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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker

Communique "Are Billionaires "Non-Essential?" 5-10-2021

How many of you have ever sat down and thought about the basic relationship between employers and employees? What I am specifically referring to is a question that I can’t seem to fashion an adequate answer to. So, let me throw it out to you. Is an individual who is “self-employed” an employer, or an employee?

Many of you may take the easy way out and say both, but I cannot subscribe to that theory as it fails to take into consideration many of the elements of power and perception inherent in what I will refer to as the basics of the modern master-servant and employer-employee relationship.

Let me put it to you this way. Are not both sides of the coin equally important to the success of the company? A good “at the top” strategy, as valuable as it is, will not succeed without adequate “ground level” follow-up and logistics? Would the Alpha in us berate the beta for its failure to deliver results?

If you, the self-employed worker became unhappy with your salary, what would you expect yourself to do? If negotiations stall, it’s not like you can go on strike until the management side of you capitulates.

These inquiries may sound a bit odd, but perhaps what I am getting to albeit in a roundabout way, is if not here, then where will we as a society have a better chance at coming to the realization that all parts of a business are in truth of equal value? I mean, you are not going to argue with me that you, or half of you are replaceable, are you?

One of the maxims of capitalism is that the company that makes the best products does not always succeed. A business is far more than an idea. In fact, I would argue that good ideas in the marketplace are a dime a dozen.

The problem is, part of an ongoing if not vibrant economy is the ability of business to connect with the consumer by offering not necessarily better, but products that the target audience/demographic wants and can afford.

The question then becomes, that in the name of profit, who and/or to what extent should those at the top be able to manipulate revenues generated by in all ways relevant partnership to themselves at the expense of those in the rank and file? Can’t do that if you are self-employed, can you?

Ask yourself, what is an essential versus non-essential worker when all obviously must serve a useful purpose otherwise, why pay someone, anyone for nothing? Now, this all may seem a bit didactic, but let me take it to the next level. Isn’t this artificial distinction of importance between those with a shovel and those who dig one of the main differences defining current American capitalism from socialism?

Think about it. A simple definition of socialism is where when it comes to the factory, the workers are the owners, at least in terms of the ability to guide the direction of the company, with all participants at all levels involved in advancing their own economic futures?

But you know what? Forget what you call it, just give me an economy that works for our current mature, in its death throes predatory brand of capitalism simply no longer serves the needs of America.

Let me drop a bombshell. Is it truly in our best interests to maintain the fiction that corporations exist for virtually the singular reason to return shareholder value? What sane society does this? Rewarding those with money with the promise of more money, because they have money?

Shouldn’t more of our economic decisions be based upon returning value to everyone with the ultimate goal and use of innovation and yes, the famous American work ethic providing a better living starting at the family level on up?

What sane society allows for the giveaway of our tax dollars to those who need it the least without any guarantees at all the money will “trickle down” through the hands of the uncaring, arrogant and greedy to where the funds are often sorely needed the most?

I would argue the illusion of corporations as anything more than imaginary devices to subrogate the rights of all of us to be our own master and servant, to work as hard and to make as much money as possible through our ingenuity and perseverance, to be anyone and anything we wish to be without fear of our children going hungry or filing bankruptcy due to a medical condition, isn’t that what makes America great?

And when we lose that, have we not lost our way? Have we not opened ourselves to the concept of some are better than others and once imbued with big on and offshore bank accounts, with no questions asked as to the source and practices utilized, able to manipulate the market mostly by buying, selling, blocking aka ways detrimental to newer, better, faster and stronger business models producing superior products and services?

Let me put it to you this way, if you disagree with my freight train of thought, who do you want making decisions over who is “essential” and who is “non-essential” not only in the workplace, but in life?

Or we can end this artificial and detrimental practice of wealth alone determining who decides in clearly life-changing situations who gets to buy their 5th yacht and who gets to eat by giving everyone the chance to call their own shots, be their own boss without the fear of financial ruin to the point of oblivion.

It’s called in the short term, a basic minimum, living wage, leading to a living wage, a guaranteed income level that allows an individual or family to afford adequate shelter, food, and basic necessities. The next step? Allowing middle and lower class families in need tax breaks for each child on a permanent basis and putting an end to child poverty, unless of course, you think going to the Moon is more important.

Tax the rich, the ultra-rich, the middle class, or even the poor if necessary. I have no problem with everyone paying an equal to capital percentage of their wealth. Cut the Pentagon’s budget.

As for politics, enough with the pay to play bribery scheme that allows for “special” favors for “special” people meaning the donor class. We need to put back those civil servants that wish to serve, to govern.

What we don’t need is filibuster, or as I prefer to call it, full of bluster level quibbling over definitions of what constitutes “infrastructure” or any other such political tactics tossed out in hopes of dividing the workforce that those in need are victims of their own laziness particularly when the market itself in all its supposed glory has dictated the scarcity of meaningful employment at the expense of the many, favoring a few, that no self-employed master and servant would ever wish upon half of themselves.

Hey Elon! If you are listening, I don’t care how many spaceships for the rich and famous you extort from out of your workers’ pockets you build. Take care of your workers first, and for heaven’s sake, do us all a favor and stop being such a little bitch, would you?

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