Media Ignorance on Capitalism Hurts Low-Wage American Workers – Dr. Rich Swier
For whatever reason – ignorance, socialist-leaning worldview or laziness – basic economics of free market capitalism seems all but impossible for most of the mainstream media to grasp. At its most foundational, capitalism functions on supply and demand and the ability of a company to make a profit meeting the demand, and the person creating the demand to have multiple supply options to create competition. Now let’s say Bob gets greedy – like many liberals tell us corporations are – and tries to sell his shoes for $60 to make a $25 profit. These capitalism concepts of supply, demand, profit and competition seems to elude most media reports, allowing people like Sen. Bernie Sanders to claim corporations are evil, gouge employees and make outrageous profits. If you are making $9 per hour and working for a company making billions of dollars in profits without any media explanation of the fuller context, this is very enticing to believe. Liberal politicians such as Sanders, and many in the media, always use the anecdote corporation that just made a huge profit, rather than actual data points. Your local liberal’s favorite evil corporation, Walmart, squeezes out a paltry 2.1 percent profit. Walmart’s profit margin is less than one-third of what it pays in taxes. A 2013 Reason-Rupe Poll found that the average American guessed the typical corporate American profit to be 36 percent – more than four times reality. The actual number is about 3-5%. The corporate profits disconnect is a combination of economic ignorance and liberal agenda. 2) Cut the number of workers, particularly full-time workers with benefits. Add more part-time workers and employ the use of technology to replace low-skill workers.
Over the years, Mr. Whittaker’s Christian ecumenical humanitarian organization, Opportunity International, has lived up to its growing reputation of giving the poor an alternative to charity. Today, this non-profit group creates entrepreneurial empowerment by providing loans and job training directly to poor people at the grassroots level. By 2007, the organization plans to finance 1 million poor entrepreneurs per year; and by 2010 its goal is to finance 2 million people per year into their own businesses. 98 percent of its clients pay their loans back on time and at market-rate interest! Notions that the poor are not creditworthy are shattered by this reality. Given access to credit and capital, capitalism can be democratized. People must be able to feed themselves and their families. For the majority of the world’s hungry people, food is available. Microfinance is the jumpstart so many people need to begin the process of meeting their most basic human needs; and then, accumulated capital can be saved and invested towards purchasing a home and property to begin the process of real wealth-building. When people are economically deprived, they can be politically and culturally deprived as well. We also know that poverty represents a breeding ground for terrorism, emanating from people’s feelings of desperation. The bottom line is that we must do more to narrow that gap between the rich and poor in our world. When we tap into one of the key economic forces that have made America great, namely, venture capital to energize the spirit of entrepreneurship, and harness it with compassion in the form of credit for the working poor – we have a formula for ending chronic poverty.
That’s why my daughter Sarah and others like her on the autistic spectrum are out of luck when it comes to finding jobs as adults. Beyond the safety net of SSI, ACCES-VR and other government services, young adults with ASDs have been abandoned by American society. Like many other childhood disabilities, autism generates a variety of expensive special needs services in the medical, educational, psychological and behavioral realms. Parents feed many dollars into our capitalist system in order to receive these critical services for their children. No wonder autism has generated a booming industry with: behavioral therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists and pharmacologists. The autism conundrum employs researchers and pharmaceutical companies looking for prevention, treatments and ultimately, a cure. Clearly, autism has become a billion dollar industry. Our capitalist society doesn’t provide services to young adults with autism because THEY can’t pay for the expensive therapy and treatments previously funded by their parents. Of course there are some intelligent and compassionate exceptions. According to Business Insider,two MIT graduates Rajesh Anandan and Art Schectman recently founded ULTRA Testing, a software-testing company created ESPECIALLY to hire people on the autistic spectrum. With almost 80% of adults on the autistic spectrum unemployed, ULTRA Testing can receive 150 applications in 72 hours. I’m guessing Sarah and others like her will have to settle for volunteer jobs and whatever economic crumbs are tossed in her direction-unless somehow MY networking efforts connect her with meaningful, paying work.
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