Recently, a tweet about Amazon head Jeff Bezo's worth went viral, because it highlighted the enormous wealth disparity between the people at the top of companies versus the workers who make that company function. It's disturbing to a lot of people that someone can make so much money while others aren't even able to make the minimum wage.
Twitter user Julius Goat decided to take the tweets popularity and turn it into a little lesson trickle down economics; specifically, how they don't work. Their argument is that capitalism demands efficiency and cost reduction to the point of eliminating humans from the assembly line, making technology the king of production. But instead of considering how this might free up time and resources for people to live better, we've begun to serve the technology over human beings.
For capitalism, cheap labor is good, but free labor is very good.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
Automation. Efficiency. Innovation.
All very good things.
Good, that is, until the moment they become more important than human beings.
Capitalism has a desire for higher profits.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
Which leads to a desire for efficiency.
Which leads to innovation.
Which leads to technology.
Profit and efficiency and innovation and technology are great. Very important.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
They aren’t more important than human beings.
Human beings aren’t valuable b/c of what they can do for profits and innovation and efficiency and technology.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
Profits and innovation and efficiency and technology are valuable b/c of what they can do for humans.
Capitalism is no more able to recognize this than any other tool.
We need to recognize this very basic truth. That’s our role.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
Capitalism has expanded technology to the point that it no longer needs humans.
We can see this is a problem, or a challenge.
If it’s a problem, then this becomes a war.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
Fighting to preserve capitalism, or fighting to replace it.
Do I mean *gasp* socialism?
I mean, maybe? But to me that’s the wrong question —a boring question.
Interesting question: since industry has *already* decided to replace human labor, how are we going to make the necessary adjustments to how human labor, which is a good thing, is going to function now?— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
How do we preserve the profit and efficiency and innovation and technology that capitalism generates, without forgetting that it serves humans, not the other way?— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
How do we put ALL humans back at their rightful place, at the top of the pyramid?
Do you see what has changed? We still want to preserve industry. We still want to preserve innovation. We still want to preserve free markets. They just aren’t any longer the *first* thing we want to preserve or the only things.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
Most of our problems and inequalities aren’t caused by bad things, but by improperly prioritizing competing good things.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
Capitalism has been for many years an imperfect but largely successful way of organizing human labor to the benefit of both people and industry.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
It is starting to decide doesn’t need humans.
Are we really going to live as if capitalism is more important than humans?
There are those who, when faced with an unjust system caused by improper prioritization between competing good things, still move to defend the system.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
We shouldn’t listen to them.
These people may well be behaving that way because the unjust system favors them— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) December 11, 2017
But they mustn’t fear change. Will be prioritizing human life, while preserving innovation and profit and technology
So there will still be plenty of rewards for innovators
They can trickle down
It's not exactly clear what it would look like to somehow get capitalism and technology to serve people again, especially since the current system of replacing workers with bots and paying the remaining people on the job as little as possible is only benefiting folks at the top. Any ideas?