Years ago when I was working as a writer for a large New York advertising agency for a major airline client, market research had predicted that with increased efficiencies in the workplace, people would have more leisure time to spend their growing incomes. So the airline wanted to concentrate its promotional efforts on its vacation destinations.
Little did anyone think back then that increased worker productivity would give employers (who were always under pressure to increase profits quickly) the incentive to pay less for fewer workers to do more. Investors put increased pressure on the system because they wanted their dividends! In fact, some CEOs have been given rock star status and handsomely rewarded for laying off lots of people.
Over the years I have seen big advertising agencies dwindle in size or go completely out of business. And this phenomenon can be seen in all kinds of businesses. In agriculture for instance, bigger high-tech tractors allow fewer farmers to plant and harvest more food crops.
Right now millions of people are experiencing the downside of decades of increased productivity. Success is coming to fewer and fewer people.
It used to be the deprived, uneducated and untrained that were left out of the so-called middle class “dream.” But today, people with PhDs are walking the streets. Worse, the world’s youth, who represent the future of humankind, see their opportunities as nil.
One finds one’s worth in one’s work.
Unfortunately, more and more people are being told that their minds and talents are no longer needed. And those that still have employment are finding it harder to earn a livable income.
Some people are hoping for a new technology to arrive on the scene that will again improve the economic picture. But technology and increased productivity eventually allows still fewer individuals to do the job. Clean energy technologies cannot be developed fast enough to meet the demands of a society becoming more hungry and dependent upon electrical power. Other people feel that the redistribution and sharing of wealth is the answer. Self-worth, however, doesn’t come from having money legislated into your pocket (despite the worldly reality that no one will turn down money).
So the bigger problem is coming up with a unique new sustainable economy that is based on true social justice—which goes beyond a simple paycheck but includes the redistribution of knowledge and love, so that society can enjoy a heightened consciousness of why we are all here, and leading to a nobler conscience within the performing of our newly discovered God-given duty.
Neither socialism nor capitalism alone is the answer. I believe a creative new synergy between both principles will allow personal exceptionalism and allow the collective community to reciprocate and support each other. This synergy can only be reached through the God of heaven. After all, we are all instinctively seeking a heavenly society on earth.
Even our money is based on such a spiritual premise. That’s why it states “In God We Trust.”
God is currently checking our souls and squeezing us to see what goodness will come out of each of us. We need to become a society of angels.