Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Workers, Workers, Everywhere, But Not A Place to Work

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"Food for Thought" is an original bi-weekly column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.

Doesn't it seem unfathomable that we have workers everywhere who are anxious to be put to work while no jobs are available? Even the most apathetic person on either side of the political spectrum should question this situation. The simple answer is that it has become illegal to work at this time, because it has become illegal to provide jobs. Let’s analyze cause and effect.

Question: How are jobs generated?
Answer: Jobs are generated through the efforts of innovators, investors, entrepreneurs and researchers.

Question: What is the incentive for any of the above?
Answer: Profit.

Question: What is profit?
Answer: Profit is the money that the consumer bosses are willing to pay to the producers that remains after the producers have expended all of their costs of production. If the consumer-bosses want to vote for those producers who provide a product or service that serves them well, at a price they are willing to pay, they vote for them with their feet and those producers survive. If they find fault with some of the products or services, they walk away, leaving those producers to fail. The only way a failing company can avoid failure is to correct those mistakes that caused the failure or get bailed out by the taxpayer. There is no third option.

Question: What are the costs of production?
Answer: Innovation costs, research costs, development costs, wages, rents, purchases of capital goods, purchases of supplies, time costs and even the emotion spent on the expectation of making a profit could be considered a cost. The enumeration of costs can go on forever. Let’s think of all costs of production as stumbling blocks to profit, meaning that if there were no costs, profit would be astronomical. These aforementioned costs are unavoidable. Lastly, there is another obstacle to profit; namely numerous taxes, government regulations and all of the legal and accounting fees and time-consuming fees that the State places upon the backs of the entrepreneurs. However the government-mandated costs are not only avoidable but detrimental to the well being of a nation.

Therefore, doesn’t it stand to reason that since jobs are not available, although there are thousands of workers itching to be put to work, it means that the costs of production and doing business are too high for the producers to realize a profit? Doesn’t it stand to reason that, by law, it has becomes illegal for willing workers to be offered jobs by producers who must make a profit in order to create and maintain those jobs? It is only government (the State) that has the ability to thwart the efforts of the producers and it does so with a vengeance, and with the "approval" of those very people who are being harmed by its coercive interventions.

The laws (obstacles) to making a profit under the banner of protecting the consumer-bosses are in the hundreds of thousands and fill hundreds of thousands of pages that even most politicians and attorneys can’t decipher. In fact, millions of wasted dollars are spent by businesses to hire others to interpret those laws, which may or may not provide correct interpretations, and often result in the incarceration of the producer, due to no fault of his own.

I am not an economist, so I can’t debate some academician economist who may disagree with me, using financial terms that, to me, are incomprehensible. I am just a simple guy to whom one and one make two. So lets abandon all of the phony excuses offered by those who approve of the placement of obstacles in the paths of the producers and look reality in the eye. Those numerous excuses for government intervention in the economy stretch for miles, but they all have the same leitmotif. The rationale is that if there were no intervention, the producers would go hog-wild in harming the consumers in order to cut costs or to monopolize their market. They claim to believe that the food producers would purposely poison them, the automobile producers would purposely sell them defective cars, the manufacturers would purposely provide them with dangerous machinery with which to work, that doctors would purposely misdiagnose their ailments and surgically remove the wrong diseased organs, the drug companies would purposely sell toxic drugs to their customers, that farmers would grow too much food. The list is endless but as phony as a three-dollar bill. One might rebut that nobody is accusing the producers of “purposely” doing those things, but sometimes accidents do happen so that the State must act as a safety net to prevent and/or punish those producers who accidentally or purposely harm the consumers. My rebuttal to the this rebuttal will be found in my next column.

In order to provide jobs, all of the government taxes, fines, and impossible-to-follow rules and regulations must be eliminated so that the costs of doing business can result in profit for those who provide the products and services to the ultimate bosses–the consumers. Profit must no longer remain a dirty word that engenders hatred towards those who seek profit, since by cursing the idea of profit you are cursing the hands that feed you.

The average citizen is not an employer. He has never owned a business. The average citizen hasn’t the foggiest idea of what it takes to start and maintain a new business in America, especially in today’s climate of resentment towards entrepreneurs. So they falsely believe that entrepreneurs and business owners are their enemy. As their enemy, they feel that entrepreneurs deserve to be punished for their profits. They fail to understand that it is the profit motive that is responsible for the very jobs that they wish they had and will never have if this insanity continues.

In the 1950's, Harold Fleming, in his book entitled, Ten Thousand Commandments, clearly described how the anti-trust laws have effected production and innovation to the detriment of not only the entrepreneur, but also of the worker, and the entire economy.

If he were to write that book today it would be entitled, Hundreds of Thousands of Commandments.

Harold Fleming happened to write about how the anti-trust laws have affected the manufacturing industry. Other astute authors have written about industries like farming, pharmaceuticals, medical, clothing, supermarket, education, construction and housing, insurance. The list is endless. Each exposé demonstrates the same principle proving that all of the regulations, however, well-intentioned they may have been, have affected production to the detriment of all, in the long run.

With all of the government intervention gone, should some injustices arise, the private sector will also create entire new industries to replace the ineffective State agencies, which will effectively prevent and/or punish the transgressors with more success than the present ineffective government “justice” system. In fact, the term “government justice” is an oxymoron. Yes, true rip-offs will occur under any system, but the system we now have in place adds fuel to the fire because most of the injustice that presently occurs comes as a result of government intervention. To make matters worse, the consumer bosses presently crawl to the very entity (the State) that caused the problem, to fix the problem.

You can fool most of the people most of the time; and the State has done a magnificent job in convincing the people that the State is not the culprit, but is the solution. If it continues, it will consume us into perdition. This analysis seems to me to be the same no matter which nation has an unemployment problem. It has become illegal to create, offer, or accept jobs on an unrestricted voluntary basis, and so unemployment continues.