Each Friday, LA Progressive presents a comment we editors find to be most profound, insightful, or just plain irritating.
This week, an article by Mark Naison, "How Attacks on Teachers and Government Workers Will Impact All Our Lives," drew the following exchange between Ryder and Steve Wider:
The premise of this entire article is disturbing… starting with the basic notion… that there is something called a “worker”.
There is in fact no such thing.
There are only people… in this case, Americas… totally free to expend as much time and effort as they wish and is possible…
If you are busting butt 50 hours a week on the phone and busy with paperwork and meetings… are you a self employed entrepreneur trying to create a fortune 500 company? Or are you a salesman at a company that makes ball point pens?
Americans doing work. Not a “worker” in sight.
Next is the mistaken belief that “rules” allow people to live in comfort. Not so. Only wealth does that (in any given environment).
If “rules” are set up that cause destruction and chaos… where waste and inefficiencies are increased, wealth MUST go down… If you make a rule that certain people must be *given* wealth taken from others… all you are doing is transferring wealth (and the means to a life of comfort) from one group of people to another… you are not making comfort possible… you are simply moving it around.
All comfort in civilization comes from productive effort. There is no other source (unless you also believe that God bestows it upon you).
Demanding more wealth can never work, and never has. Demands (as are made by unions) only shift wealth around… if the demands are met… the wealth is shifted to union members. If the demands are not met, the wealth is shifted, for example, overseas, or to other states and industries that don’t make such demands… but in *every single case*, wealth is only move around… because standing on a hill and yelling “I demand $20 an hour” is not productive, and creates nothing. No creation, no wealth.
So in the end, this is merely a discussion about how much wealth union members can have transferred from other Americans to themselves by means of the force of law.
I don’t have any respect for that.
I respect people that do such good work, that they attract wealth to themselves… like a good artist/musician/carpenter…. whathaveyou.
When you create something *worth* something… you become wealthier. When you are a failure that can’t create much of anything good, you join a union, and try to OBTAIN wealth by force of numbers.
I don’t respect that at all.
Steve Wider replies:
Ryder’s ludicrous assumptions smell of the wreak of radical Conservative Republican Mentality, which does everything to diminish the importance and value of the individual ordinary person, while applauding any Corporate Business Owner/ CEO, just because they “Are Successful”, therefore they have more value, and rightfully DESERVE more money to live on! That mentality, in fact, is what has been the big problem in destroying America since the 1980′s, and “Reaganism”, and which went into a “High Speed” form of classic “Class Warfare” under G.W. Bush’s Presidency, and which is leaving the Country littered with record Home Foreclosures, 48% of People living on Low Income, or in Poverty.
Why is it, Ryder, that an average Corporate CEO is “Worth” 400 Times what an average worker makes today? And why is it acceptable to you that the top 400 earners in America make more than the whole bottom 50% of the population? Doesn’t that suggest quite clearly that the Country has turned into one where the rich are so greedy that they now refuse to even allow people to live comfortable lives when they work an average of over 45 hours per week today?
Let’s face reality: At any given time, there is a fixed amount of money available to be shared amongst the population of people here, being roughly 300+ Million of us. So that means the 400 richest people make as much as 150 Million people’s collective income is, which is unjust, regardless of how “Smart” those 400 people are, or how many hours that they work. NO Human being is worth Billions of dollars annually to Society. Even with the most successful Corporations, the Workers are the ones who’s backs the money is made off of. Without the workers, the CEO’s & Owners of Businesses couldn’t operate, and thus there would be NO Profits, or production, would there?
Plus, even with all time record incomes being made today, pensions have been eliminated and replaced with unstable 401K’s, Health Insurance has been eliminated for tens of Millions of workers, Education benefits have been drastically cut, and Salaries have gone down since the 1970′s, inflation adjusted. People work harder and longer today, and get way less for it.
And Mr. Ryder says “The premise of this entire article is disturbing… starting with the basic notion… that there is something called a “worker”.
There is in fact no such thing. There are only people… in this case, Americas… totally free to expend as much time and effort as they wish and is possible…”
That’s the most stupid statement that I’ve EVER heard in my Life! Here’s what a Dictionary describes a Worker as
“1.a. One who works at a particular occupation or activity: an office worker.
b. One who does manual or industrial labor.
2. A member of the working class.”
So, even though Billions of people in the World, including experts in Business & Human Science, call people who perform labor of some sort in exchange for payment/ salary “Workers”, Ryder is so conceited that he/she wants to negate the fact that workers exist at ALL! Maybe because he/she doesn’t work, but just bleeds and sucks off of those of us who do, like the Top 1% all do?
In the 1970′s, and going back to post WWII, when people worked 40 or more hours, the earned a decent wage that, on average, could originally support a Family. But then, in 1981 and since, the controlling elite class decided that it was threatening to them if the Middle Class was able to live comfortably, to own their own homes and could work only 40 hours per week to do so. And since there is a fixed amount of money in Society at any given time, they decided that the best way to “Control” the masses, while getting rich, was to drastically reduce the Salaries & Benefits of the Middle Class and Poor, and keep it all for themselves! So they began moving factories to China, India, Columbia, Malaysia and dozens of other countries, and paying the workers as little as $4 per day for their work, while putting Americans out of work. And WalMart is obviously one of the biggest examples of this, since they have over 2,000 Overseas Suppliers for their Products. And they force Companies who sell items in their store to GO Overseas, by lowering the prices so that they can’t operate here in the U.S. anymore.
Until the day comes when our rich, overly greedy and ruthless people running Corporate Business here start to realize that they have a responsibility to respect our workers in the U.S., and to pay them a Living Wage that they can comfortably Survive on, America shall continue to slip further and further towards being a Third World Country, with only Slave Wage Workers, and the Super Rich, and a very small Middle Class in between.
I really can’t figure out how someone making $20 Million a year can sleep at night knowing that there are over 45 Million People in Poverty in the U.S., rampant Homelessness and over 80 Million People with either no Health Care Insurance, or insufficient coverage.
Why can’t we evolve towards a System like they have in Norway, where everyone is guaranteed a Job, a Home, Education, Health Care, etc. And there, no one makes more than approximately double what an Engineer makes, yet they live in peace & happiness, and at a higher standard of living than we can afford today.
And Mr. Lamb, just because ordinary workers had their Pensions & Health Care taken away in the 80′s & 90′s, that does not mean that Government workers shouldn’t have those things. It was unjust and greedy for the rich to take away those things in the first place. And we definitely need Universal Single Payer Health Care, to replace our “Sick Care” which is dismal at best, and leaves over 40 Million People with No Coverage. And the U.S., which spends the most on Health Care is only in 38th Place World Wide for the Quality & Effectiveness of our Health Care, which PROVES that it doesn’t even WORK at All!