DIGEST OF DIVINE LAW
by Howard Rand (1942)
MANAGEMENT AND LABOR
When men are under subjugation to another's will and command without adequate compensation for services rendered it is slavery no matter by what name such service may be called, for slavery is the involuntary servitude of one human being to another. Because this is so the amount of wages received for services rendered and the right to sell one's services to whom one will is vital to the independence and standing of the laborer. Unless a laborer has freedom of choice and receives full and adequate return for his services and the goods he produces by the expenditure of either mental or physical activity, the scale inclines towards slavery rather than towards freedom and independence.
No question has been of such moment as the position of the laborer and the amount of wages due him. It has been the basis of class warfare and has led to strife and bloodshed. Men have resented classification and low wages and have organized to better their conditions. But it is impossible to make an equitable adjustment of wages which will be satisfactory to both employer and employee until certain fundamental changes are made in our economy.
Pressure upon Employer
Employers and employees are both under pressure today — the former endeavoring to remain in business; the latter to meet ever-increasing living costs —and to this end the one strives to conserve assets and the other to secure advances in wages. It has in this way become a conflict for survival on the part of each under the present order of things. The employer must pay tribute at the counter of the money exchangers in the form of interest and other charges in order to secure credit and continue in business. The money he needs to meet his payrolls and to purchase his stock is furnished by the money loaners to whom he must pay tribute. He finds himself a slave to a system which makes money (rather than goods) the criterion of wealth. Thus, regardless of what and how much he produces in quality or quantity it is of little avail to him in compensating the employee unless he can convert this wealth resulting from production into wealth represented by gold.
Control of Values
Labor, under an equitable system of compensation, should receive a just proportion of that which labor produces — either in that which is produced or its equivalent. But because that which he produces is controlled, not by its value and use but by the value of gold, both the employer and employee are unable to reap a full profit in an equitable return from their joint labors. This is because true wealth (the goods resulting from production) must be converted into a medium wholly inadequate to represent the value of production as has been shown. The control of the profits of management and the wages of labor are wholly apart from the interests of both, being in the hands of the money exchangers.
Vested financial interests have been able to remain aloof from most labor disputes, making both management and labor assume that their difficulties are the result of the greed of the laborer or the selfishness of the employer, when in fact both are the dupes and slaves of a financial system which reaps both ends and the middle; always tending to bankrupt the employer and withhold adequate compensation from the employee. Result: continued warfare between labor and management — each trying to save itself from the inevitable financial pressure from without by organizing against each other, both striving to control production, hours and wages, and blaming one another for their present plight.
Let us always remember that the objective and end for both the employer and the employee are one. Each needs the other and both desire to receive from production a profit for their labor which should be a fair proportion of the value of that which is produced as the result of true collaboration between management and labor. This cannot become a practical actuality until there is a radical change in the entire monetary system to bring it into conformity with the Biblical standard of weights and measures as shown in the previous chapter.
A Third Party
Management furnishes organization and brains for the production and sale of finished goods while labor furnishes the skill and necessary hours to turn raw material into finished products. But there is a third party in this combination who contributes nothing, either in brains or brawn, yet claims the lion's share and the right to use the results accruing from the joint undertaking of management and labor in the marts of trade and over the gambling counters of international finance. Thus this third party trades in that for which it has never worked or labored, bringing all business and its transactions under tribute as the wealth of the system flows into its coffers. This third party controls finances and due to the fact that the value of our monetary system has no direct relation to the actual national wealth represented in production and goods, but instead rests upon a metallic basis and by the control of money and in demanding tribute for its use, a few are enriched at the expense of labor and management.
Labor needs the employer who in turn needs labor and its services, yet neither actually needs the financial leeches; though at present they control the medium of exchange through gold. Its use and possession can only be secured by paying tribute if one would acquire the raw material for production in order to later sell in the market the finished product.
Management must pay toll to the money exchangers in order to acquire the wherewithal to carry on their trade. Because of the exorbitant charges (and any percentage charged for the use of a medium that ought to represent goods and production is exorbitant) labor blames management and management blames labor for the lack of prosperity and the economic trend towards oppression.
This foregoing explanation has been necessary in order to show the direct cause of oppression and the reason why honest and sincere endeavor and enterprise does not always prosper. The solution of the problem of labor and wages is impossible until the monetary question has been properly adjusted to the equitable standard of a true economy.
