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Scott Santens @scottsantens
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
You can't say you love capitalism and hate socialism, and at the same time want the State to punish General Motors for reallocating resources based on market demand signals. It's not the job of GM to provide people with income. GM's job is to satisfy personal transport demands.
We have a really messed up understanding of capitalism because of our need for jobs for income, and jobs existing as they have for long enough that we've forgotten jobs didn't use to exist in current form, and used to be mostly self-employment, not dependable salaries for life.
So now we think capitalism is all about providing us income, but it isn't. It's a massively distributed way of allocating resources. Wanting to punish capitalism for doing capitalism is a form of centralized decision making which people who say they hate socialism should dislike.
GM no longer paying for the labor of people it no longer needs (at least for the time being) is the effectiveness of capitalism at work. GM sees demand falling so it's looking to compete with those meeting what customers are demanding and also looking to anticipate future demand.
As technology continues accelerating, these kinds of decisions will need to be made with greater frequency. Disruption will become constant and the labor market will need to be far more flexible. The answer is not to fight against it, but to reform the safety net to support it.
It is not the job of corporations to make sure you can eat and have a home. THAT'S OUR JOB. It's up to society itself to decide we all need enough money to live, and that jobs should provide more money on top of that money. The way forward is an unconditional basic income floor.
With a floor under everyone that's always there no matter what, and if we make it easy or even free to retrain & learn new skills, then we've created a system of maximum responsiveness to disruptive changes in demand that's even more able to create new forms of work (paid or not)
The wrong approach to the future of work that's already arriving would be to create or sustain jobs there's no demand for, simply because we all need income. Yes we all need income, and it's not GM's job to provide it, so let's provide income, and let markets work on top of that.
I should also mention that although capitalism allocates resources in a non-centralized way, it does so in a way that concentrates resources at the top, to the point markets seize. Capitalism is like a body with a poorly designed heart due to a net flow of blood in one direction.
Capitalism left alone to do its thing will break because it upwardly redistributes resources to the point of eventual systemic failure. It requires the construction of a functioning circulatory system that sends resources back down to flow back up again.

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