|I'll gladly pay you
Tuesday for a lay today.
|The tree full of monkeys.
There's this tree full of monkeys. All these monkeys are climbing to the top, one branch at a time. When the monkeys at the top look down all they see are smiling monkey faces. When the monkeys at the bottom look up all they see are assholes.
|A headhunter friend of mine once told me he had an interview with the plant manager where I once worked. He told me this plant manager hired him to find some sub-managers for him and requested certain skills and qualifications, one of which was he didn't want anyone smarter then him because he didn't want any smart guys trying to take his job.
This got me thinking...
Suppose the attitude of hiring dumber people than yourself is common in business? Granted, the CEO is a pretty smart cookie. He has his hands on all the controls and likes it. He knows he's in a position of power and knows that at any given time he can be dethroned by a bright upstart who wants that power. It happens throughout nature ... The alpha male in any given group is challenged by alpha male wannabes, and eventually the alpha male loses his grip and the upstart takes over. Humans have figured a way to defuse this threat by hiring dumber alpha wannabes, thus keeping total control until he decides to relinquish it.
Let's expand this practice to the management level. The manager doesn't want to have his job taken away, so he hires supervisors dumber than he is, and the supervisor hires dumber foremen. Eventually, the grunts at the bottom, the labor who do all the work, are heads and shoulders above management in smarts. No wonder labor has their problems. By the time this corporate intelligence downsizing is complete, we have foreman and managers with IQs slightly above moron level. The workers know management isn't on the ball, and the frustration mounts when any good idea they come up with to increase productivity and efficiency falls on deaf ears, because lower management will have to admit that the workers are smarter than they are and didn't think of it first. Management egos are fragile as eggshells, and many times a worker's display of intelligence marks that worker as a potential threat -- and just like the alpha male in a lion pride, the manager does his best to eliminate such a worker to keep his alpha job secure. Only when the dust settles and the smart worker is out of the picture does the manager come up with the original, brilliant idea to increase productivity and efficiency. The problem is, this manager is dumb as dirt, and is now seen as smart by his upper echelons, who now perceive him as a potential threat because they didn't think of it first.
Such is the way of American business.
|Smiling monkey faces or assholes? You be the judge.
|Would you believe I got this pic from a site that sells these kinds of pics to businesses that don't have the smarts to take pics themselves?
The main goal of business is to reduce risk. Why do we need to reduce risk? Because reducing risk increases efficiency and decreases loss, which increases profits. Simple. But let's look at what happens when all risk is eliminated.
Without risk there is no need for innovation or thought. Teachers tell us what to think, government tells us what to eat and how much taxes to pay (and it's even taken out of our
paychecks without us even thinking about it), doctors tell us what drugs to take, we tell doctors which drugs to give us from the TV
commercials we see, signs tell us where to go and where not to go, government tells car manufacturers to install seatbelts and they tell us to wear them, we're all told to do drugs but only the kind they say, we're told what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to say, where to work, what time to start, what time to finish, how to raise your children, how to pay your bills, how to keep your house, how to make love, what's right and what's wrong. In short, we don't make decisions anymore.
How have we gotten to this point?
I could go back to when man decided to stay put and grow his own crops rather than hunt and gather to reduce risk of starvation and make life a little easier. I could blame the invention of the incandescent light as a major factor by creating second and third shifts. I could mention Adam Smith for taking business to a higher level.
Why don't we just cut to the chase and cite greed as the major culprit?
|Thomas Edison, full of grace, the lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among workers and blessed are the fruits of thy creativity, night shift.
|If a business isn't making more money today than it did last year it's losing money. That means on
Wednesday, February 23, 2005 any given business will have to make more profits than on
Wednesday, February 25, 2004 or the company is losing money. Business is designed to increase wealth and grow, ad infinitum. This is the simple foundation of modern business... Constantly prosper or die.
Now tell me... Where in nature is there constant, unending growth without decay? Does the stock market always go up?
