Capitalism, Poverty, and
the Suggestions of
Info: YDA.org Page
The "YDA Platform 2009-2011" has some interesting "visions" and "values" presented in it. There are many suggestions and ideas on how to solve the problem of poverty, something that has afflicted humanity ever since the rise of the isolated, land-owning class. Such suggestions include "increasing the minimum wage," "housing programs," "vocational training, financial training and adult education," and "the recognition of housing as basic human right." Of course, none of these are new ideas or new suggestions to the problems. They were first demanded by the revolutionary, Chartist movement in 1850, which was violently suppressed by both Liberal and Conservative officials in government
Government is defined as "a valuable tool in addressing and ultimately eliminating the worst forms of economic hardship in modern society." But, as far as its value goes, you cannot expect it to go further today than the very same organization has gone in the past. Even when the Democrats dominated congress during the 1930's, they had absolutely no power or ability to change the massive unemployment in society.
They passed regulations that improved the right to unionize, the right to fair pay, and the relief for the poor and unemployed; but, they never had the impact of guaranteeing a full, dignified existence to every willing person. Instead, their legislation stood more as a monument to their dominance as a political party, not intending on the complete abolition of want, hunger, homelessness, and misery.
What is it that the Democratic Party expects to accomplish today, when it is championing a policy that has failed so miserably in the past? This is not to say that the Republican Party has a better policy. Between the two parties, there is little distinction in this aspect. There is a curbing and regulation of the excesses that come with a very few people owning all of society's productive forces. But, there is never an abolishment of it. You seek "more equal," but not equality and "more just," but not justice. The primary difficulty is that "more just" typically acts as a cover for those who want to preserve all of the ill gains already obtained by the exploiters and oppressors of society.
Sure, you can pass housing reform, but has it ever ended homelessness? And it is not at all practical or meaningful, if there are unoccupied, useful houses sitting closed up, under the pretense of "private property." What can really be expected from this half-hearted gesture of Section 8, which provides only partial funding for rent? Is it going to take those empty buildings, which provide no use, and turn them into homes for the needy and poor? No, it cannot, nor does it intend to.
And sure, you pass all of the working-condition laws you like. The National Labor Relations Board still allows employers to fire employees solely on the grounds of trying to organize a union. (See "Labor Economics," by Chester A. Morgan.) For all of these laws, they cannot stop businesses from exporting manufacturing plants to Mexico and Vietnam, where workers are routinely exposed to 14-hour workdays, dangerous work-conditions, and violent overseers. Can your laws stop this emigration of capital, from the United States' "haven of worker rights" to horrendous conditions in places like China and Chile? It cannot, again, because all of it is protected by its classification as "private property."
Then what about all of those rights for social welfare and public education? Welfare is a grumbling handout, and it does not ever nearly meet the conditions necessary to existence. Increasing it doesn't solve this problem, because that simply increases the public tax burden. And, the more than is taken from and given back to the workers, the less they actually will possess. Nobody wants a handout, anyway, to begin with. They want a meaningful employment that pays fairly and doesn't rob them of their full energy and time of day -- they want to live freely and to benefit from the productive science of today's age.
Our machined society exposes people to smog in the air, mercury in the water, and toxic preservatives in our food, but we still work eight to ten hours a day, just like a farmer who owned their own farm in the year 1600, for example. Why is it that a farm can produce enough to feed thousands by the labor of one person today, but nobody can work one-thousandth of that workday, and live off of that? It is quite clear that it is because someone can profit by taking the larger portion of the worker's produce, under the pretense of "lending them the right to productive property."
Is there ever a chance to implement a law that guarantees a person the full dignity of managing their work for themselves, and a benefiting from every ounce of labor they put in? Not as long as you tolerate Capitalists who must take place a profit margin, like a tax, on everything that is made. It slows down the economy and displaces employees, as profits become less realizable with every other Capitalist likewise placing profit margins on natural resources and productive material.
No Liberal Party in the world has ever dreamed that they would provide every person with a job, every family with a home, and every worker with a fair share of their produce. Because to do anything remotely like this would mean to abolish the essential basis that Capitalism rests upon. But, it is the only real way toward a world without unemployment, poverty, or homelessness. All of your half-hearted measures do nothing but serve as a cover against the claim that Capitalism is not improving the conditions of all people.
You must admit this, as without these laws for the eight-hour day and safe work conditions, Capitalists would revert back to their previous, less-humanly recognizable form -- child labor working 12 hours a day in mines, executing workers who organize unions, etc.. What a monstrous system, and today it is only still standing because its most heinous forms have been mildly curtailed. But, it does not eradicate the exploitation at the heart of the disease. As long as there are possessors of capital, they will keep it working only insomuch as they can generate a massive enough profit. And, when unemployment means cheap workers, the optimum point of profitable production necessitates mass unemployment. It is a simple matter of economics known as "equilibrium purchasing point," which always necessitates underuse and inefficient allocation of labor and resources.
Without challenging the basis of Capitalism, your measures will not succeed in much. They will make this system of private tyranny digestible to the masses, never really providing them with the full dignity of controlling their own lives.
Thank you for reading this far. I patiently await a response...