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Emotion vs Reason & Reality

Howell Hurst Economy & Finance

FROM MY CORNER

Does it awe you that America is in such chaotic turmoil? Such brilliant, diversely-opposed thinkers as the peaceful socialist-trending capitalist, Albert Einstein, and the militant capitalist-thundering Ayn Rand, agreed something like today would likely come to be.

Both proposed that America developing a culture seeking only profits – instead of quality products and services, accompanied with the equitable sharing of work – was destructive to our economy. Personal gain: OK. Sloppy work and ultra altruism: Dubious.

Einstein pointed out that very simple math predicted America’s future. He suggested (along with many economists) decades before today, that as national production becomes more efficient, smart capitalist minds must realize something very obvious. Keeping all citizens employed by continuously lowering the number of hours worked per person would maintain a more stable economy and society.

With 90 percent of our work force employed, but each person working 40- 50 hours a week, the remaining 10 percent unemployed cannot find work. The simple math shows plainly that by reducing the number of hours worked per person, the over-all economy opens up millions of jobs for all needing work and income.

Why do this? Because studies document that keeping so many people without income produces social disruption, increases crime, and creates a life-threatening culture. One must be blind not to see this in today’s America. Just dodging all the emotional and real bullets is becoming a mainstream pastime.

Why do corporations not share the available work more broadly and equitably? Because such a general policy increasingly and directly profits the short-term profits of the corporate wealthy. America’s history documents this. “Gimme mine now!” is the corporate mantra.

It is only fair, of course, to point out that unions often have shot themselves in the foot by demanding too much financially from corporations, which pushed them into a perceived economic corner. This is why states like Wisconsin blocked unions from government jobs.

A life-long contentious standoff between labor and capital has created a no man’s land where reason and reality have been replaced by ideology and fantasy. Millions of American did not find jobs after the 2008 recession. Tens of thousand (possibly hundreds of thousands) of Americans are homeless.

Allegedly, America is supposed to be at a high point in economic productivity. If capitalists want more buyers of their goods and services, they are going to have to finally start thinking beyond short-term profits. Keeping ten percent or more Americans without life-supporting work and income can only be accurately described by one word. Stupid.

No, I am wrong! It is also short-sighted, narrow-minded, shallow, ridiculous, and self-destructive. If corporate America would recognize that a major key to it and our nation remaining strong and resilient is to share available work with all Americans, they too would share in the reduction in crime and social unrest, plus in the renewed spending of the newly employed.

This policy would utilize financial and human assets now going to waste predominantly filling the unrelenting luxurious desires of the already wealthy. Those profiting from the present corporate policies are already rich. They don’t need more money.

Einstein pointed out that sharing the work and wealth of a nation is what keeps a nation solvent and sane. Corporations designing job policies that disenfranchise a tenth of the population are only: Oops! There’s that nasty word popping up again:

Stupid.

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