Ethics & Layoffs, Part 2

Last Friday, I blogged about Layoffs at Profitable Companies. That same day, I did a series of interviews with CBC radio on the topic. One of them is archived here. (Scroll down to the Jan 23 section. The interview is a .ram file & requires the free Real Player. Thanks to the folks at CBC Cape Breton for making it available.)

It’s a good time to give the subject more thought. Witness today’s NY Times: “Layoffs Spread to More Sectors of the Economy”. In the current gloomy economic climate, it’s entirely likely that more companies — including profitable ones — will choose layoffs as a way to guard against what they worry will be worse times to come.

3 comments so far

  1. plasticsyntax on

    Textbook case of a race to the bottom and a prime example of why pure markets driven only by self-interest are more likely to fail.

  2. Chris MacDonald on

    plasticsyntax:I’m not sure I understand. “Race to the bottom” usually implies a competitive lowering of standards.What standards are you talking about, and who is lowering them?Or did you mean something else?Chris.

  3. plasticsyntax on

    Perhaps it’s a stretch to call it a “textbook” definition but here goes:It’s in the best interests of a business to lower its costs by laying off their workforce in anticipation of lowered demand for their products or services, but doing so could lower demand for the products or services of other companies. These other companies are then pressured to adopt the same policy to compete, making it worse for everyone.


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