The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. …' Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.' His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!”
Stewardship, the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care, is more moral imperative than a managerial role. Stewardship depends on rejecting the immoral mine of the here and now and embracing an entrustment for the future. Stewardship defines the temporal nature of things and foresees the future needs of others. Stewardship applies as well to nations and generations as it does to individuals.
For a nation founded on, and in, faith and one so clearly still adhering to those roots, we are a people desperately lost in our understanding of our duty to future American generations. We the people of the United States are indebted beyond measure to those generations of Americans that came before us. As we struggle and increasingly see our fellow countrymen sacrifice and die to create “democracy” in other lands, it should be blindingly clear the debt we owe for our own rare and successful “experiment in democracy.” That we were a nation at peace, within our borders and with our neighbors, is a testament to the stewardship of the American dream by our forefathers.
We owe past generations for the stewardship of a nation built block upon block from an agrarian society, to a great industrial and agricultural nation. We owe past generations for the stewardship of a true American culture forged in the blending of a melting pot of cultures into the purity of the founding American ideals. And ultimately we owe for the unselfishness of our forefathers to place the stewardship of their entrustment ahead of personal aggrandizement. As with the good and trusted servants these American stewards added to the wealth of the nation, instead of giving in to the fear of not “getting their share.”
A nation is more then a mere collection of people. A nation is a collection of peoples’ economic efforts, their philosophy of government, the use of their nation’s natural resources, their nation’s intellectual property, and the shared vision of their nation’s future. In the case of America it is, and always has been, the collective efforts of the whole that has created our nation’s success. And it is that success upon which America’s corporations were built.
And it is that collective effort of the whole nation upon which America’s corporations have turned their back. And worst of all, the American worker is the one sacrificed. From the rural sections of our country, to the high rises and the inner cities, America’s workers are being replaced, laid-off, or overlooked. The American workers, whose innovations are the bedrock of America’s growth, find themselves watching the closing of their factories and plants, of foreign workers taking their place in the American workplace, and a flood of cheap labor entering the country illegally.
The CEO’s tell the nation these events are essential in order for America to compete “globally”, but the competition is with ourselves and the money financing these events is our own. If there is any competition it must be to see which CEO can pocket the greatest profit gain.
Today we find our nation, and our tradition of national stewardship betrayed. As with the “wicked and lazy servant,” fear of what “they” stand to lose has seized our political and business elites, and in fear they have abandoned the American people to seek the easy path to personal wealth and power. Being placed above all else is the immoral “mine” of our elites’ view of their American entrustment.
"The selfish spirit of commerce knows no country, and feels no passion or principle but that of gain." --Thomas Jefferson to Larkin Smith, 1809.
Leading our betrayal are America’s Corporate CEO’s who in large measure have adopted the motto “If I run it, I get mine first.” Hiding behind the good of the shareholder and a stock market bubble, CEO compensation has skyrocketed while employee job security has plummeted.
Loss of America’s employment markets continues to be the stealth issue for this American generation. Throughout the 1980’s commentators bemoaned the uncompetitive American worker and producer, but by the 1990’s America’s foreign competition had been left behind. Unfortunately the American worker, having once again demonstrated their world-class excellence, were finding by the mid-1990’s that America’s corporate elite were all too eager to sell out their American workers and to cash out the entrustment of prior American generations. Nowhere could this be seen more clearly than in the disaster befalling America’s Hi-Tech service industry.
"I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." – Thomas Jefferson
The “trial of strength” is over, America’s current generation of elected elites have given in to corporate power, i.e. corporate money, and these elected officials can barely contain their enthusiasm to do their corporate master’s bidding. At continuing risk are America’s blue-collar workers; exhibit A in this tale is the auto industry rescue effort. Roger Simmermaker in The worth of America's Big Three points out that in telling Detroit to drop dead in favor of so called free markets “Senator Shelby doesn’t mention…that his state has already distorted and fiddled with the so-called “free market” by funding foreign-owned Mercedes, Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda to the tune of nearly a billion dollars in taxpayer money to lure those brands’ factories to his state.”
As for the white-collar jobs, and in particular computer related jobs, losses are running significantly above the national average for all other occupations (figure 1 below) the United States Congress on November 20, 2004 INCREASED the number of H-1B foreign worker visas (a technical visa) by an additional 20,000. They worked this magic at the behest of America’s technical companies because those companies desperately need cheaper and cheaper labor to pad their bottom line and boost their share value. This need for cheap labor obviously is outweighing the needs of thousands of willing American technical workers looking for their own return to significant employment.
It is clear that outsourcing of U.S. jobs and the importing of cheap foreign labor (H-1B, L-1, H-2 visas to name a few) to take jobs that American’s DO WANT will continue to occur and at an accelerating rate. The stories of American worker’s training their foreign replacement workers have fallen on deaf ears. The Center for Immigration Studies reports that the issuance of work visas continues at record-setting levels, and “looking only at the net increase in employment, the number of foreign-born adults (legal and illegal) holding a job has grown 1.7 million since 2000, while among (Americans) the number working actually fell by 800,000.”