Absurd conclusion #1. "There are circumstances in which layoffs are necessary for a firm to survive." Agree. However then the author critiques United, Delta, and American airlines for going through extensive layoffs (they all faced bankruptcy), and lauds Southwest Airlines for never having a layoff and now being the largest domestic U.S. airline. The author thus claims that this story proves that layoffs are bad. The facts are correct but the analysis and conclusion is worthy of a kinder-gardener. The previous major airlines were "old industry" reeling from years and years of caving into union demands and resulting in a cost basis that prevented survival. Southwest did a brilliant job of starting from scratch with policies and costs that enabled it to grow profitably. But those are the reasons the tables turned; not the fact that American and Delta and United had layoffs.
We all see it time after time; a researcher mixes up cause and effect. Tall guys dunk more than short guys; that's true. Is it true then that dunking makes people taller? Layoffs were the effect, the result, of history and structured costs, not the cause of failure. More absurd examples next week.