Thought for the day: Class

A friend of mine just posted the lyrics and the youtube link to the video for Chicago the song Class (2002), bemoaning how people today have no manners, no class. My first thought was how quaint, 15 years ago, people complaining in a 1930s setting. Then it hit me, what Class and Manners really are:
A behavior thugs and crooks teach their children, so they seem civil while stealing everything they can from the hard-working regular folks who are “coarse and have no class”.

I love fine art and the opera and of course, poetry, but to think those who don’t are somehow not as good, not as human as those who have stolen so much from the wealth creators that they and their children can study art instead of learning to swing a hammer or dig a ditch or drive a truck. Another friend of mine recently said it was sad that the NFL players are willing to risk life and limb to make millions for themselves while they make billions for the owners, owners who view them as inmates, as slaves, as disposable N!@@ers…
I agreed, but then added, why are most of us willing, in our own small way willing to do the same? Why do we not rise up in unison and say, “we create the wealth, we deserve to keep it!”?
If you make $8.00 per hour, you can be sure you make your corporation at least another $8. Maybe $20, or $50…. Why do we allow this? Why do we bargain for $10? Why do we have such a sick and crazy system?
If I borrow a million bucks from a lender, who in turn, gathered his funds from small deposits from individuals looking to make a return on the part of their earnings they could afford to save. The banker pays 2% on the savings, he has some administrative and marketing costs, but can loan it back out and a VERY NICE profit at 5%, so I have to pay him back $50,000 per year for my million dollars. I rent a store front, build a website pay for some marketing buy some inventory and hire some staff to process and sell the product.

I pay $50,000 of the bank’s money, (which is really money from workers, trying to get ahead through savings), in rent of a building, another 80 in marketing, 20 for utilities, shipping, insurance and such, another 700 in product, and now I pay the staff 150
(6 staff-three sales and one manager, and 2 non-sales positions).
There is the million, my revenue is 1.4 million, I pocket the 400K and say, well, I am the one who took all the risks. I created the 400K in wealth (remember, I can keep rolling over the investors in the small accounts money for 5% and they are happy to get the 2% and the bank makes about 2% or $20,000 profit for nothing on a few hundred folks like me.) I am a generous guy, I pay my staff $10-15 per hour, plus a few benefits. I make $1500 per day off their labor and somebody else’s money.
Why is this ok?
Seems like a fairer system would be that I make a small percentage, maybe twice what they do, so we divide up the $550k like this: $85k for the manager, $75k for the sales and $60K for the non-sales staff and I get $120k? I am still slightly overpaid, but now everyone is getting a decent share of the pie.

So, out of the goodness of my heart, I have more than doubled their “wages”, and slashed mine by about 2/3rds. Or, another way of looking at it, I have quit stealing their share of the wealth we are creating, as a team. Why do people accept the first arrangement as “normal” and see the later as “radical”? Why does bringing Other Peoples’ Money make a Capitalist so valuable? Why dont we look at “owners” as the broker/agents they really are?

Is not a 22% stake in a company that i neither financed with my own money, nor actually did the work to produce the revenue more than generous? And if I do have my own money, I can make another $50,000 per year investing in my firm, rather than the $20,000 it would make in a bank. In the case of using my own money, now my share climbs to nearly 29% of the profits. Is that not enough?

 

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