Sunday, January 30, 2011


"Please note that I am not against people helping each other and being charitable. Far from it. My objection is that it will not work..." -- Bill Mitchell


Greg said...

People dont need charity, they need a salary.

The Arthurian said...

An irony of human nature perhaps, that our economic goal is always to achieve economic security, but never to have it handed to us.

But even you, Greg, do not object to kindnesses, I'm sure. :)

And while Bill Mitchell's point in general may be that government should assure the economy provides enough jobs, I don't think that is his point, in the bit I quoted. His point, I think is that charity cannot solve the economic problem -- "unless there is adequate fiscal support," to finish his thought. My point, which is parallel and just an hour behind, is that cuts to government spending will also not solve the economic problem.

Greg said...

I agree Art (and no I have no objection to kindness) and Bills point is well taken.

Interestingly though it is a notion of charity that seems to be underneath many folks view of how businesses operate. They act as if a business owner "gives" you a job, not that he needs your help to meet the needs of his customers. Its a strange supply sider perspective. Workers are just to be thankful that some owner was kind enough, they should feel lucky.

It doesnt even matter how much education you get, if you arent in the right place at the right time you'll never get a decent paying job.

What I find particularly distressing is how many workers share this view. They dont fight for worker rights (until their job is threatened).

When we have a large downturn in the economy everyone points at everyone else as overpaid, cheers the company they hold stock in laying off "labor costs" and a spiral is put into motion.

The Arthurian said...

That is a really good observation. A lot of people act like they are owed the job they have, and shouldn't have to do things (like show up on time) to be worth their keep.

This "feels" like part of your moral argument. If so, it is a good one.

Greg said...

Yes I guess it is.

Deciding who holds the power over employment is one of the central tensions in our world and both sides have some valid points. In fact I think this is THE issue. I think all of supply side economics is centered around the notion that the Investors/suppliers/savers are the key to prosperity so everything is focused on freeing them up. Its "boss side" economics.

I think the attitude you note is operative in many workers and this is not only despised by bosses but fellow workers. "Worker side" economics is what all the anti union sentiment is fighting.

So where should the power lie? WIll it forever be a back and forth with each side fighting when too much has been taken away leading to an overcompensation?

Maybe one of the moral questions is how do we behave when we have power.

The Arthurian said...

I think the attitude you note is operative in many workers and this is not only despised by bosses but fellow workers.

Does it look to you like a generational thing? Sometimes I think it is, but my observations are limited...

Older people "call in" when they won't be in; younger people "call out" when they will be out. Etc.

Greg said...

A generational thing? Yeah in a way. Most of the bosses now are baby boomers and they think all modern teenagers/young people are lazy and spoiled ( of course THEY spoiled them.... but). I suspect that my bosses thought the same thing when I was 25, I dont know.

I think a lot of bosses cant understand why workers arent more dedicated to their jobs and then I observe that many bosses arent dedicated to their workers. Who sets the tone, who controls the atmosphere of trust? I think the bosses set the tone and could go a long way to encouraging loyalty by BEING loyal (maybe loyal is an inadequate term)

I think there is probably a marked difference between smaller private companies and companies that have shareholders.