Monday, September 05, 2011

labor day 2011

History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths...but history remembers.

Martin Luther King Jr.

According to (via Moody Analytics) 5% of Americans with the highest income now make 37% of all consumer purchases. Let's see...that leaves 63% of purchases to 95% of us.

We need jobs. We need flow. More specifically, we need cash flow. If we don't have jobs we can't buy and those at the top will not continue to reap the huge profits of the past.

Cutting spending is not the way to do it. Spend responsibly? Yes. Spend wisely? Yes. But if we cut off the flow, everyone starves. Some literally. Some metaphorically.

I recently advertised for some help on I asked for someone dependable, reliable, and detail oriented. I knew I was not offering a huge amount of money. I offered to pay what I could afford.

The responses I got amazed me. One person asked just how thorough I wanted someone to be for that amount of money. "Kids at Taco Bell earn more than that!" (Not true, by the way.) I suggested that if she didn't want to work for what I was paying that was okay. And oh, by the way, I hoped that Taco Bell was hiring in her area.

Another set up a time to come then told me she wanted more money. I thanked her and told her my offer was firm.

Fortunately, I found someone--two people, in fact, who are willing to work for what I can pay them, take directions then say "thank you." Then at the end of the job they say, "Thank you for letting us work." That is the spirit of labor that developed this country.

We need jobs for these and others who want to work. Yes, even if it means that I lose the good help that I found. Knowing them, they'll probably keep coming back even after they find full time jobs.

Works for me.


Deb Shucka said...

This story says a bunch about the condition of our culture right now. An absence of gratitude and an attitude of entitlement, both of which cost more than we even know.

kario said...

We have become such a polarized society - in skills, wealth, politics, and socioeconomic status - that it is hard to fathom a way out. Bubba's company has gone from two people (him and a partner) to 26 in three years, across three states and, while he's committed to creating jobs, the regulations on small businesses are so labrynthine, it makes it hard for him to do so. We provide full benefits (medical, dental, 401K) to each and every employee, and wouldn't do it any other way, but we know that we aren't helping the lion's share of people who don't have access to the kind of skills necessary to work for his company. I honestly think that education reform and healthcare reform could do more to even the playing field than anything else at this point.