CARTOONS with explanations.
This illustrates one of the most basic contradictions in a capitalist economy. The factory owner lowers costs by automating and sacking workers, but the more this happens the less capable people are of purchasing the products. Consider if all work was automated, needing no workers, no one would be employed so no one could buy anything. Marx argued that contradictions like this would increase over time and eventually lead to the self-destruction of capitalism.
Automation etc. would not be a problem if all people owned the society’s productive plant and could decide what work to phase out and how to share the goods produced. (From The Simpler Way perspective “work” is important; it is good for people to be busy making and growing things and helping others, so we would set major limits to the amount of high-tech and automated production we ued.) But there would be no unemployment and we would work at a relaxed pace and mostly in cooperative situations. Some of us think there should be much scope for small private firms and farms operating under community-set guidelines that prevented deadly competition, accumulation of great wealth, bankruptcy and take over by tycoons. Others think all production should be via community controlled firms – in time communities will decide such issues in view of how things are working out.
For detailed discussion see, The New Economy.
One of the most absurd aspects this economy is that it cannot be “healthy” unless the amount of purchasing, using up and throwing away is not only kept high but must increase at about 3% p.a. Yet the “limits to growth” analysis shows that we are already doing far more producing and consuming that is sustainable and rich world levels could never be extended to all the world’s people. A sustainable economy has to be a steady state or zero growth economy.
For detailed discussion see The case against growth.
The case against the market
The new economy
Much Aid is “tied”, i.e., given on condition that it is spent buying from firms in the aid donating country. This is obviously aid from our government to our firms. Usually a poor country would be able to do much more good if it was given money and was free to choose where to spend it.
Conventional, i.e., capitalist, development puts development resources into enabling more business turnover, because according to neoliberal doctrine the supreme goal is to increase GDP. This is a delight for ruling classes in rich and poor countries (and consumers in rich countries) because it maximizes business opportunities for them, more plantations, exports, importing, selling to make money from. So if/when the poor object and want the focus of development to be developing what will most meet their needs they are ignored, or overruled, or repressed. Often dissent is identified as a communist or terrorist threat to “order” or “freedom” and put down ruthlessly. The rich countries have given a great deal of assistance to Third World regimes willing to keep development to the free enterprise, growth-and-trickle-down path that suits the corporations and banks, and Third World elites. Often they have invaded to get rid of governments unwilling to rule in their interests.
Look Development. Cartoon19.jpg