The Disposable Americ Layoffs And Their Consequences By Louis Uchitelle

1409 Words 6 Pages
In The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences, Louis Uchitelle utilizes his skills from covering economics for the New York Times and expands on the negative side effects to layoffs. The value of human capital in the eyes of corporations is diminishing as millions of Americans are being laid off against their wishes. Uchitelle asserts that the workers are skilled, but executives are closing manufacturing plants, outsourcing work to a 3rd party, or relocating plants for financial reasons. Throughout the book, Uchitelle argues that layoffs carry lasting damages that far outweigh the temporary improvement in net income and net working capital. Layoffs create lasting damages due to the mental burden and lack of confidence instilled …show more content…
The first topic within the course regarded a study of Enron’s collapse due to unethical behavior from executives; the culture they cultivated encouraged and fostered disaster. CEO of Enron, Jeff Skinner, took steps to implement a performance review system, and layoffs at Enron were at an all time high as the bottom 20 percent of workers were released by the company. Uchitelle would view Enron’s review system to have lasting damages to the economy. In Enron’s situation, they chose to rid the workers with the worst skillset. Based on Uchitelle viewpoint throughout the book, he would argue that the toll it takes on the bottom 20% of Enron’s work force creates a deficiency in their value proposition for a future high-paying similar job. Uchitelle claims that “layoffs say you have failed in these endevors, no matter how hard you tried to follow the prescription” (Uchitelle, 2006, p. 7). This is encumbering to candidates of future jobs because they will have to explain in their interview that they were laid off because they were not well-liked by their peers, appreciated, nor respected in their previous role. With this understanding, the mental burden forces candidates to settle for a low paying job, thus accepting a role that will not optimize their true potential for the economy. Enron’s performance review system was the first of many impairments to the …show more content…
Yet, Uchitelle’s viewpoint showed me that companies can benefit from retaining workers. Additionally, Uchitelle provided a statistic that was shocking. He stated “the United States is the last major industrial democracy in the world without laws specifically directed at job security” (Uchitelle, 2006, p. 224). While I remain competitive with aspirations to lead a company one day, after reading The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequenses I realize there needs to be actionable effective steps taken to promote job security. The United States is lacking behind other countries, and regulating job security will improve the economy and work to obtain the full potential of workers around the country. I do not believe there is anything wrong with layoffs to employees that are continuously not performing well, but workers should not suffer layoffs due to factors outside their

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