Thursday, March 21, 2013

Businesses and the Hard Decisions They Have to Make

As a follow-up to my previous post, some may wonder:  well, don’t businesses have to make hard decisions in order to survive and take care of their bottom line?

We’ve all been brainwashed into thinking like that, nowadays.  We have all been manipulated into complicity with that attitude.  The power of that way of thinking is that it is partially true:  businesses do have to make enough money to survive; sometimes doing so requires unfortunate sacrifices.

But, in this world in which the rich are getting amazingly, incomprehensibly rich while the poor are getting poorer, the problem is not that there is not enough money.  We see desperation growing around us, and assume that everyone is struggling more and more, that something has changed, making money increasingly scarce.  But it is not increasingly scarce for everyone.  Yes, something has changed:  money is increasingly scarce for most of us, but not because it has mysteriously disappeared.  It’s still there.  But where?  It is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the very wealthy.  And it does not trickle down.  The mechanisms of our economy have become ones that suck the money up, instead.

I recently read an interesting book about how this change has happened.  The book is Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, by Chrystia Freeland (Penguin Press, 2012).  Very illuminating!

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