In Response to “The Austrian Economist Who Refuted Marx (and Obama)” article, Ebeling claims that Marxian-based economic policies, such as mandating a raise to the minimum wage, are “mov[ing] society down a road that leads to potential ruin.” Ebeling praises the “businessman” (i.e. the owner/boss) and the essential part they play as leader/organizer, visionary, and risk taker in the money making venture. Certainly, visionary businessmen like Henry Ford are at the center of our national economy because they create jobs. However, Henry Ford understood that paying his workers well allowed them to buy his cars. It created consumers and patrons. Additionally, the high employee turnover and absenteeism that plagued the Ford Company during the time could be diminished. Indeed, Ford’s success was partially based on his view of his employees as “essential.”
Ford placed great value on his workers and proved that, by paying them a living wage (i.e. one that raised them from the poverty level), his company, his employees, and the economy benefited. Ebeling claims that “such misplaced policies will further undermine the essential foundations of the free market system that over the last two hundred years has given man more personal freedom and material prosperity than has ever been known in all of human history”. However, he forgets that the “free” market capitalism practiced here and in much of the world is not “free” from regulations and law. Without laws to restrain the greedy and/or immoral businessmen, there would be many more instances today and in our nation’s history where businessmen disproportionately profit while their workers struggle to survive and our planet dies a toxic death.
Ebeling fails to acknowledge the many labor and wage laws that have increased “personal freedom and material prosperity” throughout America’s history and in spite of the wishes of most businessmen. He fails to mention that the time and energy of the worker, their most valuable commodity, are just as important to the successful business venture as the businessman’s vision and leadership. This is true whether we are speaking of those who manufacture a product or service the needs of others. Henry Ford recognized this, so when will the majority of today’s businessmen do the same?
The underlined words in following excerpt are meant to take the reader on a journey through the Encyclopedia of OBES:
Compensation– no matter how you observe it in commerce, compensation is payment for something rendered and usually associated with a product or service derived from energy. It is necessary to observe compensation in terms of exchange between two entities- dispenser (giver, seller) and receiver (buyer), whichever would apply to you.
Do you strive for equivalency? Have you made amends through compensation? When has loss or injury been a factor for you in compensation? We know compensation comes in the form of money, but what other forms can it come in?
Reward – freely given
Have you experienced unreasonable compensation or has it been just? Should compensation be legislated and governed?