100% Employment for Local People

First, there should be 100% employment for the local people. The basic right of all people is to be guaranteed the minimum essentials for their existence, including at least proper food, clothing, housing, education and medical care. This basic right should be arranged through cent per cent guaranteed employment, not through welfare or dole-outs. Unemployment is a critical economic problem in the world today and 100% employment of the local people is the only way to solve this problem.

Local people are defined as those who have merged individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in. The primary consideration is whether or not people have merged their individual interests with their socio-economic unit, regardless of their colour, creed, race, mother tongue, birthplace, etc. Those who earn their livelihood in a particular socio-economic unit but spend their earnings in another socio-economic unit should be considered as outsiders or non-local people, as this practice is not in accordance with the interests of the socioeconomic unit in which they are employed. It results in the drainage of the capital necessary for the continued growth of that unit and undermines its economic development.

Capitalists, in either their singular or collective forms, are the most pernicious economic exploiters today. All over the world they are continually exploiting local economies and draining their wealth. In nearly all cases the profits they accrue are spent outside the local area and remitted to outside stockholders and parent companies. An essential measure to control this economic exploitation is that the speculative markets in all countries of the world should be closed down immediately.

To create 100% employment among local people, PROUT supports both a short term and a long term economic plan. In the short term plan, labour intensive industries based on the collective minimum requirements of life should be started immediately or made more productive where they already exist. These industries should be based on the consumption motive. They should also provide a rational profit in order to guarantee adequate purchasing capacity to those employed in them and to ensure their continued existence and growth. In North Bihar, for example, where there is virtually no industry, all kinds of agrico and agro-industries can be developed to alleviate the unemployment problem there.

In the long term plan, capital intensive industries should also be developed to increase the productive capacity of the socioeconomic unit. PROUT advocates a three-tiered economic structure, that is, small scale privately owned businesses, medium scale cooperatives and large scale key industries managed by the immediate government. Such an economic structure should be based on the principles of self-reliance, maximum utilization, rational distribution, decentralization, rationalization and progressive increases in the standard of living of all people. Through the never ending creation of new industries, new products and new production techniques incorporating the latest scientific discoveries, the vitality of the economy can be increased. As part of the long term economic plan, working hours may also be progressively reduced to maintain full employment.

To solve the unemployment problem in both the short and long term there must be an accurate understanding of the surplus and deficit manual and intellectual labour trends. In India, for example, there is surplus manual labour in North Bihar, which is based upon an agricultural economy, and surplus intellectual labour in Calcutta. In both places there is high unemployment. In most of the countries of the world where there is high unemployment, there is surplus manual labour. So manual labour intensive industries are required to create employment. In some instances where deficit labour exists for an expanding industry, retraining programs may equip workers with the necessary skills for employment.

Another way to help solve unemployment, especially in rural communities, is the utilization of plants for economic selfreliance. All socio-economic units have the potential to increase their plant and crop varieties by properly matching these with the soil, topography and climatic conditions etc. in their units. Reforestation can reclaim arid and semi-arid regions, and some unique plants like the Puranica or fern, which has the capacity to attract clouds, can help radically transform the rainfall and weather patterns of a region. Agro- and agrico-industries based upon the productive potential of different plants can also help solve rural unemployment by creating a range of new goods and services. There are many dimensions to this revolutionary plant rationalization program, which is also a practical expression of the ideals of Neohumanism.

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Few sentences by Shri Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar

If there is surplus labour and deficit production, the effect of depression is more acute. Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, especially the Telengana region, and Orissa are surplus labour areas, so during a depression these areas could face indiscriminate closure of business houses and lay-offs. When wages fall, the people in surplus labour areas who used to go to deficit labour areas for employment will be subjected to more hardships. This will aggravate the unemployment problem in surplus labour areas. In such situations, restricting the transfer of food among different socio-economic units could lead to an acute scarcity of food in the deficit production areas, and therefore a cordon system should not be introduced. Countries and regions with surplus production and deficit labour usually suffer less hardships during depression.

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Labour Disputes

Labour disputes have become a chronic disease everywhere in the world today. In ancient times there was no bonus system. Some large industrialists used to give a bonus out of compassion, but nowadays a bonus has become a right. It is noticeable that in many places the party in power suppresses the labour movement and the party not in power supports it. Strikes are supported by the communists in India and suppressed by them in the USSR.

There may be a temporary solution to this problem by accepting the rights of labourers in management, granting them some dividend out of the net profit, setting apart some amount for reserve funds and sinking funds for creating fresh capital and interest on this capital, and distributing net profits among labourers. But this is not a permanent solution. The question is how can the percentage of the share out of the net profit be fixed? In Bengal, the Bataidars first claimed half and later two thirds of the net profit. This will change with the moving world.

The permanent solution lies in the large scale implementation of the cooperative system and the socialisation of land, industries, trade and commerce. Key industries should be large scale industries. These key industries should be managed and owned by the immediate government, and in order to keep labour relations congenial, a bonus system of work and piece work payments should be adopted. The harder and better the people work, the more profit they will get.

The bonus system of work and piece work payments are two different things. Payment for the time saved in doing a particular piece of work is called the bonus system of work. That is, a particular amount earned by labourers from the profit of the organization on the basis of their labour is called a bonus. Piece work payments are something else. If a piece of work is completed before the fixed time, and in the remaining portion of time extra work is done, then labourers will get extra payment for that extra work. This system is called piece work payment. To take a concrete example, if the time allowed for manufacturing a scissors blade is two hours and the work is actually performed in one and a half hours, the payment for saving half an hours time is called piece work payment. A dividend is defined as a return on the basis of the net profit earned by the organization. In Japan, which is one of the most industrially developed countries, there are only a few labour disputes because work is done according to the bonus system and piece work payments, and industry is mostly managed along lines similar to the cooperative system.

Regarding cooperatives, we must not forget that cooperatives only function properly under a strong government. They cannot function under a weak democratic structure. Before starting cooperatives a psychological environment has to be created. In the Proutistic structure rationalization means less labour, more leisure and more comfort. In order to safeguard the interests of these cooperatives in the field of industry, it has to be emphasised that key industries should be run by the government so that there will not be any occasion for a tool down and the consequent closure of subsidiary industries in the cooperative sector. However, slogans calling for the cooperative movement are untimely in the present system as the psychological background is lacking. If cooperatives are established at the present time, they will simply cause losses to the national wealth. It may be questioned whether it is desirable for a government to engage in commercial concerns, and if so, how can the labour problems in such concerns be solved permanently? In principle governments should not run commercial concerns, but in those cases where it is not possible to run a concern on a cooperative basis, the government should take the lead. However, such concerns should be mostly assembly factories. The manufacture of component parts for these assembly factories should be done through industrial cooperatives. In extreme cases, where industrial cooperatives are unable to manufacture certain components, they should be manufactured by the government. In such concerns there will be no net profit because it is often the question of profit which creates labour problems. The cost of production may be suitably reduced to make it a no-profit, no-loss concern. It is, however, necessary to keep both financial and commercial accounts to ensure that the concern does not run at a loss. If any loss occurs in such a factory it should be converted into an industrial cooperative.

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The economic development of a country depends on the collective labour of different social groups. This is the reason that the system of the division of labour gradually evolves out of the practice of domestic economy. The value of the labour of all groups, including industrial labourers, peasants, carpenters, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, physicians and clerks, is equal in the collective development of the economy. – Shrii P. R. Sarkar

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