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The thing you describe is the narrative of the evil capitalist owner exploiting poor workers.

Here's a thought experiment - those (tourism businesses) owners are making lots of money, so why not create such a business yourself (maybe with help of some external capital) and pay better wages and treat your staff better and pay taxes? Your clients will be much happier with you while having to pay the same. Other capitalists are probably happy to get a piece of the cake.

Of course, you cannot blame workers to not work in this industry right now, but obviously there are still enough people accepting that type of employment, otherwise salaries would have improved already.




So what you're suggesting is that this person should not complain. Instead he should set up his own business, offer better salaries than everyone else, and single-handedly change the labour market of an entire country. Great suggestion. Why didn't I think of that?


> So what you're suggesting is that this person should not complain. Instead he should set up his own business, offer better salaries

Yes. Either yourself or maybe find someone else who does.

But if you find no one who solves it for you, the question stands whether the employer is indeed an evil guy or just doesn't have a lot of margin to hand out higher salaries. It's easy and lazy to assume evilness without ever having been there.

> and single-handedly change the labour market of an entire country. Great suggestion. Why didn't I think of that?

No.


> so why not create such a business yourself

Not many people have €5M to build their own hotel, particularly those who are unemployed. Furthermore, not everyone can overcome all the barriers to entry, or have the know-how to keep a hotel operating.


> Not many people have €5M to build their own hotel

There are evil rich guys waiting to invest into a promising venture. Interest rates are at a record low. VCs are everywhere.

> particularly those who are unemployed

You just added that element to the discussion.

> Furthermore, not everyone can overcome all the barriers to entry, or have the know-how to keep a hotel operating.

That's an interesting point, maybe it's not so easy after all and maybe the risks and costs of operating the business is higher than the employee thinks.

Do it yourself and the you can complain and prove you have cash left over and hand it out. Then you can complain the guy is evil, the rest is mere speculation.

Note I am not saying it's easy (I know for a fact that it's hard). I'm just saying it's lazy and non-constructive to just assume the other guy being evil without knowing even 10% of what's going on and where the problems of the business lie.


Small business guy here. When abusive employment practices give you a competitive advantage and nothing stops you from doing them, you can indeed go and be virtuous and make less money for yourself and your business and lose all day long.

At the scale of publically held companies, your bossy evilness is virtue signalling that tells the market that you are viable in the era of Uber and Amazon. Right now, as things stand, wrecking things and your own employees is expected and you will get no support and no investment from breaking ranks. That's just how it is.

In my field, I ended up just flipping the table and switching to Patreon so I could dump free competitive product and better serve my own userbase. My income got literally decimated by this decision but has rebounded to about a third or half of what it would have been, but I'm totally exempt from having to behave like a vulture: it suits my market positioning quite well, though if I was a really serious threat to the market leaders in my sector, I'm pretty sure they would come up with a way to sabotage me. That's also why I MIT license: I can funnel good stuff to poor musicians if I also let already-rich people steal it in exchange for only publicity. The alternate is they steal it anyway but with no publicity, or simply try to wreck my operation so there's less competition.

The narrative of the evil capitalist overlord persists for good reason: in the absence of a working society it's down to power and power alone, and only winning and getting the most capital allows you to continue to win and get more capital. It's a feedback loop and there's no reason 'salaries would improve' barring outside interference, which is less likely by the year.

Go ahead and do your thought experiment, but it doesn't map to the real world of 2018. To survive you've got to think more disruptively: your axioms here are pretty naive. For instance, what is actually important: your clients being happy, or your clients paying more money?


All is not lost, the story of Gravity Payments is an unfolding example and experiment of a company owner, Dan Price, taking positive actions for employees including large wage increases. https://gravitypayments.com/thegravityof70k/

Dan took a thought and turned it into a real experiment. I believe the results are very positive in terms of profits, much higher wages for workers, higher customer retention, and deservedly good PR. https://www.forbes.com/sites/petergeorgescu/2018/01/24/what-...


I think you're reading a little too much into my above comment.

Just to reduce my point to the basics:

Either the evil guy makes lots of money (in the sense of profit) -> You start your own business in the same sector -> get some of that market share and profit -> pay your workers better -> everyone is happy except evil guy

Or the evil guy doesn't make a lot of money -> He cannot pay his workers more -> He's not the evil guy.

Sure, this isn't black and white but as long as there isn't a monopoly on anything involved, the above holds.


Your a fool if you don't see how the "evil guy" can undercut the good guy all day long. Evil has a pause button.


In a way you're saying I'm correct.

Let's just stop complaining and force evil guys to press the pause button by competing with them.

As a side note, it is an open question whether truly evil guys have a pause button (I assume Sauron and Darth Vader don't have one) or whether there are other things at work.

Maybe those guys just spent years living close to poverty to make their start-up a huge success. Maybe not. Just saying there are somewhat understandable reasons that don't necessarily mean the guy is evil.




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