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Government Bail-outs insufficiently focused on People, economist says

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Bail-out Plans are insufficiently focussed on People

by Horace Carby-Samuels

  Barack Obama
   

The prevailing economic reconstruction/bail-out packages, which the U. S. Government as well as the governments of other industrialised societies are promoting, neglect to embrace people as being more than potential customers and sources of hired labour. Instead, without a doubt, these economic reconstruction packages need to set the stage in respect of where we expect to end up as a society. These packages must aim to generate circumstances which will enable people to be better able to operate as managers of the patterns of survival that they seek to secure for themselves and for their heirs. What is therefore required, is economic bail out packages that focus beyond the simple creation of commercial regeneration. The so far overlooked need is to remedy the circumstances out of which the prevailing economic downturn had been initially generated.

The current economic bail-out packages are apparently focussing on the quantity of financial insertion that government is making. That may be because in a complex industrialised society, people normally require and use money in order to acquire the items that they need to satisfy their requirements for living. However, it is what is happening to the lives of people, rather than what has been happening to the balance sheet of firms, that the economic reconstruction/bail-out packages should aim to have an impact on. As a result, governments which are planning to use cash-activated economic reconstruction/bail-out programs, as the economic remedy strategy, will need to also look upon what impacts on people will be forthcoming. They will need to accommodate their programs to the fact that it is people that are important. Meanwhile, money is merely a useful created economic instrument; even though the prevailing educational system has conditioned the members of the society to hold a money-centred view on their reality and also on their achievements in living.

The capitalist doctrine has led societies to operate under the guidance of the principle that monetary values, and net financial returns, should function as the overall economic “master conductor” that orients and quantifies how effectively the available resources in the society have been used. However, the economic bail-out packages must not be sucked into concentrating on that capitalist money-centred appraisal of overall economic performance. Instead, we need to recall that from time immemorial, persons have been seeking to use their overall time and resource commitments in strategies to pursue personal lives which they can regard as being meaningful.

The People Dimension

When the economic bail-out packages recognize that as people go about their lives as sentient mind guided entities, they draw on this additional personal living-centred resource management focus. Adjustments must therefore be made in how aggregate economic performance is measured, if a people-centred focus is to be included. The mere buoyancy of commercial results, may not be relied on to appraise the potential effectiveness which the proposed economic reconstruction/bail-out programs will generate in the long term.

Clearly, therefore, impacts on the lives of people, as managers of their effort and resource commitments, must be treated as one set of the significant results, that reveal the effectiveness of government economic investment. The potential long term appropriateness of the current cash-centred economic reconstruction/bail-out package which the U. S. government is being requested to execute, should therefore be reconsidered. In particular, appraisals of results from the economic reconstruction/bail-out packages should especially be done in light of the following recognition:

  It is impact on the quality-of-living opportunities that become accessible to people, which will show how substantive economic progress has been; yet, the proposed economic bail-out packages do not appear to be aiming at achieving either quality-of-living or Human Development impacts.

Although capitalist doctrine emphasizes persons as budgeting the financial resources over which they have control, if the circumstances that produced the current economic malaise are not to be repeated, the programs of economic reconstruction must go beyond that financial concentration on what humans do. The reconstruction packages must begin to also focus on facilitating economic activities which accompany the behaviour of persons as managers of their scarce time, so as to achieve preferred patterns of living.

The framers of the economic reconstruction packages, need to bear in mind that in the living-centred economic operations in which persons participate, they do not have the same type of economic options which firms have. For example, persons are keenly aware of their mortality. When things are not going good, they do not “close down” nor “suspend operations” as commercial firms do. Unlike firms that have a potentially perpetual life, it is only through heirs, that humans can lay claim to any type of perpetuity. In their economic remedy proposals, the framers of the economic reconstruction packages must therefore recognize that humans, as economic agents, also have living-centred targets and not merely financial ones at which they aim.

In particular, persons essentially operate as budgeters of how they commit their time among the opportunities that they have to live. They seek to achieve patterns of time-usage, as living, which will enable them to interpret their continued survival as being meaningful.

The economic reconstruction/bail-out programs must therefore aim to be supportive of the mix of time-use budgeting opportunities which will become available to the members of the society, as they go about their lives. These proposed economic reconstruction/bail-out proposals may therefore not overlook the essential fact that in the economic management that persons do, they aim to secure access to the patterns of time-using that will give quality to how they are able to live.

