Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Needs of Society

Society has its needs. Indeed, a society must meet these needs, before it can do things like protect itself and its members. In a viable society, its institutions must each produce more that they cost society. That is they each must produce more than they consume.

If the worker costs more than the value of what he produces, there is no point for the capitalist to hire him. Only if he is worth more to the capitalist than his cost, is it worth the capitalist employing him. It can be said that a worker must produce more than he consumes.

Just as the capitalist must take his profit from the worker, so must society take its profit from the capitalist. Only when the capitalist allows society to take its profit from him, is it worthwhile for the society to have him around. That is the capitalist entity must produce more than it consumes.

The capitalist may do this two ways. He may pay his employees enough that they can contribute to the tax base, that is, that society may take its profits off the employees, or he may allow society to take the taxes directly out of his own profits.

Society must take these profits, since otherwise it will fail. One way society does this is to have a strong enough government to take its profit from its producers. That is the government must be able to collect enough in taxes to sustain itself. If its government fails to do this, that society will fail.

Now one can say that since what a capitalist does is make and build, taxes, and a government, are unnecessary. But what is necessary is the commons, those goods and services which government secures, and often provides. The common welfare, the common capital, is what taxes support. A wealthy society seems to need a large commons, and seems to need a large and strong government to maintain it.

We think we have a strong government. It is not. It is weak. It cannot collect enough in taxes to support itself, and maintain the services and infrastructure(capital) it provides. It cannot convince its people, or its wealthy, that they should pay their taxes. It must borrow, a sign of weakness. Also, it is corrupt. It is captive to many special interests. This is a sign of weakness. It wastes its resources on things that are not needed, that may of themselves be wasteful. And it fails to do needed things. It fails to protect and preserve its commons. It fails to preserve and protect its tax base.

The people borrow to purchase things from foreign countries, things the producers of the country do not make for its people. Society cannot produce enough to exchange for the goods and services it imports. Also a sign of weakness, and of either sloth or misapplied effort.

There are those who do not want a strong government, or at least do not want to pay for one. They think that they will be able to wage war with a weak government. They think they will be able to defend their country with a weak government. They think they will be able to defend their industry with a weak government. They think they will be able to secure and maintain their wealth with a weak government, and a small commons.

They of course do not think of it these terms They merely resent the fact that society must take its profit from them, and therefore they take steps to avoid this. They try to minimize the amount they pay labor, so the government cannot collect sufficient tax from labor to maintain itself, and having corrupted the government, they manipulate the system so that they do not have to pay the necessary taxes out of their own profits. Since these taxes are both inevitable and essential to the maintenance of any society, and a fair amount of taxes for a modern society, they work the destruction of their own society.

From the point of view of society, of course, those who demand more than they contribute, and at no matter what scale, who refuse to let society take its profit off of themselves, are worse than useless.

This is all according to the principle that it is better to produce than consume. A society whose members produce and give to society more than they consume will become unimaginably wealthy, while a society whose members consume more than they produce will consume its capital, and become poor.

The wealthy set the pace. They lead both by deed and example. A society whose wealthy elevate consumption over production, who refuse to let society take its profit off of them and instead insist of taking their profits off of society, is not viable, and will destroy itself. It will consume its capital and become poor, its institutions collapsing.

Leaders are leaders not because of what they take, but because of what they give.

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