February 5, 2014
THE DEFLATIONARY EPOCH:
*The Fissured Workplace* (Tyler Cowen, February 4, 2014, Marginal Revolution)
That is a new and important book by David Weil and the subtitle is Why Work Became so Bad For So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It. I take the author's main thesis to be that corporations have, in the interests of efficiency, focused increasingly on "core competencies." That has led to an outsourcing of non-core jobs and the commoditization of those jobs, outside the sphere of benefits, workplace community, investing in workers, and caring about worker morale.Here is one excerpt from the book:By focusing on core competencies, lead businesses in the economy have shed the employment relationship for many activities, and all that comes with it. Shedding the tasks and production activities to other businesses allows lead companies to lower their costs, since externalizing activities to other firms (particularly those operating in the more competitive markets) eliminates the need to pay the higher wages and benefits that large enterprises typically provided. It also does away with the need to establish consistency in those human resource policies, since they no longer reside inside the firm. This aspect of fissuring pushes liability for adherence to a range of workplace statutes (and other public policies) to other businesses.
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 5, 2014 6:10 PM