It’s difficult to imagine how some people hold multiple jobs to support their family and still live below the poverty line. The saying “the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer” has never been so evident in today’s society. With a growing percentage of people living below the poverty line, one has to question the government policies enacted to elevate the living standings for its people. Government policies great influence the everyday life of its people. It is difficult to enact common ground policies to satisfy the entire public since not everyone is on same financial level. Strategic plans should be sought out to ensure effectiveness to its targeted group by considering all the interests of the stakeholders and the impact that will affect these stakeholder groups.
According to the free market theory, the government ultimately has the social responsibility to its public. The important task the government must face is to maximize the benefit at a minimized cost. It must approve and implement laws that benefit overall society while adhering strictly to its budget constraints. The underlying concept of the “good will prevail” is also prevalent in its policy effectiveness. Good implementations to benefit society will stay and the benefit will multiply with time. Bad policies will be questioned, debated, and eventually thrown out.
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The invisible hand will always bring the market back to equilibrium. The issues on employment greatly reflect a utilitarian view. Utilitarianism is often used to determine the conflict of interest. Often times the employer and the employees will encounter conflict of interests. Which side will ultimately come out on top depends on which side is perceived as the greatest and whether it will generate the greatest bottom line value or the greatest societal gain. The conflict of interest is utterly apparent in a layoff, where the employers are doing so to maximize profit and minimize cost by outsourcing all of its jobs overseas.
The stakeholder, employees, suffers greatly from such an act. Utilitarianism often stresses the importance of increased productivity and profit, and reducing cost while improving quality. Many people lose sight of the true benefit or damage in the long run. The only consideration was the short term gain and profit.
It is not surprising that families living under the poverty line often hold some of the most dangerous jobs. They often hold jobs that no one else wants to do yet they don’t get compensated for the danger involved with these high risk jobs. The Rights Theory emphasizes the importance of the basic rights of an employee. All employees are entitled to rights of work safety, rights of well being, and various moral claims.
Basic rights entail dignity and respect. Rights Theory acts as a protestant for employees in many cases that involve conflicts of interest. Various companies offer healthcare, childcare, and educational programs as a way to safeguard its employees. Yet these programs are often missing in the high risk, low pay job sectors.
The bottom line to Rights Theory implies moral right to be treated fairly and equally and with justice across the board. Since the case of conflict of interest often arises in the workforce, many laws and policies were enacted to protect the rights of its people by providing justice. Various unions were formed to fight injustice by the government and the employers. One exception policy implemented on the basis of the justice theory is the minimum wage requirement. Although numerous families were working multiple jobs at minimum wage and still struggling, imagine how bad the financial conditions would be without the protection of the minimum wage law. Throughout the years, unions have been formed to act as the voice of the employees, to protect the employees from company exploitation.
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It is an astounding fact that people protected under the unions are sometimes making 50% more than those who are not in the union and they are more likely to have health benefits as well. Unions are a good way to fight unfairness for the employee stakeholders by acting as a check and balance mechanism between the employee, government, and the companies. Oftentimes the company deviates its focus away from its number one priority (its employees) and instead concentrates on profit generation. Stakeholders theory places a strong emphasis on the importance of the obligations of the government and the corporations to their social responsibilities beyond its shareholders.
There must always be a check and balance between all the elements to ensure fairness to all its stakeholders. The workforce of the low paying job sector often does not have a voice to be heard. Their opinions and feelings are frequently overlooked and ignored. A successful company and an effective government realize the importance of its people and the importance of utilizing all of its pool of resources. Employee stakeholders should be included and involved in company decision making processes. Not only will the employee / public involvement prove that their opinions matters, it will significantly boost the approval and acceptance of its people.
The optimal result of any policies and laws depends greatly on the cooperation of those who are impacted most by it. There are many implicit contracts between members of the society, as suggested by the social contract theory. Positive and negative duties can be observed among various stakeholder groups. Employers have duties to protect the well being of its employees. Employees have duties to act diligently and carry out their responsibilities for their employers.
The government has duties to strengthen its public’s living conditions, while the general public has duties to cooperate and carry out functions to ensure the success of these policies. Universal moral norms such as honesty, fairness, compassion, integrity, etc. , are often expected between the stakeholders. The government and the companies must assess environmental scanning and fully evaluate issues management to ensure the public and its employees are protected, while the policy serves its underlying purpose.
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It is a depressing realization that some people work very hard to support those around them and never get the benefits they deserve. Tax, education, and health care policies are often working against those who are less unfortunate. It is apparent that the poor keep on trailing further and further behind. It’s not surprising to learn that the policies enacted today haven’t proven as effective as originally intended. Everyday is a learning process and ongoing improvements must be made, especially in this fast paced, ever-changing environment.
Poverty will never be eradicated, but with thorough analysis and evaluation, the overall living standard can be improved for many who are counting on the government to help them.