RE: SOCIETY: The privatization of public security in South America?

Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 22:40:41 MDT

Lee writes:
>Well, as we say, "wishes don't make horses". What possible incentive
>would anyone have to lie awake at night thinking of the best way to
>treat farmworkers? Now, yes, it's easy to imagine "a man on horseback"
>as a recent poster put it, or a "Stalin" whose heart would be in the
>right place; but over and over we learn what happens when that approach
>is tried.

In principle there are people who are motivated to lie awake at night
worrying about farm workers, just as there are those who lie awake at
night worrying about grocery customers. These are the employers of
the farm workers. If they can offer better working conditions, they
can increase their profit margins, just as providing better selling
conditions in the supermarket will increase profits of market owners.

I think the reason why the motivation doesn't work as well for farm
employers (and employers in general) compared to sellers, is that it is
harder for people to change jobs than to change supermarkets. Providing
even a tiny improvement over other stores may attract more customers
right away, but providing better jobs will have relatively less of an
effect because people don't like to change jobs, for a lot of reasons.


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