Yes, firing people is a good thing. A very good thing sometimes. Just ask President Obama when he touts the GM downsizing.
A troubled company in a declining or increasingly competitive industry may need to cut a bloated workforce to keep itself in business, saving the remaining workers.
Take GM. GM’s worldwide workforce declined by about 36,000 workers between December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2011.   The GM workforce declined by about 14,000 US workers during that time frame. 
 The 2011 annual report states there were 77,000 US employees is 62% of the total . The 2008 annual report states 62,000 employees were 68% of the total. Dividing the 62,000 by 68% yields about 91,000. 91K minus 77K equal 14K.