As wonderful as America is, and we have created a society where most people do have access to a good life, there are two problems which could cancel each other out and make our future even better. First is the objective reality that the good times can’t last forever, nothing can, and second is the fact that large numbers of people are presently unemployed and nonproductive.
This blog has analyzed various problems of the long term future of humanity, that long term I give a fixed number of 10,000 years for clarity, which attempt to find a way to that distant time with the maximum total years of human happiness having been lived. That analysis must assume many terrible events having come and gone with some fraction of humanity having survived and risen again from the ashes of the many disasters. The EarthArk Project and The LifeHaven Project are two paths to help humanity pass through those difficult times and return to an enjoyable Earth with a multitude of living things.
With that long term future in mind there is a way to give all of the people of a capitalist society employment without disrupting the creative motivating forces which permit people to strive to better their life situation through innovation. The problem is how can people be motivated to be productive in the distant future about half way to my arbitrary end time. In 5,000 years science will probably have discovered everything that can be discovered, and engineers will have designed the optimum useful items for every category of human need and people will have constructed and recycled everything that can be constructed and recycled. By that distant time people will be forced to live in balance with the energy supplied by the sun and creating daily products out of biologically synthesized chemicals which derive their energy from the sun and their construction materials from very dilute mineral sources. That time will be very different from today. We still expect oil to be pumped for 50 more years of massive consumption and supposedly there is uranium for reactors for 200 years and copper for electrical use in almost everything we use for maybe 20 years. Yikes – only twenty years? Those miners are just coming out today from a copper mine that’s almost a mile deep. The reason the mines are going that deep is because that is the cheapest place to find copper now. The obvious conclusion is that we are going to run out of easy access to new copper within the lifetimes of currently living adults. Like you and me. 98% of all the copper ever mind is currently being used and therefore all of the new necessities for copper are going to come from copper ores which are very difficult to obtain.
My suggestion to help ease the problem of running out of necessities, like copper, without disrupting the current supply and demand structure, is to put idle people to work acquiring in usable form those raw materials which will become necessities but not having these materials enter the economy. They would be set aside and be brought into use only when those materials that have been created and stored can be brought into the economy without disrupting the natural economic flow. Such as when there has been a disaster and there isn’t enough being supplied by normal processes. Some previously agreed upon system could be instituted, like a general election on the subject, and only then could the materials brought to market.
Using this method would give unemployed people meaningful work and a real paycheck at present and the working society at large, who is paying there bills anyway while these people are not employed, can get some real benefits when the need arises. Everyone, gets to work, no one is cast aside, present workers are not taken advantage of, normal economic processes proceed normally and everyone benefits.
We can provide for a better future while we have the time and energy available.