17. Ways of productivity subsidizing instead of outsourcing

As the economic system is not providing enough buying power to realize all planned sales, companies have the strong tendency to lower wage costs in order to achieve profits. They are doing it as they are not aware that wages of one are sales of another. They are not able to see the full circle. Practical impact to society is however, twofold:

a)      Companies are gradually lowering the wages to the level where domestic employees are no longer willing to do the work. If they accepted such low wage, they would become beggars in their own country as they would not be able to allow common expenditures for goods and services they were accustomed to and which are widely consumed by average wage workers.

Therefore such country, in order to substitute the missing labor (which in the meantime emigrated or is unemployed) is accepting immigrants from much poorer countries who are not fully aware of the fact that if they accept such, at the first glance, tempting offer they are binding themselves to the life of relative poverty and permanent status of second class citizens. As they are coming from much worse conditions, they are happy for the ability to work in civilized country for such “fantastic wage” and the first generation is usually happy.  We can call this process an internal outsourcing.

But after certain amount of time they are beginning to realize that they are indeed only second class citizens (in economic sense) for whom the majority of common consumer pleasures are not available for they cannot afford it. The hatred starts building up, stemming from exclusion and discrimination.

The second generation is already firmly persuaded that their fate is not fair and they are blaming the society which made them modern slaves, working for wage but at the level which allows just their bare survival. These weak integrated groups of citizens often do not speak the language of the majority, they have no emotional bonds to their country, its culture and laws. Their situation is not getting better, as for their origin they are always getting only the dirtiest jobs, which would local people not accept at all. Well, this is the reason why the country accepted them (and their parents) at the first place (disregarding the political statements about cultural diversity, equality and nondiscrimination). 

Their numbers are growing and their exclusion remains. In the country something like fifth fleet is being built which is quite often participating in crime, vandalism and is slowly getting larger and larger through demographic growth.

This is not a manifestation of racism, only a description of processes which are happening during the need of companies to achieve profit and who are desperately trying to get the cheapest workforce. These stories are always the same, whether it was the Roman Empire, that had problems financing its army and so it began including more and more foreign element into it until it finally engulfed them or USA with their story of importing black slaves or some states of Europe like Germany, France who are using cheap workforce of Turks or North Africans. 

The principle is still the same: there is the need to gain as cheap workforce as would otherwise not be able to exist in a society based on normal prices and wages.

At the same time, there is a strong pressure to wages across the whole country which is causing, at the long term, fall in living standards of all the society.

b)      As existence of such second class citizens in the state brings about certain negatives, there is the second form of outsourcing, classical outside outsourcing. As slaves at our own backyard are not politically correct so why not have them somewhere else, where they are not so visible.

And so thousands of “inferior” jobs are being shifted to China, India, Bangladesh and other countries of the third world where hundreds of thousands new-age (new-wage?!)  slaves are forced to work in sweatshops till they die or commit suicide as it is happening in Foxconn.  

We are living in 21st century, our political leaders are proudly boasting their Christian heritage and faith.

It may sound unbelievable but this all is too a direct consequence of wrongly calibrated financial system, which is driving people to this terrible situation because the need of profit and from it stemming inadequate buying power. This inadequate buying power is causing the employers to cut wages and eventually outsource, as their planned profits are never achieved and are only shrinking. They consider it a reason of high wages and are pursuing respective strategies. But they are grossly mistaken, these strategies will make their profits even lower long term as the true reason is the existence of the very profit itself, which is causing the demand to be permanently lower then supply.

So if certain production is labor intensive, it is likely to become the target of outsourcing. Since Antic time there was a habit to replace the paid work of free citizens with cheap slave labor, costing only food. In the movie series Rome, Lucius Vorenus asks why there should be any change: “Because the Roman people are suffering, because the slaves have taken all the work, because the Nobles have taken all the land and the streets are full of homeless and starving” replies young Octavian.
So nothing new under the sun.

Let´s have a look at it from economical side: is it possible to solve labour intensive production by different means then through outsourcing while maintaining the standard prices ?

If it would be possible, the pressure to outsourcing would cease to exist, companies and politicians would not go by the way of making themselves trouble associated with it as it would be possible to achieve the same profits with using only domestic  labor sources.

