Efficient and Fair Economy
As an American, I was born into a culture where extensive freedoms and liberties are commonplace; however, they seem nearly out of the ordinary when looking at the world as a whole. Naturally, as I have grown up with boundless freedoms I have come to take them for granted. This assumption has afforded me the chance to question the efficacy and justness of democracy and capitalism, while still imposing on them the same political and civil freedoms enjoyed in America.
As I read Marx and Engels, I couldn’t help but muse on these broad subjects. As Marx discussed Communism, I found myself drawing comparisons between the two. I am opposed to communism. I’d think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the US who supports it, but on an economic level, I must admit I did not find it nearly as ridiculous as I thought I would. In class last week, Dr. Lavaque-Manty asked us how we thought resources and rewards should be distributed in a just society. The options were either equally, by merit, or by need. I was in the overwhelming minority in choosing need. I understand the appeal of a meritocracy, but the question got me to thinking why a Wall Street business man’s job is more inherently merit-worthy than a MacDonald’s cashier. Yes, a broker could do a cashier’s job while a cashier couldn’t do a broker’s job, but a broker couldn’t necessarily be a farmer, nor an English teacher, nor a lawyer. I came to the conclusion (and this is merely my personal belief as of this past week, so feel free to disagree) that there is no difference in the merit between two people putting in the same effort and work into a task, be it a cashier or a broker.
[But caveman, you don’t have to be a lawyer, as long as you work as hard as one]
So I find myself aligned with neither the capitalists, nor the communists. If it were possible to record the effort by people put into their jobs, I think an hourly wage system would be by far the best, however, this seems impossible, no matter how technologically advanced we get. And in a economic system, where everyone gets paid the same amount no matter how they do (and there is not incentive to overachieve or even work at a satisfactory level, because there is no possible pay increase with a raise), there needs to be a way to monitor effort to pay workers on the basis of hours and effort.
[Garfield: hilarious, yet believe it or not, not the best co-worker. How about “I can… and I will because I won’t get paid if I don’t”?]
However, as I said, it seems highly improbable a technology as such will be invented anytime soon, and I admit I am back where I began from, because without a way of monitoring this, capitalism does seem like the best economic system.
Image 2: https://lifeexaminations.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/garfieldlazy.jpg?w=300