The first and most important responsibility of any corporation is to be economically viable while being good stewards which means more than optimizing the traditional goal of increased shareholder wealth. Climate change, water shortages, decreasing biodiversity, unequal distribution of wealth and economic opportunity, social unrest, and cyber-attacks are among the acknowledged threats to the sustainability of businesses around the globe.

Sometimes unions and employees have to cooperate and agree to wage and benefit reductions and sometimes there is a need to increase the pay of managers who are the difference between failure and success.  Sometimes workers will have to increase productivity without receiving a pay increase.  All this is especially true when all are included in profit sharing and the alternative is closing a factory or shifting employment to low-wage sites abroad.

That works for large big ticket companies like General Motors or Caterpillar but not for manufacturers of small lower cost products.  Labor intensive, repetitive, low skill jobs will continue to move off shore and won’t come back.  In their place should be large scale infrastructure jobs.  The exception should be those repetitive jobs that could be performed in American prisons.

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