That’s the sentiment recently expressed by my son. Many, however, have expressed that same sentiment. I have had no success getting across to them that what they believe is simply not true.
The fact is that the rich owe their wealth to those who work for them, and of whom purchase their goods and services. Without the people who work for them, they wouldn’t be able to provide the goods and services needed to continue in business. Equally, without businesses to employ them, workers wouldn’t be able to earn the income necessary to buy the goods and services they produce.
Moreover, the rich owe a certain amount of gratitude to the workers, who for the most part pay for, through taxes, the infrastructure and continued maintenance costs necessary to own a business.
Overall, today, unlike the past, the relationship between labor and management is symbiotic.
But the ugly fact remains that historically the rich have taken advantage of workers. They would continue with their egregious abuses today if it were not for workers forming labor unions, from which came labor laws.
Over the years, unions have spearheaded movements to secure legislation that mandated workplace safety and health protections. We all can thank working people, not rich people, for the commonplace benefits of today: health insurance, retirement plans, work breaks, weekends off, holiday pay, paid vacations, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, family and medical leave. We are indebted to yesteryear’s workers for ending the egregious labor abuses of the rich.
For example, “in 1881, the first national convention of the American Federation of Labor [passed] a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment.” That led to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which for the first time federally regulated child labor. That further led to International Labor Standards , which established worldwide standards on child labor and other workplace issues.
So, no one should be misled by right wing ideologues who spiel the rhetoric that trickledown economics benefit all of us and that we all should be grateful to businesses that provide us work.
By today’s standards, it has been the workers who in the past have faced extraordinary hardship, formed unions, and demanding from the rich a better workplace. Workers, not the rich, are responsible for the quality of life you and your family enjoy today.
It’s the sentiment, If It Were Not For Rich People, I Would Not Have A Job, that prior to the labor movement motivated workers out of fear to accept their lot in life by sticking with a work-life that was draining life from them.