What is Neo-Liberalism?

Neo-Liberalism is one of the economic systems used in the United States, and many other countries in the west. You may even hear the US Democratic Party and the UK Labour Party called “Liberal” (though the Labour Party is often considered Social Democracy (which is similar)). Neo-Liberalism is basically Capitalism with regulations. The idea is that to help the workers. but keep capitalism, they just put regulations so they do not have to replace the system. This has many issues as it allows an exploitive system to keep existing, just a little “less bad”. Things Neo-Liberals often support are taxes, welfare, business regulations, and stuff like that. The Term became popular in the 1960s and 1970s CE, and is a new version of Liberalism which became popular after the 2nd Great War(Neo means new). It is often associated with laissez-faire. Neo-Liberalism is supposed to allow laissez-faire, but with regulations which are supposed to help large corporations be “checked”.

Flaws of Neo-Liberalism

Neo-Liberalism has many flaws. One of the mains ones is that it allows capitalists to continue to exploit workers and harm the people in other countries who are poorer. All Neo-Liberalism does is it adds limitations which are supposed to protect the workers, but they often do not, they just allow capitalism to continue to reign for longer, as may look like the workers are getting many “victories”, even though they are not. Neo-Liberalism has not gotten rid of wage labour, but has just slightly improved wages and wage regulations, please check out why we are against the minimum wage, where we look at it from both a capitalist and a communist perspective.

 

Another issue with the attempts with Neo-Liberalism is the large companies still stay on top, and the regulations do not help the smaller companies which are run by  less rich people. In-fact, the large corporations often do not pay that much is taxes, if any, while the average person or small business still has to pay taxes like normal. The Guardian reported Netflix, did not pay any income tax in 2018. A large company is still easily able to keep a smaller company from being able to reliably compete.

 

Another issue is that many places that use Neo-Liberalism have Neo-Nazi or Neo-Fascist tendencies, such as the United States, and Neo-Liberalism helps keep it like this. Neo-Liberalism tries to regulate economics, and while doing it, they only really enforce it for the smaller companies, while the larger companies often get let off for stuff that normal companies would have to do.  This means that the individual is more controlled by the state unless they work for one of the large companies, where the boss would control you more.  This leads to corporatism and authoritarianism (and eventually totalitarianism (which has already partially happened in the United States)). Since Neo-Liberalism just helps postpone revolution, very little stops the state and bourgeoisie from grabbing tonnes of power before the proletariat can do anything.

What is an Alternative to Neo-Liberalism?

An Alternative to Neo-Liberalism is Communism. The Proletariat will revolt and overthrow the state and become self-supporting, no longer relying on Capitalists. The workers own the means of production and there is no currency or bosses or state. People live in Communes and use workplace democracy and trade with other communes through mutual aid. Communism happens after the workers revolt and after the state, currency/money, and capitalism are abolished in the area that Communism is happening. Communism brings a higher standard of living for everyone (except the former Bosses in most cases).

 

 

The Leftist Case against a Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is an attempt to try to force companies to create a liveable wage for their employees. Labour Unions like the Industrial Workers of the World fought to raise it. However, it still remains ineffective and possibly even counter-productive in keeping Worker’s Rights. This article used the United States as its main example, but most of the stuff is applicable to other countries to an extent.

If you want to see my older article on the subject from mostly a capitalist viewpoint, please check out Why We need to abolish the Minimum Wage (Old)

It’s Not Liveable

First of All, the Minimum wage is not really all that liveable, at least in the United States unless you choose to be homeless. The Federal Government makes the minimum wage 7,25USD an hour, though states may have their own. Full time is 8 hours making it about 58USD a day, if you work 5 days in a week thats 290USD a week, About 1200USD a Month and around 14400USD a Year. According to ApartmentList The Median Price of a Flat in the United States is around 1000USD per month for 1 Bedroom. If you only ate Potatoes, you would need to eat about 21 of them to meet the recommended calorie intake (a Postdate is around 56 Calories and the Recommended is around 1200 a day). A bag for 1USD contains around that many. If you eat only that you can get buy for 30USD a month for food. The Basic Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Rubbish) will cost you around 70USD on the cheap end (does not include Internet). For Internet  you will most likely have to pay (Unless 10 Hours a Month for Free From NetZero is good Enough), for a DSL Connection you will Probably need to Pay around 40USD a Month . If you need a Bus Pass that will cost Around 20USD a month, if you need a Mobile Plan, thats 1USD a month from FreedomPop. If you choose to have Insurance, the price for that is About 400USD a month for an individual. Already we are in debt, and we have not even considered taxes and emergency spending or interest rate from your past debt. The Minimum wage is not liveable if you choose to live a normal life.

