That’s what my blog on Huffpo today is really about — habits of mind that we neglect to question. We devote an insufficient amount of time educating ourselves and our children to recognize when we and they are being handed a bill of goods by a mantra-like argument that too few stop to question. Such is the case with arguing that what’s good for employees is bad for business. That’s what we hear whenever the subjects of raising the minimum wage and paying people for work they do instead of insisting that they work overtime for free are raised. Those opposed argue that business will suffer. But how much? For how long? In what ways? At the sacrifice of which of our values?
There are fundamental flaws in the prevalent bad-for-business persuasive strategy used to block employee benefits and protections. First, effective businesses are adaptable or they don’t survive. And the supposed burdens being imposed on them to better the lives of their employees like pay for overtime, especially for people near the poverty line, are no more than what they should be doing. If they can’t run a business without cheating people out of a reasonable living, forcing low-paid workers to do so without benefit of pay as if indentured servants, then society is better off without them.
Another flaw in the reasoning is that those who criticize such demeaning and unethical practices are anti-business. That’s ridiculous. We’re all in one business or another. The issue is not one of being pro-business or anti-business but one of expecting businesses to make their profits without abusing others. I’ve worked with business leaders for years and the excellent ones don’t need to resort to such practices in order to achieve their goals. It’s not anti-business to be pro-employee. It’s actually just the opposite.