A Benevolent Boss?

I wonder if we will all come to the conclusion some day that the human race is too defective to sustain itself. That one megalomaniac too many, one sociopath with too much power will prevent us from self-correction.

Would my Libertarian and Republican friends please explain to me: how much money is enough? When will you look back on all you’ve done and decide that you didn’t give a hand to your fellow man?

Is the corporate CEO a master to his employees? Who among us is living in a master/underling paradigm at work? Do employees have to depend upon a benevolent master, or can they receive the respect they deserve? Who is satisfied at work, and who is just doing it for the paycheck?

“I don’t care how benevolent the master is going to be, I will not live under a master. That is not what America was created for. America was created in order that every man should have the same chance as every other man to exercise mastery over his own fortunes. What I want to do is analogous to what the authorities of the city of Glasgow did with tenement houses. I want to light and patrol the corridors of these great organizations in order to see that nobody who tries to traverse them is waylaid and maltreated. If you will but hold off the adversaries, if you will but see to it that the weak are protected, I will venture a wager with you that there are some men in the United States, now weak, economically weak, who have brains enough to compete with these gentlemen and who will presently come into the market and put these gentlemen on their mettle. And the minute they come into the market there will be a bigger market for labor and a different wage scale for labor.

“Because it is susceptible of convincing proof that the high-paid labor of America,—where it is high paid,—is cheaper than the low-paid labor of the continent of Europe. Do you know that about ninety per cent of those who are employed in labor in this country are not employed in the “protected” industries, and that their wages are almost without exception higher than the wages of those who are employed in the “protected” industries? There is no corner on carpenters, there is no corner on bricklayers, there is no corner on scores of individual classes of skilled laborers; but there is a corner on the poolers in the furnaces, there is a corner on the men who dive down into the mines; they are in the grip of a controlling power which determines the market rates of wages in the United States. Only where labor is free is labor highly paid in America.”

Wilson, Woodrow. “Chapter 9/Benevolence or Justice?” The New Freedom; a Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People. New York and Garden City: Doubleday, Page, 1913. 207-209. Print.

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