I call Alibaba '1,001 mistakes.' We expanded too fast, and then in the dot-com bubble, we had to have layoffs. By 2002, we had only enough cash to survive for 18 months. We had a lot of free members using our site, and we didn't know how we'd make money. So we developed a product for China exporters to meet U.S. buyers online. This model saved us.
The Great Depression was going on, so that the station and the streets teemed with homeless people, just as they do today. The newspapers were full of stories of worker layoffs and farm foreclosures and bank failures, just as they are today. All that has changed, in my opinion, is that, thanks to television, we can hide a Great Depression. We may even be hiding a Third World War.
You cannot cheat with the law of conservation of violence: all violence is paid for, and for example, the structural violence exerted by the financial markets, in the form of layoffs, loss of security, etc., is matched sooner or later in the form of suicides, crime and delinquency, drug addiction, alcoholism, a whole host of minor and major everyday acts of violence.
The obvious liberal rejoinders come to mind: What about the child whose home is hit by a bomb? Did she have some bomb-shaped thoughtform that brought ruin down on her head? And did my [fired white-collar workers] boot-camp mates cause the layoffs that drove them out of their jobs by "vibrating" at a layoff-related frequency? It seems inexcusably cruel to tell people who have reach some kind of personal nadir that their probem is entirely of their own making. ...
How does paying people more money make you more money? It works like this. The more you pay your workers, the more they spend. Remember, they're not just your workers- they're your consumers, too. The more they spend their extra cash on your products, the more your profits go up. Also, when employees have enough money that they don't have to live in constant fear of bankruptcy, they're able to focus more on their work- and be more productive. With fewer personal problems and less stress hanging over them, they'll lose less time at work, meaning more profits for you. Pay them enough to afford a late model car (i.e. one that works), and they'll rarely be late for work. And knowing that they'll be able to provide a better life for their children will not only give them a more positive attitude, it'll give them hope- and an incentive to do well for the company because the better the company does, the better they'll do. Of course, if you're like most corporations these days- announcing mass layoffs right after posting record profits- then you're already hemorrhaging the trust and confidence of your remaining workforce, and your employees are doing their jobs in a state of fear. Productivity will drop. That will hurt sales. You will suffer. Ask the people at Firestone: Ford has alleged that the tire company fired its longtime union employees, then brought in untrained scab workers who ended up making thousands of defective tires- and 203 dead customers later, Firestone is in the toilet.