Quality of Living and Human Development
  Quality of Living and Human Development is a book for further reading on this subject.
  Acquire Now

An extensive elaboration of the background private opportunities, as well as administrative support which enable persons to gain access to that pattern of economic achievement, was elaborated in Horace Carby-Samuels (2007); Quality-of Living and Human Development as the Outcome from Economic Progress; Ottawa, Canada; (Agora Publishing Consortium, ISBN 1897036353).

The proposed economic reconstruction packages therefore need to begin to understand that, human economic reality is also revealed in terms the forthcoming living-centred time-use opportunities that become accessible to persons. However, capitalist economic doctrine sets out to lead governments and the framers of economic programs, to accept the view that the commercial-equivalent wealth that has been generated from the resource, time, and effort commitments of persons, forms the most appropriate statement of the economic results from their activities. In that way, the capitalist focus on economic output (as the market determined monetary value of achievement from our efforts), is a conditioning technique. The monetary emphasis aims to manoeuvre persons away from seeing that in the living that they do, they are also intuitively operating as thinking mind-guided entities, who are seeking to achieve patterns of time usage that will give a preferred quality to their survival.

We must therefore not allow ourselves to be distracted from recognizing that our resource and effort commitments, are also life-support operations (in the natural environment). These resource and effort commitments that persons make, are not merely wealth-generating activities. Governments would therefore be making an unfortunate mistake if they allowed the prevailing economic reconstruction/bail-out programs to overlook the fact that the economic efforts of persons, also comprise living-centred time management commitments into which these persons have entered. Nor should these governments ignore the fact that, substantively, in their living-centred time and effort commitments, persons are also aiming to gain verifiable information. Persons seek verifiable information about their natural environment, which will enable them to enhance the level of the consciousness and sensibilities that they will be able to bring, in their efforts to enhance the quality of the survival they will be able to secure from their resource and effort commitments.

We therefore need to wake up to the awareness that, (just as Pavlov did to his dogs, when he trained them to salivate with the mere ringing of bells), the purveyors of the capitalist doctrine, are correspondingly actively engaged in creating a conditioned reflex among humans. People are correspondingly being trained to respond primarily to the relative financial outcomes that arise with the resource and effort management activities that accompany how they live.

Not surprisingly, therefore, the concentration on financial revitalization that the proposed economic reconstruction/bail-out packages seek to execute, betrays the success of that conditioned reflex which has led humans to look upon their reality overwhelmingly from a money-centred focus. However, by means of the conditioning in the emphases of the capitalist doctrine, humans will have been manoeuvred away from the practice of those priorities in human living, that are associated with (and that are centred on) mutuality and empathy. Instead, acceptance of and accommodation to the capitalist emphasis on interpersonal predation and on exploitation, is leading us toward our existential doom as a result of the associated capitalist-promoted psychological and spiritual despoiling of humans.

That manoeuvring and conditioning of humans, into behaving according to the resource and economic management priorities and responses which are dictated by the capitalist doctrine; and away from priorities in respect of living and human survival; is being used to divert the human population of planet earth. With the emphases in capitalist doctrine, on financial outcomes, rather than on living-centred ones; on selfishness, rather than on mutuality; and on exploitation, rather than on empathy; we are being led into operating, and into becoming as no more than lower-order life entities.

That is the type of human degradation (leading to overall sustained material as well as psychological predation, control, and existential non substantiveness), is the outcome as a type of doom, which the membership of the hideous alien consciousness that is behind the capitalist doctrine, aims to execute on us.

To avoid continuing in that human enslavement routine, the economic reconstruction and bail-out packages must draw on indicators of economic performance which focus on more than financial results. They must focus on the access of persons to critical services that meet their needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, entertainment, security, and for enhanced understanding of their natural environment and how it operates. It is the relative access of persons to those features, which will reveal how effectively the quality of their living toward which humans direct their resource and effort management, has been serviced.

The outcomes that will legitimate the reconstruction initiatives, is the forthcoming impacts of these initiatives on people, rather than how extensively the level of commerce has been enhanced. The peak indicator of economic performance, is not the extent to which humans will be able to operate successfully in competition among each other, and then ultimately securing private relative quantities of material or money-equivalent rewards for themselves from their efforts.

Instead, the need is for development initiatives where economic management programming is also guided by the principles of mutuality and empathy of persons, with each other, as well as with the natural environment (and its autonomous evolution). As responsible humans, we therefore must not allow this hideous alien consciousness which is behind the capitalist emphasis on results that are framed in financial terms, to distract or to misdirect us from pursuing, or from structuring a living-centred environment of human economic survival.