For our nation, the solution lies in Congress taking over its constitutional right "to coin money, regulate the value thereof," and set as the standard of the value of that medium of exchange the nation's wealth in goods and possessions plus the increase from the labor of our citizens —and against all that wealth, to issue the coin of the realm. As this wealth increases there would be a corresponding increase in the medium of exchange, but the value and price of goods and possessions would remain constant.
Foundation for Security
Under such conditions, the non-producers who have lived so long on the labor and activities of others would be eliminated and would themselves have to go to work or starve. Employers would feel secure to produce, for production would be capital and wealth. Against that wealth would be issued a medium of exchange just as today it is issued against gold. Thus the production of serviceable goods would be the production of wealth and bring an increase in the circulation of money. Management would be freed from being harassed by interest-bearing bank loans and the ever present possibility of foreclosure by creditors who by manipulation and through refusal to extend credit and renew notes might seize equipment and stock worth thousands of dollars for a few cents on the dollar. The full value of possessions would always be assured just as now the holders of gold are assured of the full value of the yellow metal in their possession.
Now both labor and management are in servitude, slaves of a system and of those who control the money of a nation and who compel all to pay tribute if they would use the money of the realm. In collecting tribute for the financing of production, the producer is robbed of his profits and the laborer of his wages.
When business is freed from these modern hazards by the institution of a non-interest-bearing medium of exchange, issued against possessions and increase making the standard of wealth goods, then management and labor can unite in the production of wealth and share with each other in that production and thus institute such a cycle of prosperity as the world has never before experienced.
Law Against Oppression
Elimination of our present unjust system of taxation along with the institution of a non-interest-bearing medium of exchange based upon national wealth instead of gold would produce the means of adequately compensating all under the administration of the Divine law, both management and labor. When management is free to move without the fear of confiscation of their wealth the law says, "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy whether he be of thy brethren or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates."
This law covers all classes, both the foreigner and the citizen within the nation. What, then, constitutes oppression? It is the failure to give a just return for services rendered. How is that return to be made? The Biblical standard was in kind, or its equivalent in value, being an equitable percentage from the increase resulting from that labor.
Under the new order there would be no incentive to horde the medium of exchange but men would conserve our natural resources as real wealth instead of destroying our most valuable possessions in order to buy and horde gold or its equivalent.
Our present civilization has been built upon unrighteousness. This is in the robbing of the poor through subjecting them to conditions of slavery in a system where it has been impossible to reap an adequate reward for services rendered, and through harassing the employer by the fear of confiscation because financial interests demand their pound of flesh. All this is evidenced in the fluctuation of prices and the production of industry on the shelves of cut-rate stores while the hammer of the auctioneer has been frequently used to dispose of possessions and goods at a fraction of their original value.
Judgment Upon the Oppressor
Jeremiah rightly declared woe unto those who build in unrighteousness: "That useth his neighbour's service without wages and giveth him not for his work." James declared that the hire of the laborer is kept back by fraud. The Lord through Malachi states that he will come in swift judgment "against those that oppress the hireling in his wages."
Oppression of the laborer is the result of failure to give the laborer (management is part of labor in this instance and subject to oppression) a just proportion in return for the energy expended in production. Such injustice results from the fact that the value of a man's labor has no relationship to the goods he produces. Regardless of a man's contribution to the increase in goods, his services are paid for in a medium regulated by gold. Under these conditions, both management and labor cannot reap the benefits of what they do when the standard of wealth is gold and not goods.
Just Return Possible
When the three important laws with which we dealt in our last issue are in operation, buildings, machinery, equipment and all possessions will be free from taxation. Taxes will be a tithe of the increase accruing to management and labor. And as taxes are paid from one's increase, so labor and management will receive a just return from the increase resulting from their combined efforts in production. Labor will cease to be a commodity to be purchased in an open market, for under the law of the Lord labor would become a co-partner and receive an equitable share in the increase with those who through management contribute their part to make that increase possible. Labor would thus be able to purchase that which it produces and thus remove the danger of overproduction, which does not exist in reality —it being, rather, underconsumption — because labor is not given sufficient to buy that which it produces.
