The Why section presented the full scope of reasons for eliminating the quantization of labor into jobs and getting supply and demand to actually meet in the labor market – as well as eliminating all private monopolies. And it would be a competitive option – making it game theoretically (very) viable to be a first adopter …IF you could do it!

But can it really be done? Is it just a dream? According to the Root Bug hypothesis (unlike many other dramatic suggestions for reshaping the economy):

  • No change in human nature is required.
  • No violent revolution or tearing down the current system is required.
  • No one’s hard earned property needs to be taken away from them by force.

So what would it really need? Why doesn’t optimal work allocation just happen if it really would be efficient for the whole economy? Firstly, sharing work isn’t even legal in some countries. Nor is it usually considered socially acceptable and “responsible” behavior for companies, giving them little image incentive to do so. But most crucially, it is not profitable for employers, nor a viable option for employees who – under constant threat of long-term unemployment – have to focus on ensuring their own financial security – for which end saving more money (credit) is currently the best option. For keeping monetary saving sufficiently unprofitable (even in uncertain times or when there is simply less demand for additional real investments), it is only required that real interest rates can turn negative enough. Physical cash (a mostly obsolete accounting tool) is the only obstacle imposing a lower limit on interest rates.

Sharing work can be made profitable, legal and even socially acceptable. Our rigid and twisted education systems are probably the ones requiring a more fundamental turnaround to facilitate maximal adaptability and mobility to curb income differences.

Real interest rates can be made negative without endangering the crucial predictability of price level development (i.e. stable inflation). Also, it is possible to have a private banking sector that actually has to carry its own risks.

Eliminating monopolies is a slightly more complex matter. There are many different kinds of monopolies and the economics of different natural resources vary according to whether they are renewable or not, destructible or not and fungible or not as well as how much they are affected by the use or deterioration of other resources etc. However, land, the location value of real estate, is the most significant monopoly resource in an urbanized economy. Some resources will surely remain subjects of speculation. But extortion can be prevented and the economy made robust enough to endure the resulting volatility of these resources.

The subpages in this How section present a quick overview of simple, initial solutions. Volume 4 of Fixing the Root Bug goes into more detail on these.

“There is in reality no conflict between labor and capital; the true conflict is between labor and monopoly… Abolish the monopoly that forbids men to employ themselves and capital could not possibly oppress labor… [R]emove the cause of that injustice which deprives the laborer of the capital his toil creates and the sharp distinction between capitalist and laborer would, in fact, cease to exist.” – Henry George