It is possible for a community (or nation) to provide a job for every person suitable to his skill and training and at a fair rate of pay that is sufficient to make a living. In the rural community of olden days, every person can make a living provided that he (or she) is willing to work. Most choose to farm, but other occupations are also available - merchant, craftsman, doctors, teachers.
This type of situation is possible in the modern economy, but it requires a new economic system and better regulation. It is possible to use modern technology to create an efficient and fair market to match the demand and supply for any occupation (e.g. teachers, nurses). A fair hourly rate of wage can be determined that can balance the supply and demand.
This is supposed to be the modus operandi of the free market, but currently the market does not work inefficiently due to gaps in information. If the information is made available in a transparent manner (and this is possible with the internet technology), it would be possible to determine a fair wage rate that will balance the supply and demand.
If there is a temporary glut (i.e. more supply than demand), the number of hours of work can be regulated, so that the available work is shared fairly among all the workers and unemployment is avoided. As each person is paid on an hourly rate, they will earn less for the reduced hours of work but they have more free time for family, friends, holidays or for other part time work.
In the rural community of olden days, each farmer may have some bumper and lean seasons and they adapt their lifestyle to this variation. There is no need for workers to have a fixed salary, when the demand for their service may vary. If workers have variable salary, they should not be making large fixed commitment, e.g. to buy an expensive home!
This type of arrangement may not apply to the economic sectors that are subject to global competition, e.g. manufacture of products that are sold in the global market. But, this arrangement can apply to the domestic economy (including tourism) which should provide occupation for at least two thirds of the people in the community.
How nice would it be, to live in a community where one is assured that there will be work that fits one's skill and training and will pay a fair rate that is sufficient to make a living (but not to accumulate large wealth). There will also be opportunities for some people to accumulate wealth, but the security of work and a decent living should be provided to every person.
Tan Kin Lian
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