- Capitalism and Alternatives -

What do I think?

Posted by: Dr. Cruel on July 19, 1999 at 19:43:46:

In Reply to: John Sweeney's Proposal posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on July 16, 1999 at 03:18:35:


What if I mechanize my industrial process? If I have no employees (organic ones, anyway) can I make as much as I want then?

In other words ... Since what you propose is a system that makes an employer responsible for the economic renumeration of those that he employs (rather than, say, having the situation as merely an agreement that both parties enter into, without the interference of a 'benevolent' third party), then am I absolved of responsibility for a workforce outside of my employ? This is quite a philosophical concession on the Left's part, you know.

What do I think? My opinion is that it would have a dampening effect on the growth of businesses that have large numbers of employees, especially those that have little in the way of marketable skills. For example, a business such as McDonald's, which pays entry-level workers close to minimum wage, could only have executive salaries in the $500,000 range or so - a significant amount, but it would hurt the ability of the company to hire more expensive employees. Worse would be the business of professional sports. However, the effect would not be particularly devastating or destructive, despite the uproar that this might cause among wealthy CEOs, actors, supermodels, sports figures, and others that enjoy high incomes vis a vis their staff. You might see some firings of low-level staff (no longer would it be economically feasible for me to hire a gopher to get me a sandwich; were I a rock star, that ham-on-rye might cost me millions, not to mention putting me in violation of fair-work laws).

All in all, a gimmick that, were it enacted, would do more harm than good. It would not be at a level of harm significant enough to create much of an impact either way, however.

"Doc" Cruel

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