Post-capitalistic Free Market Society, How Can US Be Rescued (Part V) – Economy, Work and Retirement

Here is how a technological democratic society operates. We will be looking into the application of equality of opportunity in four areas of capital, labor, state and technology. This is the heart of democracy, because, there cannot be any kind of real democracy without having economic democracy.A. CapitalTo democratize the ownership of capital, the principle of equality of opportunity prohibits unjust enrichment. It simply means that no person receives property without giving in return a comparable compensation. This is known as the principle of unjust enrichment. Its application establishes the property ownership and relationship in a democratic society with the following consequences:1. Inheritance. Inheritance is the highest cause of inequality of opportunity. It leads to class stratification. It is the first factor in creating an unjust society. Since anything received through inheritance is free and without comparable compensation, it amounts to an unjust enrichment. If it elevates the opportunity of the beneficiaries to the extent that it creates unequal opportunities, it cannot be allowed under the principle of equality of opportunity. The proceeds from inheritance go into the Public Consumption Fund, a public organization, to be spent in providing vital services to society such as education and health care. The result is that as the rich individuals die, their wealth, to the extent allowed by the principle of equality of opportunity, is transferred to this organization and used for public good. Gradually wealthy families, which enjoyed a very high opportunity under capitalism, disappear while their riches are used to enrich and enlighten the masses as a whole. In a span of a few decades, society ceases to have any super rich. The ruling capitalist elite dies and with it disappears its dominating economic and political powers.Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution embodies the concept of equality of opportunity. It only needs to be specified to apply to economic and social aspects of life. The process of transition will be peaceful. It requires Congress to propose a proper amendment to the U.S. Constitution clarifying the application of equality of opportunity to economic, political an social aspects of life. Since the amendment, if ratified, would prohibit inheritance, for the stage of transition, Congress should specify a figure for maximum inheritance such as $5 million. This will insure the ratification of the amendment since only 0.7percent of population has wealth in excess of this amount. The result will be equalization of the wealth within the limit of $5 million. Decades later when minimum national inheritance level will increase disparity will be negligible or may be readjusted then to guarantee full equality of opportunity. [1]2. Profits. As presented before, as globalization progresses, free trade market economy causes the kind of keen competition that continually cuts down the profit margin leading to its virtual elimination.[2] The profit motive remains still there but rarely materialized. At this stage, estimated to materialize in four to five decades, the society’s levers of power- the multinational corporations, the military and their politician and bureaucrat supporters and collaborators- are eliminated from power status. By the coordinated efforts of local groups all over the country, equality of opportunity prevails, the economy and social structure are reconstructed for efficiency and justice. The production in a cooperative way focuses primarily on people’s primary needs. Every able person participates whether in neighborhoods, communities or work places. People work for a few hours a day having ample time free for leisure, art, music and other creative work and enjoyment.3. Labor. Regarding labor and workforce, there is a very basic distinction between capitalism and technological democracy. Under capitalism, the capitalist controls land, capital and technology, and employs labor from the market. Under technodemocratic economy, the workers own and control the capital and all other means of production. The principle of equality of opportunity controls the process of ownership of capital and prescribes its democratization. It materializes the total private ownership of the means of production and distribution to the extent never achieved before. It prescribes that the ownership of capital be gradually and systematically transferred from the capitalist to the workers. For clarification, it must be noted that the term worker in this concept embodies any person working for the capitalist from top management and professionals down to the unskilled workers. Under this concept, while each worker receives a regular wage, he is also given a certain specified amount of shares of the firm where he works. Thus from the time he receives his first pay, he starts to become a part owner of the firm. As the years pass, the worker continues to accumulate capital and increase his share of ownership. As the big capitalists die, their share of stocks revert to the Public Consumption Fund and from there is placed in the stock market for sale. These shares are purchased by different institutions, public institutions in particular, and gradually transferred to the workers including public employees along with their monthly pay. Some is also purchased by individual. [3]After four or five decades, the capitalist class as we know today, disappears and the ownership as well as control of capital and production firms become wholly transferred to a new capitalist class the same as the working class. From there on as the retired workers die, their share of stocks go to the Public Consumption Fund and placed in stock market and finally purchased by different institutions and gradually transferred to the new generation of workers along with their