The economic reconstruction/recovery and development programs must therefore aim to foster Human Development. Programs must emphasize operations which seek to foster the achievement of our human evolution, as a process of informed understanding of our natural environment (and also of our reality). Effective economic reconstruction programs must also foster resource management operations which are in service to outcomes where the economic management behaviours of persons are also centred on mutuality and on empathy.

The economic programs in which the U. S. Government is engaged via the economic reconstruction/bail-out packages, should go beyond a commercial emphasis. The programs should recognize and also accommodate to the fact that intuitively, persons are pursuing targets in behalf of the type of survival (as patterns of time-usage), that will enable them to make meaningful, their decision to remain alive.

A Matter of Roots

As soon as a society comes to recognize that its human participants are time-use budgeters (who are effectively in pursuit of preferred survival patterns), the society will also begin to recognize that money and its usage merely forms a service instrument. Therefore, although the programs of formal education advance the capitalist focus, some measurement adjustments must be made. The foremost adjustment, as it relates to these economic reconstruction/bail-out programs, is a matter of focus. People need to arrive at the decision that in the human-centred economic reality which they are aiming to create, they should not treat money as the master conductor and director of operations.

The creation of money and the distribution of access to it, is merely one of the instruments that a society must manage, at the same time that persons budget how they commit their scarce time. Historically, as conscious mind-guided entities, persons have aimed to secure from their resource and effort commitments, outputs and results that will service the living-centred targets at which they aim as they set out to pursue their survival. That is why the effectiveness of the cash injections that the U. S. government is now making, should be primarily appraised against that quality-of-life delivery to which these initiatives contribute.

Money is a part of trade. However, the capitalist emphasis on these cash injections as initiatives to generate employment and commercial revival, should not be used as the only, or as the most important focus for either the program approval of these initiatives, or for appraising how they are supposed to perform. The output from prevailing economic management is not only shown by the level of aggregate commercial activity on which capitalist economists concentrate. Additionally, the people who make up the society are not merely to be seen as sources of hired biological “machinery” services (human capital), that will then secure paid employment from the projects on which the cash injections are spent. Nor do these people merely form the foundation of the buoyant commerce that will re-emerge when that cash is spent on outputs which are being produced and offered for sale.

Therefore, when the new administration of U. S. President Obama talks about investment which it will aim to promote, it is necessary to examine the extent to which that investment package contains initiatives to provide mixes of critical technical, administrative, and educational services, in behalf of the quality of life attainment of the “person in the street”. For example, investment in education as one of the proposed recovery strategies, must be directed at creating informed participants in the work force, rather than at creating working “stiffs”, in the form of “human capital”.

It will not be sufficient for these economic reconstruction packages that are being proposed, to merely promote employment, where persons function as “hired hands”, as “human capital”, and so forth. Instead, government investment in education, and in corporate support by way of the economic reconstruction packages, must require adjustments in curricula, as well as in the structure of these educational programs.

The delivery process in these educational programs, must recognize that when working people (as effort providers) decide to commit their time in respective production ventures at hand, they are also parallel risk takers with the providers of risk financing. These educational programs which are receiving government investment, will therefore need to offer skills development and training programs that prepare workers to also appreciate and to discharge, within firms, associated project facilitation and management responsibilities.

It is not consistent with fostering Human Development, to merely have educational investment that aims to function merely as capitalism-supportive brain-washing operations. The programs receiving the government investment via the economic reconstruction/bail-out packages, must not function as skills development operations, where the providers of effort are “trained” to behave merely as the dispensable hired “human machines” ( that Theodore Schultz and Gary Becker labelled as human capital).

If the economic reconstruction proposals aim to be successful in the long term, the associated investment commitments must deliberately aim at creating impacts on the opportunities of persons to use their time and to also understand their natural environment. That is, the economic reconstruction packages must aim to enhance the access of persons to services and to opportunities out of which enhancement in their quality-of-living will arise. Accordingly, the bail-out packages will foster those results only if they are accompanied by effective administrative strategies. They will need to monitor and to verify that the government cash injections are being effectively used to promote in a sustainable manner, the access of persons to services which will satisfy their needs for food, clothing, shelter, health-care, security of property and of person, and for entertainment. In addition, if persons are to achieve the higher quality-of-survival at which they aim, they will also need to have enhanced access to the type of understanding that will enable them to participate more effectively in how their lives evolve.

In contrast, stimulus packages as cash injections which aim to achieve capitalist rejuvenation, will limit their appraisals of economic performance to a concentration on the changes in market results which arise. However, the effectiveness of economic outcomes must also be measured in terms of the contribution to living-centred results which arise from the resource commitment initiatives that are associated with these cash injection packages.

We cannot allow ourselves to forget that, the economy is also about the mixes of opportunities that members of a society have to manage the scarce time for living which becomes available to them. That is why the economic reconstruction operations (that form government policies of the new President Barack Obama, for example), must be aimed at enhancing the flow of mixes of critical living-supportive components. These are the survival-centred services on which persons seek to draw within the adjustments that they must execute, as they go about the trading operations which comprise the technically complex society that the United States is.

Even though it is much more than potential monetary results, which should guide the selection of economic outcomes at which the economic reconstruction packages must aim, the subtle role that money plays as a medium of exchange in a technologically complex society, must be recognized. For example, governments need to ensure that the rules of trading that they legitimate, are people-centred, rather than centred on merely facilitating the generating money profits. The economic development (or reconstruction) initiatives, should therefore focus upon money as being merely an instrument which persons use, as they manage their time so as to secure the quality-of-survival targets to which they are committed.

Making it Happen

The managers of the proposed programs of economic reconstruction, are challenged to ensure that the significant program impacts, will be on the economic opportunities of persons for managing their time. From time immemorial, humans have aimed to demonstrate a conscious presence in their reality/environment. That must not be overlooked. As a result, the economic basis on which project packages are being framed, also needs to recognize that humans are about the business of ratifying their presence in their environment. It must therefore be recognized that persons have sought to manage their effort commitments with the aim to eventually secure a survival in which they have the opportunity to better understand themselves, and also the rules under which their environment evolves.

It is that process of accommodation to their natural environment, which has led humans to evolve civilizations which will provide them with the opportunity to manage their time for living, as a result of their greater access to verifiable information about their reality to which respective persons gain access. These persons then set out to draw on that information, so as to ratify their presence in, and also their linkage to their environment . That is why the managers of the proposed economic bail-out programs, are also challenged to promote the underlying features that will eventually foster and enhance the opportunities of persons to secure heightened understanding. It is thereby that such persons will be able to further facilitate their capability to contribute to enhancement in the quality of the survival which will become available to them, as members of the society.

Governments are therefore called upon to recognize that enhancement in Human Development, with its various quality-of-life attributes (which accompany meaningfulness in how humans are able to pursue their survival), is the outcome which shows how effective their economic development/reconstruction package initiatives have been. The administration of incoming U. S. President Obama, is therefore invited to become mindful of how fostering impacts on people, and on the achievement of Human Development, fit into the economic reconstruction packages which it is now promoting.

Where the Banks Fit in

If fostering Human Development is the economic management target, that outcome will not be promoted by government cash injections to revitalize the presently constituted banking system. It was that system which had initiated massive loan curtailment when it found itself holding the now worthless commercial paper that was associated with the sub-prime mortgages (that had also been generated within a part of its system). The fact is that, the prevailing banking system is a commercial credit operation which has been legitimated to operate and to make loans, on the basis of a fractional holding of its total deposits. This banking system forms an intrinsic part of capitalist economic activity; and its overall operation is designed to be a key support to the financial profit making to which the capitalist system is dedicated. In the process, the banks do their profit making on a pyramid of secured financial credit, which they are able to execute by virtue of the fractional deposit reserve system under which they are allowed to operate.

This operating banking system, (which largely makes its income from generating and from servicing commercial paper), is not servicing any pyramid which is aimed at the quality-of-life requirements of people. Accordingly, the incoming administration of U. S. President Obama; the United States Congress; and also the governments of most Western Countries; need to begin to ask themselves the following question:

  What are the quality-of-life feature that they hope to sustain, when they use massive cash injections into the commercial banking system, and into critical industrial groups, primarily to generate profit flows; while they are at the same time ignoring the servicing of people-centred results?

Meanwhile, as they face such questions, these governments would find it useful to give due recognition to the substantive resolution background that was extensively elaborated in Horace Carby-Samuels (2007); Quality-of-Living and Human Development as the Outcome from Economic Progress; (Ottawa, Canada, Agora Cosmopolitan, ISBN 1897036353).

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Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 25, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Posted in U.S. politics

Tagged with ,

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