Friday, November 04, 2011

Un-American Business

All the productivity gains of the past thirty years have been paid upwards, but, hell, that's what productivity gains do or they cease to exist.

Because "increased productivity" is another way of saying workers are working longer/harder/faster for the same or less money. (Or have been replaced by machines.)

That Americans don't understand this shows how good their media are at lying to them, disinforming them, misinforming them, how good the propaganda is. When workers applaud productivity gains they are applauding the enrichment of someone else.

American business used to honor three loyalties: to the customer, to the employees, and finally, when the other two were satisfied, to shareholders, themselves. The first two loyalties have been degraded by a devotion to profit and only profit. Because profit boosts share value and share value boosts bonuses linked to share value. Profits have become God. Because obligations to customers and employees (in a societal sense the same thing) subtract from profit they have become the great enemies of American business.

Praise of the noble employee is lip service; the nobler he/she is the less he/she will work for. (You know how sacred such things as pension obligations are if you've read Ellen Schultz's book Retirement Heist.)

Today's treasured customer is thought of in predatory terms. "New and Improved" usually means they've put more air in the cereal or made the hardware flimsier or the software buggier. A key economic shift occurred when insurance companies ceased to think of themselves as insurers of people and began thinking of themselves as raisers of capital.

The problem is capital has nowhere to go if the customer hasn't got enough income to spend on goods and services. And the customer is the employee. In the past decade American business has shifted its focus from fulfilling needs and wants to exploiting vulnerabilities and shortages and fears. We live in a predatory economy. Next stop? Kleptocracy.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home