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Profit Prophet

09/30/2010

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How much do you need to live on?  What do you think is reasonable?  What do you think is morally acceptable?  What do you think is affordable?

£7 per hour?

£280 per week?

£14,560 per annum?

The mathematicians amongst you will be working out now that, for a forty hour week, those figures are the same.  Doesn’t seem a lot does it? Given that you need to deduct tax and National Insurance.

But my friends, I tell you…..this figure, this number……it will be the ruin of our economy, it will bring businesses to their knees…..it will lead to mass unemployment and dole queues stretching for miles.

Bollocks will it.

But if you read the comments by the British Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Directors you’d be led to believe that it would. And you know the reason why?

THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU. THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR PROFITS.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  These are lies. Lies made to scare people. Lies made to protect the imbalance between people who earn well (and yes I am one of them) and between people who scrape to make a living.

Increasing the minimum wage to a “living wage” is not going to reduce the number of jobs.  Following the recession most organisations are already understaffed and over worked.  You can only make so many cuts.  All it would do is to reduce the amount of money going into the pockets of the bosses.

Never mind the fact that increasing wages, increases both the tax yield and the amount of disposable income in the economy – which of course is used to buy goods and services, some of which will come from UK businesses.  Never mind, that by reducing the number of jobs you place an increased burden on the State which requires an increase in tax to pay for it.

Don’t buy the lies, don’t buy the rhetoric, don’t buy the thinly veiled threats.  Businesses CAN afford a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. They just don’t want to.

Because they don’t care about you.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/30/2010 10:29

    Big businesses don’t value their most valuable resources – humans. Oh, the irony.

    I don’t need to launch into a discussion on economics, but needless to say, higher wages = more disposable income, more money in the economy, a subsequent increase in jobs etc.

    But I do think it’s criminal that a banker can earn more in a day than a care worker does in a year. My mother works in a hospital and works her fingers to the bone – long hours, gruelling work – and all for **** all pay.

    Unfortunately, your claims are correct – BIG businesses (including the NHS) CHOOSE not to pay their staff a better rate – it’s not that they can’t. I’m lucky enough to work for a small, independently-owned business that DOES value its staff – but it remains the case in BIG business, that it’s the tail wagging the dog (rich men wagging the HR tail) – which will never change.

  2. 09/30/2010 11:01

    Completely agree.

    I love Joel Bakan’s book in which he diagnoses corporations as psychopathic according to the DSM IV (the internationally recognized classification system for personality disorders). The fundamental premise of businesses is that they’ll return profits to shareholders and continue to exist at all costs. Sadly, one of the resources that gets squeezed in this equation is the human one.

    I sometimes think that, despite the best efforts of the best HR people to make businesses accountable for their people, it will rarely happen. While people suit the psychopath’s purpose, they’ll play the game. So long as they don’t, they’ll be forgotten about. There’s no heart in the matter. Psychopaths don’t have hearts.

  3. 09/30/2010 11:40

    Some examples of more caring companies spring to mind: Patagonia, Manomama, Netflix.

  4. Ministry of Truth permalink
    10/01/2010 10:02

    I’m with you bro. Theo. To the barricades!

  5. 10/04/2010 08:09

    @Callum Saunders – You’re absolutely spot on. There is a different model, one that can work and is sustainable. But that would mean less money at the top.

    @Christine Livingston – I certainly have worked with a few psychopaths in the past!

    @Ralph Basfeld – Of course there are good ones out there, but in the majority of cases I think (as Christine points out) the interest is self centred not on the greater good.

    @Ministry of Truth – We don’t have to sing like on Les Mis though do we?

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