Study of modern Production method, with evaluation of the success the current system does and does not enjoy.
Advance of human knowledge consists of starts, stops, and jerks reminiscent of a Car running out of fuel. Civilization follows a like pattern, basically driven by this advancement. Our Great-grandparents were born into a World, which lacked Computer, Telephone, Electric Lights, and the Internal Combustion engine. They did possess the Railroad, the Steam Engine, Standardized Parts, and Agricultural Implements; all of which their Grandparents did not possess.
Our Grandparents first developed the internal combustion engine, the Bicycle, the Car, the Plane, the modern freighter, and the modern furnace. Our Parents developed Passenger aircraft, modern home construction, the Air Conditioner, and the Interstate system. We developed the Computer, the Educational system, modern methods of Production, and artificial materials. Our Children already begin to modify information transference, Production methods, organization of the Workplace, and living environments.
Every new design of technique by advance of human knowledge led to a betterment of the human condition, though many complain the detriment almost reaches the magnitude of benefit. The Process brought an equal growth of problems with the expansion. The quality of Information transfer, though, brings solutions almost as fast as arising problems; all with a lag-time which is reducing drastically from definition of the problem to resolution of the problem. There is some worry to this Process, as the above refers to the Technological problems, not the systemic problems; which seem to find no resolution, despite immense sums spent on research for solutions. Archaic human social patterns may produce much of the intransigence to the systemic problems.
The nuclear family developed as the product of the colonization of the New World and other Territories by European settlers. Europe, prior to this colonization, utilized the basic extended family heritage; with several Generations living in one household. Physical distance in the colonization process reduced the extended family to a nuclear unit. Several Generations were raised in the nuclear family tradition, and resisted reversion to the extended family tradition. The nuclear family lifestyle continued to spread, as economic opportunity and desire for personal privacy spread. The provision for nuclear family households, though, requires almost four times the consumption of physical materials to maintain, over the amount consumed by extended family residence; all in terms of per person needs.
Modified Capitalism has proven to be superior to any other type of Production. Other forms of Production organization, such as Communism, consumed vast quantities of physical resources without equivalent product with Capitalism; while unlimited Capitalism left out too significant a population from the economic process. Modified Capitalism endures its own set of undesirable characteristics; the most notable being, like all Capitalism, a need for a high level of continuous Consumption. Failures in Consumption lead to loss of Entrepreneurial profits, requiring production facility restructuring.
The dangers of Consumption losses turns Production effort in the direction of producing Short-life products, with a high Turnover rate by Consumers. This style of Production consumes almost three times the physical resources of a shrinking resource base, as quality commitment of long-life production would bring. An Example which Everyone can understand is the average life-expectancy of an automobile should be 700,000 miles, instead of the current 125,000 miles. These Cars should achieve 57 miles per gallon of fuel, instead of the average of 18 mpg. Current construction methods dictate a fundamental restructuring of housing every 34 years; this being the basic life expectancy. Equally-priced and physical consumptive construction methods now available, should have extended housing life-expectancy beyond 85 years; before a fundamental restructure was called for. The average Computer should last twelve years, instead of the usual four years. All of the above cited instances are not the result of failure of technology, but the result of business organization structured for continuous Consumption.
Simplicity allows Business practice to be blamed for the above circumstance, but Labor must share equal blame; Wages equally reduced by loss of Consumption. The easiest, and most troublesome, of all measures to reduce Unemployment; comes in the form of reducing the basic Workweek. The Economy could raise Employment by eighty percent, by reduction of the Workweek to twenty-five hours per week. A more sensible reduction of the Workweek to thirty-two hours per week, would guarantee full Employment conditions for the next fifty years.
This reduction of the Workweek remains opposed by both Business and Labor. Business objects because it increased training costs of Labor, and increased Social costs for Labor, such as retirement and medical benefits. They also have the correct fear it would reduce Consumption, as the Wage remuneration was spread at lower shares to a wider population. Labor stands in opposition because it reduces the individual take-home pay, altered retirement and medical funding, and provides difficulties in maintaining current Consumption patterns. Business and Labor remain adamant in refusal of Workweek reduction, even though Productive hour efficiency would increase, and proper physical rest would lengthen physical life for Workers. Labor would have to engage in added leisure activity, which currently is based on heavy Consumption at high price; the art of developing a hobby having been lost in the modern world. Business would have to shift to product-quality production, with more intensive Labor craft, at much lower per labor hour profit; so business organization would have to alter.
The above result remains exactly what Economists seek for long-term performance of the Economy. The practical problem resides in the alteration of production methodology. What is to replace the current Capitalist derivation of Profits? No economic system will survive without Profits from Production, a fact long-determined; Communism does not work, and it had to derive Profits in order to function even marginally. Capitalist business structure demands too excessive a Profits ratio in order to fund the business structure. Corporations are even greater Profits Hogs, needing to feed both Management and Stockholders. Examination of Capitalist enterprise indicates only Owner-Operator businesses can endure the minimal Profits necessary for quality-production of long-life Products. This means an almost total reconstitution of the Production process into Franchise production, an attainable end; with conversion of production facilities into salable Product.