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Capital, capitalism, simple but mystified
The problem with capitalism is very much in contemporary discussions, but deeply mystified*. The few own the surplus of society. Over time that surplus is invested not so much in the making of new things but in investment in pieces of paper which own other pieces of paper, now digital, that own things.
Why is the paper worth more than the things it - down the chain of contracts - it owns? Lower tax rates? Ease of transactions buying and selling the paper is much easier than buying and selling things)? The things and the paper are both in the market - sort of. It is much easier to go spend $10,000 on paper than on some piece of production such as a factory or tools.
If I hire a worker I own everything they make. The result is that Bezos Musk, Gates et al own something of vastly increased worth if the output is successful. Why doesn't the worker, who in fact is humanly a partner in the business, still own part of that? Seems to me simple changes in the wording of contracts could achieve this.
Simple changes: the conventional accounting system treats profit as a good to be increase but wages as a cost to decrease. The task of management is to manage the business to increase profit and cut the amount going to wages. What if the accounting system had profit and wages on one side of the ledger to be managed up and the rent and costs of materials on the other side, as they are now, to be managed down?
These seem fairly simple ideas that determine how the market functions and what might be changed. If you have some ideas on where I could go with this, please share.
*The idea of capital emerged from the shift from hunter-gatherers to herders. Transition might go something like this: I am talking to a fellow tribesman and I point my finger at a cow. We both recognize that the one finger and the one cow sort of are connected (try it out, point at something and feel it). It's a short step to pointing with two fingers at two cows and then on to all 10 fingers and we get the digital system. If I make notches on a stick to represent my fingers we have an accounting system that is intuitive and obvious. The next step would be instead of giving you my cows I give you a stick that represents the cows. In Rome cattle (from which we get the word chattel) were the measure of wealth. This echoes things like the bride price paid for in cattle. But more deeply the current word capitalism comes from the Latin, cap, For head used in the sense of a head of cattle. The new calf is an increase in the value of the herd just as invested capital now leads to an increase in wealth. Capitalism is thus rooted in the sexual processes of the tribe plus simple accounting which includes the accounting. The Greek and Latin word for interest is the same word used for offspring. There is more to the story but this is a good beginning.