Saturday, October 1, 2011

in reply to a comment on my previous post

Because for some reason right now I cannot make a comment on my blog....

We have shifted from a freeholder/farming/production society to a service and consumer oriented society.

I didn't really try to skirt around it, but I didn't make all of my points very clearly.

Some services are wealth creation, some aren't. We could take the examples of a barber and a landscaper for a starting point, and leave the walmart greeter for later.

You can, and in the past most often have- had a stake in a barbershop by working there. At one point the most common mode was to rent the chair from the barber or stylist who owned the shop. You pretty much "own" your clientele and own your equipment. As it is a job where your clientele numbers and quality directly drive your earnings, the stakeholding factor is pretty high.

Similarly with a landscaper- who may employ any number of people. The service in this case actually can result in wealth creation through the biological health of the property, which is difficult to argue of
a barber.

But the core idea of stakeholding holds better with landscaping than with hair cutting at this point as a lot of the hair industry has been franshised or corporatized. (not all of it, but it's become a major

With a common landscaper, the employees may or may not have a stakehold, but they certainly can. Bonuses for speed and quality directly impact the business owner's success, so that can be used.

I have worked in the field, and there are plenty of options for increasing your stake. Though as a general rule it requires what I'd term a sense of fairness, a desire to improve the lot of your fellow man, and some... well, civic virtue on the part of the owner.

There's nothing at all wrong with hiring someone to do that which you don't want to do. but as a basis for an economy, it's a shell game. At some level, someone has to be producing something- and we definitely do still produce a lot as a nation, it's just not done nearly as much as it needs to be by owner/workers.

Land ownership, privatization of schools, and small businesses:

Well, as far as land ownership goes- I do think it's a key element in fixing things. I have yet to see a "socialized" housing solution work at all. I'd rather live in a ford pinto (which I have done!) than involve myself in public housing.

I won't claim I have some brilliant idea on how to fix land ownership, nor do I think all land should be private (quite the opposite, actually). But ownership of- or similar rights to your living spaces is
pretty fundamental.

I'm not sure privatization of schools is actually an issue. The Prussian model system is very, very broken- but that's not the only public system possible. The point is the type of education, and the Prussian model is, very much is, a large part of WHY our society
devalues originality, intelligent thought, empathy, and hard work.

That's pretty key- our society is, unfortunately, largely molded by our school system.

With regard to small business- I do actually think it's a huge fix. I think independent businesseses of relatively modest size with a high ratio of ownership to employee can make an immediate and dramatic change in valuing work, originality, intelligence, and social empathy.

But I think that you have to begin to replace the "employee" or "worker" idea with stakeholding and smaller, more limited ventures.

I don't want single payer health care. I don't want a profiteering basis for healthcare, either. There is another set of answers to that- because as long as a group of people, a council, a senate, a board of governors, controls the dispensing of funds on a national scale, there will be badness. Quite a lot of it.

I don't want to be taxed more, but I'm willing to be taxed fairly. I happen to think the government is getting more than enough money right now and that - in light of my views that government providing "jobs"
is a negative- that we need to fix our spending above all.

A society provided safety net is certainly something I approve of. Once again, I have problems with a large governmental control of such structures. Several problems.

It is certainly true that we are advanced enough as a technological civilization that it should not be necessary for anyone to die or even suffer extreme privation due to lack of resources.

And that's definitely a social responsibility. But I'm not clear on how that is a government responsibility.

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