I just read an article in Forbes (posted on Yahoo). The article is by Panos Mourdoukoutas, a big time market reporter, and you can find it here.
Mr. Mourdoukoutas tells us that employers like Walmart, Target, McDonalds, etc. will simply fire workers and replace them with machines rather than pay them a fair mandated minimum wage. He uses different words, but that is the core of his message.
His article tells us what is really happening in America. We are being taken over, not by Islamic extremists or communists, or big government. We are being taken over by the 1% and 3% who really own, or intend to own, this country. This isn’t new. It’s simply an escalation of a movement that began during Ronald Reagan’s administration. But it’s a strong restatement of the big business agenda.
Raising the minimum wage to give people a living wage, you see, isn’t on that agenda. It would eat into their profits a little.
Oh, places like Walmart, Target, McDonalds, in fact virtually all businesses, can cover this fair wage increase easily, by simply raising prices a very small percentage, a few cents per item for the above and similar businesses, and a few dollars per item for larger items. Sales would continue, even grow, because workers would still be much better off, more able to buy things. Everyone wins.
But that’s not what it’s really about. It’s really about guaranteeing their maximum (note that I said maximum, not fair, profit), today, tomorrow, and into the future. Machines, you see, never ask for a raise, never ask for medical benefits, much less those unacceptable retirement benefits.
This is about wiping out almost a century of gains by workers and unions in getting American workers a fair shake. This is about control.
I don’t know how many of you are old enough or have read enough history to know what a ‘company town’ is. It’s a town established, sometimes literally built from the ground up, by a large company. Its employees live in the company town, buy everything from the company store (or stores), and when necessary, (which it always is) borrow from the company bank.
When you work, and live, and buy, and borrow, in a company town, it operates very simply. You accept what the company gives you. You buy what the company sells, at company prices. And you borrow money from company banks at company rates.
What we are seeing develop in America has been building steadily ever since Ronald Reagan became President. It’s nothing less than an effort to turn the United States, all of it, into a virtual company town. The ultra rich own the banks, the large companies, much of the government through payoffs (what do you think a campaign donation from Citizens United is, folks?), and the vast majority of the goods.
Call it an oligarchy. That’s what it is, and if you bother to look even halfway hard, it’s obvious. And what’s another term for oligarchy? On a small level, a synonym would be…company town. On a larger level, try this one…Company Country.
The actions described in this article represent nothing less than another move forward in achieving this Company America.
And you know what, we help dig our own economic grave, give up our own voice in our future. We go along.
I’m sure many of you use the “self service’ registers at stores. I have, until my eyes got opened. I never will again. And you shouldn’t, either. Every time you use that self service register, you help take away someone’s job just so you can check out a little faster. Every time you order from a self service kiosk, you help take away someone’s job. Or did you think about that? I had, but I got careless about it until I read this article. I will never do either of those things again. Not at a fast food place, not at a store, not at a movie theater or a restaurant, not ANYPLACE. You shouldn’t, either. Remember, your job could be next.
Uncle 1%, the official governing group of Company America, wants us to go willingly into their company town. I do not intend to do that.
Let us have a slogan in this country of ours, from shore to shore and border to border. Let that slogan be: NO COMPANY AMERICA.
DON’T use the ‘self serve’ lane. DON’T use the easy order kiosk. Make it clear that you will only transact with people. And yes, I’m leaving ATM’s off the list, because that one is already so well established it would be fruitless to try to put it back in Pandora’s Box. But we have to stop, right now, the turning over of jobs to automation unless a safety element is involved.
The article I included here is clear. Big business will hit back at any significant raise in the minimum wage by attacking jobs, and automation/machines is one of the ways they will do it. But they have been doing that anyway. The goal of big business always has been and always will be, to maximize profit by giving workers as little as possible in return for their labor. Why in the hell do you think unions began in the first place?
For the last thirty-six years, American workers have been going backward. Reagan started it by selling the trickle down theory and busting unions. The momentum has grown ever since. Don’t believe me, look it up for yourself. It’s far past time to start fighting back, workers of America, and refusing to stand still for this “We have to automate if you raise pay” lie is a good place to start.
And good or bad, we’d damn well better find someplace to start while there is still a chance.
Want to help fuel the beginning of resistance? Start each of your Facebook or Instagram or Twitter posts with the slogan. NO COMPANY AMERICA. No matter what you talk about in your post, start with NO COMPANY AMERICA. Before there can be any movement, there has to be a voice, and a voice can start as simply as that.
Ps. If you read this and think I’m crazy, fair enough. But think about it. Think about it every time you look at your insufficient paycheck. Think about it every time you worry about your job and your future. Think about it every time you go to bed. But if someone else tells you I’m crazy, the first question you should ask yourself is, who is telling you that, and who told them that?