Employment is not Empowerment, Ownership is

October 17, 2008 at 3:05 am 1 comment

In a recent discussion with a friend of mine, she alluded to women entering the workforce as a path to personal empowerment.

This is where I feel compelled to point out something fairly obvious.

Income flows into one hand, then exits the other to pay for necessities and maybe a few luxuries. Income is absolutely meaningless except to the extent that it supplies the very bottom tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: food, water and shelter. Beyond that, only income that is retained in the form of wealth is actual empowerment.

If you have income, you eat for today. If you have wealth, you can eat for life. And if you can eat for life, then you have the time and ability to exercise control over your immediate environment — and possibly even over the environment of others. If you have income, you donate $10 to the candidate of your choice. If you have wealth, you donate $10,000 via various mechanisms. If you have income, you are just a statistic. If you have wealth — you are represented in Congress.

Employment means going and coming according to someone else’s dictates, doing whatever they say once you are there, and sometimes even living by their rules once you are at home. That, friends, is not “empowerment.”

Wealth, on the other hand, means ownership. When you are the owner, then you can come and go on your own schedule, and do as you please while there. And you get to be the one dictating the schedule of others.

Thus, our objective is not employment — but ownership. Ownership can be facilitated by employment either through ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans), or through retaining income earned through employment rather than spending it.

In other words — for employment to be a source of empowerment, the employee must first learn how NOT to spend. Anyone who doesn’t learn that lesson first ends up on a glorified plantation.

Entry filed under: Economics. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. wordsworthwhile  |  October 28, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    The mesmeric touting of the glorified plantation, and the mesmeric vilification of making and keeping a home, have denigrated womanhood, and manhood, to such an extent, that building a life outside of the plantation (or borg mentality) requires a great deal of pioneer backbone.

    Thank you for another very interesting and delightful blog article.


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