October 26th, 2011

Inequity: Reality for targets of workplace bullying and U.S. society

Bullied targets plead for relief from stress-related health and mental health injuries (up to and including PTSD). They are certainly bothered by the pain, once they connect the dots and realize that it is the exposure to abuse that causes it. Moreso, they are incensed by the injustice, the unfairness, of it all. It’s an upside-down work world where the ingratiating do-nothing predators torment with impunity. It’s not a fair world. That stark realization does untold damage to the target’s worldview. In turn, that violation of assumptions forces them to redefine who they are at the core. Bullying is a life-changing series of events, and in most cases, not ending in a better world for the target.

It must be constantly restated that unbridled aggression in the workplace mirrors, is a microcosm of, the larger society in which work is embedded. In America (and Canada to a lesser extent when it follows America’s lead), we have to face the fact that we are the world’s bully. We are the war machine that never stops, since 1941. We impose our military will on sovereign nations around the globe. The simple point here is that it is little wonder that business leaders have no qualms pushing their employees around when it is the American way of life — domination and intimidation.

And so it is with the principle of fairness. Fairness, or equity, is part of the fabric of the American ethos. But is it imagined or actually operating in the U.S.? In a bullied person’s world, there is no fairness. They are targeted for no reason they caused. They suffer from tactics unilaterally determined by the dominating tyrant. They live with an unpredictable schedule of torture and relief completely out of their control. They seek relief and are not believed or considered deserving of help. They lose the job they once loved, asking only that they be left alone to do their work. A majority lose that job and face sickness without health insurance, risk losing their homes, and find it incredibly difficult to reconstruct a new life with a shattered identity.

On Oct. 25, 2011 the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report on income inequality that was requested by two Senators in 2006. The results are in and confirm that the news that the split between the haves and the have-nots in the U.S. is unprecedented. Between 1979 and 2007, the rise in income for the top 1% of the population was 275 percent. For the bottom 20%, the rise was a meager 18%. This report was conducted by the non-partisan group tasked with conducting research to inform members of Congress. Read the full report for yourself.

Need more proof of American economic unfairness? More facts about income.
– The minimum income of top 1% was $516,633. The average income in 2011 was $1,530,773.
– The maximum income of lowest 20% was $16,961. The average income was $9,187.

But cash income is only part of the story when considering the disparity in wealth. Wealth includes home equity, stocks and investments.
– The average wealth of top 1% was $14 million in 2009 (reflecting a post-recession drop from 19.2 in 2007, you see they suffered a bit, too, at least that is what they will tell you)
– The lowest 20% actually had a negative average wealth of $-27,200 in 2009. That reflects the bursting of the housing bubble and loss of property value, actually putting those families in the red.

The wealthiest 1% had an average of 225 times the wealth of the average median household in 2009. In 1962, the ratio was 125. The median is the value at the exact middle of the distribution of all incomes. In 2011, the median income was $65,357.

The richest 20 Americans had wealth ranging from $12.4 to $54 billion in 2010. See who they are.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the U.S. is ranked 39th in the world with respect to equity of the distribution of family income.

So, it’s clear with respect to income and wealth, the top 1% are deriving all the benefits. It’s an unfair world rigged by tax policies (see the CBO report) to grow wealth for the people who do not work an 8 hr. day that is in any way comparable to what a bullied target works.

Even if bullied targets were once in the top 1%, as only bankers and C-suite dwellers are, after the bullying, they join the ranks of the other 99%. Bullied targets are 99%-ers and have much in common with others who are fed up with economic injustice. It’s just that the target’s sense of injustice cuts even deeper.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 at 9:04 am and is filed under Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Tutorials About Bullying. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. kachina says:

    For many people, realization of economic injustice is a largely intellectual exercise which challenges assumptions about democratic principles and the society we live in…an exercise only undertaken by those interested in intellectual pursuits unless there is a personal circumstance that precipitates the questioning.

    For targets who have been bullied out of their jobs, livelihoods, comfortable positive worldview, economic and emotional stability,realization of economic injustice is a complete repudiation of their values and ethics, their life’s work and concepts of both themselves and others. And it’s not just a SENSE of injustice, it is actual-factual injustice, in your face, in your family, pervading every aspect of your being and relationships…unless you find a way to deny the truth of your own experience.
    I struggle to keep and acknowledge the truth (which I still value regardless of how disgusted I feel about it) and still have hope for the future…mine personally and for all of us as a community of communities. I have been profoundly disappointed by both individuals and the systems they operate within. There is much farther to go than I ever imagined.

  2. Jay Jacobus says:

    High unemployment raises the supply of available workers while the demand is low. As a result, the pressure on wages is downward.

    Management benefits by paying lower wages while keeping prices constant.

    Correcting the problem will take massive changes in the economy.

    There should be disincentives for hoarding money and positive incentives for research, development and capital spending.

    Over the last 2 years the stock market has rewarded hoarding by providing very attractive capital gains. There should be incentives for taking money out of the market and putting it into productive assets. If there were, the economy might recover.

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