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The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their…
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The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences

by Louis Uchitelle

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An account of layoffs in America, their questionable necessity, their overuse, and their devastating impact on individuals at all income levels. Economics journalist Uchitelle explains how, in the mid-1970s, the first major layoffs, a limited response to the inroads of foreign competition, spread and multiplied, in time destroying the notion of job security and the dignity of work. The author traces the rise of job security in the United States to its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, and then the panicky U-turn. He describes the unraveling through the experiences of both executives and workers, makes clear the ways in which layoffs are counterproductive, and explains how our acquiescence encourages wasteful mergers, outsourcing, the shifting of production abroad, the loss of union protection, and wage stagnation. He argues that government must step in with policies that encourage companies to restrict layoffs and must generate jobs to supplement the present shortfall.--From publisher description.… (more)

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