Sunday, August 06, 2006

What happened to big business?

Big business is no longer in touch with the average American. Many years ago, Henry Ford believed that the most important person was the working man. His car had to be cheap enough that every person who worked could afford one. And, he paid his employees enough that they would be able to afford his car, also. Before Henry, only the wealthy owned cars. To Henry, it was important that every working person participate in the Great American Experiment. I know in later years he did some questionable things and had some friends who were truly suspect, but in the early days, he had a better idea.
Big business has gotten away from that. It no longer considers the needs of its workers, those people who made it great. Instead it is beholden to stockholders who are only interested in the bottom line. Period. This is a foolish thinking. It is very shortsighted thinking also.
I know that America has become a service economy. And yet I put forth that this is not in our best long term interests. Production in America means jobs in many sectors. Construction. Direct manufacturing. And of course all the ancilliary jobs that go with them. It also keeps more money in our economy. Trade deficits are rarely beneficial.
Whether they are businesses related to the workers such as delis and the like, goods made here do provide decent jobs. And I know that this is overlooked, but some of the people who would get work in a factory may not be suited for other jobs in a service economy. Not everyone has the desire to get a college degree. Not everyone can, or wants to be a salesperson or truck driver. Believe it or not, some people enjoy working with their hands and get satisfaction from being part of a team that produces a product.
Big business has become so profit driven that they have forgotten the common man. And the common man is the one who buys the product. As jobs disappear, so goes the opportunity for the common man to purchase products.
By outsourcing manufacturing, big business can increase profits, but in the long run, they may be destroying the basis that made them successful.


savvy said...

Great points, old man!!!