This is going to be one of those totally off-the-wall unrealistic posts that pops off the top of my head. But it sure would be great if somehow, anyhow it could be accomplished. So here goes.
We all know that profits are the total 100% driver for American businesses for the last thirty years or so. Ever since the MBA’s took over during the Reagan years profits are the god of business. Of course directly linked to profits are CEO’s pay. I believe that other things besides global competition have contributed to the income inequality now in this world.
When I started out in the corporate world employees were considered assets to the company. A well-trained, well-educated workforce was the driving factor between a struggling company and one that thrived. Because of this belief, and the fact that worker’s unions were part of the mix, a strong middle class developed in the U.S. Everyone could afford what they were making and they were very loyal to the brand their company produced. In that respect those were indeed the good old days…
But, let’s get back to my off-the-wall dream. Now that profits are the sole mantra for American capitalism, let’s just accept that fact as future reality but with a twist. It seems that almost all companies want to hire their workers at minimum wage. The money they used to pay in livable salaries is now directed towards profits. Here goes my fix, so get ready! What if companies were required to share their profits between their workers and their owners? It could go something like this.
Go ahead and reduce all workers pay to minimum wage but require half of last years’ profits to be distributed the next year to supplement that wage. According to some calculations that would raise the median income of workers almost 50%. Wouldn’t that be something. Finally the workers would actually get some of the benefit from their labors.
But of course the devil is in the details. In order for this to happen the owners, those who hold the company stocks, would have to get by with half their usual dividends. While they are doing that they could also reign in the CEO and upper management pay to something that is not as absurd as it currently is. What is he likelihood of stock owners agreeing? Well, probably very close to zero. After all, they spend millions, and hide millions more away in foreign bank accounts, to get out of paying their fair share of taxes. Why would they give up some dividends for the greater good? I kind of got an idea about that too. ;) Since many of these owners were true believers in Reagan’s trickle down from the 1980s maybe we can convince them that lowering their dividends will actually raise them. Wouldn’t that be a win-win for everyone!!
OK, now it is time to get back to the world as it actually exists, not how I sometimes see it inside my head. But, it is kind of nice to dream that we could ever get back to the good old days where employees were actually appreciated.
I’m just a simple guy so what do I know…..