Tuesday, April 02, 2013

That's Not Reflective of Bad Management

I guess it's read Matt Yglesias evening.  This post of his is mostly throw-away, but there is something very perplexing in it.  He says:
But laws like this that give local capital an advantage versus remote capital are probably bad for wage earners. What you're essentially doing is creating a protected class of capitalists who are immunized against being put out of business by a more effective owner and manager. That has negative consequences for customers but also for workers—you're essentially stuck working for a less-competent boss in a lower-productivity role than you would be in a more competitive market.
The problem is that that doesn't follow.  It's not every one, but one of the defining aspects of chain establishments is that they treat workers like crap.  Pay minimum wage, grant few benefits, cut back hours...

And that makes good sense.  "Good" managment/ownership is most often perceived as minimizing costs, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to spend as little as possible on workers.  Chain restaurants, whether of a fast food variety or not, get over untrained, low motivation workers by making it so that anyone can do the job.  Some "less-competent" boss may have to hire someone who knows what they are doing to get the same results, and that person will likely be paid more because they have some necessary skill (even if it is just operating a meat slicer, or working a grill).

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