Thursday, December 1, 2011
The Second Prime Greivance
In writing this, I now recognize the slight folly in separating Grievance 2 and Grievance 3, as in truth Grievance 3 – that of the freezing, if not decay, of wages for those in the middle and low classes – is but a component of Grievance 2, which I will now elaborate upon in its full infamy.
The second Grievance, that of the crippling of the middle socio-economic class and the threatened return to a labor and capitol relation not seen since the darkest days of the Industrial Age, is the result of a systematic market glitch which (as demonstrated by its repeated manifestation) seems to be one inherent in in the economic system of the United States of America.
Of course, if one seeks to understand this glitch, one must understand the system within which it arises. To put it simply, the economic system is a cycle. Banks lend to corporations or their analogues, allowing them to thus expand their productive capacity and number of employees. Those employees purchase goods, from which corporations derive a profit, with which they repay their loans to their banks, and the cycle begins again with (ideally) all involved garnering more wealth than they previously possessed.
The accessory entities in this cycle are investors, which exist either as private individuals or as commercial entities, which in essence serve as small-scale banks. They give organizations funds in return for future profits. These transactions, itemized as 'stocks' or otherwise, are just one more means by which corporate entities can have their immediate funds bolstered to expand their operations.
As previously stated and should be repeated, this is only the most basic description that can be made about our labyrinthine economic system.
Glitches arise in this system when the transfer of money through the cycle is lessened by market forces. These constrictions, no matter where they occur, ultimately result in corporations receiving less money than is necessary to support them at their present size, thus necessitating either a reduction in productive capacity, amount of supported assets, and personnel wage, or finding other ways to maximize their productivity while reducing costs.
Which has and is now happening at a troubling scale in major economic sectors, to the exclusive detriment of labor. Positions held by the so-called '99%', those which are staffed by individuals in the low- and middle socio-economic classes, are perceived to be the factors targeted first when an organizational budget needs to be reinforced.
Needless to say, growth – in terms of organization size and productivity – halts. The employment of new staff likewise ceases. Significant portions of existing personnel are then terminated, and the remaining staff are thus coerced into performing not only their own labor, but also that of their contemporaries, for longer hours. Wages are frozen, which in the face of rising inflation, results in a gradual and continuous decrease in purchasing potential. Existing employee benefits - such as vacation time, health insurance, and retirement programs – receive less support by the organization.
This is, of course, provided that the economic organization does not outright completely outsource their operations to a different country.
In the face of an economic recession this is to be expected. These actions are oft made in dire necessity in order to maintain the greater entity's existence until the recession ends, at which time it can resume its normal growth.
The grievance lies in the fact that, in the face of crisis for the organization and its present and former employees, the employers are reaping unprecedented rewards. The rise in the leadership's boons in the face of the underpaid and overworked labor's toil is thought of as nothing short of obscene. This is compounded by the 'bail-out' stimulus funds given to failing banks in an effort to keep them functional and maintain the economy, the program's perceived ineffectiveness in restoring the economy, and the bonuses seemingly self-awarded by and to the major officers of those firms.
In essence, the Movement's outrage is sourced not exclusively from corporate greed, but rather from corporate prosperity in the face of the labor's destitution.