To the Editor,
Re: Prosperity comes from competition, Letters, June 28.
Some armchair economists should get out more.
Stating that our current high standard of living is due to “entrepreneurs who put their capital at risk to create a superior product”, the writer neglects to mention that determining whether you have a market for your product is part of a sensible risk.
It doesn’t matter how wonderful the product is if no one can afford to buy it. Henry Ford understood this when he decided to pay his workers enough to buy his cars.
Germany, currently the strongest economy in Europe, has constitutionally mandated union representation on corporate boards because they understand that well-paid workers make better consumers than bag ladies or slaves.
If a business decides to move production offshore to take advantage of low wages, it risks the current situation in the U.S. where unemployment, low union representation and low wages seem unable to revive demand.
Unions, while not perfect, are important to maintain the balance between supply and demand that is healthy for both consumers and entrepreneurs. Contrary to the writer’s assertion that the presence of unions condemns us all to life as in North Korea, the absence of unions contributes to inequality and imbalance; both bad for a healthy economy.