Why does economics accept the fact that profit is on one side of the ledger but wages on the other? The purpose of an economy is the well being of the people – all of them. So why not manage the business to raise both profit and wages, and have serious discussions about the division – a discussion that is sidestepped by treating wages as a cost which means managers should mange them to be as cheap as possible?
When John Young was president of Hewlett Packard in the 1980’s, he wrote an oped I can’t find but in it he wrote that the job of managers was to raise the salaries of workers. I knew him at that time, and he got furious criticism for it.
Adam Smith’s nook was The Wealth of Nations and he was aware of the difficult but necessary task of raising the well being – and wages – of all.
Economics means estate management. The estate now is the earth, and it should be managed as a coherent enterprise for all, not a sub section of society called economy, a strategy that, instead of raising the bottom, works to marginalize them and their political impact. Ghettoizing, low school budgets, bad health, lower choice of food in local markets, pollution noise and air, ..
Can we call economics back to the task of improving society, not just for the wealthy?
Rethinking the accounting system to move wages from the cost side to the benefit side of the ledge would make a major statement about the possible health of future society and be a serious morale booster..
An outcome of COVId is to see that low wage workers are essential workers and treated like deplorables, not like fellow interesting human beings. I have known working class families (shouldn’t everyone be in the working class, making some kind of contribution?) who were better parents and more deeply moral than any of .01 percent I’ve met.
We just must do more thinking about how to shift economics to the science of the whole, not just the plumbing of the flow of dollars for the rich.