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Exploitation of the Common Worker

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by Bob Caldwell

   Last year, Forbes listed Meijer as No. 11 on its list of the 500 best-operated private companies. The magazine estimates Meijer's 2000 revenues at $9.5 billion, an increase of 14.5 percent compared to 1999. Net profits were estimated at $190 million.
     I stumbled across something interesting in a web page on Ancient Egypt from the British Museum. Here is what I read: "Most ancient Egyptians worked as field hands, farmers, craftsmen and scribes. A small group of people were nobles. Together, these different groups of people made up the population of ancient Egypt."
     Fast forward to 2004 Forbes magazine, the Top Ten listing of privately held firms in America; what do you suppose these Top Ten trade in? If you said food products you would be right (six out of Forbes' Top Ten for 2003; one petroleum company, one construction co, and two auditing firms).
     Ten thousand years of human progress has brought mankind to this new and exciting understanding of consumerism; people need to eat food to survive (we also need gas for the trucks required to transport the food, buildings to house the food, and auditors to let the insurance carriers know the inventory of the food is correct!) And one more important point; if one corners the market for providing humans with food, one can earn large profit dollars for themselves.
     And the way the capitalist system works is that the clever person who thought of this "new and improved" system for food delivery first, is the person who manipulates the laws and controls the free-market system for delivering maximum profits to his or her personal bank account.
     While suppressing the working poor by holding wages and benefits down, this country has produced some of the finest, wealthiest, and most noble citizens in our world. And some of them live in Michigan.
Ecclesiastes (the preacher) was right after all; there is nothing "new" under the sun. Just slightly different ways of achieving the same ends. You can take an Egyptian out of the Nile, but you can't take the food away from the people.
     And while humans have engaged in this business for centuries, they have oftentimes enacted measures for protecting the vested interests of the parties who primarily reap the profits from these labors.
     At this stage in our Nation's history, and never experienced at this level, large conglomerate corporations have been busying themselves about the task of extracting large amounts of capitol from weak and ignorant people. Banks now own most of this country's farmland.
Big Business has been protecting themselves while exploiting the workforce.
     The Government that was installed to protect our people from this avarice is largely controlled by the same group of greedy people who own the businesses.
     A prophet of God from nearly three thousand years ago offers these words of wisdom on how we can remedy our problems of selfishness;
Ezekiel 45:
Thus says the Lord God: That is enough for you, O princes of Israel! Stop the violence and plundering and oppression [that you did when you were given no property], and do justice and righteousness, and take away your exactions and cease your evictions of My people, says the Lord God.
    10You shall have just weights on your scales and just measures--both a just ephah measure and a just bath measure.
    11The ephah and the bath measures shall both be the same size, the bath containing one tenth of a homer and the ephah one tenth of a homer; the standard measure shall be the homer.
Instead of just weights and just measures our employers have engaged in legal activities that exploit the worker while rewarding the owner. What are a few examples?
     Appoint individual(s) to leave your corporation and begin work for a labor union. That way, before you break ground on the new facility that you are planning to open, you have someone at the site and ready to "organize" your labor force. You can install a "management friendly" labor union representation that "works closely with management". You can then control the wages and benefits that you pay the workforce.


     As long as the individual(s) remain on the payroll of the labor union, they remain separate from your corporation and no one is guilty of breaking any laws. It may be unethical, but it is certainly not illegal.
     You also have several options in relation to health care packaging for these people who work for you. By purchasing a health care package for the entire workforce, you can reduce the cost per person for expenses.
     This means people who are required to pay union dues as a pre-condition of employment are forced to pay more for their health care while the people in OMP positions are required to pay less for theirs. All while saving the company extra money for the profit column. /\/\/\ *