These days, everyone seems to be against corporations in favor of supporting Mom and Pop shops. But see, here’s the thing about evolutionary business structures. If we continue our support, eventually they will grow into something larger, more profitable – a corporation – and then people will feel the need to hate them. We’ll hate the fact that they purchase lobbyists to influence politicians to legislate things like loopholes and low-cost loans and investment protections. We’ll despise the fact that they receive the equivalent of a vote in the political arena. We’ll start to loathe the Mom and Pop that created the business because they’ll be off in their planes and on their yachts while their employees work for low wages.
Truth is, the public will have some responsibility in creating the development of the corporation. It is the nature of business: Mom and Pop small business folks risk capital to produce something, and then, as profits grow, hire more workers to help them produce more and more and so on until Mom and Pop can place the business in the hands of someone else and move on to greener pastures. Presumably, this is the American Dream. People emigrated from around the world for an opportunity to chase this entrepreneurial capitalistic venture.
And then some of them made it happen, and got wealthy, and purchased politicians to help them keep their wealth, and performed some questionable acts antithetical to social responsibility, and drew the ire of the Dreamers who hadn’t reached their dreams yet. So that’s where we are and I keep asking myself the same question. Is the model broken, or do we just want our small business people to have more awareness, to feel a larger obligation to the community that helped them thrive. Perhaps the corporations aren’t the problem at all.
I think we can sleep well tonight knowing the American Dream is still intact. Maybe it’s just a subtle shift in the empathetic nature of business owners that can turn the tide.
Paying employees less than owners is not exploitation, but rather, a solid financial decision. Turning profits for stockholders is the corporation’s responsibility. But maybe corporate owners could recognize their success was dependent upon the local community. Maybe they could show a little gratitude by contributing to local schools and offering opportunities to local job-seekers. Maybe they could allow employees to purchase part of the company and thereby raise the tide, which lifts more boats.
I guess I’m just sick of hearing people say corporations are horrible. Profit-minded businesses are not the problem. They are simply the nature of entrepreneurialism. Mom and Pop are not good-people-turned-bad when they reach a seven-figure income. They are simply living the American Dream.
So, as we help them to create their beds, we just have to ensure Mom and Pop are dreaming, instead of spending their time fucking us.