I'm fucking pissed. Fucking fucking pissed. Fuming mad. Like I have the sweats; I'm about to cry, and I'm filled with the kind of rage that makes me feel hopeless.
I read this New York Times Article, "Billionaire No More: Patagonia Founder Gives Away the Company," as soon as it crawled upon my screen for my eyes to see. I had to know what this guy, the "Founder," did, exactly, because this is a very general headline, which I'd bet, makes little to no sense to the majority of people. Obviously, NYT readers are of a certain ilk, a kind of which I'm slowly becoming bored, nevertheless, an article or two make it into my feed, and with the help of my local library's free temporary NYT subscription, I read a lot of The NYT's view of the world.
And I imagine that you, obviously, understood the headline, because you are a very intelligent person if you've found yourself on this site and you enjoy it. My point is that the headline reads that some billionaire has "given away" his fortune. This is some serious bullshit. Well, I guess it's not bullshit in the sense that he has (perhaps) given up his wealth. This is probably true. What I mean by this being complete and utter bullshit is that why?, time after time, why, do employers care so little about/for the people WHO WORK FOR THEM?
I'll tell you why.
It's because no good ever comes from an empowered laborer.
If you work for someone else, but do not "need" the money the job affords, the employer has no power over you.
If you are financially independent, you do not need an employer. You are an empowered laborer.
An empowered laborer has no need for employment.
I find this "selfless act" by this particular billionaire to be quite selfish, actually. Through a simple search of the interwebs, Patagonia may have about 2,700 employees. According to the article, Patagonia is siphoning off all of it's roughly $100M profits to a 501(c)(3) that will be responsible for the ethical usage of that money toward the "fight" (I use quotes because this is not how I'd put it, nevertheless) against climate change. Some pretty do-gooder-ass shit here. Like seriously. A round of slow applause.
I imagine that this guy is making headlines because it seems so generous to "give away" this much money toward the "fight" against climate change. What I see, however, is some old white guy doing the absolute minimum. If the company split the profits with its employees, he'd be cutting, perhaps, $35K checks to each of them, year after year. Empowering them. And maybe, he even creates environments for his employees to then reach their full entrepreneurial, wealthy, powerful potential.
But what about climate change?!?! I hear you pathetically whimper (not you, you intelligent reader of this blog, obviously, not you, but rather, them!).
Yea, duh, corporations have a huge responsibility to do what they must in order to be "net zero" (again with the quotes for the same reason stated above). But it is an entire GLOBAL SYSTEM within which we exist. This is not a problem solvable by a handful of good-doing corporations.
Climate Change is a planetary ecological disaster that MUST include every country on this planet, if we want to survive, unless it is the wasteland of an Elysium-type dystopian utopia that we strive to make real. And it is with these types of acts by the billionaires currently in existence that shepherds us, so gently, into an Elysium-type dystopian future. An elite minority ruling over a powerless majority. It's textbook.
To empower the laborers of the Patagonia company, from top to bottom, equally, is to empower humans. Empowered humans can make empowered decisions, not only for themselves, but also, for everyone else who is like them. Wage laborers outnumber the "haves" like one hundred to one. There are so many more of us who trade our time for some livable wages. This guy, this owner who is "giving away" the company is the one, and there are literally about 2,700 others. The fact that he'd rather "give away" the company's profits to some entity filled with fat suits making probably $100K/year to "distribute" all of the hard-earned profits worked for by the employees he employs rather than the employees themselves makes me sick. It's so gross and so elitist that I just want to punch a fucking hole in the wall.
Of course, I suppose, I'm particularly sensitive to issues like these when considering that I have sweat and toiled for over a decade as an entrepreneur only to finally come to my piece de resistance, my ethical capitalism model, the LOPSIII model, or the Locally-Owned Profit-Sharing Income-Inequality Inhibitor. I think of ideas like this, wherein the laborer, you, are empowered to reach your dreams through the hard work you do and to which you commendably show up day after day, year after year. Why, why as an employer, would I want anything less for you?
And then this guy exists. An elitist, white ass-hole, who'd rather imbue more elitist suits with power? Fuck you, guy. Where's my raise?
But I want to end on a positive note, and I'm finding myself searching, grasping for any sorta white-optimism, and quite frankly, there ain't none.