We, in the US have spoken of the values of equality and freedom since our earliest days. The voter suppression legislation moving across the land offers us the challenge to bring freedom and equality to daily life. Many of us, in our country, continue to yearn for the experience of living from the deep interior knowing space of equality and freedom as cherished values–fully received and given. To the extent, these continue to elude us as a nation, we know that we are diminished.
Historical examples and perspective can help us to paint with some credible optimism, that there will be success in making positive changes post COVID-19. Crises whether immediate or sustained cause all size group cultures to adjust, integrate and adapt. With just a few days in office, President Joseph Biden today signed executive orders to affect positive change for many in the US: one focused on expanding food assistance and delivering stimulus checks to very low-income Americans, and the other on raising the minimum wage to $15 for the federal workforce. Having basic needs met quickly is imperative for the well being of the large percentage of families, who in recent week did not have enough food. A range of projections of hunger and inadequate food supplies speak to upward of 54 million people affected during the pandemic.
Most families have limited reserves–an effect of the American worker’s income not keeping pace with the rising economy. A full-time worker whose taxable income is at the median—with half the population making more and half making less—now pulls in about $50,000 a year. Yet had the fruits of the nation’s economic output been shared over the past 45 years as broadly as they were from the end of World War II until the early 1970s, that worker would instead be making $92,000 to $102,000. (The exact figures vary slightly depending on how inflation is calculated.)
Last evening, the GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, gave the past-due go ahead for President-Elect Biden to go ahead with the transition for the next administration.
Going forward, we as a country can explore the significance of an incumbent’s disagreement with the US democracy’s voting results to the point of creating a willful arbitrary block to the beginnings of a transition. How can such actions affect the perception of shared governance of “We the people?” That the election would be in doubt is softened by the fact that Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris received 80,000,000 votes–the largest amount ever cast for a candidate in the nation’s history and at this writing nearly 10 million votes more than the incumbent.
Perhaps more to the point of the ideas that will be explored here of shared ownership and governance, we can point with pride to the voting turnout and to number of federal, state and local public and civil servants–some volunteers–who so carefully planned, laid out and followed directives for the election that no large scale failures were noted that impacted the whole. This kind of personal ownership for good outcomes is one of the foundational findings for employee ownership and participative decision-making. In this example, we can see the outcomes stemming from pyschological ownership and employee/volunteer engagement.