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Thursday, October 30, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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Gary Reber
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Thursday 11 July 2013
Education should be encouraged and expanded. Everyone should have the opportunity to personally develop their own exceptional innate abilities and unlock their creativity.

Education is Critical to Our Future Societal Development

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A recent study from researchers at Georgetown University projects that there will be 55 million new jobs by 2020 for which there will be a growing call for more educated workers with the necessary education and training to meet the demand.

This is a report that is out-of-sync with the economics of reality.

Given the current invisible structure of the economy, except for a relative few, the majority of the population, no matter how well educated, will not be able to find a job that pays sufficient wages or salaries to support a family or prevent a lifestyle, which is gradually being crippled by near poverty or poverty earnings. Thus, education is not the panacea, though it is critical for our future societal development. And younger, as well as older people, will increasingly find it harder and harder to secure a well-paying job––for most, their ONLY source of income––and will find themselves dependent on taxpayer-supported government welfare, open and disguised or concealed.

For decades employment opportunity in the United States was such that the majority of people could obtain a job that could support their livelihood, though, in most cases related to a family, it eventually required the father and mother to both work, if they aspired to live a "middle-class" lifestyle. With "Free Trade" those opportunities began to disintegrate as corporations sought to seek lower-cost production taking advantage of global cheap labor rates and non-regulation, as well as lower tax rates abroad. This resulted in a chain reaction forcing more and more companies to outsource in order to stay competitive (thus the rise of China, India, Mexico, and other third-world nation economies).

At the same time, tectonic shifts in the technologies of production were exponentially occurring (and continue to do so), which resulted (and continues to result) in less job opportunities as production was shifted from people making things to "machines" (the non-human factor) of technology making things. The combination of cheap global labor costs and lower, long-term-invested "machine" costs has forced the worth of labor downward, and this will continue to be the reality. Our only way to far greater prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice is to embrace technological innovation and invention and the resulting human-intelligent machines, super-automation, robotics, digital computerized operations, etc. as the primary economic engine of growth.

But significantly, unless we reform our system to empower EVERY American to acquire, via pure, interest-free insured capital credit loans, viable full-ownership holdings (and thus entitlement to full-dividend earnings) in the companies growing the economy, with the future earnings of the investments paying for the initial loan debt to acquire ownership, the concentration of ownership of ALL future productive capital will continue to be amassed by a wealthy minority ownership class. Companies will continue to globalize in search of "customers with money" or simply fail, as exponentially there will be fewer and fewer customers to support their businesses worldwide. Why, because the majority will be disconnected from the dividend income derived from the non-human means of production that is replacing the need for labor workers who earn wages and salaries, which are then used to purchase products and services.

Soon, industrial monopoly capitalism will reach its twin goals: concentration of productive capital ownership among the elite ownership class and work performed with as few labor workers and the lowest possible wages and salaries. The question to be answered is "What then?"

The transition to the non-human factor of production has been occurring for decades but is now experiencing exponential development––the result of tectonic shifts in the technologies of production. As costs for computer-controlled machines become less than the cost of human workers, and the skills and productivity of the machines exceed those of human workers, then robot worker numbers will rapidly increase and enable our society to build architectural wonders, revitalize and redevelop our cities and build new cities of wonder and amazement, along with support energy, transport, and communications systems. Super-automation and robotics is transforming the world of manufacturing as robots become lighter, more mobile, and more flexible with better sensing, perception, decision-making, and planning and control capabilities due to advanced digital computerization. Super-automation and robotics operated by human-intelligent computerization will dramatically improve productivity and provide skills and abilities previously unique to human workers. This will effectively increase the size of the labor work force globally beyond that provided by human workers, no matter what the level of education attained. With advanced human-level artificial intelligence, computer-controlled machines will be able to learn new knowledge and skills by simply downloading software programs and apps. This means that the years of training that apply to personal human development will no longer apply to the further sophistication and operation of the machines. The result will be that productivity will soar while the need and demand for human labor will further decline.

Unfortunately, in the long term, unless the vast majority of people have a substantial and viable source of income other than wages and salaries, the impact of technological innovation and invention as embodied in human-level artificial intelligence, machines, super-automation, robotics, digital computerized operations, etc. will be devastating.

There are ONLY two options: either "Own or Be Owned." The "Owned" model is what our society practices today and is expressed as monopoly capitalism (concentrated ownership) or socialism (taxpayer-supported redistributed social benefits). The "Own" model, or what my colleagues and I term the Just Third Way, has yet to be implemented on the scale necessary to empower every man, woman, and child to acquire private, individual ownership stakes in the future income-producing productive capital assets of the "intelligent automated machine age"––facilitated by the future earnings of their investments in the companies developing and employing this unprecedented economic power.

Unfortunately, the disruptive nature of exponential growth in technology and its impact on productivity––tectonically shifting production of products and services from human workers to non-human means––is not understood and ignored by the economic establishment, academia, and our political leaders.

