ParEcon Questions & Answers

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Remunerating Output and Parecon?

xI guess you reject remunerating output as an institution because it violates the core values so obviously…?

You are getting the hang of this. Yes, some people say I have such and such a value, and then twenty seconds later they advocate social relations that are contrary to or even opposite to that value. Those who favor parecon don’t operate like that. Rather, valuing equity we must reject all forms of remuneration other than for duration, intensity, and onersousness of work, or for need when appropriate.

What would be the problem with remunerating output, though?

Someone born with great talent – musical, physical strength, speed, calculating ability – would not have that lucky break, but would then be showed with great wealth on top of it. This doesn’t ellicit the innate abilities, it just rewards them – immorally, in a pareconist view. And it is not a small matter. Athletes who earn millions a year are often, especially at the high end, under paid if we apply this norm, given how much people value their product.

Yuo would earn more, also, and sometimes vastly more, due to using good tools compared to others, or producing something more valued though you work no harder or longer. This too violates our norms, would destroy equity, and also solidarity. And there is no reason to have it, because it has no benefits that can’t be had ny means without the debits.

We should say just a little more, though, which will get elaborated later in other sections, but to avoid misunderstanding even now.

When someone works they produce a pile of output, so to speak. While they don’t get as their income a value equivalent to that output, that doesn’t mean the output is entirely irrelevant to their income.

You notice we say people get remunerated for effort and sacrifice doing socially valuable labor. You don’t get remunerated for sitting around doing nothing. Or for producing what no one wants. So this means if I am going to collect income for my labor, for let’s say five hours worth, I have to have produced an output commensurate to the effort claimed, to the rsources, utilized, etc. etc. So those variables do matter, I do have en incentive to do good work for my five hours, otherwise some part of it won’t have been socially valuable labor and my income will drop. This is an importnat point having to do with how incentives work in parecon…and the full meaning of equity, as well.


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