Having a job doesn’t mean you’re solvent.
By definition, any business must make a profit to stay solvent. That profit is measured as the difference between whatever you are paid, and the maximum benefit that can be extracted from your labour.
If you work for a solvent company, on a fair living wage, well and good.
But if the business is profitable and you can’t afford a roof over your head, food, decent clothing and normal healthcare and the basic essentials of life, and those fundamental needs can only be met through incurring crushing debt and poverty, or reliance on the taxpayer, your employer is exploiting your labour.
The structure of our economic system is predicated on the consumption of energy into an infinite future.
If you are mired in infinite debt to keep yourself alive, you are consuming your own future (energy) to underpin your employer’s profitability.
If the nation itself is booming, then it is the nation that is consuming your future energy to support that profit. This is the prime source of wealth for the 1% who own 90% + of of the nations’s assets, and constantly demand more by way of depressed wages and tax breaks. Demands for cuts to Medicaid, the SNAP program and housing assistance are further ways to divert wealth from the poor to the already wealthy.
A safety net is just another word for socialism.
Yet all other civilised nations have those safety nets in place.
To line up at a foodbank, or receive benefit under the SNAP system, is to receive an energy supplement not provided by your otherwise profitable employer.
Despite the supposedly booming economy, at least 40% of American households struggled or failed to meet one or more of those basic needs last year. This is what exploitative employment is. Unchecked, it represents exploitative government.
If you are one of those, your youth and health is being consumed for the benefit of your employer. When (not if) you reach an age of infirmity, (no matter how trivial), you will be discarded, and fresh vigour taken on to replace you. Your inadequate wage will not have allowed the accumulation of means to support old age.
There won’t be enough energy in the future to support your old age because that energy is being consumed to support your present.
This is the brutal reality of much of today’s employment regime. It is a centuries-old system and was commonplace until the widespread introduction of fossil fuel powered machines.
Those machines allowed a delusion that lasted less than a century, that man’s attitude to his fellow man had somehow changed, and that things would improve for all.
Poverty was to be a thing of the past, everyone was to be gainfully employed making, selling, buying, discarding ‘stuff’, forever. The thought that doing those things is impossible without increasing energy input was shrugged off as irrelevant. The laws of physics have never applied to humankind.
The good life, the American Dream, was here to stay. It doesn’t need a economic genius to figure out that borrowing money to live a dream will quickly turn into a nightmare.
For millions of people it already has.
That simple truth destroys the myth of the booming economy, when measured against the standard of whether the employed person can afford the basic essentials of life and living.
Energy depletion will make certain that hardship increases. The deprivation of those millions will reach a certain tipping point, history is very clear on what happens next.
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