Building a Better Tomorrow

building a better tomorr500

Question: Why are corporate recruiters always talking about building a better tomorrow and how we can all be agents of change if we would only join up with their team? I’d be happy just to keep my health insurance and get through today.

Corporate-level cheerleading – and charity – has nothing to do with what is actually happening on the ground. It’s as much for PR purposes as it is for actual improvement of human life, which is why a lot of it happens far away. Building a better today would require accountability and meaningful actions with immediate results.

“Changing the world” is shorthand for having a savior complex. It’s a disease that strikes rich people and celebrities. On a corporate level, CEOs like to rope other people in by having them work in their companies (building a better tomorrow). The companies then promote charities in third-world countries (changing the world), with bonus points for empowering women there (because third-world women are agents of change).

To answer your question about health insurance, if you work for one of these companies, they provide health insurance as long as you keep working for them.

If these companies really wanted to build a better today, they could remember that charity begins at home. Maybe they could treat their employees with genuine  respect and conduct their business affairs with real integrity, instead just talking about it.

On a community level, they could promote everyone’s empowerment by helping our national geniuses design a functional health insurance system. They could quit talking so much about women’s empowerment and start hiring, promoting, and listening to women in their own workplaces. Or maybe a few of their leaders could say something, anything, about kids dying in police custody with no accountability.

Look, I’m not saying it’s wrong to provide solar power to African and South American towns that don’t have electricity at all, so that third world kids and their moms can go to school at night and build themselves a better tomorrow. But, here in Oakland, I see a lot of what we might call “moderate to low income neighborhoods” none of which have solar panels, where kids might be more concerned about surviving today than they are about flying to Mars 10 years in the future.

To be fair, whenever you look at the donor roster of some local community group, there’s always a bunch of corporate names like BofA listed. If only BofA would create a group health plan that anyone could sign up for, that wouldn’t jack up the rates by 50% every single year – and WE get the tax break for self-insuring, instead of having it as an employee benefit that serves as a corporate tax write-off.

Someone also observed to me that a lot of high-tech entrepeneurs really see themselves as global citizens first and they just don’t have the “think global, but act local” mentality. I don’t know if this is good or bad.

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