Sees mythology in views of free market utopia
To the editor:
In his column of Feb. 5, Jay Fleitman criticizes liberals for their ignorance of how capitalism actually works. Since I am not a liberal I can agree in part with his assessment, but I question Dr. Fleitman’s own understanding of that process.
I am sure he will agree that the ultimate goal of corporate management is to produce profit. That goal is achieved by hiring as few workers as possible at the lowest wage they will tolerate with maximum flexibility to hire and fire them as market demand for a product increases or decreases.
Dr. Fleitman is correct that this has nothing to do with venality or greed. It has everything to do with the pressures of business competition. In the long run and as a whole, although individual bosses may be nice people, corporate managers cannot afford to be generous or even necessarily fair to their workers.
That means, contrary to the claims of conservatives such as Dr. Fleitman, the wealthy and the corporate elite are not “job-creators.” They are forced to be “job-killers.”
They do not value the competition of a free market — they try to crush it and establish monopolies. Competition among workers for jobs, on the other hand, is most desirable since it keeps wages low, so high unemployment can be beneficial unless it leads to political unrest.
Skilled and educated workers may be desirable, but obedient employees are more profitable. Unions are therefore anathema, which is one reason why nations with authoritarian regimes that repress them, such as China, are desirable places to invest.
In short, Dr. Fleitman, while liberals may have delusions of their own, your free-market capitalist utopia is pure mythology.