TaN: In a recent report from the United Nations, we are supposedly producing enough food to feed over 10 billion people and yet, with 8 billion, there are 1.6 billion people who starve everyday. Something is terribly wrong here.
As I have earlier blogged, world hunger is not a matter of not producing enough food, the problems are of priorities and of distribution. Priorities (and distribution, for that matter) in the sense that we have our values mixed up, twisted, and upside down.
In a free market situation and due to the lame excuse of producing for export to bring in wealth, food exporting (and food “exporting”) countries are often poor countries. They produce food for other (ruch) countries. Instead of producing for their own people, they use the lame excuse of earning for the domestic economy. In truth, they are earning for themselves and at the expense of their people. The impact on the domestic economy from the revenue is minimal – in the sense that only a few get to enjoy the revenue and there is not enough of them to spend the earnings to benefit the domestic economy.
To put export ahead of satisfying the needs of the domestic market is an excuse only the gullible and those who have subconscious desires to profiting for their own ends can believe. Please spare me your pretentious bleeding hearts on producing goods for export because it helps the cuntry. It is immoral to deprive your own people of benefiting from your products by exporting them to other countries. The earnings from the exports seldom go to the general public; it stays primarily in the pockets of the exporters.
Moreover, in the aspect of food, much of it is grains – in the form of rice, corn, and soya. But the massive harvests of corn and of soya seldom go to feed people – especially the poor – but, instead a large percentage of it end up as biofuel for transportation and for industry. It is bad enough that food is being diverted from the mouths of the poor to those of the rich (who would not hesitate to throw perfectly good food into the trash just because they have changed their minds about eating it or do not like how it looks, smells, or the taste is not to their liking), but to even have cars compete with people for essential food reeks of obscenity and twisted greed.
Today, a new twist has been devised, cajoling the governments of poor countries to lease massive tracts of land (often in the hundreds of thousands to the millions of hectares) to giant and money-laden transnational corporations and even to foreign governments for the purpose of planting food which will be hauled off back to their country to feed their own people – leaving the hungry indigent people helplessly and hungrily watching food being grown in their ancestral land and then carted off to feed other people (who may not be hungry and may even be obese or over-fed or, worse, to feed their livestock).
And to add injury to insult, many of the governments of the poor countries – mostly in Africa – go as far as driving their own people off their lands – beating and murdering – to clear vast land areas so these transnationals and foreign governments can lease the land.
TaN: Profits must be have a revenue cap (on the ROI), after which the excess must go into an across the broad profit-sharing with all employees. As far as I know, (theoretically) there is no limit to the revenue a business can acquire. They can (legally) dictate and set any price they want – as evidenced by the unbridled increases in and unabashed accumulation of profits by mega enterprises, transnattional corporations, and oil companies. This is, primarily, why the gap between the upper crust and the bottom dwellers are increasingly getting wider – the 1% getting indecently richer by the billions and the 99% losing even the shirt off their backs.
In this light, this alone is already violably immoral – i.e., to earn so much while so many cannot even make ends meet and need not only a second but even a “third” source of income just to earn enough to keep the family just above the poverty line. Social justice dictates that profit must be equitably distributed because everyone contributed to the creation of the wealth and is entitled to an equitable share. However, from the vague definition of what “equitable” is – from thefreedictionary.com, “Marked by or having equity; just and impartial“, and from audioenglish.net, “implying justice dictated by reason, conscience, and a natural sense of what is fair to all“.
In the second source of the definition (i.e., audioenglish.net), the critical word or phrase there is “to all”. This means that the distribution of profit must be applicable to everyone. The problem is whether the distribution will be carried out “across the board” or “pro rata”.
On the one hand, the arguments for “across the board” are: (1) that the needs of each person is the same, no one has more needs requiring more money than another; and, (2) that each person – assuming s/he has done his/her job faithfully and contributed according to his her job description and duties and responsibilities.
Moreover, the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) where the landlord needed labor providers to harvest his crops. Some laborers were hired in the early morning, others at noon, and at mid afternoon, and at the last hour before sundown and the harvest was finally completed. Come the time to pay for the labor, everyone got the same amount – those who worked since sunrise and those who worked for only an hour got the same amount. [Although the parable was intended for another purpose, it is very apt for this particular instance.]
On the other hand, the arguments for “pro rata” are: (1) that people in the upper levels have more responsibilities, ergo their share should be commensurately greater; and, (2) that the existing wage and salary structure will be severely distorted and upset – although this would be perceived as more self-serving and supporting the status quo, it, nevertheless, does make some kind of sensible argument.
I think the best will be a combination of both – across the board for the most part THEN pro rata, keeping in mind that the rate differentials should not be too wide. One reliable and time-tested method we used when we were kids and when it came to dividing cakes and pies is to let only one person take charge. To ensure that everyone gets an equal share, the person doing the dividing gets to the last piece. The same method can be employed in this case.