I believe in the invisible hand. I believe that when market forces are allowed to function without excessive interference (like onerous regulations or protectionist tariffs) individuals will find an equilibrium for prices and wages.
One factor I’ve never quite understood, and maybe someone out there could explain it to me, is why we fixate on hourly wages for jobs in profit driven businesses. To me, an hourly wage is counterproductive for both the employer and the employee. It offers no incentive for an employee to work harder or be more productive in that position. As long as you show up and do the minimum required, you will earn the set hourly rate.
To me, it makes more sense to establish wage structures that are linked to productivity. If the business as a whole does well, both the employer and the employee earn more money. In the past, before computers were so prevalent, I can understand why this would have been impossible, but today, someone who is skilled at programming and math could easily tailor software for virtually every business that could calculate fair profit sharing wages.
This is an idea that both liberals and conservatives could find common ground on and improve the lives of just about everyone. I’ve worked in a broad range of businesses, and I could see this being applied everywhere I’ve ever worked. I once knew the owner of a repair shop who did this for his mechanics, and he said that his business absolutely exploded after he made the switch. Suddenly, those Friday afternoon jobs that normally were left until Monday morning weren’t quite as difficult to complete because the mechanic wanted the pay on this check.
If I were a person of influence, this would be my cause: to unite employers and employees in productivity-based wages instead of a set hourly rate.
That’s all for now.
When I started building that flower bed two and a half years ago, I survived off food stamps and the generosity of my parents. I’m incredibly grateful for both. We need a social safety net for people who stumble or get knocked down or just need a hand up. We don’t need a generational welfare system that reduces entire families to wards of the state, but that’s a different discussion for a different post. Without food stamps and my parents, I would not have survived the first 8-9 months, at least not without resorting to drastic measures.
I remember very clearly the first grocery trip paid for completely by my meager wages. I felt such a surge of pride that my sweat and muscle once again provided for my subsistence. I don’t know how people can be content living off of someone else’s money, whether that be the government, family, friends, or lovers. Obviously, there are people who are disabled and incapable of fending for themselves. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the able-bodied.
The feeling of doing for yourself is just too fulfilling. The sense of ownership that comes from earning the money to pay for your own stuff is so internally rewarding that I don’t understand how people can allow themselves to wallow in dependency.
When I finished checking out from that grocery trip, I felt like anything was possible. I know it was just a $40 bag of groceries, but it was so much more than that, too. I had tasted decent measures of success before, so I knew what it felt like. I had just survived some of the darkest moments I can imagine, and those scars were still quite fresh, but that little shopping trip on a winter’s night in January is one of my favorite victories.
That’s all for now.
I mentioned before that my oldest son keeps seeing all of these pro-communist posts on Tumblr. My assumption is that the vast majority are by recent college graduates who have been nestled in the comfortable space of academic idealism, where the theory of communism seems like a utopian paradise. The problem with most of academia is that it rarely can survive in the harsh and messy realities of day to day life.
The first question I would like to ask any pro-communist supporter is this: are you personally willing to tell Oprah Winfrey that she didn’t earn her money fairly and that she must surrender her assets to the authorities? What about Michael Jordan? That is the first step of communism, the seizure of private wealth, nearly always by force.
If Oprah resists, are you personally willing to imprison her? Injure her? Kill her? The academics tend to gloss over this step, as if people will just shrug and willingly hand over what they have worked a lifetime to earn. When you look at the real world examples of communism seizing power, a significant portion of the populace is physically harmed in the process.
If you personally are not willing to strip Oprah Winfrey of her possessions, congratulations, you understand in principle the folly of authoritarian rule.
That’s all for now.