HOW WOULD we achieve such a feat of balancing the future with the needs of the present? A first step, which I have already outlined, involves ending the coercion and violence inherent to any labour market in which the sale of ones labour is made in return for a wage. (Also, see Capitalism, Quo Vadis?)
Moving South Africa from a coercive labour market to a voluntary labour market, could easily be achieved by removing the compulsion, violence and necessity to seek employment. A job should not be a requirement in order to survive or be a South African citizen. Labour should never be compulsory or forced under the barrel of a gun. As Marikana has proven, people are willing to die for their freedom, and this message is now being taken up by students, who rightfully are demanding free education. The same generation will soon be demanding social security for life.
Incentives (and disincentives) to full-time employment, are crucial in a world without jobs.
Instead of lengthening the work week, (currently 14 days, or whenever required by law, according to the “exigency of the situation” says Acting Judge Cheadle), South Africa could shorten the work week, allowing more people to work at the same job.
Only the most productive labour and most capable persons would enter the wage economy.
One has merely to look at social democracies in Europe to see what a social wage economy looks like:
The State disburses funds, seeing an immediate benefit to the fiscus, via the value added taxation system, which recoups the money spent, in a virtuous cycle.
Citizens with a social wage, are able to purchase the necessities of life and thus avoid the worst pitfalls of extreme poverty.
There are compelling reasons for embracing wealth redistribution in this way.
Alaska for example, pays its citizens to purchase services that would normally be gained from the state, from the private sector. In this way, the state avoids creating enormous bureaucracies which are costly and unsustainable by their very nature, and avoids the cost escalations that come from tenderpreneurs, and mega projects, whose only aim, is to keep people employed, in a world in which labour not leisure is the goal.
Societies with some form of social wage, whether social security or social welfare, produce more scientists, artists, musicians and thinkers. They are better equipped to innovate and create. They experience stability and longevity, both in terms of health extension and the extension of the period in which these societies exist, and remember.