Minyan Mailbag: A Responsible Corporate Citizen II
Don't want the job? Don't take it.
Unfortunately it is up to companies to be good corporate citizens. In the end they have to increase stockholder wealth and if they get a tarnished image because they pay their employees what they are worth instead of what their employees want, then they are asking for problems. I do not remember 'Professional Bagger' being a career option while in high school, those jobs were 'tie-overs' till college or through college as part time work. As far as health care goes, well, America needs to do some serious work. We are more than willing to try to save the life of a brain-dead woman but will not lift a finger to help your average Joe. Just imagine what we could have done with the money we spent on Iraq so far, all of this in the end for Oil, a finite resource that we should replace with something else. Anyway, back to Wal-Mart (WMT), they should be held to the same standard as other companies when it comes to promotions and not hiring illegally, but they should not be forced to treat their employees any better than the law requires. "Gee, when I grow-up I want to be a stock boy at Wal-mart." I do not think so. If you do not like their practice, then do not shop there. If you do not like their benefits package do not work there.
I'm someone who in my life started working at 13 - polishing and then later delivering furniture - joined the Army, dug ditches, framed homes, went to college, managed to make 6 figures a year before the tech industry tanked in 2000, then worked at the Mall 9 pm to 1 am (stocking) as well as 9-5 (selling) until another good tech job came along (okay it was only 6 weeks), but work is work. All I have to say that if you do not like your lot in life do something about it. We live in a country where no matter who you are or where you came from (assuming you are not being pursued by Interpol, the FBI, etc.), you can make a decent living and, if you work hard enough, can really succeed. But you have to be willing. There are too many people who think they deserve a bigger salary, a bigger home, and a faster/cooler car. Some of these people use their credit cards or 'special' financing to get these things only to lose them to the bank. I guess what I am saying is that:
1: We need to make sure our kids are educated.
2: That they have the right values.
3: That not having everything you want is okay.
4: Making sure you have everything you need is more important than getting what you want.
5: Find your real skill set and pursue it, it is better to be good at what you are doing than bad at it.
6: (And this is one that I still need work on) Invest and save.
Minyan John G
Amen. Great points. I would not expect anything less of you. I don't have data to back this up, but I think the poor in America live a lot better now than they did 100 or even 50 years ago. The social net in the U.S. is much wider and deeper now than ever before. The divide between the poor and the rich is part of capitalism. I don't have a problem with the divide, but it would be nice if the poor were less poor. Though, poverty is a relative term; poverty used to mean starvation, but not anymore. Now it means not being able to take your kids to Disney Land or afford a minivan. I am sure for panhandlers it means something very different, but that is the path they have chosen (though I still give them money almost every time I see them). I've lived in a country where everybody was average - no rich, no poor (though at the time the Russian average was worse than the American poor) - and maybe that is why I am such a capitalistic pig.
You cannot make the poor less poor by throwing money at them; all you'd do is create European types of problems of high unemployment and high taxes. There are some things we can do with healthcare structurally to make it more affordable, but going after WMT will not solve the problems of this country. I agree that the Wal-Mart job should never have been a career to begin with. Actually I think McDonalds pays less to their employees than Wal-Mart and employs over four hundred thousand people (granted a lot of those jobs are overseas, but counting franchises that number is a lot higher) and I don't see anybody ranting about McDonalds' abusing their employees (Maybe because fewer jobs at the McDonalds turn into a career?). Don't want the job? Don't take it.
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