Saving $$ per unit and saving $$ total are so different. If all you're doing is saving $500 total, I wouldn't even care in most cases... but if you managed to use clever techniques to save $0.30 off the manufacturing cost for a toy that gets sold in the millions...
I most strongly agree with the ethical part of the article, in any event. I'm sick of companies trying to take advantage of their employees, it's just sad and gross to see it done by startups that could be better than big companies in at least this one way. But instead they take it even further somehow because their finances are far more opaque. I don't think it should be up to noblesse oblige to determine whether distribution of profits and salaries are fair, it should be assumed to be the rule even if there may be exceptions.
It's a sad day when you look at employment agreements from Intel and a shiny startup and find that Intel is more up front and transparent about how things will work and what you'll get paid.
I think the course of events in the USA in the decades since the 50s has essentially answered the question of what happens if you leave it up to the most fortunate to decide how to treat the least fortunate.