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  • mike from ontario
    January 07, 2012 - 20:35

    I am the owner and operator of a mid sized company. A year ago (roughly), invested in technology that would eliminate the jobs of just over 100 of my employees. The employees were uneducated workers who did a job that technology was capable of doing, automatically, without the workers. My income from this company went up 16 times. I gave my IT staff a raise for managing this new technology, and paid a consulting firm for their services which made the elimination of the jobs possible. BUT none of this is social injustice. It is simply society evoloving. There are winners (the IT staff, the 1 IT guy whose job was created BECAUSE using a computer instead of people is possible, the consulting firm, and ofcourse myself) and losers (the displaced workers). I took the risk of investing a small fortune on the technology, and therefore earned the reward of increasing my profit margins 16-fold. It is not social injustice, but rather smart economics and technological efficiency. The demand for my company's services was growing, and the need to fulfill this demand can now be completely done by computers (and a skilled IT staff). I see myself as a CEO who worked to make more money for myself. To the situation at hand, I wouldn't even bother negotiating with the London workers. The jobs would have, and should have, been moved to the US by now.

  • Colin Burke
    January 07, 2012 - 09:08

    We are not exactly "reverting to a system of lords and peasants." The real fault of that system is not that it was unjust but that it was, like capitalism, a system: socially as well as economically systematic. Peasants, when actually serfs, enjoyed the results of their own labours, being obliged to render to their lord a certain fixed amount of what they produced, which could not be raised, and a lord could not evict a serf. The serf was bound to his land and his land to him, as was the lord bound to his land and his land to him; neither lords nor serfs might sell their lands but were obliged to live on their lands and from them. People who throw around the words "medieval" and "feudal"as universal, all-purpose censure would do well to read more history than we get in our schools. The economic system out of which feudalism evolved was more akin to modern capitalism, consisting as it did of masters and slaves.

  • Doug Smith
    January 06, 2012 - 12:30

    Mr. Jones an excellent article. While society has evolved technologically to everyone’s betterment, our economic justice values are still firmly rooted in the Middle Ages. Why so many don’t seem to have any empathy for those economically disadvantaged is truly regrettable. Religion is of course to blame for this sad state of affairs. Doug Smith, GFW

    • Jane R
      January 07, 2012 - 07:59

      I hope your tongue in planted firmly in your cheek. I've found the most devout people usually have great empathy for the disadvantaged, whether they are Hazel McCallion (mayor of Miss.) or my local cat-lady who lives on disability.

  • Politically Incorrect
    January 06, 2012 - 11:01

    The difference, Mark, is that besides controlling immense amounts of wealth, they also have immense amounts of power -- economic and political -- to ensure their continued positions of influence at the expense of the rest of society. This control of the levers of power undermines the whole notion of a democratic society. While some professional athletes and entertainers make obscene amounts of money, this doesn't translate to undue political influence. I believe Brian Jones wrote an article about this not too long ago. You should read it.

  • Mark
    January 06, 2012 - 09:43

    ''But their salaries can easily be explained by supply and demand.'' Isn't the same argument applicable to CEOs? Folks likes Bill Gates and Steve Jobs made billions because the products they supplied were (and continue to be) in high demand. How is that any different than your Sidney Crosby example? If we're to be concerned about disparity in this country (and we should be!) then entertainers, athletes and other overpaid celebrities should be subject to the same scrutiny and criticism as CEOs.