Friday, July 22, 2011

wage slaves in the warehouse

Video - Capitalism vs. Socialism - which is more productive?

DeclineoftheEmpire | In our Capitalist Utopia, wage slaves are not allowed to talk. They might say stuff like "wow, it's really hot in here" or "let's go upstairs and kill all the big guys in the suits." No cell phones either—if there's an medical emergency in the family, your phone will be confiscated.
A few days later, I had breakfast with someone who coincidentally works with the CEOs of logistics companies. Telling him about the conditions and the sterility and the mind-numbing sadness of the warehouse made him almost too bummed to eat his oatmeal.

"Somebody did studies and spreadsheets and crunched those numbers," he said, "and figured out that the cheapest way to get that job done is to treat people like that." Which is important, he explained, because "the profit margins on those contracts are razor thin." Of course. A lot of the Internet retailers' merchandise is nearly worthless—ice princess star-shaped ice cube trays, cheap sunglasses, anthropomorphic stuffed bacon toys—and is sold for nearly nothing, often with free or reduced-price shipping.

Susie told me it's pretty dispiriting to act as though her workers are as disposable as the products they're shipping. But that's just the way it is, she said. The logistics clients aren't interested in spending money on a better or more sustainable work culture. Nor do they need to. There are 100 people employed in the warehouse I visited, and Susie could fire every one of them today without costing her bosses a dime of lost profits. She has applications from hundreds of people ready to take the job.
There's your vaunted job market flexibility. This, too, will make America more competitive. Disposable workers can be fired in a New York minute for talking, or taking too many breaks, or otherwise displaying a bad attitude. Ungrateful sons of bitches. Firing these SOBs is just like taking out the trash. After all, there are hundreds of people waiting to take their place. The working wage slaves are the lucky ones.

It's a Capitalist's wet dream. Is this a great country or what? Fist tap Dale.


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