I consider Business and Community be totally linked. I’ll talk about money, and how the system has been perverted to the point it is no longer a good way to keep score of the value of our activities. There was once a time (or at least a fairytale) that went something like this: your work to benefit the community will be rewarded with money, by which you purchase goods and services back from the community.
Of course nothing inside the family was ever part of that contract, and with traditional family situations becoming rare, there are huge segments not paid properly. I mean, what job is more important that caring for the next generation? But see what teachers and daycare workers are paid, and how many single parents we have without means to raise their families. And it was never quite right for agricultural activity leading up to the harvest.
Money may have worked best in helping to grow the middle class as a group of skilled craftsmen, rewarded for their labors and their conservation of resources. Bit, it was then used to fuel the era of industrialization and those that perverted the rules got rich beyond any honest man’s imagination. Corruption lead to Unions, which in turn lead to more corruption. Now as the middle class ebbs again, we have groups like Anonymous and the Occupy movement, protesting corporate atrocities – but then it is easier to criticise than to do, and these groups attract those more interested in tearing down (anarchy) than in building up.
Business is getting such blame for the state of society that it is sometime uncomfortable to admit in the liberal circles I travel that I am a business owner, and believe that success in business is good for the community. Guilt by association – business is evil, goes the knee-jerk. Anybody in business is looking to take advantage of their customers? Come on! We are all part of the economy, and we each have the direct ability to decide how we deal with each other.
The key here is how do you shape businesses to serve the community? Let’s kick around ideas. Like it or not, we’re the ones stuck here with the job of shaping the world ahead.