Browse Category

Socialism. Capitalism

Will America 2.0 see a revaluation of labor?

Has COVID-19 softened Labor/Management relations?

By Dr. Larry Fedewa        Washington DC, April 26, 2020

Entrepreneur extraordinaire Mark Cuban has coined the term, “America 2.0” to designate the new realities Americans will face as a result of the COVID-19 quarantine. One of those realities has been the highlighting of the interdependence of labor and management required to attain a successful business. In case after case, we have heard employers and business owners discuss the extreme measures they have undertaken to reduce the burdens on their employees as they face loss of wages and even employment. Their pleas for help have finally penetrated even the hallowed halls of Congress and the Federal Reserve.

Many are learning the lessons that John Mackey discusses in his account of the time when his Whole Foods store would have failed if not saved by the efforts of his loyal employees, suppliers and customers. (Conscious Capitalism, 2013) He discovered that the fate of his business was really in the hands of all those whom he had served so diligently. They had repaid his loyalty to them by proving they were also stakeholders in his company.

This is the prism through which we are looking at the topic of this discussion. Clearly, there are external factors as well. Before the pandemic, we were very close to a labor shortage. We were hearing pleas from recruiters to retirees and other pools of unattached workers to rejoin the workforce. Hiring and retaining a competent workforce was becoming a high priority in some industries, and critical in others. The usual effect of such a situation is an increase of the enticements to candidates or employees to hire or retain their services, including bonuses, higher wages, and enhanced benefits.  Keep Reading

Sanders’ Socialism

 Everybody gets a free ride!

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (March 16, 2020)

Recent polls show that a large plurality of Americans prefer socialism over capitalism. On its surface, such a preference is shocking. Digging beneath the surface, however, we find a somewhat less alarming reality. So, let’s dig a little.

The first question is, what do most of those Americans think “socialism” means? To many of our fellow Americans, “socialism” has been defined by Bernie Sanders, the socialist Senator from Vermont. He describes socialism in terms of an expansion of “human rights” into services, notably health care, higher education, and income parity, if not equality. He advocates free delivery of these services to every American. He also believes that the USA should have open borders, inviting anyone who wishes to become an American citizen to come at will.

Then there is the other side of his views. He also believes that Americans’ access to gun ownership should be severely restricted. He says that climate change is “an existential threat” to the world and adopts the “green agenda”. That agenda includes the elimination of fossil fuels, and the substitution of renewable forms of energy (even though no such energy sources exist) and the re-entry of America into the Paris Accord, which obligates the USA to pay the bill for converting the major polluters of the world (China and India) to renewables. These are samples of the price we would pay under a Sanders idealized world-view for all the “free” services. Keep Reading

Workers’ rights in the 21st century: Unions and Conscious Capitalism

Do unions still have a place at the table?     

 

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (May 12, 2019)

“Conscious Capitalism” promotes the most expansive view of workers’ rights ever to be advocated by corporate management  in the history of capitalism. At last, workers are accorded the respect due to major stakeholders in the organization, whether a corporate giant or an entrepreneurial start-up. Almost always this means sharing in the profits of the company if not outright  stock ownership.

This view of the business flows from an idealistic definition of the enterprise which includes, among other things, the function of profits as a necessary means to a greater good. The greater good is the mission of the firm as providing a community service through the sale of its goods or services. Conscious Capitalism challenges everyone in the organization to contribute to  the fulfillment of this mission and provides the resources to do so.

Conscious Capitalists also tend to be anti-union. Keep Reading

The Wealth Gap (continued): Back to basics

The middle class share of American wealth has gone to the very rich

                                                                                     

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (April 7, 2019)

 

For the past three weeks, The Dr. Larry Show (www.blogtalkradio.com/LA-Batchelor/ or at 646-929-0130; 7 -8 pm every Wednesday) has been discussing the “wealth gap” in 2019 America. Now, it’s time to get back to basics.

Q. What is the “wealth gap”?                                       

A. This term refers to the present and growing concentration of financial assets (cash, stock, real estate, intellectual properties such as patents, copyrights, and royalties, etc.), and all forms of passive income to the control of fewer and fewer people (1% of the population) while the middle-class controls less and less of the nation’s wealth. The word, “wealth”, is used instead of “income”, because the value of assets is frequently allowed to appreciate untouched ( e.g. to avoid taxable income). Money comes and goes in the form of income; assets are for long-term welfare.

Q.  Is there really a wealth gap in America? Surely there will always be differences in wealth.

A.  The changes in the proportion of the nation’s wealth held by individuals over time are clearly traceable statistically. This trend can and has been analyzed by experts for decades. Currently, nearly 80% of America’s wealth is held by 1% of the U.S. population.                     Keep Reading

The Origins of the American New Left

Where did they come from?                         

2016 Rally – Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Hillary Clinton

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (September 23, 2018)  America’s academic institutions today are dominated by the heirs of people who grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. A look at the anti-establishment movements of those days helps us to understand the themes that have survived and evolved into today’s New Left.

The overarching issues of those days were opposition to the Vietnam War, which started in the universities of the time, and the civil rights movement whose champion was

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Almost unnoticed in the confusion was President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, which introduced the most radically socialistic legislation in American history, extending the role of the federal government to responsibility for care of the poor.

Civil rights and the anti-war causes were directly anti-establishment, and both were based on a sense of moral superiority. It did not take long for the believers in the two causes to join forces. They filled mutual needs: the anti-Vietnam movement was based initially on the objections of college students (mostly white) to being required to fight in a war which was neither understood nor supported by most Americans.

The issue quickly became whether the federal government even had the right to draft youngsters at all. Middle America stood firmly with the government on that issue, thus spawning widespread opposition to the anti-war movement and solidifying support for the War beyond what is had been in the beginning.  The champion of the Middle American view was Alabama Governor George Wallace, who also had come to prominence as a segregationist (a position he later repudiated).

What the anti-war movement needed was a cause larger than the discomfort of some white college boys. They needed a transcendent cause and they found it in the civil rights movement. That cause was social justice. Specifically, social justice as interpreted to mean equality of all Americans — legally, socially, economically and morally. The civil rights movement needed white support; the leaders were aware that without it, they would never achieve their goals.

It was a marriage made in heaven.      Keep Reading

The New Left in American Colleges

Academic Freedom or Academic Censorship?

by Dr. Larry Fedewa

Many Americans have been shocked and dismayed by the lawless behavior of students on several campuses protesting conservative speakers, harassing conservative students, and censoring student publications. What is going on? What has happened to the university as the bastion of free speech?

Two Keys

There are two keys to understanding these demonstrations:

  1. First, these student protests are flourishing in an environment fostered by the faculties at these institutions; and
  2. Second, the faculty preaches dogmas which mark a generational shift in values.

The fundamental analysis therefore must begin with the faculty. Student behavior is primarily an acting out of faculty teaching. Administrators, while generally sympathetic to the students, are caught between angry students and their Boards and other supporters demanding a stop to these outrageous demonstrations.

What is the faculty teaching and why? Keep Reading