Monday, January 12, 2009

New Sacrifices? Lower Salaries? or New Aims?

Please follow my reasoning before jumping in the air:
1) I am all for sacrifices when they are required and lowering salaries to keep one's job. Got to do what we got to do.
2) I am all in favor of other countries doing better, specially in the third world. If young people in the Islam world had a job, we would have less suicides and less terrorists. Peace comes with opportunities, criminal minds are forged in despair with the money of some misfits. It means that I am against protectionism: historically, it never did us any good.
3) Nobody has demonstrated that if we are more miserable, the other countries will do better for it. In fact most economists do not believe that. So let us encourage the others countries to go up, that is good for everybody, but do not let us go down: it is bad for everybody.
4)Illegal immigration is a new form of slavery: it is cheap work and no taxes and no rights. I am against it. It is just as immoral as slavery. But I am against the hypocrisy behind it all: how come these guys find jobs? Who gives them jobs? We should be clear: we still need the work of a lot of immigrants that are here: then they should have the same rights as anybody. It is better to give a tax relief to some categories of employers than to close our eyes on illegal immigrants because the American employers could not pay their social security. And the rest should not be here as a constant menace for security and the organization of society. If nobody lied about this, it would be easy to solve. All that talk about punishment and rewarding illegality is jazz. It is millions of people. Let us solve this.
5) I strongly believe that a person working hard for 8 hours a day should have enough money to survive. If you work, you should not wear the stamp of poverty. I found a good site where you can see how much money you need in any state. Verify here:
http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/
You select your location, the number of people you are responsible for, and they give you a number. It is not complicated. Survival money should be the basic salary: in many places, it is not..
6) How come so many people have to work two jobs? Because businesses are in for the money. It is their legal responsibility to bring as much money to the stockholders as they can. We are a bit between a stone and a hard rock: communism we do not want because it does not work and brings endless miseries of all kinds (including the death of democracy), on the other hand capitalism is only about greed. Today's capitalists who say that everything works out in the end do not take into account the cost of human misery; they are a bit like the 19th century priests in Europe claiming that workers suffer now to get paradise in the end.
7) So we need businesses and industries to develop a conscience at the same time as they come out of the economic mess. There have been many examples in the past and until now of a conscience in small to big firms, and some have been the stuff of legends like Hershey or Ben and Jerry. But they became legends because they were the exception.
8) We need to look at the new list of Fortune 100 best companies to work for and study these companies to come up with a chart of business morality.
Then we need to teach it in business schools and try to enforce it: it is not just about money. It is about avoiding to create another generation of business people who behave like psychopaths, because that is what they learn in business schools.
9) The time to do that is now: we must regain ethics at the same time as we regain customers. Waiting for the economic recovery hoping that we can ameliorate workers situation "later" is a pipe dream.These steps have to work out together.
10)We should also look in our own closets. How come we spend so much time on TV and in our lives talking about obesity rather than talking about our own kids? What kind of society is this with one million children abused and neglected every year, and thirty million people who take illegal drugs regularly?

1 comment:

Amanda said...

absolutely absolutely absolutely. And I am a firm believer that a full time job should always support the worker. Much of the time it does not. I could scrape by on my job alone... barely, but my husband would need multiple roommates at his salary and a good deal of help.