#51 – “I Don’t Work There Anymore”

 

In business, the customer is the paying public and the merchant is the provider of service or goods. At the executive level, the merchant must make decisions based upon being able to provide those goods and services at competitive prices. To ensure the store’s doors remain open the executive must find a supplier of the desired goods of the customer.

A local grocery store will offer; can goods, frozen foods, fresh produce, bread, cereals, and meats. The store will also offer soaps, paper goods, cleaners mops, sponges, and disinfectants. Most local grocery stores even offer some over the counter medical supplies and dietary supplements. The fact is that in the local grocery store you can buy almost everything you need or want. Why? Because the merchants know that if they do not offer these products at competitive prices the customer will go elsewhere.

The mode of purchase that takes place in the grocery store is yet another issue. The customer voluntarily enters the store knowing that they must have something of value to purchase the goods that they desire. The thing of value is usually cash or a credit/debit card. After they go through their selection process they will voluntarily hand over that thing of value to complete the deal, goods for money.

That is a very simple description of an open market economy where most of these exchanges end with the satisfaction that the value you gave up was worth the product you received.

In a governmental situation, we elect people to shop for us. We usually choose at least three shoppers; at the central/national store, at the state store, and at the community store.  The governmental stores exist due to the patronage of the taxpayers. If the taxpayer is truly the customer, shouldn’t they determine the inventory being offered? It is time for the customer to evaluate the inventory that the government has on its selves. 

Ideally, this system should work due to the concept that our shoppers have an allegiance to those that “hired” them. However, the system has been corrupted by human flaws, greed and hubris have intervened. The government grocery stores are now filled with handlers that influence our shoppers. The products that they have purchased are not the ones that I desire or want.

The customers necessities have been discarded due to the influence levied upon our shoppers. The influence comes from fellow shoppers and from outsiders paid to influence all shoppers. Promises of prestigious committee membership, support toward reelection, financial rewards to reelection war chests and personal benefits now determine what we consume.

Take a good hard look at the goods in the shopping bag that we receive from the money they take from our paychecks. Here are just a few of the items that we find in our shopping bag: a $23 trillion deficit burden, numerous wars in the Middle East, military bases spread over the globe, a medical system so weak that covid-19 shut down the economy in order to “lower the curve”, a war on drugs used to employ millions but can’t even keep them out of prisons, empty airlines in service while unemployed citizens ration food and “non-essential” small business forced to shut-down while big “essential” corporation are bailed out so they can buy-back stock.

The government, due to the covid-19 crisis, has shown its hand. It has exposed its value system, the essentials, and non-essentials. Essential customers are bailed out while the “non-essentials” are disregarded. Over the past few months, the “non-essentials” have been cut loose. They have declared that the “non-essential’s” services are no longer required.

I’m retired, one might argue that I choose to be a non-essential, but I work from the age of 15 to the age of 62 in order to be a non-essential, it was voluntary and planned. If I was forced into the “non-essential” before my time I would probably be a lot less comfortable or maybe be struggling to make ends meet. If I was declared non-essential at the age of 20, 30, 40, 50 or even 60 I would have been downright angry.

Any authority that has the ability to enforced a stop-work order against the “non-essentials” is dangerous. They have basically “implied” that the “non-essentials” will; not be able to buy food, not be able to pay rent, not allowed to roam outside their boundaries and basically incapable of making prudent decisions concerning their own safety.

However, the authority does have a vetting process to identify acceptable “non-essentials.” Those that qualify will be allowed into a club, a club where Big Daddy will take care of them. This is a governmental authority on steroids. It is clear that they have seized the power to choose, both in industry and the individual, who is essential, and who is non-essentials.

Meanwhile, the Washington shoppers of both parties heap praise upon themselves for their “bipartisan” efforts, to issue IOUs to the “essentials” of their choice. The airlines will receive about $50 billion in cash and loans, while Boeing will receive a share of $17 billion earmarked for industries favored by Congress. Another $500 billion will go to cruise lines, hotels, and other firms that have lost business because of travel restrictions and the economic shutdowns.

In the current economic market, the “non-essential” might see things a little differently. Their priority may be a bit more mundane than flying to some resort location to embark on a luxury cruise. Maybe restarting jobs and services may be a higher priority. The only influence left for the non-essential is their feet. They must walk away from the governmental tyranny store and shop for liberty.

Bail-out the non-essentials by calling this off and restart the economy. We must begin to assess the damage caused by the covid-19 shutdown and proceed to rebuild the economy that has been destroyed. It is time to entrust the “non-essentials” to decide the extent of protection they want.

I am reminded of a rugby song we use to sing at the beer saturated post-game celebration:

I use to work in Chicago

In a department store

I use to work in Chicago

I don’t work there anymore

 

A lady came in for liberty*

Liberty from the store

Liberty she wanted

*Tyranny she got

I don’t work there anymore 

 

*This version is an adaptation from a verse we use to sing. The rugby version had a similar concept but included words like curtains and a rod, instead of liberty and tyranny.

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