Labor and Public Works
Solomon needed laborers to build the Temple at Jerusalem. There would, of course, be no return from this production other than the wages received. Men were sent into the forests of Lebanon to prepare timber for the Temple. Solomon raised a levy of men by conscription in Israel; 30,000 men were thus gathered and sent to the forests. This levy was divided into monthly shifts of 10,000 for each month: thus the men in each shift spent one month in the forest and two months at home.
Here is an interesting fact set forth in the handling of labor for public works. Four months out of the year these laborers worked for the state. Eight months out of each year the laborer was free to enjoy himself and his home. The return from the four months' service was sufficient to insure his living during the entire twelve months.
With modern advancements in machinery and mass production methods plus the ingenuity of inventive genius, we should be able to do much better in the equitable distribution of profits when freed from the curse of the present economic evils. A few months each year should enable man to produce all that he would need during the balance of that year. This will be when we conform with the entire requirements of the law of the Lord. Not only will this be so, but during the six years an accumulation of production will be sufficient to carry through the seventh year, which seventh year will be a Sabbath of rest.
Periods of Rest
Vacations have been a problem for industry and only a few have been able to avail themselves of this privilege. But God is not interested in having his people make the accumulation of wealth the desire and end of life. The primary purpose of production in the plan of God is to supply men with the needs and comforts of life; but instead of doing this today, production has been made the means of enriching the few at the expense of the many.
Our foolishness in these matters has cost much, besides denying to our people the blessing of the periods of leisure provided under the law. We have substituted short vacations, grudgingly given to a few, for the blessings of the periods of leisure abundantly offered by God under the Divine economic system that would bring happiness and contentment to all His people.
Fixed and eternal is the fact that one day in seven is holy unto God. (THE 4TH COMMANDMENT TO REPEAT, DOES NOT SAY "ONE IN SEVEN" - IT SAYS "THE" SEVENTH DAY IS HOLY TO GOD AND IS THE SABBATH OF REST - Keith Hunt). These were not to be days of pleasure. But during the year holidays were instituted at intervals when men were to cease from their labors. Three different periods were provided in each year, one in the spring, another in the summer, and the third in the fall. These were weeks during which His people were to enjoy themselves, "And thou shalt rejoice in thy feasts, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates." (Deut. 16:14.) All observed these vacation periods. The people were to remember God even in the midst of their vacation for in each period a day of Holy convocation was set aside to be observed as a Sabbath.
But this was not all. At the end of every six years an entire year (the seventh year) was a year of rest in which men were to cease from their labors. During this year they could devote the time to travel and pleasure. They must of course keep holy the Sabbath days of that seventh year.
At the close of seven weeks of years (49 years) an extra year, the 50th or Jubilee, was added to the vacation period. This was to be a period of real rejoicing and pleasure during which a proclamation of peace was to be issued.
(THE AUTHOR FAILS TO SEE IT WAS THE FARMERS THAT RESTED THE LAND. IT DOES NOT MEAN THE FARMERS WENT ON HOLIDAYS. THERE WOULD NO DOUBT BE MUCH WORK OF UPKEEP TO DO ON THE FARMS. THE TRADESMEN AND SHOPKEEPERS DID NOT CLOSE DOWN FOR A WHOLE YEAR AND GO OFF TO TIMBUCKTOO OR HAWAII - Keith Hunt)
We have ignored the laws of the Lord which, when in operation, would bring the blessing of peace, prosperity and real happiness. The permanent solution of the problem confronting management and labor, with the elimination of the financier, would end for all time the need of labor organizations. Men thus freed from having to pay tribute, with the institution of equitable laws under an economy of justice and equity, would deal righteously one with the other.
Then would come to pass the fulfillment of the Lord's declaration made through the prophet Isaiah: "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. . . . And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall com to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord." (Isa. 65:17-25).
WELL HOPE YOU UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE AUTHOR IN LENGTH HAD TO SAY.....I DID NOT!! BUT CERTAINLY HAVING A SOCIETY BASED UPON THE LAWS OF GOD..... NO "INTEREST" CHARGES ON LOANS FOR ONE THING. FARE PAY FOR A FARE DAYS WORK, EACH OWNING A HOME AND LAND .... WELL JUST FROM THAT BASIC START, ALL WOULD BE BLESSED.