Last week's column was entitled "The Danger of Remote Bosses." It was not immediately apparent to me what her column was about from the title so I actually read the entire thing. Here are some of the choicest excerpts from her latest call for government mandated wealth redistribution:
- "Could there be a reason for the widening pay gap that is not exactly economic? There could be....Bosses and their investors are grabbing most of the profits. That is not just because they can but because there is no longer much of a social cost for not sharing. Technology and globalization have created a thick buffer between the top earners and public opinion."
- "If the hourly pay of typical Amerikan workers had kept pace with productivity growth since the 1970s, then there would have been no rise in income inequality during that period. There could be several reasons for this. One must be employers' becoming ever more remote from their employees (hence the title of the column, ed). That has turned working people from being their teammates to being mere economic inputs, alongside the cost of energy, raw materials and borrowing."
- "Wal Mart's decision last year to start raising its infamously low wages came out of world headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Wolfe Research had downgraded Walmart stock because the chain's overworked staff was unable to keep the shelves stocked. The stores were looking shabby because of Walmart's relentless focus on costs. So the pay raise-- still well below the $15/hour level being legislated in some states and cities -- was not motivated to win the affections of the 500,000 workers."
- "We can accuse these employers of greed until we are blue in the face but shaming is a dull weapon against weakened social restraints. The very rich are more and more separated from everyone else. In their circles, net wealth is often regarded as the supreme mark of personal excellence. The workers, as the conservative movement tells them, should be grateful they even have a job."
- Froma laments that "bosses and their investors are grabbing most of the profits." Quick, contact a career politician and demand a new wealth transfer scam to correct this injustice! Imagine the audacity of this situation. The people who create the businesses that are successful and the investors who put up the money for the entrepreneurs to create their successful businesses believe they have a right to most of the profits. What is wrong with those people? Don't they understand that it is their moral duty to produce jobs, create income and work hard so as to have a large percentage of their wealth taken from them and given to the people they employ? Don't they understand that it is their job to work for their employees and not the other way around? They should never be rewarded for taking risks, putting their own financial well being on the line and, worst of all, giving the consumers exactly what they want for a price they are willing to pay. Shame on them for greedily believing that what they create belongs to them. Froma believes that people who make more than her have a moral duty to "share," whatever that means. She also believes that people who make more than her no longer share like they did in the good old days because "technology and globalization" have somehow conspired to shield them from the social pressures that made them share before. Froma, do me a favor, will you? Please look at this post. I am one of those greedy entrepreneurs who created his own business and employs people for a wage rate they agree to work for and that the market commands. I am also one of those greedy business owners who believes that the profits generated by my business belong to me, not my employees. Don't worry Froma. The feds have already heard your cry. They take a good chunk of my income away and give it to the people you are weeping for. They will be alright so relax and go give some of your money away to your local Wal-Mart employees, won't you?
- I don't know what universe Froma lived in in the past but the employees of a company have never been "teammates" with the owners and entrepreneurs who started and ran the company. Maybe she is thinking of the good old days when the laws of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika gave unions the power to force employers to pay above market wages. I am sure the union bosses told their members that they were teammates. What I find strange is that those teammates are not being held responsible for what they did to their companies. Anyone who believes that employees are teammates should pay a visit to Detroit. There you will witness firsthand the end result of believing that employees are more than another cost of doing business. There you will discover precisely what happens when employers are forced to pay more than the market wage for labor. When the employees become the reason for the business to exist the business does not have long to live. I wonder how all of those employee-teammates, now unemployed, feel today? Do you think they have figured out that it is the consumer that must be served if profits are to be realized? I rather doubt it.
- Being a socialist Froma cannot resist the urge to take a shot at the profit-seeking corporation Wal-Mart. I don't know if what she says about Wal-Mart raising its hourly wage in order to improve conditions in its stores is true or not. I will assume that it is. And if it is true it is a very good example of the free market doing what it does best. When Wal-Mart realized that it was not serving its customers to the best of its ability it did what it had to do to fix the situation. Paying its existing employees a higher wage as an incentive to get them to work harder and improve store conditions is precisely what should have been done. I will assume that things worked out the way Wal-Mart envisioned. By that I mean the stores are now fully stocked, clean and well staffed with employees who are willing to serve the consuming public. Why does Froma insist that Wal-Mart must have some emotional component to its decision? Why must a profit-seeking corporation feel "affection" for its employees? I can't recall ever hearing employees commanded to have affection for their employers. Indeed, just the opposite always seems to be the case. What happened to "teammates?" The employees at Wal-Mart are earning more because the market demands they earn more. Good for them. Affection, or any other judgement-clouding emotion, should have nothing to do with a straight business decision.
- If employers are greedy because they want to keep what is theirs, what does that make employees who want to take what is not theirs? Froma never answers that question. My mom taught me that it was not an act of greediness for wanting to keep what was mine. She also taught me that greedy people try to take what belongs to others. I think mom was right and Froma is wrong. Froma speaks confidently of what things are like in the "circles" of the "wealthy." I wonder how she knows? Is she one of them, hiding among us and writing nasty things about them because of something they did to her years ago? The handful of wealthy people I know are not separated from anyone and they believe that they have made their wealth because they have served consumers better than others. What is wrong with that Froma? No wealthy person I know has every told another human being that he should be grateful for having a job. They are too busy creating jobs to do that. What has Froma done for job creation? Not much I would suspect. What Froma does do is tell us how evil rich people are and then call them names because she believes they do not live among the rest of us as she believes they should. Why, Froma, do you want people you despise so much to be your neighbors?