Lack of Employment? Or Lack of Useful Work?

by Antoine L.

As a fellow recruit enlisted in the army of the American working class, and whose daily struggle is one being waged in the economic battlefields of California. My deployment is currently in the domain of automotive parts distribution, ranging North to Sacramento, as far south as Merced and west to San Francisco. As this day-to-day distribution is being carried out, naturally the human thing to do is to engage in friendly conversation with those on the receiving end.

Lately, there has been one reoccurring topic that is discussed, the topic of employment, and the lack there of. A very common feeling being expressed by the petite-bourgeois shop owners and business managers, is that nobody wants to work because they are getting paid too much on unemployment and that there are too many benefits out right now. It usually starts off by them asking how my Warehouse is doing as far as employees, and right now my response is to shed light on the reality that we are short staffed by 50% and therefore are very much being overworked.

The obvious issue here is that the workers are being underpaid, the value that they receive in exchange for their time and labor is not anymore significant, then what they are able to receive as a mere social security measure from the current unemployment benefits. Another variable in this equation is one that isn’t as apparent at first glance. It is the fact that, in a society where people would rather stay home then work, It seems safe to say that there is a lack of passion for the jobs that are made  available right here and now.

What does this mean, And why is it so? Well let’s zoom out for a second, what do we have under the system of capitalism? Well, we have anarchy in the market, where there is no central planning, instead we have a sink or swim policy and justify it with the slogan, “it’s survival of the fittest”. With such an economy what we have is massive competition instead of cooperation, and a lack of innovation.

If someone sees someone else making money, in an easy and quick fashion, well it becomes,”monkey see , monkey do”. So now we start to see that the overall goal is to make money, weather your doing something you believe in or have a  passion for , that is secondary. In fact, If your passion made you no money , well  as they say, “don’t quit your day job”.

Okay, so now we have identified that there is a lack of passion, and proper compensation. Well why don’t these employers pay higher wages to keep their workers and buy their passion, they are just being greedy, right? Here, once again comes another aspect of the capitalist system that we must factor in.

We must not forget that for capital to survive, it must continuously expand and multiply. So what we are actually seeing is the monopolization of the big box shops and the subsequent proletarianization of the smaller shops pushing them from the middle class to the working class. This is the function of the capitalists doing what they must to stay relevant, which is to suck up and absorb all the smaller fish, the middle class,  aspiring petite-bourgeoisie and therefore eliminating any competition ,one at a time.

So the frustration of the small businesses in relation to the working class, and their declining ability to extract profit from them is completely misplaced. They fail to understand that the worker is only doing what is in their best interest given the circumstances, their enemy is not those who produce all the wealth, how could it be? It is in fact the system which puts humans against humans, promoting individualism. the system where there is always an overproduction causing horrible market crashes, which are more and more frequent.

The answer is a new system, one where there is no longer useless labor that is only carried out as a necessity for one’s survival, under the direction of a private party, who’s bottom line is increasing their own wealth. This new system must carry with it the whole of societies overall interests, planning out and deciding what is needed and how much of it. creating enthusiasm for all labor that is enacted, because all labor done for society will be productive. which will also mean proper compensation for all labor, because all labor will be necessary and a great contribution to the overall health of society. This new system is the system of socialism.