Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What If All Of Society's Leeches Got Jobs?

What might happen to our capitalistic society if, as its most vociferous followers steadfastly desire, all the “low-lifes” and other dregs of society were to get their acts together by focusing on education and vocation as opposed to idleness and mischief? It would create a more competitive landscape placing downward pressure on wages and pay, all things being equal. So the trade-off might induce lower welfare outlays but this in turn would create decreasing wages and pay. So there might be little effect on net pay.

For instance, if one earns $80/hour and is taxed for $25 of it, his take home pay is $55/hour. However, if the “low-lifes” and other dregs involved themselves in the civilized affairs of society (i.e. got jobs), perhaps taxes could decrease by $10 (due to decreased welfare outlays) but the downward pressure put on wages and pay due to the “low-lifes” and other dregs getting involved in the economy would likely drag the hourly wage to $70/hour. In which case, the net effect on take home pay is $0. Taxes are lower but so is gross pay.

Perhaps psychologically people feel they are being “cheated” less if their take home pay is closer to their gross pay? Apart from this, however, there is no quantitative difference. $70/hour is $70/hour. This is overly simplistic to be sure, but the point of my argument is that a balanced and well functioning society seems to necessitate 3 distinct classes being present, this being a high, middle and low one. We should never hope for anything but this.

To many this seems unfortunate and depressing. But I did not author the nature of reality. I am but one of its messengers! To summarize, all 3 classes complement the functionality of the whole. One must remember that when attempting to “perfect” something as complicated as a society comprised of millions and billions of citizens, there will be innumerable unwanted and unforeseen consequences. This is why from a very reflective perspective, I think it wise to accept many things just as they are.

This comes across very pessimistic to many, understandably, but not heeding this principle simply gives the “advocates of change” something to feel self-righteous and superior about of which in actuality there is no superior method of dealing with complex issues like this because they are all of them fraught with difficult and oftentimes painful trade-offs! This will not be at all obvious to those that identify with one and only one perspective.

However, it becomes readily apparent when one looks beyond his single perspective. Remember, truth is not a product of one perspective. It is an amalgam of oftentimes opposing perspectives!

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