We remain continuously mystified about what appears to us to be the boundless greed of our fellow human beings. It is in our opinion this endless selfishness which is now driving the recession.
In a kind of mad panic, people and organizations are busy looking after their OWN skin only, rather than taking the course of action which everyone should be taking - and ultimately must take - to get the U.S. and world economy moving again, which is to contribute their fair share - AND RESOURCES, if they have them - to getting things back to normality as soon as possible.
But everyone wants THE OTHER GUY to bring the necessary sacrifices. In times of profit, people pocket the profits for themselves. In times of want, people pluck the pockets of others.
Law firms and corporations are a good example of the core of the problem. Rather than EVERYONE in a recession-struck law firm or corporation taking a substantial pay cut in order that everyone in the organization retain their job, the people at the top - the decision-makers, who got us into this mess in the first place - are continuing to ladle off the cream for themselves, while putting financially weaker people in their organizations on the street with no income at all.
We have serious problems with that approach to life and morality and think it points to a need for new laws protecting the rights of your average employee, affiliate or work associate, making it more expensive for employers to dump their employees on the street, rather than to keep them on the payroll.
All institutions benefit and profit from the investment that society makes in any individual on the job market and in the labor force. Just consider how much money society invests in the education of just one lawyer, who is then snapped up from law school as a lower-paid drone to beef up the profit of the senior and similar partners in a law firm. As long as money is rolling in, the profit-takers find this to be a great arrangement. You bill time out for example for say $500 an hour but pay out only say $100 an hour, and, after expenses, pocket the remaining amount from $400 an hour. It does not take a lot of cleverness to see that this is a formula for earning big bucks, presuming you have enough people working for you.
Such economic practices constitute simple basic "worker" exploitation in very visible form and most corporations and organizations operate that way. There are big dollars for the top few, and enough to survive for the rest, and, in a pinch, as in the current recession, again big dollars for the top few, but nothing for the rest, under the motto, "the best for me" and crap for everyone else. We oppose this kind of mentality - often encountered - wherever we can. The EARTH deserves better people than that. It can not be that society is run by the selfish. That never works in the long run.
Frankly, we think that there should be laws which require law firms especially (who should be setting a prime example for the rest of the citizens in any economy), as well as companies and similar employers, to create their own unemployment fund reserves so that they can take care of their own people in difficult times, rather than tossing them out to the wolves.
Why should private persons and firms be permitted to profit selfishly - and enormously - in good times from the work of their employees and affiliates but then be able to abdicate responsibility for those very same members of their own house in bad times, by shoving the responsibility off on the rest of society?
What is the theory of law and economy that permits that? It is the law of the jungle, something which the rule of law is intended to prohibit.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
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