Jim Driver: In the age of technology, not industrial revolution | TheUnion.com

Jim Driver: In the age of technology, not industrial revolution

In the March 14 edition of Ideas & Opinions, Darrell Berkhiemer wrote:

“We may be heading toward a dire economic chasm in consumer spending unless our big corporations shift more of their profits to employee wages — and away from CEOs, stockholders and wealth accumulation.”

His statement was so nonsensical that I started to laugh; but then I realized that he was serious about his belief, and that many others also hold these beliefs as factual.

This is why I decided to refute this point of view.

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First, when you consider the statement, “We may be heading toward a dire economic chasm in consumer spending,” it is apparent that Berkheimer has tried to attach a huge change in the spending habits of our younger generations to the Marxist ideology that employers steal the productivity of their employees (workers). He implies that the rich have been stealing worker’s wealth, so therefore the workers cannot benefit from the fruits of their labor. This is the age of technology. It is not the industrial revolution with rows of assembly workers. Because of technology there has been a huge increase in productivity, and this productivity has made many of the changes that Darrell references in his article.

Second, when you consider the statement “unless our big corporations shift more of their profits to employee wages,” it would be helpful to understand how employers view their workers. In today’s world we know that most employers try very hard to retain their good workers because there is a cost to training that worker. If the worker turns out to be a very productive member of the organization, the employer gives that worker an incentive to keep working for the organization. Given this understanding, why would any employer try to “stiff” his productive employee? That would make no sense!

Lastly, Berkheimer implies that “big corporations (give their profits to) CEOs, stockholders and (that causes) wealth accumulation.” I guess that Darrell believes that those who accumulate wealth somehow remove it from the economy, perhaps by hiding it in a mattress? We are no longer on the gold standard, so why would anybody in their right mind remove their wealth from circulation when the Federal Reserve mandates a 2 to 3% inflation rate! Do you really believe that those who accumulate wealth would remove their wealth from the economy and allow their wealth to have a loss of 2 to 3% per year? That would not make any sense at all!

Those who accumulate wealth usually either spend that wealth, which employs workers, or use that wealth to finance new and innovative organizations which grows the economy. In either case that increases the prosperity of everyone!

Jim Driver lives in Rough and Ready.

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