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If you think that premise, then you can slam bad or out of work people as lazy good-for-nothings and destroy the social security web with a clean conscience. At this minute, to a sensible approximation, the only people with any valuable abilities are those in health care, production of drugs and medical supplies, and food production and distribution, and certain crucial facilities functions (electrical energy, fuel, communications, etc). Thats why tens of millions of people might suddenly be out of work, through no fault of their own.
We do what we can to make sure that people can remain in their houses, get enough food, and take care of their families.
Or they held full-time tasks that all of a sudden disappeared one day due to the fact that people in other nations might do those jobs more inexpensively.
By James Kwak
” It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we anticipate our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
— Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Image by Mandy Fontana from Pixabay
This is the most popular line from the most well-known validation of market capitalism. Smiths point is that it is specific self-interest that drives the economy. In the next paragraph, he goes on to explain how gains from trade explain the division of labor in a modern economy:
” The certainty of being able to exchange all that surplus part of the fruit and vegetables of his own labour, which is over and above his own usage, for such parts of the fruit and vegetables of other mens labour as he might have event for, encourages every guy to use himself to a specific occupation, and to cultivate and bring to perfection whatever talent or genius he might possess for that particular species of company.”
As Ive stated previously, “whenever the butcher, the maker, the baker, or the unnoticeable hand is invoked, the reader ought to hear alarm bells going off.” The COVID-19 pandemic offers an especially plain presentation of the issues with Smiths comforting myth and how it is utilized in modern politics.
If you believe that premise, then you can criticize unemployed or bad individuals as lazy good-for-nothings and destroy the social safety web with a tidy conscience. This was the philosophical justification behind well-being reform, for example, which placed produced work requirements for and enforced lifetime advantage caps on recipients, assuming that all they needed was sufficient reward to get and discover a job to work.
Think about what is happening right now. At this moment, to a sensible approximation, the only individuals with any valuable abilities are those in healthcare, production of drugs and medical products, and food production and distribution, and particular important infrastructure functions (electrical energy, gas, communications, etc). Thats why 10s of countless individuals might suddenly run out work, through no fault of their own.
We help those individuals. Even the Trump administration proposes sending money to every individual in the nation to help them pay the bills. We do what we can to make sure that individuals can stay in their homes, get enough food, and take care of their households.
Or they held full-time tasks that all of a sudden vanished one day because people in other nations might do those tasks more inexpensively. The prevailing attitude to these people– at least judging by the financial policies put in place by the political leaders who were popularly chosen– was: screw them.
The only real distinction, as far as I can see, is that they were a small enough minority that the majority of individuals could pretend they didnt exist, or that their problems were their own fault. Sure, I might have become a doctor, which would provide me a valuable skill right now, but I do not believe its a moral stopping working that I didnt.
So the lesson I believe we need to all remove from this crisis is this: If someone can not offer for herself and her household in a market capitalist economy, that is not an ethical failing on her part. There are always people who have a hard time to manage, through no fault of their own. Undoubtedly, I strongly presume that there will be increasingly more of them in the future, as robotics and expert system get much better and much better at doing things that were as soon as the sole province of people. As a society, our task is to care for the welfare of all of our members– and, yes, that needs action by the federal government, just as 10s of millions of individuals will quickly be relying on federal government checks.
The issues of market capitalism are always there to see, though lots of people select not to look. Perhaps this crisis will open our eyes