These Are Definitely Not the Droids We Were Looking For
If you have been following along on this series, you have read a few suppositions. First, thanks to birthrate and advances in medicine, there are way too many people on the planet. The roughly 230,000 daily additions are depleting finite water and food sources while wiping out the species with whom they share the planet. Second, other than the most original or skilled, the jobs required to keep them alive are low paid subsistence functions no longer needed or manufacturing and service functions that have been assumed by technology. One result are wars and rumor of wars as they claw for survival in the third world or sociological conflicts in the first world as competition increases past the breaking point. We have about four billion too many people whose only actual purpose is to continue making more people.
If you are negative about this, the next expectation is for the four horsemen of the apocalypse with Conquest, War, Famine, and Death. Certainly we see a great deal of the around the world. It is horrific to hear of refugees fleeing war zones or some natural disaster that wipes out thousands, not to mention various conditions caused by climate change. Then there are the societal problems of cultures that favor males leading to imbalance, attacks on and repression of women.
Politically all of the various forms of government don’t solve the situation simply because in one way or another they all look to the past. Capitalism wants profits for shareholders in the next quarter at the lowest cost. Socialism wants the most services for human beings while still being economically functional. Dictatorship of several different types see humans as a means to service the state but even in the most repressive can’t kill off enough people to restore balance.
Short of throwing up our hands and being resigned to “what will be will be”, are there positive moves that might improve the conditions some time before the guys on the raging steeds catch up with us?
For starters, we need to stabilize society by putting as many people to work as possible. Without a source of income to support their families, people get into trouble. It can be as individual as alcoholism or as massive as organized terrorist attacks. Human beings by their nature are tribal. Your tribe can be as huge as the human race or as small as your on-line book club, but if your tribe isn’t in good order, neither are you.
I would suggest a modernized version of the Civilian Conservation Corps. A certain percentage of all business profits rather than enriching the 1% must be dedicated to hiring people not to work for the company but rather to work for the betterment of society as a whole. Do the empty lots in a town need clearing? Hire someone. Does a playground need to be built? Build one. Trees planted? Graffiti scrubbed? The projects required are endless, do not require advanced skills and payrolls could be low, supplemented by an Earned Income Tax Credit to make it a true public/private enterprise. For those who have never worked, it would provide necessary experience and a ladder up. For those made redundant by technological advancements, a way to pass along knowledge and experience.
It would probably require pilot projects on a state level and Congressional actions to fund the public side of the experiment, but something needs to be done to put people back to work.
Chinese Proverb: When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty Years Ago. When is the second best time to plant a tree? Today.