The solution is of course subsidizing of such production. It is generally known which production is labor intensive (textile, electronics…) and so we can determine certain ratio applicable to each industry. The question is where to take the money for subsidies.

The classical way, where state is financing its needs from taxes is not suitable, as companies not participating in subsidies would have objections that their money are used for another companies. Also, further rising of taxes would mean these deducted money would be missing in economy elsewhere. 
Financing through debt is not long term sustainable and particularly in this case of permanent repeating need. The resulting debt would soon reach astronomical size and crush the whole economy. As these common, available solutions are not long term sustainable there comes the outsourcing as the only solution.

The one and only sustainable way is monetary policy in connection with periodic taxation of accumulated profits and savings.

How does it work?

If state provides certain amount as subsidies of standard costs, resulting price is lower than without subvention. It is easy and effective, majority of states is using subsidies in agriculture in order to lower the resulting end prices for final consumers which would otherwise represent an excessive burden on their purse and so drain too many resources from the rest of the economy. If consumers would be spending 50% of their income on groceries, there would be very little space for development of other areas of businesses.

But subsidies are asking for higher amount of currency in economy as if they would be nonexistent. Classical agriculture subventions are financed from taxes and their amounts are through years of use already accounted for in the money supply.
This method is not possible to use in larger scale of subsidizing and entire industries.

 By using monetary policy and consequent taxing of saved capital and savings we are getting a standard and highly flexible new tool usable in all situations.

In the first step the central bank will give money  to the government to finance the subsidy, It is a necessary condition as if it was only a loan, there would be no permanent increase of money in circulation which is needed to maintain the sustainability of this system. During repayments of a loan there would be contraction in other areas of the economy caused by additional taxes needed to generate finances for these repayments.

These finances the government will shift to companies by agreed key, depending from labor productivity and intensity.  That way we shall gain a standard wage levels otherwise unachievable and standard acceptable prices as well. Because of the standard (subsidized) wages there is an interest in the jobs offered and there is no need to outsource them. There is no unemployment because of outsourcing and there are no groups of second class citizens arising, not able to participate at all society gains.

As employees have adequate wages, they can spend in wider economy and so generate its development. Here we need to say that subsidies to certain industry have no impact on inflation based on their providing as such.  The fact, that certain industries will be subsidized will only mean that their employees will have standard buying power. Whether there will be inflation in other industries, which will get sales coming from subsidized wages of these specific industries will depend solely from elasticity of supply in non subsidized industries.  If they are able to provide increased level of goods and services in such volume as is necessary to meet the existing demand as well as new arising from subsidized wages for standard prices, there will be no inflation. If they would be no able to meet it, the prices would go up.

I don´t see it as a problem in general. The rise in prices if any will provide important information to industries that there is an increased demand and supply will match it in time.
Further argument to alleviate fear from inflation is that at the beginning were those outsourced productions managed with local employees with standard wages, whose demand was fully reflected in production capacity of other industries. After outsourcing their buying power was diminished and so other industries suffered a loss, when their sales went down as well. But their production capacity remained unchanged (respectively, it is possible to revive it in relatively short time) and so after rejuvenation of buying power after introduction of subsidies and backward outsourcing there we can expect their quick and inflation less redevelopment.

I consider more correct, if growth in prices is stimulated by equal standard level of wages and from it stemming demand with supply gradually adapting to it then having (maybe?)lower prices but at the cost of existence of ever growing second class citizens and inadequate pressure to development of industries which with standard wages would be getting clear signals that there is an unsatisfied substantial demand there.

These are philosophical questions:

  • Do we want to have in our society poor people, despite their honest and needed work? 
  • Do we want our society to be able to exist only at the cost of having slave labor at some distant sweatshops in lands far far away?
  • Do we want the value of labor to be constantly diminished and unemployment to rise?

Because the fact, that there already was some outsourcing in certain industries is not an end. The pressure to wages because of search of profit will continue and lowering of wages stemming from outsourcing will continue to lower the remaining buying power as well. This introduces a deflationary spiral in which more and more professions will fall into the zone of outsourcing and fall of buying power will inevitably lead to ever diminishing profits and so on.