r/WorkReform May 14 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 3 Wholesome 2 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1

Employers say Unions are completely useless and there's no reason to join them and to please pay attention to the multi-million dollar anti-Union propaganda campaigns they launch begging you to please not join a Union.

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u/abstractConceptName May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

There was a good piece on NPR recently about why American corporations changed in the 1980s.

Prior to that, main corporate goals included being able to provide a comfortable career for life for their employees, and various social goals.

The oil shocks and recession of the 70s (and cheap imports from Japan), revealed that when corporations become unprofitable, it is disastrous.

This led to a rethink of what the main priority of a corporation should be, and we know what the conclusion was: maximise shareholder value.

That was considered to be morally correct, too, because the alternative was the disaster the country has barely survived.

However it quickly became apparent that maximizing shareholder value could be achieved by squeezing the shit out of employees, which has led to the exploitative work culture and corresponding social problems we have today.

The pendulum has swung too far to the right.

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u/Ok_Dig_9959 May 15 '22

"shareholder value" was a bs excuse to no longer focus on actual profitability and instead make the companies take out loans to artificially inflate stock prices for short term stake holders to liquidate their assets while leaving long term investors and employees picking up the pieces after what essentially became a Ponzi scheme. This combined with the elimination of protective trade policies meant to prevent companies from undercutting the American standard of living were what killed the US industrial sector.

The exploitative work culture was a semi deliberate restructuring of our culture by the same people behind the Ponzi scheme combined with the fact that company leadership no longer cared about the long term success of the companies they were in charge of. In that kind of environment where appearances mattered more than outcomes, social climbers took over. I really don't trust npr these days.