We left this series with #3 and a discussion of the dangers of assumptions. Today, we will begin another discussion of a very large and almost totally obscured assumption of the third pillar of society, business. Let’s set the stage because business in relationship to the development of socially sustainable communities and societies is perhaps much more complex than democratic government as an agent of developing socially sustainable policies and societies. I will use a very broad brush to discuss this.
When we consider a functional society, that should alert you to the three pillars of every functional society: the social, political and the economic/financial. All functional societies have these in common in one form or another. Business is a means of “doing the business of society” and government. In communist countries, business is managed by the central authority of government. In a democracy, as we have in the United States today, government is managed by large corporations. When we take into account that business is a means to make money, which is the passion of almost every American, then prosperous business is GOOD! Or so it seems.
The broadly obscured assumption of business that brings prosperity is that if it is a good thing now, then it will be a good thing in the future. Why rock the boat, huh? Yet, as we have and are seeing so clearly is that the “lubricant of functional societies” (MONEY) is becoming more and more sequestered in what is popularly known as “the 1%” of the population. Just as an gasoline or Diesel engine must have a continuous circulation of oil under pressure to cool and lubricate the moving parts, so too must a good working economy have money in continuous circulation and under pressure (read, continuing investments) to maintain the health of the economy, for everyone’s benefit.
When oil stops flowing to the moving parts of an engine, those parts will become very hot. Some will melt and actually weld themselves to their complemental part, at which point the whole engine seizes-up and stops very abruptly. We have begun to see this in the global economy. This distribution of money through wages, salaries, vendor contracts and dividends has in the past been a means to “distribute the wealth” of business so that each employed person could use that money as they determine, exercising their right of self-determination.
The sequestering of money from the flow of business to employees and others is common to both communist regimes and democratic governments, to their detriment.