Fort Buckley is a pro-business, pro-free-enterprise Internet outpost. In our* opinion, Adam Smith’s free hand does a better job of allocating life’s resources and satisfying the people’s needs and desires than a corps of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. Having said that…
This article, from National Review’s Jim Geraghty, makes it clear that many Americans are wary—and sometimes downright distrustful—of their own employers in specific, and American business in general:
There’s a thread that ties the Democrats’ arguments on the employer-covered contraceptive coverage mandate and their push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour: We’re going to make your employer give you something you want.
People rarely turn down things that they’re offered for free.
Before those of us on the Right commence fuming about “makers” and “takers,” we probably ought to think about why swaths of the electorate are so receptive to this message, and so eagerly buy into a narrative where they are the victims of their miserly bosses, and the heroic white knight of Democrat-run big government must come in and give them what they deserve.
(All emphasis is added)
Geraghty lists quite a few reasons why American employees haven’t been happy with how America’s economy and business world have treated them. As Europe rebuilt from World War II and Asia modernized, foreign competition made it harder for American businesses to earn profits. Technology made it easier to offshore jobs. All of this we’ve heard before.
But, Geraghty points out that, often, employers haven’t done much to endear themselves to their employees.
“Chainsaw Al” Dunlap, a corporate executive who built a notorious reputation for mass layoffs at Scott Paper and then Sunbeam, helped create the modern iconic villain of a corporate executive willing to throw away his own workers in pursuit of a higher stock share price. The perception of callous and greedy corporate executives long outlasted Dunlap, who was tossed out at Sunbeam in 1998. American workers feel that their employers aren’t loyal to them, so they feel no need to reciprocate that loyalty.
…some of America’s businesses are sitting on piles of cash — $1.64 trillion among U.S. non-financial companies at the end of 2013. If America’s businessmen are worried about the growing atmosphere of resentment, populist anger, demonization of the wealthy, then throwing that money around — whether it’s on higher wages, new hires, new product research and development, or plant expansion — might persuade frustrated, increasingly cynical Americans that the companies that employ them aren’t such bad guys.
Points taken, Jim. However, I can think of a few reasons why employers might think twice about expanding their businesses in today’s American economy. An out-of-control regulatory state, businesses taxes that are much higher than those charged by other countries, the metastasizing menace that is Obamacare…
Having said that, business leaders should reflect on Geraghty’s observations. And, as always, y’all should read the whole thing.
* Me, myself and I