RevolutionZ

Ep 4 - Vision: Defending Equity

June 03, 2019 Season 1
RevolutionZ
Ep 4 - Vision: Defending Equity
Chapters
RevolutionZ
Ep 4 - Vision: Defending Equity
Jun 03, 2019 Season 1
Michael Albert
Defending equity income.
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode I discuss major criticisms of the equity approach to providing income. A case is made that if the rest of a future economy can operate compatibly, giving income only for duration, intensity, and onerousness of socially valued work is an approach consistent with our values.

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Speaker 1:
0:01
My name is Michael Albert and this is episode four of our new podcast revolution z, life after capitalism. So delivery is still a bit stiff. I think it's got good content already, maybe better than good, but it's got neo fight delivery. I'm learning. A friend of mine told me Seth Rogen the master podcast or did dozens, perhaps a hundred or more episodes before he got good. I'm going to have to grow a lot quicker than he did I know, but you'll give me a little leeway I hope before the meet of episode four. However, I would like to acknowledge those of you who have already begun following the podcast and very importantly, the gun using Patreon to provide some financial help, stuff costs, and I really do need your support. So if you have just a little time for it, please visit my Patreon page at www.patrion.com/revolution dizzy.
Speaker 1:
0:54
That's www.patrionpatreln.com/revolution dizzy. I'm considered pledging some support and while I am seeking your involvement, please also consider sending advice, suggestions and or questions about specific episodes or the whole project to esis up@czimag.org that's s y s o p@czimag.org and now we proceed. Bob Dylan wrote, money doesn't talk. It swears Upton Sinclair wrote. It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. And episode three, the last one I suggested that activists concerned to attain a better world, fighting for an increase in the minimum wage, for example, ought to be able to answer the question and your better economy, what would determine how much income we each receive while current activism rightly focuses on climate disasters, the green, new deal, health, militarism, racism, and much else. We also need longer term vision to combat the widespread demobilizing belief that there is no alternative and all efforts to change will dissolve back into the ills of the present.
Speaker 1:
2:04
Even beyond instilling hope. We also need longterm vision to provide positive direction and to provide goals for our current actions. So they steadily enhance our prospects for comprehensive lasting gains. I offered a possible answer to the equity question of what should determine income, which is that income or two before for how long we work for, how hard we work and for the owner isness of the conditions under which we work as long as we are producing socially valued product. In other words, we should get a larger income if we work for more hours or if we work harder or if we work under worse conditions while usefully contributing to the social product. That's a norm for how society or to determine how much income each person gets. On the other hand, we should get nothing for owning property. We should get nothing for owning equipment. We should get nothing for owning resources and we should get nothing for having more power or for producing stuff that no one wants or even for the precise level or value of the desired output that we generate because that depends on many factors outside our control.
Speaker 1:
3:08
Those are matters. We discussed last time we offered a view of how to determine income and a good economy duration, intensity and onerous of socially valued work, but not everyone agrees with that. In fact, a whole lot of people disagree with it and before we can proceed into other aspects of economic vision and we should acknowledge that many who hear our income formulation will strongly reject the approach and we ought to see what we think of their objections. So we need to list them and to then evaluate them. The first critic says, your equity approach punishes anyone who can't work. What if someone is too young or too old or too well ill? If duration intensity and onerous and this of socially valued work is all that earns income, then if Joe is too young, old or ill to work, he has no basis for getting an income.
Speaker 1:
3:56
He starves, I reject that says the critic critic to ads. Your equity approach doesn't materially incentivize people to use their inborn talents. The approach may share the social pie equitably, but if people aren't doing what they are best suited to do, output will suffer. And that is unacceptable with no one to us for talent. I will forego being a really excellent surgeon because I prefer to cook and I have no big surgeon income to get me out of the kitchen. Waste talent. That's dumb. The third critic says the equity approach doesn't reward acquired skills. Why should I go to school to become a doctor? She asked if I can earn the same income per hour for doing jobs that require much less preparation. Why should I become an engineer or architect or artist when I can earn as much doing work that takes much less training.