pay. For the shares that each worker owns, he receives dividend which continues to increase as he continues to accumulate more and more stocks. Each worker is entitled to full benefit of ownership of his stocks except that they are not transferable to others but can be exchanged with other non-transferable stocks of other institutions on the stock market for the purpose of diversification of their ownership. This non-transferability of the stocks is prescribed by the principle of equality of opportunity and, as it will be presented later on, income from these stocks takes the place of social security and old age benefits for the owner during the retirement period since under technological democracy there are no public welfare programs such as social security, medicare or food-stamps or else. Health care and education are the only programs available free for all, funded by the Public Consumption Fund and not the government.4. Position Classification. Position classification is a technology developed for organizing, classification and equalization of similar positions. It describes the responsibilities of each position and corresponding financial compensation range. Under this technology, positions are classified vertically as well as horizontally. This system is applied nationally and universally to all available positions. Horizontal positions are those requiring similar levels of skills to carry out job requirements. However, these positions may not be similar in the kind of functions and skills they require. For example, medical doctors, lawyers, and top administrators all require a high level of professional skill, while functionally they are quite different from one another. They may be placed horizontally in one category and entitled to the same range of compensation. The same applies to clerical or other class of worker. Vertical positions are classified from the lowest to the highest.Technology of position classification was created primarily for the purpose of increasing and controlling productivity as well as providing equitable pay systems, similar pays for similar jobs. This technology is not new; it has been used in every industrialized society by its public sector and by all major, medium size and some small private institutions. However, each institution has its own independent position classification and corresponding pay system. The national government, each state government, major city governments and giant corporations each has a position classification of its own. There is no uniformity among these systems and there are injustices. Furthermore, a great variety of small businesses do not have a classification system yet these are the institutions employing the majority of the working class people who are not subject to any standard of pay and are generally exploited. Under technological democracy all these systems are brought under one umbrella with the same standards of positions and corresponding pay system. However, such a monumental classification is not done in detail by a central office. This would be an impossible task. The national government through the Position Classification and Pay Commission, a branch of the National Economic Council, establishes a general classification of positions, a system somehow similar to the present national classification. Then it requires each institution , private or public, large or small, to establish its own position classification and pay system within the framework established by the national classification and pay system. A copy of this classification by each firm is entered in Technodem website available to everyone including every employee in the institution. The Technodem will check this classification against the national system and will inform the institution about discrepancies for correction, if any. This classification is put into operation by the corresponding institution until it is objected by the Technodem or the regional classification council.[4]The systems are reviewed each year by each institution as new technologies develop, certain positions are abandoned, new positions are created or functions of some positions are modified or changed. Position classification under one national model system has several benefits.1. It harmonizes and standardizes all available positions, private or public.2. It equalizes the pay system, similar pay for similar jobs, regardless of race, color, sex or whether a worker is a union member,3. It eliminates the union bargaining and thus eliminate unionization for economic purposes.4. It simplifies position and pay classification at the institutional level following a standardized and updated national model.5. It democratizes the work system by providing equality of opportunity in similar positions with similar pay.6. It allows regional agencies, through Technodem technology, to supervise the proper and uniform application of national standards.7. It allows discretion in each institution to proceed with its own position and pay classification.8. It gives each employee an opportunity to evaluate his position requirement and pay level in comparison with the national standards and, in the case of discrepancy, petition first his institution and then file his petition with the Technodem which will examine the complaint instantaneously and respond to it. If the institution did not resolve the issue according to the Technodem advice, he then can petition the regional classification council which will usually go along with the Technodem finding. By this way position classification in each institution is scrutinized by its employees and brought to the level prescribed by the national standards.5. Shared Opportunity and Full Employment. This is a very important principle of democratic employment opportunity. The application of the principle of equality of opportunity requires that those having a higher level of employment opportunity share it with those lacking such