one tiny soapbox: .Responsibility.
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Monday, April 3


Ford lays off thousands of workers to keep lean. To improve efficiency, Nissan eliminates jobs. Enron's top execs are exposed as greedy charlatans whose actions ultimately sacrifice the incomes ~ both present and future ~ of all its employees, no matter the rank or tenure. What on earth will these poor folk do now to earn a living?

Well, you ask good questions, and I think I have some valid answers. But first, let me ask you: who, ultimately, is responsible for keeping these individuals employed. Is it the state? Is it the community or the church? Friends and family? How about their employer, past, present or future?

Now, if your dad's a faithful member of Jaycee Local #237, or if your mom or aunt's a loyal employee of the local school or county sheriff's office, or if you're personally a tenured school teacher, policeman forest ranger or traffic attendant, then your answer is likely to be something like: "well, that's why we have unions, so "big business" can't bully us around or bag us at will...or infringe on our right to realize our version of the "American Dream.""

I won't even take time here to comment on the validity of this age-old notion.

I will assert, however ~ with much vigor and conviction ~ that the responsibility for a person's life, that is: his livelihood, his earnings-power, his occupational "way" in life, lies squarely and undeniably upon his own shoulders. No union, no employer, no benevolent municipality is in the least bit obligated to serve as benefactor to the welfare of any well, able-bodied person!

Think of it: just 150 years ago or so, most folk in this country were opposed to the idea of working for some large employer, preferring, rather, to work for themselves in some sort of home-based business. Indeed, by and large most "big business" was quite unheard of. People simply tended to their own businesses, some useful, productive "cottage industry" that served to both supply the needs of the immediate family, as well as those of the surrounding community. Many nostalgically call these times the Farming or Agrarian Age.

Along came the Industrial Age; the age of machinery, mechanization, mass production, giving rise to the accelerating advancement of technology and a growing demand for the concentration of workers under one roof. I won't bother detailing the multitudinous complexities of this stage of American history...except to say that, pock-marked by corporate down-sizing in the 80's, torn by hostile mergers in the 90's, and sifted by the emergence of almost undreamt-of technological advancements, chief of which being the Triple Dubyah, that age has surely run its course.

Things have undeniably changed. Hello, Information Age.

Whereas once, it seemed only the most entrepreneurial, aggressive or desperate folks considered opening a business for themselves, now we see the gaining momentum of this great age of readily accessible information and rapidly cheapening technology reflected in the expectant faces of our neighbors and friends who've each got a product or service of their own they'd like to introduce us to.

It appears quite clear that things are coming full cirle. And I think it's great!

It's also very needful, because in this still new Information Age, the Industrial Age ideas of job security, retirement benefits and other such things are quickly going the way of the dodo bird. It's simply up to each of us to ~ by God's Grace and our own common sense ~ make the most of what we have... indeed do whatever it takes (within sound moral bounds, of course) to do what we have to do to earn our keep.

This is a lesson I've come to learn the very hard way, indeed. But, perhaps more on that later...


Comments on ".Responsibility."


Blogger mayitox said... (Wed Apr 05, 10:05:00 PM 2006) : 

very interesting point of view. i completely agree with it .


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