The NYT had a very good piece from Barry Schwartz, one of my former college professors, asking this question. The context is whether the Bain Capitals of the world should be allowed to downsize without any consideration for workers or the community.

The United States is the only wealthy country that allows companies to dump long-serving workers at will. It might be reasonable to require some amount of severance pay when they fire long-serving workers (e.g. 2 weeks per year of work). This would nor prevent downsizing where there are large efficiency gains, however it may prevent some cases where the gains are marginal. 

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