In response to the question “Do you feel that businesses or governments have a moral obligation to their workers/constiuents?” I wrote an essay that would solve quite a few of America’s and the World’s problems. It’s easy to write about, hard to live.
Yes, I think so, but I understand that companies need to make money. The government is supposed to represent the people and keep their best interests in mind, a part of that is keeping them gainfully employed. But I also believe that Unions and the people themselves must play a part.
I don’t think it’s coincidence that the period of lowest income inequality in the US, our largest innovations and breakthroughs, and our “golden” era all fell within roughly the same time frame. And CEO pay was “surprisingly” NOT tied to stock performance.
There’s a sweet spot where companies get their profit and stay competitive, the government has enough regulations to keep everyone safe and make their share of taxes but doesn’t damage the industry, and the citizens themselves are protected and employed.
The government needs to enforce tariffs on imported finished goods, or goods to be assembled in the US, and it has to encourage innovation and technological innovation that results in lower costs, higher quality and a better work environment without firing workers. There also needs to be a serious overhaul of the investment laws and regulations to discourage the short-term maximum profit trading that destabilizes US industries and encourages automation/outsourcing.
Unions and workers need to negotiate for raises, benefits and the workers with an eye towards maximum employment possible. Currently, they seek maximum wages and benefits with thought to what the company is facing economically, or how many union members are employed. Which is better, 1000 workers getting paid $10 an hour or 100 workers getting $75? Beyond that, “Union Pride, Union Made” has become a joke. “Union made” used to mean high quality, long lasting goods, now it doesn’t mean anything except overpaid, poorly made junk. Compare a 1958 Chevy Impala versus the 71 model, versus the monstrosity that was the 1994 “impala” or the even worse abomination of the 2002 model.
We the people need to stop buying based solely on price, and we have to start demanding different priorities from our companies and action from our government. We should be voting with our pocketbook, by buying the highest quality goods manufactured and we should be willing to pay top dollar for them. If companies are laying off employees, automating, outsourcing or other negative actions, why are we buying from them? If our representatives are more worried about special interests or lobbyist dollars, then why are we still allowing them to make decisions?
In short, we need to change how our society acts.