If you could take a pill that would make you skinny and keep you skinny no matter what you eat, would you do it? The quick response is of course. Why wouldn’t you? It would lower your chances of heart disease and stroke while allowing you to enjoy all the cheese fries and half pounders a person could consume.
If you could somehow download all the books in the world into your brain and become the most erudite individual in the world, would you do it? Why wouldn’t you? If you could become smart and essential instantly then you would never outlive your usefulness while never having to suffer through the tedious process of reading and highlighting again.
If someone gave you the numbers to tomorrow’s Powerball lottery and you could be rich without ever leaving your house, would you do it? Why wouldn’t you? If all your money worries and occupation schemes could instantly end tomorrow, you could live for something else; whatever else you decide should replace that universal preoccupation.
I worry that most Americans, if not all, would answer yes to at least two out of three of the above scenarios. And that leads me to the failure of America ever achieving full employment. The business model of capitalism makes us strive towards efficiency and lower labor costs to meet higher profit. In the pursuit of profit, we are willing to subtract or add any means to reach them. If money is the ultimate goal in a nation’s economy, then we are doomed to perpetual 20% unemployment, higher costs of essential goods and energy, and increasing global perturbations.
Citizens need to work. Citizens of a nation need to support the society with fundamental goods exchange that benefits them. Business goals run counter to a government’s goal to provide for the safety and happiness of its members. Remember this is what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration:
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
We need to remember in the face of Wisconsin that the fundamental reason for growth in America was opportunities to find a decent job. We citizens and our government should not be looking to cut the budget at the cost of laying off workers. We should be looking at every product we buy, every store we support, and every business we come into contact with, and see if they are doing their part in providing American jobs, offering healthcare to their employees, and giving back to the community. These three criteria need to be examined with even more scrutiny than the price tag.
We do not have to raise business taxes or increase the tax rate on the wealthy, but as citizens, we must look at whether a job for neighbor is worth the $300.00 patio furniture from China. We must think that if we exchange police officers for cameras, then that is another lost job for a neighbor. When we use the self checkout line in the grocery store, then that is another job lost. When we use EZ PASS, a neighbor will be unemployed. When we shop at stores that only buy foreign goods, that place has placed many neighbors out of employment. We might even think where we will vacation. The money could be better spent in our own communities this year as we suffer to make ends meet and provide jobs.
Frugality is a virtue. Prudence in money matters is something we must teach to the next generations. Our budgets are growing smaller, but we must look at ourselves, as a society, a consumer and voter, for the blame. We must begin to support our own community in creating jobs, whether they are in the public or private industry. We must make sure our community has partners in providing businesses who care for their employees and provides them with decent, living wages. If we don’t, then we will be the next neighbor to lose their job as people shake their head and say what’s wrong with America.
I think America once took a pill. The pill promised that if they focus on money and its growth, then everything would be theirs including happiness, peace, and endless prosperity. Even if I was to get wealthy on my stocks that benefitted from that $300.00 dollar patio set from China, I or my neighbors, did not make it and were not given a job. Maybe a guy in the brokerage counted an increase and of course a couple of CEOs. For my part, I do not want the pill. I want us to work for a better society. I want to have more jobs in America than people. This can happen if we support American made products, but especially local businesses that employ our neighbors.
Here is a list of sites that support American Businesses and the Workers.