While the rate of technological progress is directly proportional to the number and quality of the people engaged in the fields of science and engineering, economic policy is the mechanism that fuels investment and development of technological innovation and invention. This is where education is critical to our future societal development.

Education should be encouraged and expanded. Everyone should have the opportunity to personally develop their own exceptional innate abilities and unlock their creativity.

But except for the personal development benefit to advancing one's education, the reality is that far less "educated" people will be necessary in the long term to produce the products and services necessary and valued by society. This is due to the exponential development of human-level artificial intelligence, which is embodied in advanced automation and robotics.

Those college graduates who do succeed within the fields of science and engineering are hired workers to do what? Our scientists, engineers, and executive managers, who are not owners themselves of the companies they work for, except for those in the highest employed positions, are encouraged to work to destroy employment by making the capital owners' assets more productive. How much employment can be destroyed by substituting machines for people is a measure of their success––always focused on producing at the lowest cost.

We need to realize that full employment is not a function of businesses. Companies strive to keep labor input and other costs at a minimum. Private sector job creation in numbers that match the pool of people willing and able to work is constantly being eroded by physical productive capital’s ever-increasing role.

We need to reform and restructure our economy and set as the GOAL broadened private, individual ownership of future wealth-creating, income-generating productive capital assets among ALL Americans, with capital estates ever building as the economy grows. Without a policy shift to broaden productive capital ownership simultaneously with economic growth, further development of technology and globalization will undermine the American middle class and make it impossible for more than a minority of citizens to achieve middle-class status. By changing course, over time and within a few decades, our "machined-powered" growth economy would produce greater wealth, and widespread private, individual ownership would assure prosperity, opportunity, and general affluence for every citizen. Broadened productive capital ownership would strengthen our democracy and individuals and families would be less or non-dependent on government welfare, whether disguised or not.

This prosperous society is achievable because, fortunately, in the near term, we can begin to grow our way out of the swelling unemployment and underemployment by increasing our investment significantly as a ratio of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) resulting in double-digit growth, while simultaneously broadening private, individual ownership of future income-producing productive capital investments, thus initiating the process of empowering every man, woman, and child to build over time a viable capital estate and reap the income generated. The key operative is BROADEN OWNERSHIP. Such investment would, in the short term, generate millions of new "real" productive jobs. The result would not only be that the GDP would dramatically grow but tax revenues from the high rate of economic growth would enable us to balance the federal budget, fully fund Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, provide Universal Health Care, Universal University Education, lower tax rates, and maintain a strong military, all simultaneously.

We have the opportunity to free economic growth from the "enslavement" of human labor and from the financial mechanisms that are based on the slavery of past savings. Technological progress, though, is no longer dependent on the number and quality of human workers. This fact will become obvious eventually to anyone who can think and analyze as they realize the reality that human labor will cease to be the primary source of wealth production in the future. As a result we can expect over the long term that unemployment and underemployment will remain high indefinitely. But the difference will be that people will drop out of the labor force voluntarily because they will be able to live off their dividend earnings via their ownership portfolios. This will create swelling demand for human workers who want to continue working. And with both dividend and wage and salary incomes for everyone there will be more customers to purchase the products and services produced, which in turn will create further dividends and earnings, which will create more customers, etc.

While the future holds less promise for universal job employment due to the ever-progressing contribution of technological-driven production using human-intelligent machines, super-automation, robotics and digital computerized operations, the jobs that will be in demand will require some mastery of technology, math, and science. As long as working people are limited by earning income solely through their labor worker wages, they will be left behind by the continued gravitation of economic bounty toward the top 1 percent of the people that the system is rigged to benefit. If we don't re-chart our economic policies to broaden private, individual ownership of new productive capital formation, then more troubling is that the continued stagnation of the American economy will further dim the economic hopes of America’s youth, no matter what their education level. The result will have profound long-term consequences for the nation’s economic health and further limit equal earning opportunity and spread income inequality. As the need for labor decreases and the power and leverage of productive capital increases, the gap between labor workers and productive capital asset owners will increase, and the conditions will become very frightening and very chaotic.

Sadly, our leaders are not prepared and are not preparing the American people for the coming economic collapse and the next Great Depression, due to their lack of wisdom and foresight to understand that full employment is not an objective of businesses and private sector job creation opportunities are constantly being eroded by physical productive capital’s ever increasing role––as the use of human-intelligent machines, super-automation, robotics, digital computerized operations, etc. replaces labor workers to produce products and services.

