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View Diary: What's a Human Being "Worth"? The Moral and Economic Crisis of the 21st Century (192 comments)

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  •  Nice piece here, but I think the elephant in the (6+ / 0-)

    room needs a little more focus.

    7,8,9 Billion people on this planet and growing. Every day each of us is worth less. It's just supply and demand.

    Then of course it's important to realize that humans are a cost of doing business. Employees are no longer assets, they are costs.

    With so many people, and our population growing, it's a given that each human is worth less.

    Perhaps it's time to look at humanity and our planet through something other than an economic lens.

    There is more to life than the bottom line.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 02:54:21 AM PST

    •  Agree. Hardly anyone talks about population (4+ / 0-)

      Overpopulation is one of the many reasons why I, as a 27 year old, am already lean no on having my own children. Al Gore had it right in An Inconvenient Truth: When world population goes from 2 billion to 7 billion in one generation, ours, something profound is happening right now.

    •  Why does everyone ignore the DEMAND side? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, Eric Stetson, k9disc

      The question in this reply's title has bothered me for DECADES now.  The REAL deficit in today's economy has nothing to do with the national debt, or anyone spending money they haven't yet earned.  The reason there are no jobs available nowadays is that the policies favored by the wealthiest 1% (the ONLY people that most government officials give a damn about) have caused the wages of most workers to stagnate, or fall, even while the productivity of those workers has steadily increased.  Because our economy is essentially based on consumer spending (70%+ of GDP) , when the wealth of those consumers decreases due to wages falling relative to cost of living, or to job loss, they become less effective consumers - in other words, they can't spend the money that they don't make.

      That's why, with all the tax cuts in the world, with the 1% capturing 95%+ of all income gains since the '08 meltdown, there's STILL been no significant job growth - because the unemployed have no money to buy products, demand is low, and there's NO REASON to hire more workers if you are satisfying the demand for your product at current staffing levels.  The ONLY market justification for hiring new workers is if you CAN'T satisfy current demand with current staffing.

      I see the above as the saving grace for the robotic nightmare scenario illustrated by Eric.  If a company wants to sell product, it needs buyers.  As the jobs dry up, so do the buyers, and the owners (if they have ANY business sense at all) will come to realize that their businesses cannot survive in this scenario, either.

      OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

      by mstaggerlee on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:05:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you're right about this: (0+ / 0-)
        If a company wants to sell product, it needs buyers.  As the jobs dry up, so do the buyers, and the owners (if they have ANY business sense at all) will come to realize that their businesses cannot survive in this scenario, either.
        I suppose the unanswered question is whether so much wealth will be concentrated by that point that there won't be much of any incentive anymore for the rich to bother with producing and selling things to anyone else.

        The upper middle class and the "lesser rich" will be the ones who could still stop the robotic nightmare train, because these people will be the ones with some degree of economic clout who will still need a functioning consumer economy with businesses. The "super rich" probably won't care that much if the consumer economy dries up due to lack of demand; they are so wealthy that it wouldn't matter to them, since they don't need to earn any further business income in order to remain rich.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:37:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I strongly believe ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... that if EVERY package of Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper & Mardi Gras napkins currently sitting on Supermarket shelves were to simply remain there, unsold, until after the 2014 elections, that Chuck & Dave Koch WOULD take notice, and that they'd spend considerably less in subsequent election cycles.  When your politics hit your bottom line, it's time to re-evaluate.

          Of course, I could be wrong ... it COULD, indeed, motivate them to spend MORE (How DARE those rubes boycott our products??!! - We'll show them!)

          OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

          by mstaggerlee on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:54:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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