Assets Or Liabilities?

canstockphoto18591396.jpgI wonder how many of you out there remember when a company’s employees were considered assets to be nourished and held on to? Relative to my years on this earth, it was not that long ago. I don’t know why but all of this stuff that I now consider bad, seemed to have happened during the Reagan years. I think that was the beginning of where we ended up today.

It was the early 1980s when the “three-legged stool” was abandoned. This principle was that a successful business was made up of three equal legs: owners, employees, and customers. The second leg was the first to vanish and soon after that and third leg got chopped off at the knees.  Employees who were once considered valuable to the company became liabilities to be replaced whenever lower costs alternative could be found. The owners became king in this environment.

Certainly, I realize that being treated as an asset is a two-way street.  To be valuable to the company you are working for means you must put forth your best efforts for them. That is something that has also been lost for the most part in today’s world.

With a good part of the world’s population making a fraction of what we made during the peek of the middle-class years, employees were soon replaced with a much cheaper labor force.  There are still a few companies out there that value their labor force but they are diminishing quite rapidly.  The stock price and associated dividends have become the DRIVING factor above everything else.

How or when will this change? At some point in the future, third-world country’s prosperity will rise to finally meet the declining wages of today’s US workers. When that happens parity will finally be accomplished.  But can that really happen? Are American worker’s willing to tolerate continuing decreasing wages, especially when the top of the country’s corporations make more in a day than they do in a year?

I think part of what is happening today is the misguided belief that shutting down our current systems and giving total power to the corporate elite is somehow a solution. Of course, that has been the GOP mantra for decades now, its called “trickle-down.  I believe that sometime in the not too distanced future the American workers will finally realize that what they have been fed by the GOP is BS! When that happens I hope there is something around for them to finally flee to.

The Democratic party seems to have lost their way in being that choice. They now concentrate on a few issues that have little to do with the average American worker.  The answer to this dilemma seems to be an alternate choice.  I see that choice as the Centrist Party.  They will hold the center positions and leave the fringes to the two existing parties.  How much further down does the average American worker have to fall before this is seen as a viable choice?

Taking The Long View..

HavingMySay Banner  I will say upfront that I am a regular customer at Amazon. I shop there more than everywhere else combined, except for food and medicine that is. I am an Amazon guy.

2017-05-03_10-21-22.pngWhen Jeff Bezos came upon the scene in the late 1990s with the simple idea of selling books online I thought he was a guy for the 21st century. He was taking the long view when most CEO’s were anguishing over the next quarter’s profit. Amazon has grown even beyond my expectations. Their two-day delivery is beyond belief in the corporate world.

I saw the other day the following quote from him it is “Day 1” which allows Amazon to continually move forward.  According to him Day 2 is stasis followed by irrelevance, followed by death. So, to Jeff, it will always be Day 1.

Another important distinction between Mr. Bezos and the typical current day CEO is that he practices the theory of the three-legged stool. That is that all corporations are made of up a mix of owners/stockholder, customers, and employees, and that attention should be given to all three legs to keep the corporation balanced.  That used to be the norm but during the Reagan years and the hyped MBA programs, the total attention was given to the owners.  Some people call this “shareholder capitalism” vs “stakeholder capitalism.”

When Amazon went public, Bezos wrote a shareholder letter that basically said he wasn’t going to worry about them (the shareholders).  Instead, his total attention would be customer satisfaction.  Everything he does is skewed towards customer satisfaction.

Fast forward to today and Amazon is the fastest growing corporation and has the most loyal customers and highest customer satisfaction.  Yes, there is harping about how much he demands from this employees. He wants them to be as focused as he is on customer satisfaction and some simple can’t do that.  Some complain that they are losing their jobs to automation/robots but that is normal for today and is a step forward to me.

Amazon is always looking for ways to do things more efficiently  and as a result sometimes jobs change in the process. Amazon is about embracing change and that is what a 21st-century corporation should be about, at least in my twisted mind.  🙂