Monday 17 February 2014

Open for business?

UK Plc makes dist’ings. They sell for £1 each and cost 95p to make, of which 10p is the cost of materials, 30p is the cost of manufacturing support, plant, maintenance, premises, marketing, sales, distribution, admin and management and the rest, 55p, is the direct labour cost on the production line. The worldwide dist’ing market is very price sensitive and people can easily get dist’ings from elsewhere, so UK Plc has little room for manoeuvre. To earn £5.50 an hour a worker needs to produce ten dist’ings. If he wants to earn more he has to produce more, but at anything more than 15 dist’ings per hour quality falls sufficiently to inhibit sales. So the best you can manage to earn on the dist’ing-line is £8.25 per hour.

That’s yer lot. And pretty much anybody can make dist’ings. All it takes is to show up on time and do what you’re asked. In fact, it is so simple that we could easily increase our profit margins by investing in automation and reduce our labour force to a tenth. It is very, very tempting.

Companies don’t hire people based on what the company can do for the worker. It’s a contract where if the worker’s abilities are in plentiful supply, the terms are pretty much dictated by the company. So given that dist’ing making requires little more than the ability to breathe the transaction is a very simple – you do what’s expected, we pay you and that arrangement can be ended at very short notice. If you are neither rare or talented you are worth little economically and if for any reason a new, plentiful and willing supply of even cheaper labour becomes available you just lost your job.

At the other end of the scale are the movers and shakers, the goal scorers who command a higher price the rarer their skills. It matters not what value YOU place on your time, nor what YOUR opinion is of your worth, the market sorts it out. At either end of the wage scale the individual works not for the benefit of the company but for the benefit of himself, although the higher you go, the more you recognise how the two are related but, either way, if your actions don’t suit the company’s aims it’s time to go. The same could be said to apply to a nation, but it is almost unheard of for a nation to lay off its redundant people. Stalin had a go, so did Hitler and Mao and Pol Pot, but their methods, whilst undoubtedly effective are generally frowned upon. So the country is stuck with you… and you’re useless. What’s a state to do?

Seems the cheapest and least thoughtful option is just to let you wallow in your irrelevance and pay you to subsist. You have other choices; you can strike out for yourself and carve a career in a self-employed business, or crime, or whatever takes your fancy, or you can take the dole and sit in front of the telly box. That IS your contract with the nation and to fulfil it all you have to do is pipe down. Economically, you are worth less than nothing if you don’t pay in more than you take out. It really is as simple as that. But are you grateful? It seems not.

I genuinely don’t believe transgressors against the nation’s laws, its society, should be given the vote – part of their punishment must surely be to lose the franchise – after all you’ve already proved you have no respect for the rest of us. But what about those on benefits? Well, obviously it may not be your own fault, you may not consciously have ended up that way, you may be looking for work. Or, as a result of the last government’s ridiculous floodgate-immigration, wage-lowering policies you may be in receipt of tax credits. Of course you should be allowed a vote but look what happened in Wythenshawe.

Who could have predicted that the residents of one of the biggest council estates in the country would elect a Labour MP? Less than a third even bothered to exercise their vote and of that third, Labour managed to mobilise half of them to vote for a continued battery-farmed existence.  I can’t be the only one who finds this absurd. Entrenched, tribal voting against the interest of the country as a whole is almost treasonous, but what’s the answer?

Is this what we want? 
Vote Labour and it's what you'll get.

I don’t claim to have a palatable solution to the over-supply of economically unviable humans but before anybody starts on about not being able to put a price on life, I have to state that life IS cheap. You need almost no resources to produce it and it can – and is – created regularly by people who are not even capable of knocking out a dist’ing and have no means of nurturing it beyond what the state hands out. From a business perspective our national model is utterly defunct. And I’m not convinced that ‘social justice’ is anything of the kind.

1 comment:

  1. Succinct and correct in your thinking as usual. You write wisely and very well always.