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Clichés I’m tired of: You Get What You Paid For

Not necessarily. Sometimes you get a whole lot more than you paid for. Sometimes you don’t get what you paid for at all.

On the other hand, if you give your money to crooks, charlatans or the corrupt, don’t expect much whatever the price.

Success at getting more than you paid is one of the core attributes of the successful businessman. You have to get more than what you paid for or you won’t have much to sell.

Another one is making the people doing the paying feel that they are getting good value. If you provoke your customers while making your money, you won’t stay in business long.

There are different ways of getting more than one paid for.

Taking the money out of government coffers, giving it to your friends on no-bid contracts, suspending labour laws is probably not a good way.

Many of the cleanup workers for Hurricane Katrina (no bid contracts handed to Haliburton again) are illegal aliens. And while doing hundreds of millions of dollars of dirty work, they are left unfed, unhoused and unpaid.

Tovar “kicked us off the base,” forcing him and other cleanup workers — many of them Mexican and undocumented — to sleep on the streets of New Orleans. According to Martinez, they were not paid for three weeks of work. An immigrant rights group recently filed complaints with the Department of Labor on behalf of Martinez and 73 other workers allegedly owed more than $56,000 by Tovar. Tovar claims that she let the workers go because she was not paid by her own bosses at United Disaster Relief. In turn, UDR manager Zachary Johnson, who declined to be interviewed for this story, told the Washington Post on Nov. 4 that his company had not been paid by KBR for two months.

There are so many things wrong with this it is hard to know where to begin.

First of all these unfortunate men should not have been eligible for this work as illegal aliens. Second whoever is doing this work deserves proper shelter and board while doing that work. Third whoever is doing this work deserves the official federal wage for work of this kind. Fourth, leaving the workers unpaid is inexcusable.

Building Bush’s America.

One scents exactly the same kind of irresponsibility and abuse of power here as in the Abu Graib torture case. It is bad enough when such malfaisance is the work of a few corrupt businessmen, but when this is national policy coming from the (vice) president’s office – your country is no better than the most corrupt and vicious of the third world dictators.

From James Allen’s classic tract on practical ethics, As a Man Thinketh:

Here is an employer of labor who adopts crooked measures to avoid paying the regulation wage, and, in the hope of making larger profits, reduces the wages of his work-people. Such a man is altogether unfitted for prosperity, and when he finds himself bankrupt, both as regards reputation and riches, he blames circumstances , not knowing that he is the sole author of his condition.

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