During what has become known as the “Great Recession”, there has been much gnashing of teeth that money isn’t flowing. Goods aren’t being purchased. As a result, businesses aren’t producing to the level that they could. Amazingly, a solution exists that has yet to be fully exploited. It could be implemented almost immediately and with little-to-no government interference.
Hire people, you leeches!
No less of a business icon than Henry Ford realized how important it was for business sustainability to have a well-paid workforce: these were the people who were going to be buying his automobiles, after all. The workforce is the plankton that makes all of the rest of the economic ecosystem work.
You need to sell product. That product costs money. You need people to buy the product. Those people need money. How do people obtain the money? They need to work.
You need infrastructure. The roads, sewers, business districts, etc. that make it possible to run your business efficiently. For that you need taxes to be paid by those who aren’t you: the people. That lowers your own tax burden. To pay those taxes, people need to earn an income. To earn that income, they need to work.
For decades, American business has been focused on automation and decreasing its payroll for increasing efficiencies. We’ve gone past the tipping point. Without enough focused (i.e. rested) workers, no business can sustain itself for long. Its products become more expensive and there are fewer people left to buy them. The time has come for the large businesses (not the small businesses who are struggling month-to-month to survive even in the best of times) to stop whining and be proactive about their situation.
More workers need to be hired, the workload of many current workers has to be reduced to a sustainable level (which, amazingly, hiring more workers will accomplish), and reasonable wages need to be paid. Business models need to be amended to take into account the necessary inefficiencies of having humans in the production cycle for corporate health.
Humans aren’t robots. As enticing as automation is, the fact is that robots don’t purchase goods and services. Without workers earning enough to merrily spend, no business model can long endure. It’s time that purse strings are loosened. The spotlight is now on the job providers. They need to open the doors and provide jobs. They need to lessen the burden on those who are doing what it once took two, three, or four employees to do. Just because they somehow manage to get something done doesn’t mean that the long-term health of a company has improved–in fact, it’s likely much more precarious.
It’s not on government this time. It’s not on investors or banks. It’s on you, business, to reboot the feedback loop.