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U.S. companies eject burdensome employees

U.S. companies eject burdensome employees
October 26, 2012, 09:03:53 PM
They need to invest more in hardware and software automation replacements for most of these career seat warmers, then fill in where needed with the overachievers. After the startup costs, they'll end up with a net savings with which to reward the minority of people who were actually getting things done for the company.

North American companies have announced plans to eliminate 62,600 positions at home and abroad since Sept. 1, the biggest two-month drop since the start of 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Firings total 158,100 so far this year, more than the 129,000 job cuts in the same period in 2011.

"Companies are saying, ‘Let's not build up inventories, let's be lean and mean until we know until we have a better idea of what 2013 is going to look like,'" said Janna Sampson, who helps manage more than $3 billion for Oakbrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois. "There is a fear now as companies see that the economic recovery is not picking up."


Re: U.S. companies eject burdensome employees
November 03, 2012, 06:12:52 PM
In my experience the workload at most places is carried by a small number of people.  The problem is that during economic fat-times the mediocre work themselves into the higher echelons and it becomes politically difficult during lean-times to admit that it is the incompetent who are the central cause of monetary insolvency.  Firings are then conducted along the fiscal/political lines and talented people who make too much or make obvious the uncomfortable truth are often jettisoned randomly with the chaff with the ultimate result of nothing being learned.
I've always wondered why so many businesses would prefer to employ fools because they can pay them less.  This eye to the bottom-line always overlooks the tremendous cost incurred by such a policy.  In the field of manufacturing (my field), the amount of rework needed to cover the fuckups of these fuckups is astonishing and the quality of the end product results in a significant amount of warranty work and replacement.  Its always been my policy to hire one talented young guy for $18-$20/hr than two or three retards for $9/hr.  If you make the right personnel decisions you not only get high-quality production, you also get an excellent candidate for possible management positions after 5-10 years of experience in the trenches.  This person will have absorbed the company culture and have a personal stake in the company and if he earns consideration for promotion to a position of responsibility, will not feel entitled to the same monetary compensation that some useless asshole with a new MBA would (although obviously he would still be compensated more than fairly).  You have happier workers because you are paying them for what the job is actually worth, and while production volume is smaller in the short run, with less time wasted on fixing fuckups you have a much larger long-term production capacity and can generate better brand-loyalty by making superior products. 
There are problems with this model because of the structure of our economy: such a large part of it is cheap consumer goods and services.  Because the money being made on most of this shit is the money of the proles, poor service and poor products are the rule.  Proles usually get jobs working for other proles.  That is why I've always tried to find employment with companies that make products for socially useful activities: weapons manufacturing, high-end musical instruments, etc. 

Re: U.S. companies eject burdensome employees
November 03, 2012, 09:34:11 PM
What you're describing is the secular religion of economics called growth. Growth has replaced what used to be known as quality. Competition was supposed to have reinforced quality but instead we got lowest common denominator quantity production, in other words growth, as a means to beat the competition.

A lot of growth is just a mad rush filling in markets where the competition doesn't yet have a foothold and that of course requires quickly grabbing whatever personnel are on hand to get one's own market segment rolling before the competition gets in. This is a direct effect of going from a producing exporter to a service economy.

That is how in many enterprises we end up stuck with clock watching seat warmers assuring, via the threat of unemployment compensation, the competent talent has to keep waiting for an opening. By this situational metric alone we have a reliable estimate for which 2012 presidential candidate a given person is most likely to vote for. That in turn is another guide for who to watch for company policy violations that can result in uncompensated dismissal so the talent can be brought in for a replacement instead.

Side note: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/10/did-lockheed-martin-just-win-virginia-obama/57475/

Re: U.S. companies eject burdensome employees
November 05, 2012, 04:47:03 PM
What I've been reading in the Wall Street Journal and from what I've heard from contacts:  there are many unfilled skilled-manufacturing jobs.  Jobs doing fairly interesting work using machine-tools, and CNC-type machines that require a good amount of both creativity and problem-solving skills as well as a basic set of certify-able learned technical skills.  This suggests two possible causes: either there are not enough Americans who posses these skills, or the ones who do posses them are not actively looking to receive remuneration for their skills.  Jobs that get you into the 'middle-class' with wages of $15-30/hr plus benefits.  As I recall in high-school such technical training was available, but very few took advantage of it and instead concentrated on getting into college to get a degree (about half for professional degrees of which most payed off, and the other half for 'arts' degrees which qualify them to wait tables at Dennys).  Community College and other similar types of establishments also offer such training, but again, its based on motivation and not nearly enough people take advantage of it.  I think that a step in the right direction would be to allow these companies to recruit Jr. High students to attend a "company high school" that will be an apprenticeship followed by a contractually obligated term of employment.  A useful side-effect of this would be a re-emergence of company loyalty and a qualitative, as opposed to quantitative, outlook this implies.

Re: U.S. companies eject burdensome employees
November 18, 2012, 12:14:25 AM

Re: U.S. companies eject burdensome employees
December 06, 2012, 08:17:30 PM
Foxconn has not disclosed how many workers will be displaced or when. But its chairman, Terry Gou, has publicly endorsed a growing use of robots. Speaking of his more than one million employees worldwide, he said in January, according to the official Xinhua news agency: “As human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.”

 The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. This year, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made the case for a rapid transformation. “The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications,” they wrote in their book, “Race Against the Machine.”