Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Why do factories exist?

The recent reports claiming that the Astra factory at Ellesmere Port is on the brink of closure raises a large and worrying question. The unions are saying that without Government funding, the plant will close, putting thousands of workers out of work. They cite this as good enough reason to put money in.

Yet surely, a car plant exists to make cars in response to market demand. If there's no demand, why continue?

Or perhaps it is right to create jobs. Unemployment is not pleasant and once you add the cost of benefits and re-trainnig, perhaps keeping the plant open actually represents value for money. If that was the case, all public sector organisations could be ordered by buy the cars. But what would the impact of that be on other manufacturers?

To me, the world needs to make a very simple decision. Nationalise everything and forget about market demand or individual choice. In fact we could also have national pay scales that dictate what everybodfy earns. OR stop interfering and let supply and demand balance themselves naturally. A little or each simply won't work . . .