Her Paradigm Shift
 
Takes a new look at relationships at home and at the office.
Susan Brauer giving "CHEERS to You"

 

 

 

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To Enlighten, Inspire, and Empower
by Susan Brauer
Gold Bar.horz
“Love Thy Neighbor”

“… After all, the purpose of running a business is to make money!” The fragmented sentence spewed out of the radio at me as I was hurrying through the kitchen on my way to do Susan Brauersomething that was so important that I can’t remember it right now. Hearing this bellicose smug statement had the same effect on me as “fingernails on a blackboard.”

The first time I’d heard this type of philosophy was the “greed is good” line in the movie “Wall Street,” which in 1987 was considered by the public to be a shocking paradigm shift in the view of business and its relationship to the community. Over the last 25 years, I’ve watched with a heavy heart as what was once considered shocking became acceptable rhetoric within the business community. Growing up during a time when mega-companies like AT&T Bell Labs looked to philanthropic research to attain long range company goals, and witnessing the rise of one of the greatest technology ages of all time because of it, has made the new values impossible for me to swallow.

www.salon.com/2001/12/22/pottersville CEOs of large corporations adopting short term goals and a philosophy of no commitment to the community or employees (Jack Welch, former GE CEO) has made me feel as if I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, landing in “Pottersville,” a place where the “richest man in town” is no longer George Bailey, generous entrepreneur and lover of his fellow man, but is Mr. Potter whose only love interest is a dollar bill.

The middle class is shrinking, the average American household wage is falling, benefits to workers are being cut, job cuts and outsourcing are the first tools used to increase company worth, and all the while corporate profits are the highest that they have ever been.

So what’s the solution? You are the solution. Women can make the difference! Women control more than 80% of US consumer spending. We can make our voices heard loud and clear. We can do this with our pocket books. We can do this for ourselves, our husbands, our children and our community.

We can make sure that businesses who give back to the worker and the community are rewarded for it by shopping there every chance we get. There are several companies that deserve a pat on the back. When others have cut back on employee benefits these companies have held fast. Target, Land’s End, Home Depot, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Costco, and UPS not only have great benefits for full time workers but also provide health care for part time employees too. Most of the companies on the list offer vision and dental care, accrued time off, some type of profit sharing, 401(k) savings plans, and UPS & Starbucks offer tuition reimbursement. These companies “get it.” They know that when the middle class grows so does business.

Small businesses are responsible for 53% of private sector jobs. They deal with their customers “face to face” every day and realize that the purpose of running a business is making money AND contributing to the well being of the community. If you have a son or daughter who plays a sport in your village or town, you know that the cost of uniforms, equipment, trophies, and field maintenance are all defrayed by contributions from local small businesses. They are always there to support school fundraiser and pay taxes for your police and fire departments, schools, library and all municipal utilities. You should shop at local businesses whenever possible. If they are successful, 53% of us are successful!

There are signs that even corporate giants are getting the message.

GE’s new CEO, Jeff Immelt, regards outsourcing as “yesterday’s (business) model.” Fridges, washing machines and heaters once manufactured in China, are now being manufactured in Kentucky. Hundreds of IT jobs once shipped outside America are now being shifted to GE’s new IT center in Michigan.

The Boston Consulting Group surveyed big American manufacturers last spring and nearly two-fifths said they were either thinking about or planning to move production from China back home. Lenovo, a Chinese giant, re-launched production of IBM ThinkPad notebooks and desktop PCs in North Carolina. Foxconn, a Taiwanese firm one of the world’s largest electronic gadget manufacturers, is to expand in America. General Motors is shifting most of its IT (previously outsourced to India) back home to Detroit.

So do your homework. Find out the names of the companies that support their workers and their communities, and support them. Actively look for the “Made in the USA” label on your purchases and the “Product of the USA” on your produce and all food stuffs. Every dollar you spend for an item that proudly boasts either label is a dollar for an American worker. Make it a point to support LOCAL businesses and farmers, after all, like my favorite bumper sticker says “Love Thy Neighbor – Buy American.”

Tags: Wall Street, "greed is good", "Made in the USA", AT&T Bell Labs, Building Business, empowering women, General Motors, household wage, GE, Jack Welch, Jeff Immelt, local businesses, making a difference, middle class, outsourcing, Pottersville, Small Business, US consumer spending | Category: Her Paradigm Shift, empowerment, family

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Contact: Susan O. Brauer
c/o Dreamers Tapestry, Inc.
P.O. Box 207
Palos Park, IL. 60464  
Email: susan@dreamerstapestry.com
ph:  708.361.8017