How to Contribute to Society: Note 1

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What Supply and Demand Does NOT Address

“Supply and demand” is a common response to many economic discussions. However, it is only PART of the discussion. There are MANY MANY MANY factors at play. NOT JUST supply and demand.

Last night I had a great (though short) discussion  with a peer about political candidates and the economy. One of the topics (BRIEFLY) discussed was the unemployment/underemployment of college graduates. His solution was to reduce the number of college graduates because … you guessed it … supply and demand.

He is right. If we reduced the number of college graduates available for businesses to hire, businesses will have to offer the graduates available more. Yet, something nags at me. Something is screaming at me that this is a bad idea. Part of my peer’s argument was that if we continue to increase the number of college graduates, they will continue to get less and less because the supply would be greater than the demand. Thus, we should NOT make college more affordable and accessible for the masses.

Yet, something nags at me. Something is screaming at me that this is a bad idea. That something is all other causes and effects. Yes, one of the effects of having a large college educated population is reduced “reward” for that education. Yet, there is more to it.

Do you know what else is a result of having a large educated (college or otherwise) population? All the benefits of education. You have people making a better contribution to society and making it a better place. You have people making gadgets and gizmos. You have people increase the efficiency of operations. You have people using personal, group, or public resources to improve the environment. You have a happier society.

Increasing the education of the population may reduce the individual rewards, but it also increases the societal rewards. I recall hearing a comparison of today’s economy with yesteryear’s. The comparison goes something like the rich of yesteryear would be the poor of today.

That comparison reminds me of this discussion. A college education may not grant the same social-economic advantage as it did in yesteryear, but today’s society-economy is more advanced than yesteryear. Thus, progress and stuff.

In conclusion, supply and demand is not the entire answer. It is only part of the answer. What are other parts can you think of?

My imperative – my command – is to ….

My imperative – my command  is to work directly with individuals to help them overcome societal barriers by helping them find answers and increase their knowledge.

I seek to impact individuals or groups of individuals.

I am driven to ensure everyone has access to opportunity.

I uncover new information and develop insights.

It breaks my heart to know people go hungry. It breaks my heart to know that people sleep without shelter. It breaks my heart to know that people go without health care. What breaks my heart more is to hear people say that those people deserve it. No one deserves to be hungry. No one deserves to not have shelter. No one deserves to go without treatment. No one. Not the “good” people. Not the “bad” people. Not adults. Not children. No one deserves to be in poverty.

In the not too distant future no one will go hungry. No one will be without shelter. No one will be without healthcare. This is an idealized view of the near future. Some may say that this is unrealistic and unachievable. However, nothing is impossible if we work together to build the perfect society. What matters is not that we achieve this within our lifetime, but that we continuously work toward it.

Companies verses Countries: The Topic of Syrian Refugees

Do Companies have an Obligation to Help Syrian Refugees?

Whether companies have the obligation to help Syrian Refugees or not, they are helping. Some even want to help more, but … governments are standing in their way.

Companies are donating MILLIONS of dollars to help organizations provide for the refugees, such as shelter, food, medication, and education. Many companies have even open up internships and job training programs, but they are hesitant to put more resources into providing such opportunities for the refugees because …. countries across the world are clarifying their legal status. By not clarifying the refugee’s legal status, the governments are cause ambiguity towards whether they have the right to work or not and making it unclear whether or not they will be deported.

This makes companies hesitant to put resources towards job training and internships for them because at any moment – near or far – the refugees could be sent off. This wastes the company’s efforts towards job creation.

World leaders, I call on you to do your part in ensuring the wellbeing of those fleeing Syria.

Leading Employers: Local vs National

A few decades ago, GM was the largest employer in America — so I have been told and I am lazy and don’t want to look it up.
Today, Walmart is the largest employer in America — so I have been told and I am lazy and don’t want to look it up.

The problem that people propose is that when GM was the largest employer, people were paid well on average and the their was a large middle class. Since Walmart does not pay well on average, it is one of the causes of the decline in purchasing power of the middle class — among other issues.

My thought is this…. America is HUGE. Like super huge. Though I agree with the premise of this argument, there are additional factors at play. Yes, having a low wage employer dominate the job market does affect the quality of the middle class. That is on the macroeconomic scale. There is also the microeconomic scale.

You may or may not be aware that there are several magazines (FORBES being one of them) that publish on occasion Best/Worst Cities in America for Business/Middle Class/Whatever.

A single company is the leading employer in a nation because it has multiple locations. As the leading employer, its average wages does affect the national economy; however, that company is not necessarily the leading employer on a local level.

On a local scale, a manufacturer, bank, or other higher paying company may be the leading employer. Those companies have far fewer locations thus have far fewer employees than the nationally leading employer. This local leading employers have a greater impact on the economy.

During our fight reduce income inequality, we must identify our local leading employers and insure their feet are held to the fire too. This does not take from the social responsibilities for a company like Walmart.

Who is the leading employer in your area? What is their average wage?

Who am I?

Who am I? Who am I?

I am the person who takes on the world’s problems personally. The world’s problems are my problems.

I am the person who sees us a global community.

I am the person who is sadden by the xenophobia created by artificial borders.

I am the person who sees the wars in the middle-east as not wars of other people, of other lands, of not-my-problem.

I am the person who sees the homeless on the side of the road and is grief stricken that I am not in a position to help.

I am the person who hears about the wars, the genocide, the terrors of the world and it breaks my heart.

There are members of my family who have said that the Syrian refugees should stay in their own country–indirectly because they are muslims. This makes my blood boil to hear that people say because of an unrelated demographic-characteristic, someone should not flee violence, and the possibility of death.

To me such people are no better than ISIS or Bashar al-Assad the president/leader of Syria. ISIS is beheading people and al-Assad is bombing everything trying to get rid of ISIS. Then the people sell all of their possessions trying to leave, only to get crammed on a boat to the point of double or triple capacity. Many die trying to leave. Men, and women. Young and old. They die at sea.

The ones who make it out then face xenophobia from many of the nations that surround them. They are not allowed to work. In Turkey, they are not allowed to even travel! This is outrageous. For those who shout, “well, why don’t you take them into your home?!” My answer is that I would. In a heartbeat. If only our country would allow them asylum.

I am the bleeding heart liberal. Is that not better than a cold hearted conservative?

Let us stop name calling. Let us set aside our hatred for others. Instead of saying “why help this group of people when ….”, let us work towards bettering the world. Let us work toward bettering humanity.