The Minimum Wage does not keep up well with Inflation

Many people in the US want to raise the Minimum wage to 15USD an hour. More than 50% agree with this. I can to an extent agree with this. The 7,25USD minimum wage was passed in 1994CE. 7,25USD in 1994 is about the same as 11USD in 1994. But since the US government is so slow, it may be a few years until the Minimum wage is updated. By then, Inflation would have caught up. The Minimum wage in the United States does not keep up with Inflation.

It creates an Artificial Pay limit

The Minimum wage also makes an artificial pay limit. It sets a suggested number which everyone chooses to set as their payment for their employees rather than a living wage. It allows for companies to pay a little bit over minimum wage sound like they are paying a lot when in reality they are still not paying a liveable wage. If a company pay 13USD an hour its not much better than a 7,25USD  per hour wage. The Minimum wage increasing also gives land lords the green light to raise their prices. If the minimum wage were to raise, landlords would just raise prices and inflation in general would go up thus eventually cancelling out the raise.The minimum wage also in many ways sets the standard salary for other jobs. If you have a 2nd tier job, just make it pay 20 000 USD a month, its more than minimum wage but not a liveable wage, and for each tier, you just add a little bit more. This is what happens when you have a low minimum wage and the  state rather than the unions try to regulate it which brings us to our Next Point.

It weakens Unions

The Minimum wage tries to make unions less relevant. If the wage is set to something super low, but just high enough to make some people happy, the workers wont rebel and demand higher wages. Unions get weaker since there is less use for them which allows for the wages to stay low.  If the workers all got together on strike, they would get much higher than what the minimum wage is, but the minimum wage is just enough to make the workers not go on strike and demand higher wages, meaning that it is just meant to weaken something (Unions) to keep something else the same (Capitalism and Low Wages).

It keeps Capitalism alive

The Minimum wage is just a Neo-Liberal way to keep capitalism intact. It is part of a negotiation between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat mediated by the State. But this just gives the state more of a reason to exist and lets the bourgeoisie continue to exist. We dont want to negotiate with these pigs, we want to overthrow them, they are leeches and as long as they exist, we are being exploited.

Workers are Still Exploited

The Bourgeoisie still makes profits off the worker’s labour, even if they are paying them more. It does not in any way fix Worker Labour Exploitation or Wage Slavery. Even if it does work for large Corporations, the Minimum wage may harm smaller businesses which are just starting out. In the beginning, a business may not be able to pay liveable wages, though a worker may still choose to work there for other reasons, though they cant because of the Minimum wage laws. In the long run this leads to Monopolies forming.

The fear of Globalism

If we have minimum wage laws, the Bourgeoisie may just move their work force to Asia or Africa for a fraction of the cost, profiting a United States Company, and keeping the those countries poor. This is already happening in the Chinas and Africa where people (including Children) in those countries are being paid pennies a day to do work when the company owner does nothing and gets huge profit.

 

An Alternative to the Minimum wage.

There are great alternatives to the minimum wage which carry less or none of the negative effects we listed above.

One of them is a “Maximum Wage” like the 1:12 Ratio in the Swiss Confederation. What this does is it makes the highest paid person in a company make a maximum of 12 times as much as the lowest worker. The benefit to this is it prevents 1 person from raising to the top and provides better living conditions for the workers and more equality in general.  While the Swiss do have a Minimum wage, the 1:12 ratio is a much better way to fix the problem.

 

Another way is Socialism or Communism.

Socialism and Communism are not the evil ideologies portrayed in the West. Socialism is when the workers take control of the means of production and abolish the bourgeoisie and is a step towards communism for Marxists.  Communism is a step further than socialism, in Communism, the state and Money/Currency are both abolished.  All transactions are between workers and there are no bosses and all the resources are owned collectively. This is good because it can help impoverished peoples improve their living conditions and not be exploited, and it helps just about everyone except the former bourgeoisie and state.

 

 

Also happy 100th Birthday to CPUSA on 20 December 2019CE.

Happy Birthday 199th Friedrich Engles!

28 November 2019 CE is the 199th Birthday of Friedrich Engles! Engles was the main co-writer for Marx’s work. They are a huge part of history as they helped improve working conditions, and helped spread awesome ideas of freedom. Their ideas were used in created countries which claimed to be Socialist. Even Anarchists like us like what Engles did, as they laid many ideas of what we needed to fix to be free from the bourgeoisie. Engles is often forgotten, but they in many ways were even more important than Marx as they had ideas like “withering away of the state”, which is used by Marxists as a way to finally achieve Communism. We cant wait for Engles’ 200th Birthday.