Wealth Shift: The Decline of Ethics in America
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Pre-Baby Boomer Era Work Contract (Prior to Mid-1970’s)

I, (fill in your name), do solemnly swear to devote my entire life to (fill in Company name). I do hereby promise to work long hours and weekends for a reasonable salary that includes health care and retirement benefits. During the entirety of my 40 year career, I will care desperately what happens to the Company, try diligently not to make any mistakes, agonize horribly over any mistakes I do make, and work very hard to continually improve myself for the greater good of the Company. I will not take one paper clip that doesn’t belong to me, and I will leave my personal life at home where it belongs. My entire family will support me in my work efforts and do their jobs at home to make sure I don’t have to spend any time at work dealing with personal issues (except in the case of an absolute emergency). I will encourage my co-workers to work as hard as I do, and I will bring to management’s attention any interpersonal problems that do arise so that management can help to resolve them quickly and productively. In exchange for this lifelong devotion, the Company promises to grow big and strong. When a new position opens up, the Company promises to promote from within the organization and choose me if I am the most qualified candidate from among its ranks on the basis of merit alone. As a result, management will treat me with the respect and empathy that comes from having once been in my shoes. I will be entitled to a reasonable number of vacation days and sick days, which I will only take when it is convenient for the Company. Over the course of the next 40 years, should I (or anyone in my immediate family) experience a serious medical problem, the Company promises that it will maintain appropriate health insurance coverage to enable me to get back to work again as soon as possible. Should I be permanently injured (or killed) in a job-related accident, the Company promises to have maintained sufficient disability and life insurance for my benefit to provide for my family until such time as my children are grown. Should my spouse or I happen to live beyond age 65, the Company promises to permanently set aside funds that will provide a reasonable pension for us during our golden years.

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