Monday, December 3, 2012

Forget about fair, let's just stop the stupid

We love a good rant, and here's a great one. It's about the stupidity of corporations attacking workers' wages and benefits, from Joshua Brown at The Reformed Broker blog. Note that Brown is an investment adviser for rich people. And that he doesn't care that inequality is unfair.
Tony Soprano once shattered the windshield of his kid's SUV upon hearing the term ("It isn't fair") and it was probably the single most constructive thing he's ever done for that little pain in the ass. I also don't care much for President Obama's frequent use of the phrase "fair share" either, it's commie talk and it sparks a kneejerk aversion for half the country that has yet to do him any favors in his negotiation efforts. 
So no, the economy isn't fair and you can make a pretty strong case that it's gotten less fair, but that fact alone will never sway those in power. 
So instead of lamenting the lack of fairness, let's talk about the stupidity of this hollowing out of the middle class in this country, year after year, with bought and paid for legislation and preferential tax treatment.
Brown's point: Corporations will die if they kill the American middle class. Put another way: Forget about fair, let's just stop the stupid.

Brown argues that corporations worked around their declining customer base by letting the government worry about the need for a living wage in America. (Can you say "Wal-Mart?) Corporations relied on exports and tax evasion to increase earnings. But it can't last:
At a certain point, native companies within the developing world will nudge our adventuring multinationals aside (China's already building its own version of Wall Street).  And when that happens, Corporate America is going to turn around and be horrified by the devastation in its own backyard. 
"Where did all our customers go?" 
Well, you enormous fucking idiots, you fired all your customers. You've spent the last decade or so suppressing wage growth in the name of "creating shareholder value" and now even your shareholder base is disappearing. 
You allowed wages to stagnate for a decade and made every decision you could in the service of nudging the quarterly profit higher, thinking less of the yearly profit and virtually nothing of the long-term viability of your business.
This is the debate we should be having now, he says.
So don't worry about Fair, let's just stop the Stupid and see what happens.
Read the whole thing here.