19 May Who are we? WE ARE HARPER
We are so far from being plutocrats here at WE ARE HARPER it’s not funny, but this video does highlight some of the salient points on why we exist.
There’s a kind of beauty in the way the free market mobilizes a workforce, creates products we want, allows for experimentation, caters for differentiation, injects funds into investment and puts money into the pockets of its workers. It’s not just a revolving process of money in, money out, it’s an awesome system of providing goods and services that society demands at prices we’re more or less happy with.
But it’s not perfect.
The constant search for growth compels businesses will push the boundaries as far as they can. With every level of the business under the same cost pressures it can have negative consequences for suppliers, including labour. In Australia, there’s fairly good regulation around paying fair wages, but unfortunately there are still unethical manufacturers exploiting migrant workers in the garment making industry across the country. It’s happening right now! It’s morally reprehensible and we stand strongly against this and as Hanauer mentions in this video, it’s also contrary to a thriving economy. Workers being paid fairly means they have discretionary funds to spend elsewhere, which keeps the economy chugging along.
Paying fair wages is not negotiable. If your business is predicated on paying people substandard wages then it’s not a viable business.
But this isn’t the complete story. Not all our needs are met by the profit seeking free market. While clothing, computers and reality TV are willingly consumed for profit, parklands, welfare and health services, are not. It’s generally considered the government’s role, with support from the not-for-profit sector, to step in where the free market can’t profitable supply.
However, successive government decisions have chipped away at the financial support offered to our most vulnerable. Where communities have relied on government support in the past, they can no longer. And while the charity model is not yet defunct, the constant struggle for funding from an increasingly limited pool of resources shifts the focus towards generating revenue rather than delivering their core service.
The safety net that benefits us all, whether we are direct recipients or not, is slowly being eroded. The more marginalised people become, the greater the unrest – the pitchforks are coming.
Where Hanauer ends his discussion, we’re just starting ours. Workers paid living wages and provided with fair conditions, that is ethically made, are just the beginning. But to can take this further than this We believe it’s our responsibility to assist the community now and into future generations.
By developing a sustainable business we can provide regular funds to assist social causes within our communities.
WE ARE HARPER are part of the new model of business and charity and sticking up for the little guys. A new world order where commerce and community (and common god damn sense) are not mutually exclusive. Businesses can harness their skills, resources and knowledge of the free market and use their power for good. Giving back to communities and righting wrongs where destructive politicking has failed us. Where social consciousness is part of the corporate DNA and where your purchase is your vote on the kind of world in which you want to live.
WE ARE HARPER