Just as corporations once offered flush benefits and pensions as a lure for talent, so did they offer company tools such as laptops and cell phones. Just as corporations seek to squeeze every last ounce of profitability for the owners and executive by trimming pension obligations (everyone's a "contractor" these days), so are they looking at the IT overhead and seeking ways to cut it, hence downloading the burden of device ownership to labour just as the burden of benefits and pensions are increasingly being downloaded to labour.
It's as short-sighted as every other downward pressure on wages and benefits - there are indeed liability costs that are less definable on the front end, as well as security issues when providing proprietary info access to an increasingly non-loyal, non-long-term worker (again, if they are contractors with no benefits or pensions pinning down long term commitment, they'll take opportunities and leave with all that proprietary info to which they still have access up to the point they hand in their access card at the security desk).
It's ultimately a bad thing because social inequality breeds instability, unrest, and exponentially higher costs to all. For example, if roads are not maintained, all kinds of costs go up, health goes down, healthcare costs go up, goods move more slowly, cost of living goes up, wages flow more slowly, production quality slides...Detroit is a shining example of these and similar manifestations of the vicious cycle that becomes a death spiral.
I've seen reports arguing on both sides, that BOYD will cut costs http://t.co/0JgtsEWW and that BOYD will raise IT costs http://t.co/e57drlQm and the answer is clear - it will do both (cut in the short term, raise in the long term). Businesses, these days, have become increasingly short-sighted, so this makes perfect (non)sense.
Costs always go up - will we ever see ice cream cones cost a nickel again? Inflation is a function of capitalism, which itself continues to raise the floor and bury more and more people beneath it as real wages fail to keep pace.
Over on http://www.rationalrevolution.net, R.G Price does a great job breaking down what "Capitalism" really is, in order to understand the "trickle UP" effect that the system is designed to produce. Timothy Noah's examination of the ever-widening gap between the richer rich and the poorer poor, coupled with Price's analysis of American taxation, show very clearly that the widening gap is not an innocent by-product, it's a deliberate and prime objective.