The idea that launched this whole project! And is still the leading contender for the cover of the eventual book. I wanted to capture the weird sensation that comes with being able to see the slowly-widening cracks in the facade of Capitalism, and hoping for something better in its wake while worrying about the people who will be hurt in its collapse.
As far as why I think Capitalism isn’t sustainable, it comes down to the value of labor. In a Capitalist system, you can’t enter the market as a demand-creating consumer until you have currency, and (unless you were born into the right family) you can’t gain currency until you find someone who wants to pay you for your labor. So the whole system rests, at its base, on demand for labor.
But labor is expensive, and it’s in the interests of each individual company to keep its labor costs as low as possible. To keep labor costs low, companies are going to bring in automation, outsource as many jobs as possible to markets with cheaper labor, and keep wages for their workers as low as they can.
If it was a single company doing that, they might get away with it, but when the whole economy moves in that direction, and especially if the problem is exacerbated by political movements that remove labor regulations as a possible counter to this trend, you get a situation where the value of labor falls precipitously.
And when people can’t get a reasonable amount of buying power in exchange for their labor, the entire system grinds to a halt.
There are ways around it. Personally, I favor a combination of Universal Basic Income and some sort of Jobs Guarantee program. But frankly with the way politics in this country treat short-sighted immature selfishness as a legitimate political position, I don’t have a lot of hope that we’re going to see any solutions before things get too bad to be easily recoverable. So I draw coloring pages and try not to think about it too much ^_^