Multi-generational Corporate Servitude

24 11 2008

Look at this picture.  A man’s family served GM for generations (300 combined working years) and now the dream of being cared for by a massive corporation has backfired.  Who’s fault is it?  Someone has to say it so this cycle ends.  It is the fault of this man and his family.  Men, it is your job to take care of your family not some cooperation’s job.  picture-18You should be saving money, investing and building resources in your family for your family that your family controls for the ongoing provision of your family.  I don’t know where this crazy myth of abdecating your responsibility to provide for your family to a corporation began but it needs to end.  If you have a job then you are being paid for services rendered, not guaranteed multi-generational security.  Once you receive that paycheck you and the company are even.  They don’t owe you anything.  They owe a return to stock holders not you.  If you want financial security save and invest.  Welcome to capitalism.  Why in the world are we perpetuating this myth by training kids to be life-long indentured servants to a ever changing list of nameless stock holders and their families.  If you love your family and you want to live in a capitalistic economy become an investor and hold real estate, stocks and other investments.  If you want the government, a corporation, or your parents to take care of you then your putting your family’s security on a time bomb waiting for it to blow up.

***Update*** It appears my post has created more heat than light and for that I apologize.  Let me make explicit what I’m saying and what I’m NOT.

I’m making only 2 points –

1. It is a timeless principle that providing for your family is every man’s job and he should not shift that responsibility to anyone else be it a union, a corporation, a stock market or another member of the family (1 Timothy 5:8).

2. It is critical for men who happen to live in a capitalistic economy (like the United States) to understand that the economy gives a tremendous advantage to those with capital (liquid assets).  That is why it is called capitalism and not laborism or socialism.  I have VERY mixed feelings about the wisdom of building an economy on capital but that is where I live.  That is why the government will instantly bail out the capital markets but hesitate to bail out the auto industry.  If you lead and provide for a family AND you live in a capitalistic economy then save money and invest.  If this man’s family would have saved 5% of their income and invested they would all be multi-millionaires now.  Its ridiculous that it’s that simple but again, welcome to capitalism.

What I’m NOT saying –

1.  That it’s bad to work in the labor force your whole life.  If you can find a great job at a great wage in the labor force go for it BUT save 5-10% of your money and invest it because relying on labor in a capitalistic economy is dangerous.

2. That this man and his family are bad.  They’ve been taught a myth that my kids, even in 2008, are being taught in school.  We need to teach kids the nature of capitalism and show them that the majority of their life long income should come from investments.  Instead we train kids to be dependent for life on corporate jobs.  Every child who buys this myth will be less secure than their parents were.

On a side note, I LOVE multi-generational family teams.  I have a blog dedicated to multi-generational family teams.  It is precisely because I felt so badly for this man and his family that I wrote this post.  I can’t stand to see a family that worked hard together, stayed together and passed on great traditions be left with nothing.  It breaks my heart and angers me.  This did not have to happen.