The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp
The Huffington Post

Over the decades, the relationship between employer and owner has been changed in dozens of fundamental ways, always for the best of intentions. It’s just utopian foolishness to think there wouldn’t be unintended consequences.

Our companies now compete with overseas firms whose employees work for a pittance. Our companies, who pay their employees living wages, have to cut costs some way or go out of business. Mechanization and productivity, outsourcing and independent contracting are some ways. Fewer employees is the result. It’s irrational to expect companies to carry more employees than they need and still stay in business.

Our native born citizens have to compete for jobs with over 100,000 new legal immigrants arriving every month, who are willing to work for minimum wage. Think about that when you hear happy talk that 150,000 new jobs were created last month. 2/3 of those went to new immigrants. In the 15 years 2000–2014, our economy added 18 million new jobs; the Census Bureau and Dept of Labor Statistics report they all went to immigrants; native born employment grew not at all during those years.

Companies like Amazon are banned from asking job candidates if they have any health conditions that might impact their work; banned from asking if they have family obligations that might impact their work. But is it right to blame the companies if the employee later suffers from job conflict because of those conditions? Can’t ask; can’t know.

Government layers on employee rights and protections of all sorts — non discrimination, health care obligations, EEOC lawsuits if anything offends them, restrictions on reasons for firing an employee, on and on and on. Companies rationally have to wonder if a candidate is a lawsuit liability, not a good way to think about employees.

And on and on. Everything is done with the best of intentions and good expectations. But it all has unintended consequences. Government, special interest advocates, unions — all are just as much to blame as company owners.