It’s entirely possible that screwing the workers – as capitalists are wont to do – produces the highest profits and thus stock valuations. It’s also possible that paying the workers well, treating them nicely, increases profits and thus produces the highest stock valuations.
Given that the capitalists are interested only in the value of their own holdings – it’s all what’s in it for me! – then we might want to know which of the two is actually true. For, if it’s be nice that wins then we don’t need laws and rules about be nice, do we? It’ll be something that can be left entirely to plutocratic greed. Self-interest will make the capitalists treat the workers well:
Investors should target companies rated highly by employees to give their portfolios an edge, according to new research.
Fund group Mobius Capital Partners found that shares in American companies that scored the highest ratings on employee review website Glassdoor delivered higher returns than the US stock market.
Shares in stock market-listed companies that featured in Glassdoor’s inaugural top 50 “best places to work” in America list published in 2008 went on to deliver returns of 582pc over the next 12 years, beating the 316pc from the US S&P 500 index.
There’s a possibility here. Which is that successful, highly profitable, companies share some of the goodies with the workers. It is, after all, true that secretaries in investment banks get paid more than secretaries in publishing, there being a certain difference in the general profitability of the two sectors.
But let’s leave that aside for a moment and treat this finding as it is meant to be treated. Be nice to the workers and you’ll make more money. OK. Therefore we don’t need to force people to be nice to the workers, do we? Because they’ll naturally be nice to the workers to make more money.
That is, this entirely kills the stakeholder case. A world in which pure shareholder interest is entirely paramount will lead to the workers being treated well, coddled with good working conditions and pay. We don’t need to do anything else, do we?