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Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Basic Unfairness

A basic unfairness is that the big idea generators receive the lion’s share of compensation.  For every big idea there are necessary battalions of support staff who must actualize the big idea supplementing the big idea with good judgment, good sense, and creativity.  In other words, actualization of any idea requires a multitude of additional big ideas to bring about realization (not to mention sometimes hazarding life and limb).

Management and labor are categories that have little distinction in reality.  The need for creativity in management and labor are equal.  The need for intellectual resourcefulness and integrity are equal.  The broader responsibilities of management are met equally by the essential responsibilities of labor.  What is fair compensation is complicated by the equity market.   The organizers of successful companies can enjoy huge increases in wealth by appreciation of stock value.  The wealthiest often get the lion’s share of their wealth in this way even though it is, of course, derivative of a successful company and all that entails in terms of human resources.  The more common situation is where the owner/manager of a local business pays themselves many times what the typical employee earns.  These disparities are harder to justify.  

The trend is increasingly towards a democratization of information.  Closed minds, closed doors, and closed hearts are becoming harder to secure.  With this will come a new sense of what comprises economic justice.  In a few centuries people may well shake their heads at the unfairness of the twenty-first century.  Because economic unfairness has extensive implications for quality of life and psychological health, the judgment upon us may be stark.

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