Saturday, April 21, 2007

Corporate Rot--Readers Respond

The April 5 entry on "Corporate Rot" drew a number of thoughtful responses from readers, some supporting the thesis and others contesting it.

While I understand how fluid labor markets contribute mightily to the "productivity" and adaptability of the U.S. economy, I am not persuaded that an obsession with short-term financial results, human-resource software filters and an atrophying of long-term experience are healthy trends. The facts are that corporate profits have risen to post-World War II highs ($1.3 trillion a year, fully 10% of the entire GDP) while wages have remained flat except within the top tier of wage-earners.

Is this imbalance justified in a Darwinian way, i.e. corporations have successfully adapted to post-industrial globalization while 90% of American workers have not? The larger question is: have U.S. corporations eaten their seed corn by throwing off long-term employment as a profit-diminishing yoke?

Here are six (very different) commentaries contributed by readers. In order to keep this page's file size managable, I've placed all the commentaries on a separate page. I think you'll find the variety of viewpoints most interesting.

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