opportunity at the same position level. This refers in particular to unemployed workers seeking employment. Of course, at every skill level, those employed have a higher opportunity than those unemployed. The principle of shared opportunity is employed to equalize the situation. It requires that those who have employment, in order to provide for equality of opportunity, forgo a small part of their employment opportunity by giving up a small part of their work, say one hour per week, and thus provide employment opportunity for their unemployed fellows.For example, if there is a 100 million work force and each worker gives up one hour of his weekly work, nationwide 100 million work-hours amounting to 2.5 million full time positions will become available to those unemployed or new comers. [5] It needs to be noticed that unemployment in technological democracy has a different character. Everyone starts working part-time when he reaches 15 years of age and completes his professional or technical education while working. So work under technological democracy has a transitory character and is an individual right. Sharing opportunities provides for continuous employment, causing stability in the market and thus eliminates a major cause of recession by providing job security for working years. The inflationary process will also be prevented since there will be no monopoly firms, no price increase to maximize profits. Giant corporations will automatically divided into many smaller firms, and competition in the market will be tense, more realistic and free. This decentralization and dispersal will take place because once workers receive controlling shares of a giant firm they will tend to eliminate the superstructure of the corporate bureaucracy which did not produce anything and had also lost its unproductive use. Then, workers’ desire to have voice in the production process will tend toward dismantling the giant corporation into smaller entities in which the policy-makers will be directly attached to the operation of production and each worker can feel his voice and power over his institution. The same will happen to the branches or affiliated firms abroad. They would want to be independent especially when the superstructure in domestic country becomes abolished. Thus the era of giant multinational corporations will become history as a stage of transition from monopolistic international capitalism to competitive technodemocratic economy. The old motto that “small is beautiful, controllable, more democratic,” will become materialized.6. Old Age Benefits: Unlike the welfare programs instituted under the existing capitalistic and socialistic systems, there will be no retirement or general welfare programs under the technological democracy. First, each individual will start part time work at the age of fifteen. His income from the work will be sufficient to pay for his living expenditures, since he will have no education expenses because it will be free for everyone at all levels. By the age 21 he will finish his college education (exceeding in value over an M.A. degree at the present) and will be employed full time. Each individual will be required to work for at least 30 years in order to provide a sustained and sufficient income for his old age period. It is estimated that if each worker receive the company stock equal to 25% of his pay, after 30 years, when he retires at the age 52, he will accumulate enough capital from the stocks and their accumulated returns to receive an income of around $30,000 to live modestly but comfortably considering that health care and education will be free and individual taxes will be very small. Most of taxes will be collected from production firms. However, while the individual retires from the official workforce, he does not retire personally. Being only 52 years old he has many years of active life to contribute and be productive in social, political and economic fields. These could be either voluntary or income producing. This retirement after 30 years of service is mandatory in order to maintain equality of opportunity in workplace, and in no way deprives individuals from pursuing productive activities of their liking. It has also several important benefits: first, it provides vacancies to new workers entering the market, second, provides the retired workers with many years enjoyable and intellectually productive life; third, provides for participation in the political process where required qualifications for election is high and the service is temporary. At retirement, each individual would possess knowledge in humanities and social sciences far above the present Ph.D. level as a result of over thirty years of continuous graduate education, making him highly qualified to hold public or elective offices. Beside this, every person has also over Ph.D. level knowledge in his technical or professional field.[6]Thus this required retirement is technical rather than real. The individual who is highly educated and experienced at this stage of life, may get engaged in many different kinds of work such as art, music, creative writing, counseling, political or economic activities individually or in partnership with other retired persons. Since top policy making positions in regional and national government are temporary with four to six year terms, it will be an excellent opportunity for the post-retirement life. Under technological democracy the individual worker is made responsible to hold and take care of his own retirement stocks. That is why the stocks he receives monthly from his firm are non-transferable, while he can exercise all other benefits of ownership including annual returns from them during his lifetime. Particularly, that working people would be hesitant to run for political offices since this would interrupt their working process and financially have negative effect on their future promotions as well as their retirement benefits.
