I am an American company. I am the invention of capitalism. When my country needed me, I built bombs for it. I modified production lines, conserved metals, and even altered my manufacturing processes. I made no arguments against it. I made no cries of hurting my profits. I made no excuses. I sacrificed and made a contribution for a greater good. I did what I had to do for the safety of the country, its people, and its very sovereignty. Because I know I am an American company. I am the invention of capitalism. Therefore, without America I cannot exist. Without a strong America I will not survive. Its protection is as important, if not more, as are my profits.
I write this little ditty as a message to the elites. I write it as a message to America's CEOs. I write it because I'm starting to get the distinct impression that a lot of people who sit at the top have sadly forgotten how it is that they ever had the opportunity to arrive where they are now. Yeah, through hard work. Yeah, through risk taking. I'm not discounting the efforts of anyone, here. I'm a capitalist too. I work hard, I invest my money, I take on some level of risk. Capitalism offers a reward for that. I know well and good that if my life is not the way that I want it to be, that if I am not making the amount of money that I want to make, that if I am not accomplishing to the degree that I want to accomplish, that it is not for lack of opportunity. It's for lack of effort. There is no one who owes me anything.
That is, with the exception of respect and appreciation.
To me those two things represent a fair wage. A clean, safe, and just working environment. It means that if I work hard for you, you'll work hard for me. I'm not saying at all that I want things handed to me on a silver platter. I'm not saying that I want something for nothing. You don't have to kiss my ass. Hey, look. I'm a big boy. I can take it upon myself to put to the very best use everything that I earn. And if not, well, that's my fault. I get that all too well.
I should, of course, respect and appreciate you as well. I should respect and appreciate that I have a job with which to feed my family, put a roof over their head, put clothes on their back, and to even put something aside for a rainy day, a better opportunity, or a shot at being just like you. And I should have no anger, either, that you are where you are. You represent the possibility I have to look forward to if I give my all.
But I'm having a hard time doing that these days because the respect and appreciation part is lacking for me. I'm being reduced. My life is getting harder. My opportunity is increasingly becoming less of a reality.
And hey, I'm making sacrifices too. I'm paying my taxes. Yeah, I'm not paying the bulk. You're right. But I'm not making the bulk either. A 15% snatching of my take siphons a much bigger chunk of real living money than 50% of say, a million. I'm doing what I have to and I understand it's a tough economy. Everyone's feeling the pinch. Yeah, maybe even the elites are in a bit of a pinch...but come on, let's not kid ourselves. You're not really going to tell me that it's the same kind of a pinch are you?
The thing here is that I love my country too. Just like that company in my little ditty above. I am a patriot. I am an American. I want to do my part. That whole American dream thing is important to me.
What American companies are doing today, what the elites are doing today, is unpatriotic. They are taking down Americans one person at a time. They are sending our good jobs away and replacing them with lower paying ones, if they replace them at all. The middle class is all but gone. The dividing line between the rich and the poor is a neon one.
I keep hearing about that risk. All the hard work at the top that's worth the millions in salaries and bonuses. You know, there's a ton of hard work at the bottom too. And if you don't think so, I encourage you to do what the average American does for a year. Live in their shoes. You'll get it, then, that they're not asking for anything that they don't deserve. They earn everything they get and lately they're not getting their due.
The current direction may boost profits. It may make the elite eliter. Eventually, though, it's going to hurt the country. And since we are capitalism, so too will it be hurt. Progress cannot be at the expense of the very people it is supposed to help.
So yes. Companies in America damn well should be patriots. Only this time it's not about a war. It's about it's very people's livelihoods. Patriotism equals success. Success equals profits. For me it really is that simple.
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