Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Did Y'all Miss MY Understated Point?

[The Triangle fire laid bare a reallocation of risk that had previously accompanied revisions in corporate structures. New laws limited the liability of stockholders for corporate debts, spurring investment and making it possible for firms to raise more capital and expand. Corporations also successfully claimed to be "legal persons" and gained access to some Bill of Rights' protections originally written with human persons in mind. These legal innovations reduced the risks of doing business for owners and investors. Firms expanded exponentially, and a merger movement ensued, giving us our first modern megastructures, such as US Steel and American Tobacco.
Workers increasingly gained employment in these giant companies, but no similar legal structure protected them from the risks of business. Wages flattened as monopolies decreased competition for workers, and industrial accidents increased, as owners had great incentive to push workers but had little motivation to invest in safety measures.
The owner of the Triangle factory had broken no laws in locking women into their workrooms, for no regulations existed. In effect, the legal imbalance shifted risk downward so that investors enjoyed protection while workers experienced heightened economic and bodily dangers.]  emphasis added

No comments: