Capitalism, no matter the form, whether it be fascist capitalism or free market capitalism, leads to the pursuit of wealth accumulation. And what does wealth accumulation inevitably lead to? One word: scarcity.
In a capitalistic world where scarcity runs rampant and the wealth gap is exponentially increasing, people, out of desperation, are forced more and more into lives of wage slavery. Wage slavery, it could be argued, is the predominate form of oppression today where workers are forced to sell themselves, or rather their labor power, in order to survive. Although most people are technically wage slaves, since even salaried employment is considered wage slavery, it is the performance of unfulfilling work for the purpose of survival that is especially oppressive.
Decades ago, especially in the United States, monotonous, unfulfilling wage labor was easier to break free from through the advent of an affordable college education. Now, as the cost of living and debt has increased, especially student loan debt, while meaningful job opportunities have decreased - creating increased competition for the jobs people actually want - people are forced to settle more and more for monotonous wage labor and often can’t break free of this vicious cycle, in spite of having a college degree.
Between debt slavery, or a life dictated by debt obligations rather than free will, and increased competition for in-demand jobs, wage slavery will continue to get worse in the United States. This trend can be seen in the increase in temp work, where it’s actually become more cost effective for certain industries to hire mostly temps rather than full-time employees, which requires employers to provide benefits for their workers.
There was once a time where if you’re going to be rented out as an unfulfilled wage slave, the likelihood was at least good that you would receive full-time benefits. Now, however, the meaningless jobs we're forced to settle for wouldn’t even be considered gainful employment, never mind the fact that fewer and fewer jobs pay a livable wage.
When you work full-time at a job you dislike - sometimes a full-time job and part-time job just to make ends meet - and aren’t able to actually save for the future, well, you may be alive, but you’re not actually living and thriving.
As this cycle gets worse and desperation increases, employers, especially large corporations, gain more and more power and leverage over their employees. As Noam Chomsky once said, “If workers are more insecure, that’s very ‘healthy’ for the society, because if workers are insecure, they won’t ask for wage increases, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health.”
Not only has this vicious cycle given rise to increased credit card debt, but a whole new industry, referred to as payday loans, has sprung up. People not only have ridiculous student loan and credit card debt, but when they can’t pay that debt, in spite of being employed, they are forced to rely on predatory lending which is basically legalized loan sharking.
With a dismal economic future in this country, i’ve always wondered: what good would it even do if by some miracle the U.S., like many European nations, offered free or highly subsidized college tuition when worthwhile employment that pays a living wage is far and few? And besides, money to pay for cheaper college education has got to come from somewhere, so, what, higher taxes?
I already hate the fact that our taxes subsidize Big Oil and pays for wars, among other things, but now when people are barely making ends meet we’d have to raise taxes? Lord knows i’m all for helping people and don't mind that some of my taxes goes to helping those in need, but higher taxes isn't really feasible like it was in the 50’s and 60’s when this country had a robust economy and people actually had jobs that paid a livable wage; jobs that could provide for 2.5 kids, a dog, a 3-bedroom house with a white picket fence and 2 cars. And what about the people who wouldn’t benefit from free or cheaper college that already went to college and are up in their ears in debt working a crap job? They’re the last ones who can afford more taxes.
Having taken this all into account, as well as our fraudulent central banking system, which I didn’t even mention, I think, as many other people do, that capitalism has overstayed its welcome and run its course. When you think about it, we are the only species that actually pays to live on planet Earth, and if we keep it up, there will be no environment left with which to live in, a grim fact that is becoming a reality due to capitalism.
With that being said, I personally think the only logical next step would be to implement a resource based economy, which, in the words of futurist Jacque Fresco, “...is the intelligent management of Earth’s resources.” Fresco goes on to say, “If we really wish to put an end to our ongoing international and social problems, we must eventually declare Earth and all its resources as the common heritage of all the world’s people.”
If we wish to transcend capitalism and all its ills, and create a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren, a resource based economy, in my opinion, is the only way to go.
Considering the gravity of the situation, I strongly encourage you to watch the film “Paradise or Oblivion”, by Jacque Fresco, which is about The Venus Project and lays down the foundation for what I referred to as a resource based economy. Millions of people are already familiar with it and support it, but it’s going to take a lot more than the support of a few million people for it to ever become a reality.
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