Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, July 18, 2014

Too Bad So Sad

Shorter Megan McArdle: Corporations are making it impossible for workers to make enough money to live. Shrug.

Some snips:
As I’ve written before, I don't find problematic the existence of jobs that do not pay enough to support a family. Retail jobs have never paid well, because retail margins tend to be pretty slim. The problem is not that retail is a low-wage job, but that an increasing number of people can’t find any other sort of job....  
Unfortunately, the weakness in the labor market has coincided with yet another market development: scheduling software and technology that allows retailers to manage their workforce as another just-in-time input....  
Greenhouse reports that lawmakers are considering rules to combat the practice -- requiring companies to offer a certain amount of notice to workers or minimum shift sizes. I don’t find these laws as obviously troubling as doubling the minimum wage, but the problem is that some hourly jobs genuinely require on-call (certain kinds of nursing, say), and presumably there are teenagers who would like to work for a couple of hours after school. We don’t want to outlaw those benign practices or raise retail prices to the point where many jobs disappear entirely.
When faced with the choice between lower profit margins for the rich or people being able to feed their families and have a semi-decent life, McArdle chooses the corporations, of course. And she continues to pretend that consumer spending does not drive the economy.

It's terribly generous for McArdle to say that workers should be able to feed the kids but she ruined the momentary impression of fake sympathy in the end.


Downpuppy said...

Megan is mailing it in these days, even by her standards. Just a lazy "Sucks to be you", with no pretense of having anything useful to say.

Susan of Texas said...

She did a podcast the other day and has lots of Cato-ish appearances hither and yon. The post on Obamacare is a valiant little bit of flag waving but yes, she is unusually brief lately.

Aside from the Walrus tears, McArdle seems to be willing to write off the lower classes. Serfdom is just structural.

Smut Clyde said...

If someone has built a career out of promoting the libertarian market on the basis that it will raise the living standards of people in general, you can't expect her to revise that opinion just because it lowers the living standard of people in general.

Susan of Texas said...

And they would have been able to get away with it if it weren't for that pesky government.