In response to Robert Thatcher's letter in the May 4 Xpress, “Wholly Satisfied with Whole Foods”: In an economy in which there are far fewer jobs than there are people looking for them, it makes little sense to simply tell such people to "get a living-wage job." You might as well tell them to move out of Asheville, or to a different planet for that matter.
It would be far more constructive, not to mention compassionate, for those who are fortunate enough to have such jobs to be grateful for them rather than criticize those less fortunate. But then it's far easier to tell someone what to do than it is to help them do it, which is doubtless why the former approach is so much more popular.
Mr. Thatcher agrees with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey that "people don't have an 'intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter.'" What should people who can't find jobs do then? Borrow money (if they have that option)? Move in with friends or family (ditto)? Starve to death, kill themselves or turn to crime? If we don't want to help these people we will all pay for not helping them. And we already are.
In his book The Threefold Social Order, Rudolf Steiner addresses social issues far more intelligently than the libertarians or Ayn Rand followers do. The economic realm is only one aspect of our social organism. Within this realm, market values require some autonomy, but outside of it they wreak havoc on the cultural and political realms, as well as on the environment we live in. Outside of its own sphere the market is not only often "wrong," but a dangerous runaway truck that threatens us all.
— Andy Shaw