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Labor Day 2010

Monday, Sept. 06, 2010 3:50 AM

Some random thoughts about labor and the economy on this Labor Day holiday ...

- Why is it that corporations and our elected representatives seem to think outsourcing and downsizing is going to benefit the economy? And these same corporations get tax breaks for doing so.

- Small businesses are going to solve the 10% unemployment rate? Really?

- Here's the song and dance. You start small, and success allows you to hire more people and expand your operations. But at some point, the definition of success changes to mean the downsizing and layoffs and cost reductions we're seeing in both blue- and white-collar job markets.

- What are unemployment benefits? Are they really a disincentive, as some conservatives claim? Unemployment benefits are less than federal minimum wage. Beyond that, it's a measure to keep people in the market; if workers had to seek minimum wage jobs instead of receiving a limited-duration payout, they will displace those just entering the job market. Perhaps the next time we have a disgraced CEO, instead of them waltzing off with a million-dollar thank-you and a lateral promotion to a similar job, they should try flipping burgers.

Labor is an investment, not an inconvenient expense. Families can't be downsized, rightsized, or outsourced. Want to solve unemployment? Put Americans to work, people.

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