.References:1.Reza Rezazadeh, Technological Democracy: A Humanistic philosophy of the Future Society, 1990, pp. 192-1942. —————-, “Globalization and the End of Capitalism,” http://www.democracywhere.com also in http://www.ezinearticles.com3.—————-, Technological Democracy, opp. cited, pp.194-1984.—————-, Technodemocratic Economic Theory: From Capitalism and Socialism to Democracy, 1991, pp. 184-186. http://www.democracywhere.com5.Ibid., pp.186-188, 205, 235.6. Ibid., pp. 188-190, 219.Dr. Reza Rezazadeh1080 Eastman Street, Platteville, WI 53818Phone: (608)348-7064

Statistics Programming – Easing the Pain

Different sets of software are being developed everyday just to ease man with some of his technical works such as in the field of business. These programs are specially designed to make high speed calculations and analysis of the data and come up with a soft copy of information output that can be used instantaneously after the software processes it. Statistics is one of the most complicated clerical works of anyone who is studying or working in the field of economics, politics and even social matters. Statistics is deemed to be of importance because it gives a type of descriptive conclusion or interpretation that can be very precise depending upon the quality of data that has been gathered and the competence that is given to organize, interpret and represent that data. But even with the level of competence that a person has with regards to his statistical skills, there is still a probability that a miscalculation might be made and alter the holistic outcome of the statistics.

However, because of the rapid advancements of technology and the evolution of the functions that can be performed by the humble computer software developers has come up with a certain software program that can make ease any statistician of all their statistical tasks. The development of a program that is able to perform the task of organizing and interpreting statistical data was q revolutionary breakthrough when it comes to statistical analysis help. Statistics programming is defined as the systematic calculation of all the numerical data that has been downloaded into the system wherein it is organized basing upon the categories. These categories are classified upon the nature of the data that has been downloaded. After the process of organizing the data, it will be then interpreted numerically. This function of statistical programming helps to lessen the burden of work and also to maximize the output of a statistician.

Statistical program is composed of sets of languages. There are a total of 17 categories in a statistical program and these are the following;
• Analytica, ADMB
• Gretl, GAUSS
• Mathematica
• OxMetrics
• Quantum (Programming Language)
• Programming Language, SPSS, Symbolic Data Analysis, Sysquake, SAS (software and language), Speakeasy(Computation), SHAZAM (Software)
• World Programming System
• XLispStat

Each of these categories of Statistics Programs has their own unique sets of functions. Each one of it is capable of performing specific functions about statistics. The MATRIX LAB is one of the statistics programs that are widely used today. It is a program that is provided by a certain company that is said to be fully capable of solving ad coming up with solutions with regards to any mathematical or numerical problems that are fed into it. The MATLAB assignment helps not only statistics but also other aspects that majorly require the use of mathematical equations and solving. Because of these software programs, statisticians are given more time to pay attention to other details of the data and leave the organization and the interpretation of it to the statistics software.

Assessing a Development Site Part 1

The essence of pre-planning viabilityOften you notice a development site advertisement may be for 3 units accompanied by the initials STCA (subject to council approval), but when you seek the agent’s opinion, they suggest that you might even get 4 units. Could it be their knowledge of planning laws is weak? The fact is agents are rarely adequately experienced to offer a judgment on the development prospects of any potential site.Many second rate developers go to council offices to consult with planning personnel, unfortunately they are told to present an application since the council will not offer an opinion on highest possible development prospects as different council workers will give you different opinions.Why is expert pre-planning necessary?In locations like Victoria, each piece of land is subject to the Res Code planning policy guidelines by the state government as well as the decisions and policies of the council which include its development plans, tree policies and at times some environmental management policies. Other authorities such Melbourne Water and Vic Roads also affect prospective developments.Apart from considering the above, you need to be conversant with recent property and planning law changes as these constitute often change. In addition every site has unique characteristics that deserve a developer’s attention. Land terrain, drainage and accessibility to transport will also contribute to limiting the number of residences to be constructed on a site.As with other types of investments, precise information of city planning increases the chances for achieving great financial returns. Pre-planning advice from a seasoned real property manager will tell you of prospective planning hitches early.Often, an application which most developers regard as simple, for example the nature of occupancy, can be delayed in the council for more than a year because of an objection by neighbours or councilor’s general opposition to the project.Using a planner with your project architect will tell you in advance of any chances of an objection to the development by the neighbours. Such knowledge allows you to organize a plan with high chances for rapid assessment.The importance of the above cannot be overstated. Developers