Originally Posted by patteeu
It's better for the workers because if it still took 10x as many workers to produce that steel, there wouldn't be any steel produced in the US at all.
You've badly mixed my examples and discussion.
The efficiency of the steel mills is better for the American economy, overall, because for a long time it wasn't competitive. Obviously a non-existent industry doesn't do its former workforce any good. If, however, like textiles, then the US can't really be competitive in the worldwide industry, then it may well be best that it die.
My comment is that for the particular workers, a stronger and more efficient employer may or may not be better for them. The question is whether they could (if redeployed into a different industry or company if their employer collapsed) be better off elsewhere if forced to be.
Capitalism is a brutal system, but it's also the most efficient system. Government programs such as unemployment are specifically designed to lessen the brutality. Re-education / retraining programs also make sense. The goal is to constantly deploy and redeploy workers into those industries that need more employees.
What you (and Vailpass) are suggesting makes no sense at some piont, right, because taken to its logical extreme, EVERY employee would be "better off" if they made minimum wage, ensuring that the company was hyper-competitive and hyper-profitable.