Friday, November 4, 2011

There is a gaping hole

Yes, there is a gaping hole in discussions about The Economy. Even using that term, “The Economy” is awkward because there really is no “Economy,” global or otherwise. What we have is Human behavior measured a myriad of ways in metrics, merely sets of incomplete numbers about human behavior.

So, metrics of human behavior related to trade have not been comforting. Realistic figures indicate that many people who want to participate in trade are hampered, shut out, and would willingly work for others if the opportunity comes. Too many millions have not been able to trade their skill to profit corporations ... thus the “unemployment rate” is unacceptably high.

This is true. This is where one gaping hole exists: There is absolutely no discussion of creating family farms, creating self-employment opportunities, creating family-business opportunities. These were historically and wisely the foundation of all wealth created in America. Self-employment and family businesses, including farms, were the basis upon which America grew wealthy and strong. War waged against this form of human behavior has been unrelenting since the end of World War II, and it is the root cause (no pun intended, we have been uprooted) of collective problems faced today.  This war against self-employment, and thus against self-empowerment, precludes discussion of the singular most effective solution to aggregate selective metrics of human behavior related to trade.

Instead of leadership inspiring America in a direction of immediate and long-term resolution we are led away from resolution. Metrics for many large corporations are good because employment is low, pared to the bone, so to say. Profits set records quarterly.  Government, on the other hand, is the secondary employer and cares nothing of internal metrics; deficits and federal debt proves this. These are exclusive choices given the populace: to work for a large corporation for government, or a large NGO.

Small NGOs are subsidized escape routes for a small percentage of individuals who may and may not be altruistic but prefer the “family-sized business” as an option. Being subsidized, they enjoy some of the benefits of “self-employment” but do so with less risk of losing all they own, a risk that precludes most families from going out on their own.

Big business likes it this way. Even a small independent grocer is considered competition for a large store chain, and any competition is a target for elimination. The corporate mindset seems to be: if we allow 10,000 small operators to compete with us across this country that adds up to another major competitor. We prefer to buy out our competition or minimize their market share, or do whatever it takes to put them out of business. As an example of this business philosophy Erle Butz, Nixon Administration Secretary of Agriculture, spoke for much more than his venue when he told farmers as national policy, “Get big or get out.”

Many, perhaps even a majority, believe this is good. We live with the direct results of this thinking to a point that alternative thinking and action is taboo, and there is universal (ahem, not quite) condemnation of “high unemployment.”  A single-minded, ubiquitous, empty rhetoric about creating jobs but absolutely no mention of restoring America’s strength through self-employed, self-empowered individualism.

This is the gaping hole that human lives are falling into like a deep, growing sinkhole.