Henry Ford developed the theory that companies have an interest in making sure that their employees could always afford the product that they produced. This way, there would always be someone who could afford your product, or your service, and you could keep the cycle going.
In this mindset, business was driven by the employer, who could help stimulate demand with higher wages. This is one of the reasons why Ford paid his employees enough for them to afford their own car.
Robots do not get paid money; robots cost a charge to keep running and require a minimum staff to maintain. It’s cheaper for the business in the short run, but who’s left that can afford your product or service? Unfortunately, this is lost about 46% of Harvard Business School alumni; these “job creators” said that their firms would rather invest in technology to fill labor needs than hire humans.
Put another way, America’s so-called “Job Creators” would rather not create jobs at all.
The survey revealed that a full 49% of HBS alumni said their company “prefers to rely on vendors that can be outsourced rather than hire additional employees,” and “firms that increased their reliance on part-time workers during the past three years outnumbered those that relied less on part-timers by a ratio of two to one.”
The survey also remarked on “the recent divergence of outcomes, with firms . . . thriving and workers struggling” in the U.S. economy and calls out the leaders who don’t measure their success partly through the contributions their companies make to the standard of living in the United States as “short-sighted.” It notes that the business world “has a profound stake in the prosperity of the average American” and “cannot succeed for long while their communities languish.”
These attitudes aren’t new; they dove tail nicely into what we already knew about America’s elites and her so-called “job creators.” From sweat-shops to wage-theft, the attitudes the elite display in the HBS survey contrast rather sharply with the working-class outrage that’s driving strikes and other low-wage worker activism.
And while Seattle presents a possible way to bridge the gap, Seattle appears to be a rare case. The result of decoupling workers from work but not decoupling survival from work is a massive and permanent underclass with a lot of time on their hands and no food in their stomach.
And unless dekulakization is the goal, we all have a collective interest in making sure that never happens.