Speaker 1:
4:46
She continues without rewarding acquired skills. People won't under grow, won't undergo great schooling or training. There won't be enough doctors or enough extended education or training for any complex purpose and what good is fairly shelling what's produced. If we have no doctors, engineers, architects, or architects, I reject that critic number four says, beyond all that, the equity approach doesn't provide enough sufficient incentives to elicit desired effort output from each worker once or he or she is on the job. I get a job, I'm supposed to work. What's my incentive? There isn't enough. Giving equity. Incomes has insufficient carrot and it has no stick to spur. People on society's product will shrink so severely that fairly sharing what pie there is won't matter who wants to share poverty bought me. The fifth's critic says it is worse. Still, the equity approach doesn't provide sufficient incentives to elicit innovation.
Speaker 1:
5:44
Why should anyone develop new technologies and techniques if he doesn't benefit from doing so? By curtailing innovation in the present, getting your equity will undermine the future. So out my grandkids, no way. The sixth and last Widdick. So even if the social product would not unduly shrink due to our equitably sharing it, my final criticism of the equity approaches that no one can actually measure duration, intensity and owner isness of work in the real world. Despite your pretty pipe dreams, your equity income approach is an unimplementable aim. So the six critics light up, look confident and even a bit smug and coal. We who seek equity stupid are they write a podcast episode is in the book, but nonetheless, let's at least briefly consider the sixth criticisms in turn. The first criticism is that equity income ignores those who can't work. This one is easy to address because it was only a misunderstanding due to incomplete exposition in a worthy economy.
Speaker 1:
6:43
If you are too young, too old or otherwise unable to work, of course you would get a full income free. Likewise, all medical care would be free so no one will be left out of equity. We each and all would take care of each and all objection one is no objection at all. The second objection has in mind someone with great inborn talent. For example, a potential pianist, mathematician, architect, or athlete. The objection is that the equity approach doesn't give such a person a material reason to pursue their talent instead of some path they are less suited to. At first glance, this does seem pretty examined. Suppose you could be a great surgeon, but you could only be a good cook, but suppose you loved cooking. The equity approach would not give you an income related reason to forgo cooking and pursue surgery. You would cook, you wouldn't operate.
Speaker 1:
7:33
Society loses a great surgeon. My reply is threefold. One, almost everyone with exceptional talents and clients towards using those talents. Most with an exceptional talent would indeed have to be coercively prevented from using it even if they're, if using their talent would yield them less income than not using it. Think artists, athletes, scientists and so on. They don't grow up wanting to be something other than artists, athletes and scientists. They want to use their talents. You would do surgery dot cook because you would need and desire to express your talent to the equity approach. In fact does include an incentive to utilize one talent once talent in the form of admiration, respect, self satisfaction and self fulfillment that in crews to superior rather than only competent actions you would operate and not cooked because it'd being better at operating. You would enjoy more acclaim and and thanks and third, if you don't feel the drive to utilize your inborn talents, why not?
Speaker 1:
8:36
If you don't want to be a doctor and we'd rather be a cook and just a pretty good cook as compared to an excellent doctor, it is. Presumably because you don't enjoy using your talents and you prefer some other pursuits, so much that you would forgo the accolades that superior activity would bring in that case, isn't it actually appropriate and perhaps even more productive that you make the preferred choice you would cook, not operate, but because you did, you would be all the happier and probably a more productive worker forward. Finally, at the risk of offending people who make the criticism, we are here to dismissing our current society actually subverts and destroys and certainly does not utilize the special talents of over 80% of the population. People who do stultifying boring, tedious, repetitive work, their talents are not utilized and that's 80% as a result, anyone who claims to be worried about not eliciting creativity with the equity approach is not only wrong regarding the implications of seeking equity because it does elicit talent, but ought to be completely outraged by the way current society crushes creativity.
