Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Wow, what a hectic weekend! Extra Chair arrived with her luggage and many lovely gifts from China. I threw a birthday party for Spare ... had all three of her college roomies and her best friend over for dinner. Not a great way to prepare for a week of teaching school. I'm tired!
An anonymous commenter left a very thoughtful response on the post "Closing Gaps." This commenter said the world would be better if we had "job ecology." What a lovely metaphor! Instead of shipping jobs overseas and mechanizing human beings out onto the streets, wouldn't it be great if the goal of business was not entirely profit, but also the continued contentment of workers?
Mr. J and I often talk of Old Mr. Fezziwig from A Christmas Carol. Reading that story, we're not sure what kind of business Fezziwig is running... only that he employs apprentice clerks. But boy, oh boy! Christmas comes and the whole place is dancing and feasting and having a great time -- including Fezziwig, his wife, and his pretty daughters! Even Scrooge loved Fezziwig.
Can you imagine a CEO in these days, dancing and drinking with his or her employees? I suppose it must happen some places. Doesn't happen in my place of employment.
It seems to me the nature of our species to seek to consolidate wealth and power within a small extended family group, and to hell with everybody else. The ecological model would seek to consolidate worker security so that everyone could get out of bed in the morning not dreading a pink slip. This would increase satisfaction, spending, and (I believe, though many CEOs would not) individual performance.
Job ecology would mean that my daughter The Heir would not be an "independent contractor" who finds herself with a $450 tax bill. Nor would her employers be so pressed that they couldn't offer her benefits, because the big corporations that hire them would pay government benefits all down the ladder.
Now I have to run and teach one last class today. Teachers used to have job ecology in the form of tenure. This, of course, is being eroded -- not because there are bad teachers, but just because no one should have job security. No one.
Global climate change? It's not just in the atmosphere. It's in how we're living. The center cannot hold.