I've been meaning to write to you about this for some time. I'm an employer (I own a small manufacturing company) and I have a different perspective. Our company has found that when we hire older employees they require substntially less training, are, generally, vastly more reliable, have already established a strong work ethic and bring with them all kinds of outside thinking and processes which have improved our productivity, We pay a living wage, health insurance and a full benefits package. In the last three months we have filled three positions and all of them with people who were long-term unemployed because (and I REALLY can not figure out why other employers can't figure this out) the long-term unemployeed are happy to have a good job and come to work every day dying to make a difference and build the company. All the way around it's a win-win deal.My thoughts are this: I agree with you 100%.
Now, I understand that my company is the exception but I can't figure out why this is the case. Because we hire incredibly skilled, experienced people who show up every day with their brains engaged, we have been able to become dominant in our market, export more than 80% of what we build overseas and soundly beat back foreign competition. As best I can tell, we have just been using common sense, entrepenurial drive and capitalism. Despite the fact that I am a progressive, we have not been operating as a social services organization. We are a business and our goal is to make money.
Here is what I have been thinking lately however. I think that the Dems, as well as Netroots/DKos etc, need to speak to and organize small business. Small business NEVER benefits from the austerity-based monetary policies of the GOP. I listen to progressive internet-based radio all day (The Professional Left is my fav) and I have to say that the constant pounding by the left on "business" and "corporations" is off-putting. It is one thing for the left to be pounding on BIG business and BIG corporations. That is well-deserved and much needed but when we are all grouped together a serious opportunity is lost. When we, and by "we" I mean "progressives" fail to distinguish between my company and Boeing, we are failing in a variety of ways. We are failing to speak to a large group of voters, we are failing to dynamically promote and encourage "best practices" in a manner which will support the overall goals of the progressive movement, and we are failing to shine a light on and support those small companies who are doing right.
Anyway, that's my two cents. I would love to hear your thoughts.
There is so much to be gained by re-establishing a mutually advantageous and respectful relationship between the labor, small business and the political Left.
I am very familiar with places where these relationships have been made to work.
I am incredibly frustrated that I am no longer in a position to help build and nurture them.