Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Speculation including office supply theft

One of the more remarkable things to me in American work culture for those who work in offices is routine theft of office supplies, and found myself with speculations that offer a simple explanation which trace back to what I see as wage theft, gender inequality in pay, and slavery.

To me money is a social IOU as society guarantees payback, as for instance US currency is backed by the US Government. And when employing someone is given usually in exchange for a favor, typically called labor, where works best with strangers. That means community is another area, where for instance volunteer firefighters presumably are not pay motivated, but work for their community.

With wages occurring best between strangers in non-community arenas, I think it easy to explain why pay problems can occur in more community focused occupations like police work, firefighting, teaching among others.

Communities have to figure out how to value the work, versus in other areas, as for instance your community is MUCH better off if your firefighters are less busy putting out fires than not.

And for example with the president of the United States pay is set by the US Congress, but the president doesn't need it during time in office as things needed are supplied by the people of the United States of America.

Oh yeah, and soldiers are in a community focused area. You do not volunteer for service in the US military to get rich, I would think. And wages are set in a way that is about what the community assesses as should be given, versus in direct compensation for legal services or products as favors in exchange for money.

However, in other areas pay is supposed to be about value of work received and I think there are legitimate concerns by many that often workers in non-community focused areas can simply be exploited, forced to either accept less value in return for their work, or fight relentlessly against employers who may see theft through wages as just a way of doing business.

I speculate that attitude that thievery from workers is just part of business arose in areas where slavery had existed and slaves were not paid, of course, but once institutional slavery ended, those who had been slaves were to be paid. I suggest their work was not properly valued as many were in a situation where their employers were those who had been slave-owners. Those people I doubt highly valued their work, and didn't pay properly, and as their attitude gained traction it spread throughout the United States and around the globe, until we get the modern system, which includes a known tendency to underpay women generally known as the gender pay gap.

Which to me is high level thievery, as workers in such a system can find it very difficult to force proper pay levels. And it occurs to me that some may retaliate with low level thievery, considering office supplies to at least be something.

Which is why am sure former military can be surprised in that system. For them work was separated from pay, while in the military, and no reason for hostility against a system they volunteered for and understand.

Community can be exploited too unfortunately by unscrupulous business owners. In a work environment where people are contractually providing their labor as services in exchange for pay, a ruthless employer might push a sense of community to extract beyond the contract.

In contrast for a community oriented entity, like a non-profit or the military, of course community services IS the thing. And someone unethical might lust after that ability to extract work from a sense of community, while underpaying, which is also simply theft.

Figuring out what the job is, and why then matters a lot. People who are providing service to their community are dependent on that community properly valuing their services, like military members whose pay is simply set. While people working for employers at jobs where their efforts get direct compensation, have to be sure that they are paid properly for those efforts.

People should work to make sure there is no snarl between efforts for community, like coming together for protection of your community say with sand-bagging efforts to protect against rising flood waters, and those involving work between strangers where favor should be equally exchanged, where money allows enumeration of value of a legally provided service.


James Harris
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