Speaker 1:
9:45
The third objection critics offer of the equity approach has two parts. First, why would anyone pay to go to school to learn new skills instead of immediately earning an income? Out of school since continuing in school weren't, won't earn you more later. Why would I go to college, go to med school, go to this, that and the other thing to become more and more skillful when I'm not going to any more, we're earn anymore for all that skill and I will have spent in the interim. And second, why would anyone want to become, say a doctor when you could do something requiring less training and earn just as much. In fact, maybe even more, the answer is that in the future, equitable economy and society schooling for example, to become a doctor is not only free but you received pay while in school because being in school is producing the learning and skills you will later utilize.
Speaker 1:
10:38
So you were there by adding to the social product. But beyond the issue of time in school, which we just handled, the critic says of being a doctor doesn't give you a greater rate of income than other jobs. Why do it? The answer is you do it to heal, to contribute, to utilize your talents. We are more than financial beings to see this. If you still have doubts, imagine even in our current society that you're in high school. You want to be a doctor and you know that it means you will have to go to college and then to medical school and then you will have to be an intern and only then will you be a full doctor. Or if you prefer, you may want to be an engineer, a lawyer, scientist, accountant, or whatever else takes lots of training. Now imagine you were suddenly told that they will no longer be massive income differentials in society.
Speaker 1:
11:27
You will not wind up earning $500,000 a year as a doctor while a cone monitor earn 75,000 instead, you will earn much less so you will start to get paid as soon as you begin your special training. Now think for your young self. How low do I have to set your doctor income for you to decide that you will forego four years of college? Four go three years of graduate work for Ngos, some heavier than normal on the job training and then for go doctrine. All of that paid at your new salary level for you to instead choose lifetime employment in the coal mine. How low do I have to set your future doctor salary for you to forgo college to go into a mind for go grad school to go to be in a mine for go being an intern to being a mind for go being a doctor to be in a mind.
Speaker 1:
12:15
I have done this thought experiment with a great many premed students who at the outset we're aggressively ridiculing the equitable income approach on grounds that with our approach, neither they nor anyone else would opt to become a doctor. Then however, these same premed students as I lowered their imagine Dr Sours from 500,000 to 400,000 to 300,000 and so on each step of the way asking if it was now so low that they were going to go doctor training and being a doctor to instead work in a coal mine at $75,000 a year. They kept saying, no, they wouldn't and I would get to $75,000 and finally each would say something like how low in income card I live on and still survive as a doctor. You'd have to go below that for me to switch. The upshot is that people need and desires income for sacrifices but not for being the most fully and freely expressed selves.
Speaker 1:
13:09
We don't see this without prodding ourselves like with our thought experiment because every bit of training and cultural messaging we receive says the opposite. The fourth objection critics offer is it an equity approach? Doesn't give people incentives to work well in hard. This is a confusion again due to miseducation by indoctrination. In fact, the equity approach provides incentives correctly thinking otherwise is a product of our training and our cultural immersion, not have clear thought. Paying someone a high income cannot cause them to have a different genetic endowment. Paying more for an inborn talent has no personal incentive effect on our DNA and likewise for paying more individual income for having better tools or workmates. In fact, if you are working, the things you can do yourself effect that impact. The amount of product you can generate are how long and how hard you work and also your enduring harsh conditions if that is necessary for the work to get done.
Speaker 1:
14:07
And these are exactly what the equitable income approach incentivizes and properly. So in contrast, paying for property incentivizes theft, paying for power incentivizes bullying, paying for luck in the genetic tool or workmate Lauder. Really Lottery incentivizes nothing but paying for duration, intensity and owner snus incentivizes precisely what we have personal control of how long we work, a hard rework and whether we accept onerous conditions are not. The fifth objection critics raise is that society can benefit greatly from innovation. So pursuing innovations is very often highly desirable. But since equitable income means individuals who don't get to take most of the gains from innovations, unlike owners taking it as immense personal profit, that kind of personal material pressure for innovation as well as for unlimited growth on endless accumulation disappears to see fully why and how a new desirable economy pursues desirable innovations that benefit everyone and avoids undesirable innovations.
