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Anti-Labor Practices Are Ends In Themselves

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I do think krgthulu’s correct that our horrible economic policies exist in part because the super rich like it that way, but I think it’s wrong to think they know what they’re doing. Yes inflation is going to be worse for them than the rest of us, but a shit economy won’t be great for them either. It’s enough that they believe inflation will be horrible for them, it doesn’t need to be true.

That rich elites weren’t begging the government to take the health care nightmare off their hands taught me that they often don’t have any idea what they’re doing.

This point can be illustrated by one of the takeaways from Esther Kaplan’s extraordinary piece about the closing of an extremely efficient lighting fixture factory in Sparta, TN. As she observes, the evidence that chasing lower labor costs by closing domestic factories increases profitability is actually dubious-to-nonexistent. Essentially, the savings you get from cheap labor tend to get eaten up if not exceeded by the additional costs from transportation and warehousing as well as the loss in market share that results from you not being able to get products to customers as quickly. But the stock markets like moving factories to lower labor costs, so they’re rational for managers and owners even if they aren’t in the longterm interests of the company. And the markets reflect the anti-labor assumptions of American elites.

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