That’s the dark side of this right to free services: They’re also quite frequently compulsory to some degree. Even when new technical possibilities of production drastically reduce the capital outlays, skills or labor time required to produce a given consumption goods, the state guarantees the return on capital, the income and prestige of the professional classes, and the “full employment” of the working class by enforcing artificial scarcity. The threat posed by technologies of abundance is neutralized either by outlawing them, or by giving existing producers a monopoly over them.
The more some particular good like education becomes free, the more it becomes, in a sense, compulsory. Free, universally available higher education leads to the inflation of credentials required for doing even the most basic jobs. It strengthens the institutional nexus between university administrations and corporate human resources departments, and tightens the control of licensing cartels over the freedom to take up a trade. And the state is under constant pressure to suppress private, cooperative, and other self-organized educational alternatives, as well as private insurance, alternative medicine, and nutritional supplements. Of course such measures are always defended as protecting the consumer for her own good — and not to protect the drug companies or professional licensing cartels from loss of income!
quinta-feira, Janeiro 17, 2013
Social Democracy as High-Overhead “Socialism” por Kevin Carson: