I have become less concerned with the cost of goods and services. Advertisements that brag about their low prices mean little to me. In this day and age, I wish corporations would start advertising the state of their employee population. Things like:
- How many of their employees live near or below the federal poverty line?
- How many are on Medicaid?
- How many own a home?
- How many own a car?
- How many have health insurance?
- How many have declared bankruptcy?
- How many are suffering from chronic medical conditions?
- What is the average level of education?
- What are the average savings of non-executives?
- What ratio of labor costs are incurred outside the country? Which countries? How are those workers treated?
- What is the median pay rate of their average worker, the median pay rate of executive leadership and the salary of its CEO?
Most importantly, what is the organization doing to take care of their people? Beyond being an “innovative” cost-cutter, how are they providing leadership for the people and families they depend upon?
As time passes, it is becoming painfully evident that workers require a high rate of pay because basic essentials (daycare, school, medical, higher education, etc) are not covered. They are not covered because the rich do not pay their fair share through taxes. This is because we believe this funding will “trickle down” through the free market.
I’m asking for proof of that “trickle”.
As Pluto ingresses into the sign of Aquarius, I believe we will be entering a time frame where social concern may start to trump self-interest. So much so, that it may include a closer scrutiny of “low prices” and demands for higher degrees of transparency. The companies and organizations that become successful may be those that can show this through comprehensive advertising and marketing campaigns. It needs to become a new normal because the competitiveness within the prevailing marketplace has created an environment of alternatives that are all fairly equivalent. That’s why cutting prices may not continue to be a unique and successful strategy. As counter intuitive as it sounds, raising prices, lowering executive pay while increasing investments on the employee population and then SHARING THESE IMPROVEMENTS may actually be the competitive ingredient that distinguishes one company over another.
So, this is a challenge to the informal social contract that we have agreed to and has shaped lives of large groups of people. As Pluto focuses its transformative glare on things that have been broken for a long time, it is my hope that this includes the lack of social concern that has infected the foundations of the economic policies of the United States.