Speaker 1:
15:10
That may benefit a few, but that hurt the rest much more has to largely wait further exploration of new relations and coming up and soda, but one way to get a feel for it now is that a worthy innovation adds to people's productive potential. It increases how much of worth folks can produce with a given amount of work or it improves the quality of work life or the quality of the outputs of work. In other words, worthy innovation increases output per effort or improves the quality of output or makes jobs less onerous and more desirable and empowering in an equitable society. Therefore, everyone gets a share of the benefits of worthy innovations. Jobs being better means the average job quality, which we will talk about in coming episodes and average income for a given amount of labor both rise. So society has every reason to pursue worthy innovations and workers tasked with pursuing innovation to be socially useful, have to work on conceiving and pursuing them at the same time as pursuing worthy innovations and equitable approach would reject unworthy innovations of the sort that now you'll profit for those with power but do harm to others.
Speaker 1:
16:23
Deed beyond our equity approach to income pursuing or the innovation of rejecting unworthy innovation needs to be an aspect of how we choose our division of labor in a good economy and of how we decide what is produced and what isn't or the motive allocation in a good economy. And these we will talk about and do time for now, wherever I hope the brief reactions to criticisms of giving income only for duration, intensity and onerous snus of socially valued labor are enough to suggest that such an approach is plausible and can work supposing and effective division of labor and motive allocation can operate compatibly. So finally, what about the practicality of measuring duration, intensity and onerous and us of conditions to determine our incomes? After all the approaches, critics are correct that if we can't do that, then advocating the equitable income approaches irrelevant to future prospects and plans because we won't be able to implement it.
Speaker 1:
17:18
Delightful, but unimplementable options are a waste of time. My answer is that duration is of course easy to measure, just count hours working intensity of useful effort is revealed partly by output but as also known to and collectively agreed by workmates. It is like but far easier to measure than output of a single worker in a team or a group that works together. And as for owner is this the same holes? But the main thing to realize is that we as we proceed and see new ways of organizing work and of making decisions, batters of measuring will become much simpler and more collective. So again, to more fully addressed this concerns some patients as needed. Also imagine a workplace you work there. Do you want to measure to the nearest tiny amount, your or anyone else's effort? What would you rather assume? Average effort as a baseline and only address significant deviations from average fellow workers getting some more or some less due to working harder or less hard by mutual agreement regarding patients in evaluation.
Speaker 1:
18:22
Because all at all parts of an economy affect each parts viability. A simple observation that bears on thinking about a better economy or really a bitter instance of anything that's complex. Is that a 10th of a bridge or even a half a bridge, can't you get you across the river? Nonetheless, if it is part of the whole bridge, it can help partial features, partial aspects of a society don't deliver until we understand them in context of the society as a whole. So our real question should always be, is there a whole good society that are equitable income can be a workable and effective part of? And that is why this episode is part of a series of many episodes and now you might say, sure, nice dodge, but that's asking for a lot of episode listening and for thinking about it all step by step but also ultimately in full.
Speaker 1:
19:15
And you're right, it is asking for a lot, but then again, we're talking about whether a new world is desirable, possible, workable and attainable. Is there something more important to determine? Isn't significant effort warranted? Finally, one really last point. If you find some of what I have been talking about a bit farther, a bit odd and a bit difficult, well, it's no wonder you may never have heard anyone else say quite this, and you undoubtedly have heard the opposite incredibly often. Some things really are intrinsically quite difficult during higher math, learning a new language, writing a sonic, but there are other things which are difficult, mainly even overwhelmingly just because they are unfamiliar. Take them in, navigate them, become accustomed to them, and their fundamental simplicity becomes evident. People gaining income only for duration, intensity and onerous snus of socially valued labor and not getting in comfort property, power or genetic or social luck is not familiar, and Norris tracking the implications of that choice, but with a little attention, I promise it gets familiar and much simpler for now. However, this is Michael Albert signing off until next time for revolution Z.