Jeremy Franklin wrote:These notions of big bad business taking advantage of the little guy are mostly perpetuated by people who have never seen the numbers.
To make sure that no one thinks I am talking out of bitterness or ignorance, let me just say that I have been CEO of three companies and COO/CFO of one in two countries in two different continents, over the course of the last 30 years. I have seen all the numbers that there are and I am very familiar with the inner workings of well established businesses just as startups and companies on life support. I have walked away from it because I realized the immense damage capitalist corporate culture causes to individuals, society and the planet in general, and once I became aware of it I was not able to keep doing it and sleep well at night.
As for the real numbers, see further below.
Jeremy Franklin wrote:I think the difference between "work" and "a job" is mostly mindset.
I agree with you on that, but the distinction I was trying to make was not that. It is between a job and income. It's an entirely different topic.
Jeremy Franklin wrote:I've had several jobs, and I've been self-employed several times. I can tell you, you're always working for someone else. If it's not a boss, it's a client, and after a while, you start to realize that the differences are mostly just in the paperwork.
You are absolutely right, but again, what I was trying to address was the issue of who’s benefiting from your work mostly, and who has the security of having his needs met without the exploitation of others, causing social imbalance, poverty, and suffering and a collapsing ecosystem.
Jeremy Franklin wrote:Eric, your scenario of taking home 10% of what you produce vs 100% of what you produce is just not accurate. First, anyone who has been in upper management at a company will tell you that labor and the associated expenses (benefits, payroll taxes, etc) is almost always your biggest expense on your profit and loss statement, frequently as much as 40-50% of revenue. After you add other overhead as well as marketing, etc, you're considered to be doing pretty well if a company is making as much as a 25% profit margin. Many are fighting for 5%. The simple fact of the matter is that if any company could make a 90% profit margin off your work, it wouldn't take long for another company to come along and offer you 15% and take 85%, and then another offering 20 for 80, etc
Again you are right in the short run. What happens in the long run though, is that those companies, (both the ones fighting for 5% net margin, and the ones that offer more than others) either go bankrupt, forced out of the business by those who are making the big bucks, or simply bought out. Another option is that the CEO who operates a company like that is swiftly replaced by the board, or if not, the board gets replaced by the shareholders. If you are working in a corporate environment you must know very well that the only measure of corporate health is the size of the profit. If you begin to care about the well being of your workers beyond the level that ensures that your profit is growing, you are in the crosshairs of the firing squad whether you know it or not.
Jeremy Franklin wrote: Most companies are run by good people who want to treat their employees right.
Well, I am not sure what info or data is backing up that statement but what I see is cutting corners in safety on the Dakota oil fields which in turn is killing people for a couple of dollars more, outsourcing jobs to Asia for more profit, creating job losses in the US and empowering sweatshops and child labor overseas, oil rigs blowing up, automating even low level, regularly person to person jobs such as a fast food cashier, making millions of people losing healthcare with the stroke of a pen, hiking up life saving medical supplies' prices, spending millions of dollars lobbying to get our representatives doing anything and everything to pass legislation to maximize corporate profits, perpetuate war and suffering to enrich the weapons industry tycoons, and I could go on for hours even in the small business sector. In my book those who make these decisions in order to maximize profits are not good people, even if they are faithful to their wives, love their children and provide for their families, and maybe even make charitable contributions.
Jeremy Franklin wrote: And the reason these companies exist, and why people work for them is that as a large group of people, we can generate a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
That is why co-operatives exist. Companies exist solely for profit and people work for them because they are tricked into thinking that it is the only way to survive,, or because that is the only way to service their debts in which they were also tricked into.
I seriously doubt anyone would work for a corporation where the profit goes into the shareholders pocket if they had the chance to work for a co-op where the profit goes into their own pocket, or at a higher level of social conscience, to the community.
Jeremy Franklin wrote: Yes, if you work for yourself in a business that has no expenses and no taxes, you can take home 100% of your revenue. However, that revenue will not be on the same scale as what you can produce as part of a larger company.
It is definitely true for those in upper mid management, and executive positions.
