lack of customers, and those few which remain open would pay workers even less.

Libertarianism demands that we spiral to rock bottom. And you know what we call rock bottom? Slavery.

Bachmann believes in two Messiahs, Jesus and Ludwig von Mises. The Von Mises Institute produces incessant propaganda designed to convince the public that prosperity would increase if minimum wage laws were abolished: See, for example, here and here and here. Example:
The minimum wage removes the ability of some workers to compete by accepting lower wages and shuts them out of the labor force. As a result, it reduces job opportunities for these workers. A minimum wage breaks the hinges on the door of opportunity.
Ask the laborers who work under near-slavery conditions in unregulated Dubai whether they appreciate the "opportunity" they have received.

There are many more slaves in the world today than there were before the U.S. Civil War. A high (but reasonable) estimate puts the number of slaves at 27 million. All of them were created by unregulated capitalism. None of them were created by socialism or government regulation.

This interview with slavery expert Ben Skinner reveals what libertarians have in store for us here in America, if given the chance:
I stumbled upon a fellow in a quarry in Northern India who'd been enslaved his entire life. He had assumed that slavery at birth. His grandfather had taken a debt of 62 cents, and three generations and three slave masters later, the principal had not been paid off one bit. The family was illiterate and innumerate. This fellow, who I call Gonoo -- he asked me to protect his identity -- was still forced to work, held through fraud under threat of violence for no pay beyond subsistence.

Since he was a child, he and his family and his children, along with the rest of the enslaved villagers, took huge rocks out of the earth. They pummeled those rocks into gravel for the subgrade of India's infrastructure, which is the gleaming pride of the Indian elites.

They further pulverized that gravel into silica sand for glass. There's only one way that you turn a profit off handmade sand, and that's through slavery.

TM: Another method you describe: Someone shows up in a poverty-stricken village saying they need workers for the mines hundreds of miles away.

BS: It's a massive problem in the north of Brazil. What's tricky about this, in many cases these workers want to work. But they don't want to be forced to work under threat of violence, beaten regularly, having the women in their lives raped as a means of humiliating them, and then not being paid anything.

TM: They are transported to the mines, and when they arrive, they have a debt for that transportation, which is greater than anything they will ever be able to repay.

BS: And if they try to leave, there are men with guns. That's slavery.
The Dominionists want to bring slavery back to this country. (But it will be a nicer form of slavery, you see. So that makes everything all right.) Indeed, a strange black Dominionist named Wellington Boone has called slavery "redemptive."

Michele Bachmann has been linked to Dominionism.

Unregulated capitalism is the true road to serfdom. Without regulation, wages will continue to spiral downward until slavery becomes inevitable.

You think life under Stalin was bad? Indeed it was. But when the Randroids, the Dominionists and the Bachmannites are finished ruining this nation, you will envy the lowliest worker laboring in the most brutal year of the Soviet dictatorship. Hell, you'll envy even the slaves in the antebellum South. At least those slaves were considered valuable commodities.
The link to the article regarding the move to eliminate the minimum wage has either disappeared or Comcast is up to some funny business on my end.

Bachmann is an Obama-ite on trade. That is, she's an outsourcing oligarchess.

But real Dominionists cannot be premillenial dispensationalists
(Christian Zionists)and Bachmann also is Israel's strumpet with a recent YT paean to the Zionist state.
Anon... I do apologize. Firefox has a new bug: It inserts the phrase "http//" into random places when you try to compose a blog post. In the case, the damned thing was inserted into the middle of a link.

Very annoying. I've been a loyal Firefox user for a while, but this problem may force a change.

At any rate, the link should work now.
It's not only the minimum wage (though I agree with your excellent post, Joseph). The President is now helping the Republicans go after Social Security and Medicare:

They are all in this together and are about to ruin this country.

The destination is Serfdom, but actually you have already arrived. Its just that no one told you.

So how is that "competing with China on labour cost" working out for you guys? Ah yes, excellent for employers and disastrous for workers. Well why not vote for a different policy? After all there are more workers than employers?

Oh silly me, thats "communism". Funny cos the current policy just doesnt seem to be very fair to most employe/unemployed americans. But hey, bless you guys. I think its just swell that you are so selfless. That you care so much about China and India developing a middle class that you are prepared to sacrifice your own. Thats what I call principles!

I feel like a fool for not riding these trends, but Im done with that. Im riding them. If the government tells me to speculate on higher oil prices, then hell. Thats what I am gonna do. I know you dont think there is any real demand for oil, but you tell me what there is real demand for and I will speculate on that instead. They have shoved in money to offset immiserisation. I think there isnt quite enough oil to go round and there is plenty of money. So I will buy oil. Simple supply and demand.

I think the aim is to keep stocks strong. After all, bad things happen when stocks are weak. Maybe I should buy stocks? Nah, stick to oil. Oil has stayed strong regardless of what they have done. Stocks well, not so much.

After all, there is no point buying American labour is there? I mean lots of it around and clearly no demand, even with Fed support. If they really cared about labour they would do something to make money flow towards creating jobs. But they havnt. So I know where my money is going.

A serf has gotta do what his master tells him. And they are telling me to buy oil, food and stocks.

You can kill two birds with one stone, Harry, by buying stock in oil companies or stocks in oil service companies. And did you leave out gold on purpose? ;->

But I agree that America is headed towards serfdom. We need to toss the bums out at the next election and put the least harmful person in their place.

I think Hillary had decided not to run but I hope that the Obama betrayal in SS and Medicare will make her change her mind.

Serfdom ? Freedom ! ->
""Hegel was the first to state correctly the relation between freedom and necessity. To him, freedom is the insight into necessity (die Einsicht in die Notwendigheit).
"Necessity is blind only in so far as it is not understood [begriffen].""
"Freedom does not consist in any dreamt-of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives of systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves — two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject. Therefore the freer a man’s judgment is in relation to a definite question, the greater is the necessity with which the content of this judgment will be determined; while the uncertainty, founded on ignorance, which seems to make an arbitrary choice among many different and conflicting possible decisions, shows precisely by this that it is not free, that it is controlled by the very object it should itself control. Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, a control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is therefore necessarily a product of historical development."

Anti-Dühring by Frederick Engels 1877
Part I: Philosophy
XI. Morality and Law.
Freedom and Necessity
-> short reading ->
-> source ->
Marxists and libertarians have one thing in common: Whenever they want theory to triumph over lived experience, they start spewing out philosophical gobbledygook.

Usually involving Hegel.
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