Monday, 4 September 2017

An open letter to industry

Dear Employers,

You have a choice between two systems.

System A allows you to hire whoever you wish without fear of censure; those you believe are best able to work productively and who will, during working hours, devote their energies to the furtherance of the company’s business priorities. You may negotiate directly with them over matters of pay and conditions, disciplinary issues, holiday entitlement and employ them only for so long as you find the arrangement mutually beneficial.

Under System B, which is a kinder, gentler way of doing business, you will still be able to employ the best of the applicants, but those applicants must include mandatory quotas of various diverse groups such as: those who identify as non-binary gender, women of child-bearing age, the differently-abled (both mentally and physically), persons of colour (ideally a good mix of all shades), vibrant religions (Christians need not apply), refugees and any other ‘persecuted minorities’, as decided by outside agencies.

System B companies will employ workers under arrangements largely determined by a wide range of external interested parties who will treat the company entity as a hostile enterprise and make secondary the creation of profit. For kinder, gentler policies to work the rights of the work force must be held supreme at all times and the means of production must, necessarily, function at the convenience of said workers.

Under System A, a company will have to openly compete with other companies; the one which produces the better product at the right price will occupy the market-leading position and force its competitors to match its efficiencies. The demand for product will determine how much is supplied and price will be settled by these natural market forces acting in concert. Companies may also compete for talent and pay whatever is needed to recruit the best managers and directors.

System B entities will produce what central planning determines and sell it at a price set by a workers’ committee. To keep prices affordable for all, wages will also be controlled by the same central planning authorities, which will also monitor work force wellbeing and determine whether and if the company needs to spend more on such welfare. Fairness will be at the very heart of this system and no boss – recruited internally from the general worker population - will earn more than twice the wage of the average employee.

The population under System A will have to budget and make its own decisions about how it spends its income. You will have to cut your cloth to suit and although there will be an abundance of a huge variety of produce of all kinds you won’t be able to afford all you desire. Instead you will be free to set your own spending priorities and be full liable for all costs and debts incurred. This will mean that the profligate may suffer by their own recklessness.

On the other hands, in System B, you will be absolutely free to select from the far more limited variety of products available. The choices will have been decided for you by various experts, who have only your best interests at heart, but be aware that there may be gluts and shortages at times. Rationing may be introduced to ensure that everybody gets their fair share, but the price of such measures will be borne by the companies responsible. Be assured, however, that everybody will get what they deserve in the end.

So, there you are; a simple choice. Do you want the free agency of the open market, with all the risks and rewards it brings? A world in which nothing is certain but where fortunes may be made and lost and an infinite variety of possibilities exists? Or would you prefer the kinder, gentler certainties of a predictable, planned economy; a world in which everybody has a place and knows it. Choose wisely.

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