Capitalism Means Policing Big Companies

Lots more examples in the Netflix documentary shows Dirty Money and Rotten.

Lying about why you’re firing someone – or firing a large number of people at once – is a common way that businesses commit fraud.

You might think it doesn’t matter very much. But if it didn’t matter, they wouldn’t lie. They are putting work into lying because it’s relevant to things like severance packages, unemployment benefits, management’s reputation and bonuses, and the company’s stock price (investors are trying to figure out if there is a market downturn, too low demand for the company’s services, or something along those lines that’d mean low growth expectations).

The woman in the video knows why she’s being fired (management screwed up and hired too many people), and she brings up the reason, and they still really want to lie to her and never admit it because their fraud has concrete impacts. They aren’t lying just to be psychologically cruel to her; I don’t think they want to be cruel at all; I think they just have financial incentives to lie, which makes it financial fraud.

On a related note, taking a new job like that is a big deal in people’s lives (as she mentions), and being fired quickly without doing anything wrong is a really bad outcome. I think some people have “capitalist” views about at-will employment, and therefore think it doesn’t really matter to fire someone unpredictably at any time for no reason, and I think that’s wrong and generally not thought through beyond some vague abstractions about an efficient market and free market economics.