have gone bankrupt waiting for applications to be dealt with by council officialsSetbacks and the building envelopeThere are a myriad of things to look for and consider when choosing a property for development and each type of development will have different criteria to meet; i.e. if your aim is for a 5 unit site there will be different setbacks required to those for a dual occupancy site. Setbacks relating to existing homes, where you want to put another dwelling, are usually different again.Definition of setback as per Legislation.vic.gov.au – “setback” from a boundary or building, means horizontal distance from that boundary or buildingBut firstly, what is the building envelope? This term refers to the area of land within the boundaries of a site that a building can be constructed on. Building envelopes vary from council to council and from site to site depending on their size. It is not a standard size.Even though this hypothetical block may well be above 900m2 you will see there are four constraints marked on the site;1. “E-1 Easement” running parallel to the rear fence2. A significant “Average Front Setback” for this street3. An allowance for the driveway4. An allowance for “Private Open Space”These four constraints alone can effectively halve your building envelope. Victoria’s Planning Scheme for residential developments RES CODES, Clause 55, defines 34 such constraints, so be sure you read it thoroughly and understand it. If you discover the building envelope of your site is too small, you will need to make some compromises. You may discover the compromises you need to make dramatically affect the outcome of your proposed development or subdivision. One way of keeping your proposed building size is to reduce the car parking. But this can creates a problem too – reducing the number of bedrooms you are permitted to have for example.Let’s say you want your development to consist of 3 three-bedroom townhouses, and you want them all to have double garages but you discover the building envelope is too small to allow for this. You will then have to scale it back; i.e. to maybe 2 three-bedroom townhouses with double garages and 1 two- bedroom townhouse with a single garage. In the worst case scenario you might find you have to change your development so it consists of two townhouses instead of three.It might even affect the feasibility of the whole development as your return may be too low to make it viable.There is a rule of thumb that many planners and developers use when it comes to working out the site allowance for each dwelling. Before deciding to purchase they allow 250m2 per dwelling. If there isn’t that much space they don’t purchase. They use this rule this rule of thumb without paying for the assistance of professionals.As a result they can run into problems when it comes to what can actually be permitted. Assumption can be a dangerous thing, especially in development. It may be they have a 900m2 parcel of land, they do their figures and come to the conclusion they’ll be able to get a planning permit for three townhouses because purely on a square metre basis, the land exceeds the allowance of 250m2 per dwelling.Where they come to grief is in working within the constraints of the local Council’s planning requirements. If you ignore them and your proposed development does not fit within these constraints, your site will not get a planning permit.Of course, there are times when the building envelope is just simply too small to develop the number of townhouses you’d like, and as we mentioned earlier sometimes if you have to scale back too far, the project ceases to be viableFront SetbacksNow, let’s say the house to the left of our proposed development site has a 6 metre setback from the front boundary, and the house to the right has a 3 metre setback. If you study the street line and you discover 3 metres is the average setback, then you can usually start the new dwelling at 3 metres. If, on your site, there is an existing dwelling with a setback of 6 metres, and you’re going to demolish it and re-build, you will have 3 metres more to build on than what is already there. You’ll find that setbacks usually follow the street line. The front setback rule varies from Council to Council. The usual formula is the average of the setbacks of the properties on either side. However, the setback formula can extend to more properties on either side as well as those across the roadConnections – look underground firstIt is of the utmost importance to know where the assets are in order to connect such as a new sewage pipe or new storm water system. I knew of one development in an old low-key area where there wasn’t huge amount of profit to begin with and the underground assets hadn’t been looked into prior to purchasing the property. The developer had permits granted and contacted us about a problem when he wanted to subdivide.The water authority for the area conducted a search in order to give him the information he needed to connect. They discovered their sewage pipe was 6.2 metres underground. Unfortunately according to their rules and regulations, anything below 6 metres required a manhole to be placed to give access to the asset. In most cases, for anything less than 6 metres we are able to use what is called maintenance shaft which is basically a shaft that goes down to the asset so the authority’s workers are able to access the asset in the case of a blockage or for other work that may be required. In this case, because it was deeper than 6 metres, they required a manhole.The price of the manhole was $15,000. This client had a profit margin of approximately $45,000 and he stood to lose $15,000 prior to starting the labothe slab – just to get the sewage connected! It was not a good situation to be in. The water authorities wouldn’t budge so he lost over 25% of his profit to a man hole.From this you can see why it is so important to establish where the assets are. Once you know how far underground the pipes are, it’s probably a wise idea to check with the water authority to ask if there’s anything specific that affects them. If there are any pipes more than approximately 2.5 metres underground, then I would definitely be checking with the water authority as they may have rules about how to connect and the costs. Some water authorities tell you which plumber to use. You can’t go to your own plumber and to negotiate a better deal, you have to use their plumbers. It’s a case of, ‘their asset, their property and their way.’ Checking where the easements lie and having a good look into what affects them, is something you need to do before you purchase.Condition of Existing homesIt is important that when you are purchasing an existing home you check the normal faults that are likely to exist if it has not been well care for. These very basic checks that will ensure you buy a good property.First check whether the structure has decayed because of possible water leak, or has termites, or other pests that destroy the structure, if a given property has evidence of these, then more investigation is necessary. A good starting point is the power stumps because you can always tell the condition of the property by looking at the bottom. If it is dirty and decayed it is time to call a professional inspector to check all of these for you. A good starting point to look for a good industry professional is http://www.plansandpermits.com.au.Make sure you also check other important factors such as the area in which the property is located as it will tell you more. Finally however the final decision lies with you.Among the questions you should be able to answer before parting with your money is whether it is liveable, or is substantial cleaning required before you can move in as it will add to your cost not even counting time used cleaning. Also, is the style of the property suitable for incorporation into new development, or will it need to be demolished? As demolition will add more cost to the project, is it possible to make improvements on the existing property by adding new design? Does the property need an additional carport or can it be converted to a room? Will the extensions need to be removed especially the rear ones?If you answer these questions satisfactorily you will find you have purchased a great property at a bargain price. For example the back yard may not meet development criteria (size wise) yet by removing a car port or extension – sometime even part of the home – it can open the door to a new dwelling. Obviously you don’t tell the agent!I once purchased a home in Bentleigh that developers had knocked because of lack of room in the rear yard. I ended up with a great purchase and placed 2 units in the rear by removing the extra living room at rear. Of course costs have to be taken into account prior to purchase, if you are planning on removing a part of the home so please do your homework or you may end up throwing all you profits away. Most people don’t realise that the existing home is the key to the success of the rear dwellings. If the site is a battle-axe block then the new home in the rear must complement the existing home. I have seen many developers do up a great new dwelling at the rear of existing dwellings only to totally forget about the old existing home, they are still wondering why three different agents and six months later why they can’t get a sale for their new dwelling??Res Code Requirements on Driveway widthsYou should always observe driveway widths when developing property. The Res Code clearly states the acceptable average driveway width for battle axe and Multi units’ sites is three metres between boundary walls, with some exceptions. In order to be on the safe side, it is advisable to follow the established rule of thumb, by going for properties that have a driveway width of 3.1 metres. You should remember that the measurement is taken from the eve to the boundary. This seems to be one of the most misunderstood rules, as in the 14 years I have been in the property development industry, I have only encountered one planner who knew the rule existed and can be enforced. If you want to be on the safe side then observe the Res Code.You can get a good deal if you encounter an agent unfamiliar with the property development business, as it is possible to convince them that the property is not for further development and it’s for use as a home or as investment as this will keep the price down.North facing propertyIt’s important, but not essential to locate north facing property. At least the proposed development should be positioned with the entrance facing north. If the living area is facing north the property is likely to attract more buyers. Most buyers want to have sunlight during morning and then later have the sun while having good time in the garden. Too much sun can be problem however if you need to put blinds to block the sun.Vegetation – trees and other mattersNow we are going to look in the back yard; the thing we need to find out about here is the vegetation or the trees. Most councils are in favor of keeping as many trees and as much greenery as possible, so if your back garden has trees, you need to get an arborist to tell you if you can cut the trees down. It is important to do this before purchasing the property. I have seen many applications for permits rejected because one tree couldn’t be removed. Remember the majority of councils will not allow the removal of a tree until they have an independent arborist’s report, stating it is not important to the area. If it is it will be difficult to remove but it may be dying or dangerous, in which case the arborist will state this and it may be deemed necessary by council to remove the tree, something the arborist can then organise to do. An arborist’s report will cost anything from $500 to $1000 depending on how much work is involved and it is definitely wise to use one prior to purchasing a property that has trees.
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