Unlike what many choose to believe, wealth and labor are not a zero-sum game. One's success is not the other's failure. With the right approach on both sides, neither need be pinned down and sucked dry.

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Cutting the throat of wealth because it earns huge amounts of money is inadvisable. Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs is not a good option and will leave everyone wanting. On the other hand, clamping down on labor for its various perks and benefits is also inadvisable, because it does not take into consideration the narrow buying power that labor’s wages provide as they stand.

In the previous two articles in the series (Wealth Is Necessary | Love Thy Labor) we examined how people can neither expect nor demand that wealth cover everyone’s backs. It is private property, which can be used according to its owner’s wishes. No state can lay claim to it in the name of the greater good, because that is how tyrannies begin.

Each person has individual worth and cannot be taken for granted

We also pointed out that labor deserves the same respect. Each person has individual worth and cannot be taken for granted, or expected to toil away acquiescently, as if he or she were immaterial and disposable. Workers and employees need to be treated with respect, rewarded for what they offer, so that the enterprise may continue to prosper.

Now let us see how these two forces can function around each other.

Goosed And Handy

Unlike common belief, wealth and labor are not a zero-sum game. One’s success is not the other’s failure. With the right approach and attitude neither need be pinned down and sucked dry.

Let’s start with wealth. Wealth is the goose that lays the golden eggs. Demand too many eggs from it, or cut its throat and eat it, and the supply of eggs is gone.

Wealth and labor are not a zero-sum game. One’s success is not the other’s failure.

Labor, on the other hand, are the pairs of hands that takes care of the goose. They grow the food the goose eats, feed the goose, clean after it, make sure it stays warm and safe to keep laying those golden eggs. Agitate those hands and they take off, and the goose starves.

In other words, there is a delicate dynamic in effect, which cannot be disturbed.

In the midst of this delicacy there is also a hierarchy. Or so some people think.

Neither, Nor

Feed and you shall be fed. Be fed and you shall feed. (photo by edwud – flickr.com)

What comes first? The goose that lays the golden eggs or the helping hands?

The answer is neither. One party needs the other for things to work. Place one above the other and the dynamic collapses.

Wealth shakes its head. It is not convinced by the argument. There’s always an extra pair of hands to do the job, it says. Some leave, others replace them.

Well, the problem with this scenario is that it jades the system. You can get away with it for a while, but as soon as word gets around that hands are not appreciated, the good hands are gone, leaving behind the hamhanded and careless. Good luck getting the goose to keep those eggs popping smoothly and consistently while it is being neglected and abused by the least qualified to do the job, by the opportunists and the cheapest, by the unreliable and vagrant.

Labor, on the other hand, also has dreams of superiority and dominance. There’s always another coop to go to, where the goose is easier to tend to. It thinks.

See, the problem with that scenario is that not all geese are the same. Some are less prolific than others and produce less eggs, which means less rewards for everyone. Others are weak and fall sick easily. Others die young. Drifting from coop to coop is risky business, and so is messing with a good goose. Fixing what ain’t broke can leave one dry and begging.

A Good Situation Is Worth Everything

What it boils down to is this: if you find a good goose, care for it. If you find hands that work well, take care of them. Don’t screw up a good situation for a pipe dream. If you want to expand, do it with the help of something or someone you can depend on. They will take you farther, further, and higher than any mercenary situation ever will, tending to your needs for a long, long time. Because loyalty and trust can forge mountains.

See how disappointment, disillusionment and anger can cause people to seek parity by lowering the bar instead of raising it in a coming article on how not to spread the disadvantage.