A few years back, Allan Greenspan saw inflation on the horizon and began raising interest rates. His reasoning was the unemployment rate was too low to support sustained growth. For 2 years he raised interest rates in an attempt to "fix" this problem. This was in a period of unparalleled growth. The unemployment rate was the lowest it's been in decades, everyone was happily consuming and even the government was in the black with trillions in surplus.
Then it happened. Allan raised the interest rates one last time and the market started to stagger. As stocks began to falter, investors began to pull out of the market, causing the wall street computers to dump millions of stocks. The historic bull market of the 90's became the bear market of the new
millennium. To counter this downtrend business began to cut back the easiest way they knew... downsizing their work forces. More people out of work means less people spending which means less profits which means a faster slide down the slippery slope. Panic set in and consumers heavily cut back on spending and business cut back further by more personnel downsizing. By now, consumer confidence was shot and big ticket items weren't selling.
Our republican government stepped in to fix this problem with a series of mandates designed to attract investors with the belief that a strong wall street is a strong economy so, business (sheep that they are) began to tighten up and become lean, mean, growth machines... on paper. Anything they could do to make it appear they were making money was done such as colder work places in winter and hotter work places in summer, turning off the lights when they leave a room, putting limits on office supplies, further reducing the work force and multi-tasking the remaining workers while failing to give raises.
Meanwhile, Allan was busy trying to fix his major fuckup by lowering interest rates to a point far lower than they were before he began to tinker with them. No dice. Consumer confidence was shot and no one knew if they would have their jobs next week.
It seems the business world, in their
infinite stupidity, failed to understand a simple concept... A low unemployment rate equals more consumers ready to buy things. The reason a high unemployment rate is needed by big business is because the more people out of work, the less a company has to pay them. It's a supply and demand thing. If labor supply is low they can demand more pay, or at least, a decent pay. More workers equals more competition for the same job which means the company gets to screw the work force again so the corporate freeloaders can make 400 times the average workers salary in any given company, plus they get some nice bonuses for saving the company so much money they would otherwise give to employees.
Adam Smith strongly disliked both governments and corporations. He viewed government primarily as an instrument for extracting taxes to subsidize elites and intervening in the market to protect corporate monopolies. In his words, "Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.''
Now ask yourself this: If government had your best interests at heart, why are they tinkering with the interest rates in order to increase unemployment?
The answer is simply that we exist only to provide the elite with
possession. We're not here to work and provide a living for ourselves but to work and provide livings for them.
|That Newton fella was right!
Smith was one of those 18th century Scottish moral philosophers whose impulses led to our modern day theories; his work marks the breakthrough of an evolutionary approach which has progressively displaced the stationary Aristotelian view.
|We live in an age of artificial scarcity, maintained by ignorance and fear. The government has been paying farmers not to grow food for seventy years--while millions starve. The utilities advertise continually that "solar power is at least forty years in the future" when hundreds of people already live in largely solar powered houses. These propaganda advertisements are just a delaying action because the utilities still haven't figured out how to put a meter between us and the sun.
And Pop Ecology, perhaps only by coincidence, keeps this madness going by insisting that scarcity is real, and nobody wonders why the Establishment pays the bill for making superstars of these merchants of gloom.
I propose we take back our lives any way we can. Maybe all the smokers should stick together and boldly light-up in a shopping mall or workers should unite and all call off work the same day for the reason of going fishing.
Well, we all know that will never happen. The typical American isn't what he was a few decades ago. He's turned into an obliging, dim-witted, accepting cultural whore who pisses and moans about his pitiful life and the new rules imposed on him but he always rolls over and does what he's told, like a good slave should.
"Cigarettes, gasoline and heating oil just went up and I won't be getting my raise again this year because I missed a day six months ago when I got the flu. Overtime has been cut to zero, the rates have been increased and our 15 minute breaks have been cut to 10 minutes. Oh well... Good thing my refund check is in the mail from all that extra money I've been giving
Uncle Sam, interest free, for the past year."