Competition and Work

Why are so many of our jobs demeaning and discouraging?  Why are so many workplaces dysfunctional?  Because we value money more than people.  I find it so saddening that all the small people who actually do the work for businesses share so little of the profit.  The profit goes to the few at the top who do little beyond exploit their workers.  Businesses are able to continue this treatment of their workers because the workers feel they have no choice.  The workers have to pay the rent and feed the kids, and they have no time or energy to explore other options.  Today, many workers are unable to save for the future, either.  It’s all they can do to keep up with the bills.  This is particularly difficult for those working for minimum wage who have no benefits.  They have no health insurance from their employers and if they miss a day of work, they do not get paid.  If they have an accident or other adverse event, they are often unable to recover financially or physically.  When workers are ground down so relentlessly, how else can they feel but discouraged and demeaned?

Competition provides a handicap to those who are less aggressive or who have started life with disadvantages.  Allowing them to fail is just not what a civilized society should do.  The playing field should be leveled and people should be employed at work to which they are suited.  Obscene hordes of wealth should be disallowed, and the rewards of our work shared.  Will this happen?  Not any time in the near future, not in America.  People are resistant to change, and actually believe in the rags-to-riches American myth.  They believe that anyone can “make it” if they just work hard enough.  It will be very difficult to change this belief.

So what can we do in the meantime?  Refuse to conform to the big businesses, and the small ones, too, that promote a dysfunctional work environment and lifestyle, and take much more than they give.  If you give your all to your job, what do you have left?  Do the employers give their all to you?  Of course not.  Why do we work?  We work so we can live, so we can have some enjoyment as well as security; we do not live to work.  I am sure you can think of any number of examples of the emptiness of lives that are lived only for work.

One way to avoid corporate slavery is to compose a career of part-time jobs; another is to work for yourself.  Shorter work days, six-hour days for example, is another idea that would humanize people’s lives.  If you are fortunate enough to live near a B corporation, working for them may be a salutary option.  New ways of finding income must be found so enough people no longer rely on these parasitic giants, and their power can dwindle.  If we do not intervene, the status quo will persist and evil will prevail.


Copyright © 2016 Teresa Chupp.  All rights reserved.


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