Wall Street Demos and Profit without Profit


I have watched with interest as many have taken to the streets wanting jobs or more government or less government or they want corporations not to make any money or not to have bonuses for their top executives – they aren’t exactly sure.  They just know that they aren’t going to take it anymore!  In many ways, I understand.

I was an executive recruiter in the corporate arena for 30 years.  I know that companies  must keep the stockholders happy or at least that is the thing they tell themselves.  If you are not growing, you are shrinking.  If you aren’t showing an increase, you aren’t doing what you need to do.  They look at ways to cut costs, increase sales and improve the bottom line

One step they constantly revisit is  human capital.  It is costly to have employees.  A full-time employee must get paid, have benefits, and perhaps a bonus.  Payroll taxes are incurred and, of course, there is training and development costs.  One choice is not to replace natural attrition and to look at the various profit areas and to eliminate those not doing well.  They are rewarded when the profit line go up and the employees go out.

Regulations also played a huge role in making companies skittish.  I placed compliance people for three years.  They never knew what the next regulator would say that would override what the last one told them had to be changed at once.  So they were continually negotiating and trying to second guess the real meaning of the obscure wording under which they were mandated to operate.  This is very costly as well.

The stimulus has worked against employees in another way as well.  It gave the money to the large financial institutions and then prevented them from lending it or played some kind of game so it wasn’t profitable for them to do so.  What happened next was foreseeable by almost anyone.  If everything works without hiring new people by heaping more work on existing employees and freezing hiring, the companies learned to get along without the various open and unfilled positions.  Then the requisitions were just closed.  Opportunity was lost.

On the other hand, the government is out of money.  The Tea Party has become a strong political movement that wants less government and less interference in our lives from the government.  They have used their muscle to stop government expansion.

The odd thing to me is that they are both really attacking the some of the same issues but they have a different slant on how they address the problems.  I know that they both disavow any connection, but isn’t about being frustrated with what is happening in the U. S.   Big government, no jobs, inflation, companies that don’t seem to care and it seems no one is listening.

So, here we are now, with unhappy citizenry and a divided congress.  What is the answer?  Share your thoughts.

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