If jobs are the ultimate social justice it is hard to understand why government doesn’t hand out jobs rather than handing out checks for not working. It is hard to find compassion for the jobless when the agricultural sector doesn’t even get a response to their plea for workers. A farmer in North Dakota, for example, ran several newspaper ads seeking farm hands — paying $35.00/hr.
Though the non-response to the farmers ad was disappointing, it points out an even bigger problem. What is the government doing to insure job placement rather than insuring unemployment checks?
We’ve just completed the second term presidential election, and jobs continue to be the nation’s major bone of contention.
It would seem that agriculture (encompassing both production and food manufacturing), is the driving force behind job creation, and should receive more government attention than that of doweling out subsidy checks for not producing. Instead of focusing on putting people back to work, there seems to be more interest in welfare and food-stamps.
How can such a misguided government solve the jobless situation, when it can’t resolve the fundamental cause and effect of joblessness? With their flawed thinking they continue to contend that by making the rich richer they will create more jobs. Though there is a shred of truth in this fairy tale, it is you and I, the customer that creates jobs!
The customer is more powerful than all the entrepreneurs and investors combined. You can start and build all the companies you want, but if they aren’t surrounded by a healthy economic ecosystem, there is no chance of success. The ecosystem is a customer driven phenomenon that is often overlooked by both the government and the wealthy.
Each and every one of us creates jobs, one purchase at a time. If all the wealth is in the hands of a few, it actually slows down job growth. So don’t buy this argument that only the entrepreneurs and investors can solve our nation’s huge unemployment problem.
In fact, many investors have done more harm than good. Speculators, for example, take positions in the futures market that amplify price trends to the point of being extremely damaging. They often take financial positions that have absolutely no link to the actual commodity itself. When more than 85% of the contracts on the commodities futures market is held by purely financial players, you can imagine how volatile the affect is on agricultural employment swings.
This example shows to what extent our country has lost its sense of value, sense of reality, and sense of capitalism to serve the development of consistent employment. It has contributed to both food and job insecurity across the entire country.
If jobs in agriculture are to be created, it must be customer driven and stability priced in accordance to supply and demand. It kind of goes like this—the company’s customers buy the company’s products, which in turn, creates the need for the employers to produce, sell, and service those products. If those customers are under paid or go broke, the demand for the company’s products will collapse. And the jobs will disappear, regardless of what the wealthy entrepreneurs did to create the company in the first place.
Now, of course, entrepreneurs are an important part of the company creation process — so are investors, who risk capital in the hope of earning returns. But ultimately whether a new company continues growing and creates self-sustaining jobs is a function of a customers’ ability and willingness to pay for the company’s products — not the entrepreneur or the investor capital. Suggesting that rich entrepreneurs and investors create the jobs is like suggesting that unanswered employment ads contribute to unemployment.
The farmer in North Dakota did all that he could to create a job, but it’s like saying that a seed creates a kernel of wheat. The seed does not create the wheat. The seed starts the wheat plant. But what creates the wheat is the combination of the DNA in the seed and the soil, sunshine, water, atmosphere, nutrients, and other factors that nurture it. Plant the seed in an inhospitable environment, and it won’t create anything — it will die.
So, then, if what creates the jobs in our economy is customers, who are the customers? What can government policy do to make sure these customers have more money to spend to create demand and, thus jobs?
The customers of most companies (especially agriculture) are ultimately the gigantic middle class. These hundreds of millions of Americans represent the bulk of this country’s buying power. If the wealth of the world were redistributed to the hands of many instead of being in the palm of a few, there would be no end to job creation.
It’s time to let go of the notion that rich people create jobs, or to think that there aren’t jobs available.
It’s common, ordinary people like you and I that create and fill jobs. And, according to my sources, there is no shortage of jobs, just a shortage of people willing to work.
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(more insightful stories written by Ken Knight)
Ken E. Knight is the author of the “Knightro Report”, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in this publication on a regular basis. Mr. Knight is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a major BS Degree in Meat and Animal Science and a minor in Communications. In addition to being a professional auctioneer, public speaker and livestock judge, he brings many years of corporate level meat and livestock market management and expertise to the industry for which he now serves as an independent voice of shared knowledge and experience.
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For more in-depth information regarding the topics that have been touched upon in this report, Knightro conducts livestock marketing seminars on a regular basis. To schedule a seminar, auction, judging, or speaking engagement, please contact Ken Knight, Knightro, W11911 County Road FF, River Falls, WI 54022, phone toll free 1-877-KNIGTRO, phone 715-262-8480, fax 715-262-8480, e-mail [email protected]t; or contact the Midwest Farm & Livestock Directory at [email protected].