That our politicians must in the first line protect our workplaces has become an unquestioned matter-of-fact. Even some are so carried away that have taken it as an electoral banner. After a first look it may seem a legitimate expectation, or not.
The images of abated people after a factory is closed down fill us with sorrow. Those images bring to us feelings of hopelessness, and fragility. Not to mention the family stress and consequences that those people will begin to suffer. Any effort aimed towards turning around such situation may seem an imperative and something politicians would have to employ all their resources we put at their hands to achieve.
The closure of factories or mines or offices or any corporation entity is often the result of the inadequacy of that organization to create something the society needs—or it has been made to believe that it needs. As the world changes and evolves, corporations have to reframe their products and services and change too. Some do it right and some do it wrong. To discuss whose fault a closure is leads nowhere and won’t bring the corporation back to life. If they are closing down factories it is probably too late. Focusing our resources on keeping those corporations going, for sake of workplaces, is a hopeless resources sink.
The cost of opportunity is even a larger; a continued sink, a bleeding wound. By focusing on keeping a broken organization running we miss the opportunity to invest our efforts in a new corporation, one that is more suited to our times. And it is likely that in that very same moment, another group of people, city, region, or country will take that opportunity. Out window of opportunity is then gone for ever.
What we may better want to request our politicians is that they create the grounds so that those opportunities can flourish. In this manner we can provide those families soon a new more suitable job. A job that will contribute to create something desirable and not something that only exist because of a subsidy, and that nobody needs. A job to feel proud of.
Effort put on fostering new opportunities would be like pulling a cart downhill, whether keeping something broken running would be pulling it uphill. To keep a constant speed we will have to sink enormous resources and some day, no matter what, it will stop. And every body else will be, by that time, much ahead on the road. By this analogy, we want to ask our politicians to build a road around the hill, as opposite to help us pull the cart uphill.