RON ON BUSINESS AND LABOR

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If your family is awash in inherited wealth, they can send you to Harvard business school, to learn how ………………….

 

 

 

…………………………… run the family business; how to keep wages low, profits high and avoid corporate responsibility for and injuries done to employees or customers. 

On the other hand, if you are a working class person, you have to wing it. Harvard doesn’t have any curricula on how to survive as  a person chasing a paycheck. And, any public education, that you do pick up will propagandize you, that putting your own selfish interests above the interests of your wealthy employers is socialistic, un-American  and down right evil. 

So, I would like to make some general comments to both the wealthy, who sign the paychecks, and to the workers who live from one payday until the next. The self interests of both groups is crystal clear. The wealthy want to be more wealthy, and the workers want to eat and live indoors with some dignity without always being under pressure about which to blow their paychecks on, either utilities or food. 

Both groups also have a lot of common interests. Grinding poverty creates more crime against property, mostly owned by the wealthy, and the frustration caused by inescapable poverty causes more law breaking and incarceration, which occurs almost solely among the poor.  Higher wages benefit everyone involved in the long run. Poor people mostly understand that. The wealthy have problems overcoming generations of indoctrination that better pay for workers comes directly out of their profits and means fewer private planes, boats, European tours and Caribbean bank accounts and vacation homes, and that better pay leads to (shudder!) socialism.  

Here are some things I believe, that I think everyone should think over. People inherit wealth, through heredity, not through being somehow more deserving than others; not through virtue, or superior spirituality, just through heredity.  Their inheritance means they face no struggle for food, clothing, housing, education, physical security or medical care. They hit the lottery for those things by being born to wealth. 

There are reasons that poor people work. Those reasons do not include a wish to improve themselves spiritually through grubby toil. Nor do these reasons include any burning desire to make the wealthy people even more wealthy. Poor people work out of a desire for food, clothing, housing, physical security, and medical care, and a little dignity in their lives. All the same things the wealthy want, and have conveniently inherited. 

If poor people are able to attain these things; food, clothing, housing, physical security, education, and medical care, and a little dignity in their lives, in return for a reasonable amount of their labor, without undo exposure to work place danger, or ill treatment, they stay happy as clams. And our economy rocks alone, and everyone is happy. 

The problem is, that since the Reagan administration, the wealthy have controlled our government, and have short sightedly declared war on labor unions, higher minimum wages, work place health coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, work place and environmental safety regulations and every damn thing else, that allows the workers to have comfort, safety, dignity and the opportunity to rise in the economic  strata.

CEO compensation today is 150 times higher than in the 1960’s. Wages, adjusted for inflation are only about 10% higher. If working people get seriously ill or injured, they lose their homes and savings to medical bills. Fewer and fewer American families are able even to afford their own home. Rents are cripplingly high, medical care is a luxury and proper dental care is available to fewer and fewer. 

The needs of working people must either be met by sane concessions from those with inherited wealth or by social programs administered by the federal government. Either way is fine with me, but if we don’t do one or the other, our society is going to collapse down around our ears pretty soon. 

When I was in the Army, I once served under a 1st SGT from Tennessee, who told me, you can ride a good horse too hard. The American working class is a damn good horse, and it is indeed being ridden way too hard by those with inherited wealth, and we are all going to suffer from this eventually. There are never any long term winners in injustice. 

Ron Nesler posting from New Harmony, Indiana

 

 

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