Wednesday, March 19, 2014

McDonald's is standard business operating procedure

In keeping with the theme of the last few posts, see this article. If we don't want things to degenerate into the kind of situation we have had in the past then we best learn its lessons and get busy. An excerpt that speaks well for itself:

"If too much power resides in the hands of employers and capital more broadly, the tension builds and builds until, ultimately, the masses seek to check that power through the only means that remain available to them. They go outside the political system. They engage in mass demonstrations, strikes, and other civil actions. And if that doesn't work, then you get revolution and bloodshed. No one wants things to get bad enough for that to be seen as the only alternative.

"I don't believe we are near the point of that kind of revolution yet. We do have the minimum wage, and we have other labor laws in place that -- while they are not strong enough -- are not so weak as to lead people to risk everything, even their lives, to bring about change through violence. But let's not kid ourselves, we need to do a lot more to bring things even close to where they should be. Furthermore, there are certainly many on the right who believe in an Ayn Rand style vision of how our economy should work. If they somehow were able to implement that vision, the kind of practices McDonald's of which is accused will be looked back upon fondly.

"We cannot allow that to happen. We must make sure not only that we raise the minimum wage, enforce laws against wage theft, etc. We must also make people understand how severe is the imbalance of power between many, if not most, workers and their employers. We have to make them understand and feel in their gut that without government putting its thumb on the scale on behalf of workers, that imbalance would be so severe as to be unsustainable.

"Without strong government measures playing a role in the equation, workers will at some point come to believe they have no choice but to simply knock the scale to the floor. That's the kind of destruction we must make sure we avoid."

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