The question that requires an answer is now timely before us. It was first posed by binary economist Louis Kelso in the 1950s but has never been thoroughly discussed on the national stage. Nor has there been the proper education of our citizenry that addresses what economic justice is and what ownership is. Therefore, by ignoring such issues of economic justice and ownership, our leaders are ignoring the concentration of power through ownership of productive capital, with the result of denying the 99 percenters equal opportunity to become productive capital owners. The question, as posed by Kelso is: “how are all individuals to be adequately productive when a tiny minority (capital owners) produce a major share and the vast majority (labor workers), a minor share of total goods and service,” and thus, “how do we get from a world in which the most productive factor—–physical capital—–is owned by a handful of people, to a world where the same factor is owned by a majority—–and ultimately 100 percent—–of the consumers, while respecting all the constitutional rights of present capital owners?”

The path to prosperity, opportunity, and economic justice can be found in the writings about the Capital Homestead Act. For more overviews related to this topic see my article "The Absent Conversation: Who Should Own America?" published by The Huffington Post and by OpEd News.

Also see "The Path To Eradicating Poverty In America" and "The Path To Sustainable Economic Growth", and the article entitled "The Solution To America's Economic Decline."



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ABOUT Gary Reber

Gary Reber is a leading advocate for economic justice. He is the founder and Executive Director of For Economic Justice (www.foreconomicjustice.org), and an advocate and author for economic justice through broadened ownership of wealth-creating, income-producing physical productive capital. Mr. Reber is a member of the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) and the Coalition for Capital Homesteading. Mr. Reber founded with binary economist Louis Kelso, Agenda 2000 Incorporated in 1967 to advocate policies and programs to broaden productive capital ownership in urban development projects. Mr. Reber studied economic development planning at the University of Cincinnati, University of California, Berkeley, with doctorate studies at the University of Stockholm and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, and taught binary economics under John Dyckman, Chairman of the City and Regional Planning Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to other publications, Mr. Reber, for the past 21 years, also has published Widescreen Review, an enthusiast home theatre magazine and Webzine (www.widescreenreview.com) as well as Ultimate Home Design, a “green” sustainable movement magazine, now on the Web (www.ultimatehomedesign.com), and is a producer of high-definition concert video specials. Mr. Reber testified March 7, 8, 9, 1973 as President of the Institute for the Pursuit of Economic Justice at Berkeley before The Committee On Ways And Means House Of Representatives––Ninety-Third Congress––On The Subject Of General Tax Reform and is the author of numerous articles published by The Huffington Post, Nation of Change and Op-Ed News, as well as nearly 2,000 major posts on the foreconomicjustice.org blog site.

We need to LIMIT our behavior

We need to LIMIT our behavior or Greed and Bottom Lining without concern of the Generations to come. Generation LAW must come first: Clean Water, Clean Air, Clean Earth, Clean Fire/Energy ...and Clean Health Food. The next is the Golden Rule: you pollute, contaminate, 100% corp/personal assets are sold off & you & you family live on that land till the 7th generation.
o Have Set LIMITS of what personal Profit you can own. $500M and then you have a BIG Win Party & you Retire & enjoy SPENDING the money.
o Have Set LIFE limits on Corporations & then they divest. The Longer your Corp elects to live: 5-25, 30, 50, 75, 100 YR limit you get Taxed accordingly. With more tax added based on your growth (state, inter-state, national, inter-national) & profit & 'living wage' employee's working in the US.
o Limit Conglomerates & Monopolies. i.e.
- cannot cross Industry sectors.
- cannot own all types of (Media) sources within a Sector or all of a specific type of product, manufacturing.
- cannot own the food product (attributes to some disease), drugs (to combat said disease i.e. built-in consumerism.
o Have WE THE PEOPLE pay for set-auditable political campaigns by region, median income, population allowances/participants.
o Political Parties abolished, Lobbyists abolished, The Fed abolished - we print coin our own money.
o Use the Database Technology to benefit WE THE PEOPLE:
+ Food Checkers for the kitchen : Nutritution listings, virus & bacteria checkings, calorie counters et.al.
+ Grocery Store - Food Product / Farm Checkers : You can immediately scan your choice of chicken to see the FARM it came from (visual-live TV).
+ Producing & Manufacturing products that benefit , educate, entertain People -- in promoting Good Will and Happiness and achieving one's Dreams and the Generations to come.

Slavery paid better than

Slavery paid better than unpaid internships.

Even the US Dept. of Justice is shamelessly using unpaid internships to fill prosecutor jobs there, and no one is challenging it in court.

The author (Gary Reber) has a

The author (Gary Reber) has a distinguished history and over the decades he has developed a very thoughtful theory.

But i wonder if there are not some immediate steps we could take, right now.

For example, adding some meaningful tariffs to protect domestic industry and jobs seems like a no-brainer, as well as closing down our foreign bases and stopping the wars. That would at least stop our wealth from flowing out and give us some breathing room.

It would require us to squarely acknowledge some reality however, that we are not a force for good but generally for evil around the world, and that "free trade" typically means pitting workers in one country against workers in another.

This is not to say that Reber is wrong about technological trends, and it may really be necessary to structure our tax system to make us all owners of the system, literally invested in it.

But i think we can do some things immediately and unilaterally (and i don't mean 'start a new war' :) ).

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