For most people however, this is less and less true as the corporate culture is built on infinite growth of production and profit. To back this up here are some numbers:
The GDP in the US is $16.77 trillion, and the total workforce is 159,640,000 people as of Dec 2016. The median pay nationally is $51,939, which totals a 8.3 trillion pay. Out of the 159.6 million workforce, 22 million are government employees with a total pay of 1.85 trillion and 2.5 million executive positions with a median pay of $121,435, which totals in which adds up to about 260 billion. So the $16.77 trillion is produced by 135 million people which comes to $124,000 per worker. These 135 million people are paid $6.1 trillion, which comes to $45,427.00 per person of which an average 30% is paid in different forms of income and work related taxes, which leaves them with $31,799 which comes to $ 15.29 an hour provided that you are working 40 hours all 52 weeks of the year ( no holidays or vacations), which is 20% less than what a single supporter of a 1 child family would have to make as a living wage in Jefferson County, Mississippi. (Mississippi is the cheapest place to live in the US)
Now this is 25.6% of the value produced by the individual, and is better than my estimate was, but this also includes higher paying, non-executive, managerial jobs, ( I just didn't want to go into that detailed of a research to take those out, right now) and 50% of the people in this bracket makes less than that. So I think, my 10% estimate is pretty close to the reality of Average Joe.
Jeremy Franklin wrote: Personally, I would rather have 10% of a million dollars than I would 100% of 30 grand. The fact of the matter is, with my skill sets and personality type, I can make more working for someone else, pay somebody to build my house for me, and still have more left in the bank than if I did all the labor and built the house myself. (There are other reasons for doing it yourself, but speaking strictly financially, that's the reality)
I think you are right. Whether you want a job or not depends on many factors One of them is whether your goal is making as much money as you possibly can, or just to produce everything that you need to live well. And living well also has a different meaning for different people . However if we have a sense of social and environmental responsibility, and we take the pillars of Permaculture seriously, it is hard to participate in the corporate rape of the planet and systematic exploitation of the poor.
It's just simple math that every dollar that one has beyond their needs, makes someone else fall a dollar short of meeting their needs.
Jeremy Franklin wrote:I think what most people object to is a mindset where you "have" to go to work every day, and you "have" to do what someone else tells you to do. This sense of what feels like enforced slavery grates on our sense of self and our natural inclinations of freedom. But, again, this can be rectified with a simple shift in perspective.
Agreed again. It is easy trick our minds into thinking that we are free, especially when the alternative is understanding that we are disposable slaves in the cog work of the system we call the “free world” ( Cognitive Dissonance is one the mind’s most powerful bondage) The problem is that the moment one makes that shift, is the moment when one becomes a willing slave to those who don’t care about other human beings, let alone other non-human living beings.
Jeremy Franklin wrote:As I said in the beginning, if your goal is money vs just working to grow your own food or work your land for your own benefit - if currency is at all in play, then you are working for someone else. You are performing a service - something that they want done, not you - in exchange for money. Whether you get paid as a W2 employee or a 1099 contractor, or cash under the table, that's mostly paperwork and in the latter case, small scale tax evasion. But you're still doing a task that has no personal meaning to you in exchange for currency. When you understand that, then you understand that you can always walk away, no matter what the paperwork says. You always have that option, so long as you own the consequences of your actions and believe in your own ability to earn somewhere else. With that knowledge comes the freedom we all crave.
Someone who had subscribed to the current social programming and up to his ears in student loan, car loan and mortgage debt, cannot afford to just walk away anytime. Especially if their skill is easily automated. They need careful preparations, sometimes even for years, if they don’t want that step to cause a catastrophic collapse of their family economy. Right now if you are a high ranking executive, you may feel that your job is secure, but let me tell you that my best friend is a VP at G&S and she is currently tasked with automating herself out of her job.
Jeremy Franklin wrote: I work for someone else in what you call a "job," but I do so by choice, because it's the most efficient way to get the most money for the least amount of effort on my part. But because my expenses are so much lower than my income (and even more so, when my land will largely be supporting my food needs) I know that at any point if things get sour or I'm just not having fun anymore, I can walk. Just having that knowledge in the back of my mind makes all the difference in the world, and frankly, gives me a much greater capacity for putting up with other people's shit, just because I know I don't "have" to.
From what you wrote it sounds like you are in a very privileged position at least jobwise. I was there, and now I know that I had a very difficult time to see from there the position in which my employees were, let alone understand their struggles. Now I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to break out of it.