Friday, January 26, 2018

Is Asymmetric Compensation Compatible With Decentralization?

Have we reached growth limits for full asymmetric compensation (institutional pay for specific skill), in today's centralized settings? When centralized economic systems become excessively fragile for any reason, public and private sources for asymmetric compensation can begin to break down. This matters. After all, personal commitments to institutional employment instead of reliance on self employment - many of these scarcely a century earlier - were not made lightly.

Should losses in full time employment "with benefits" continue too long, populations will eventually fall back on simpler means by which to live - regardless of myriads of regulations which suggest doing so is "impossible". Many survival mechanisms include a wide range of symmetrical resource capacity, where reciprocity "settles" exchange at the outset. Self employment is just one way to describe, what over the course of a lifetime becomes an extensive range of personal skills capacity.

When economic activity devolved to decentralized settings in the past, many societal priorities and forms of resource management lost the financial networks which had previously allowed them to shift responsibility for costs into the future. Alas, these losses of economic complexity were hardly voluntary, and they generally included the loss of extensive capacity for knowledge dispersal at a societal level. While these long ago coping mechanisms sometimes brought a greater measure of personal choice, the production options which tended to survive were often crude, especially by comparison with jealously guarded knowledge which too often disappeared with the productive complexity of centralized systems.

Today, decentralized economic options are needed not as some crude form of survival for the working classes, but as means to preserve economic complexity, and prevent modern day centralized economies from remaining excessively fragile. These new forms of community could provide symmetric organization and compensation for skills capacity, which would gradually make up for today's ongoing losses of asymmetric compensation, in the form of full employment with benefits.

Chances are, most of today's asymmetric compensation will mostly remain in the realm of centralized organizational patterns. Since this skills specific employment option has become increasingly limited, some forms of specialization are likely to be approached differently in the near future, as individuals increasingly seek multiple forms of specialization over the course of a lifetime.

Also, formal education should not have to bear excessive blame for this state of affairs. Rather than continue denigrating formal education, why not instead build organizational patterns which make learning an integral part of wealth creation processes. After all, it serves little useful purpose to stigmatize formal education, when societies still have precious few options to human capital investment on these terms.

Symmetric services organization could help to restore meaningful economic roles for the working classes in today's knowledge based economy. Perhaps such options would finally put an end to the patronizing discussions regarding these individuals, as though they are in need of some sort of consolation prize for their arbitrary exclusion. New forms of symmetric resource and time management, could finally give these groups the opportunity to regain their self respect. After all, the best way to preserve knowledge and productive economic complexity for future generations, is to make certain everyone takes part in the process.

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