I first read this short missive, and wondered Why Mark Thoma would be publishing it now, then remembered he was on a trip to Great Britain. I still believe that if he can rehash arguments; I should be given equal right to do so. I once long ago make an Argument that Everyone championed the democracy of ancient Athens, when We should champion the discipline of Sparta. I always was a Contrarian who made the life of college professors unbearable. My thesis held that everyone owed the State simply for their own existence, and this could be translated into a labor Cost. My idea stated that every achievement an individual accomplished incited a cost to the State, and the individual should bear it. He would owe the State so many labor hours simply because he was borne, he would owe the State for the primary education he received, he must pay for the secondary education he received; there would be further labor hours assessed for any business he started, or honorable position he achieved. The individual would owe this labor time, and he must pay by labor service, supply of alternate labor of the Skill required, or pay a huge Cash replacement. The State would pay only a Living Allowance, and nothing else!
The entire Concept behind this argument consists of a real payment by the individual for the help he had received from society and the State. Now, he could always present himself for labor service, or he provide hired alternates; in either case, the State was not responsible for unusual labor Costs–paying only the basic Living Allowance. The State could assign labor cadres to their most efficient positions, and insist more educated personnel must provide equivalently educated personnel for labor service if other than themselves. The Benefitted in society would be held responsible for the supply of labor, and for payment of that labor. The State would only be responsible for their survival within reasonable limits, and assuring rational placement of labor assets.
The Advantages of such a system may not immediately be apparent. First, the State would automatically retain the Right to dismiss all labor because of insufficiency of Skill. The individual owing the debt could be transferred without appeal, and hired replacement labor had to meet State demand for skills. The entire Concept of a Civil Service could be dismissed, while the Skill levels of the labor could be increased. Employment and Partial Employment would go up, as the Successful attempted to continue their success without interruption. The Cash Award Substitute could be set high enough that much of Government taxation could be reduced. Every individual would have an innate, personal stake in the State by such a system; no one would want serious disruption of State function requiring a labor cadre replacement of any kind. The State could call up any amount of labor reserves required from any level of Skill with the least amount of restriction, and individual labor would have the easiest form of Tax displacement from such a Corvee. The State would also receive the best form of labor; that which is outsourced, and therefore does not have to be Saved of reputation. All elements would be outsourced, and as such, completely indifferent to the anger of other Participants, when saving their own Record. The Whole would provide the best labor with the least Cost, and endure few of the Hiring Costs now a constant factor of employment. lgl