Cheap Labor Conservatives, Local Edition

If this letter to the editor in the Philadelphia Inquirer is to be believed, if we get rid of the safety net and all worker protections, we get ponies and rainbows (via Young Philly Politics)?

Jim Florio states, “Businesses are deciding . . . higher levels of U.S. unemployment are a necessary and acceptable way to control costs and boost profit.” Florio has obviously never run a business. Businesses don’t consider the overall employment level when determining their staffing needs; they hire based on their own needs, nothing else (“Economic barriers to hiring,” Thursday).

If the governor were truly concerned with unemployment rather than berating businesses for trying to be profitable, he should focus on eliminating the economic barriers to hiring Americans imposed by well-intentioned politicians such as himself. A machine or a worker in a developing country will work overtime for regular pay, doesn’t get family or medical leave, or require workman’s comp and unemployment insurance, and won’t sue for every alleged slight, as American workers do.

The author of said letter – Andrew Terhune [LinkedIn] – is the Director of Management Development for Toll Brothers, the regional home builder.  While he is certainly free to espouse cheap labor conservative viewpoints, I would certainly be hesitant to state them so publicly.  I wonder how is employer feels about this?  And what of the consequences of his suggestions?  If American workers’ pay was obliterated as Terhune suggests, who would by their McMansions, and by extension provide Toll Brothers profits (and Terhune’s salary)?  Even Henry Ford – no DFH – knew that his workforce had to be able to purchase the product they were building.

Comments are closed.