Unless a company has strong social obligation to its community, that is, the immediate locale, city, state, and country, there is no denying that the ultimate aim of a company is to sacrifice resources, people, and anything that is bneficial for humans while it pursues its quest for increasing profits.
You will notice that costs curtail profits, so costs are a bad thing. And people are “costs”. These are the rules of CAPITALISM:
- INCREASE UNIT OUTPUT. Since productivity is measured as a ratio between unit output and number of employees working to produce that output, the “productivity equation” can be simplified to: PRODUCTIVITY = UNITS / EMPLOYEE. So, just simple arithmetic suggests that to boost productivity a company has to either increase units or reduce employees. When units can’t be increased due to lack of demand, employees must be shown the door.
- INCREASE PRODUCTION FLEXIBILITY TO MAKE MORE OR FEWER UNITS… ON DEMAND. To achieve this, companies must lower their “break-even” points, the point at which they cover all their costs and begin to make profits. To lower break-even points, companies move to smaller, more state-of-the-art, more flexible, and more robust of everything. And, people get in the way of that quest for more production flexibility. On the other hand, this need for flexibility plays very well into conversions that seek to increase AUTOMATION, even to the point of ideally becoming 100% automated, that is plants run 100% by computers and robots.
If you read this far, you have come to realise that the needs of corporations which are under pressure to produce more profits do not fulfil the needs of the people who need to work and earn money and have a “quality of life”. In the corporate world, at the extreme level, there is no need for people, including any management and any executives. Imposible? Maybe in the short term. However, as Artifical Intelligence, (A.I.) gains a bigger foothold in all aspects of corporate production, not to mention the military and in our homes, science fiction will become reality in the not-too-distant future.
The only way to balance the needs of the corporation with the needs of the people is to have very strict LAWS that impose a SOCIAL OBLIGATION on corporations with sufficient force as to counteract the powerful force of capitalism. People need to be employed and paid very well. Even if it takes a law to achieve that goal. Companies need to be forced to pay more tax, to pump profits back into the community to help feed the poor, boost education, support the police and fire and other first responders. For, without a law to protect people and to ensure a certain number of good jobs that will permit people to maintain a decent standard of living, corporations, otherwise, will aim for that capitalistic ideal of full automation…in which humans need not apply.
Corporations are trending towards, and will continue to aim for flexibility, lower and lower break-even points, full automation including the use of robotics, and near-zero employees. A LAW is needed to protect workers from becoming extinct.