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Do you feel financially secure?

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by ASU2003, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I think you mean "It's difficult to cut costs and grow."

    Citigroup profits rise 42% amid deep cost-cutting programme | Business | guardian.co.uk [I'm sure this is just one of many examples.]

    You yourself just a few posts ago talked about doing more with less. That's one way to look at efficiency.

    This refers more to older business models. In today's digital technological environment, it doesn't always have to work that way.

    You seem to subscribe to a rigid concept of growth that is counter to many situations in a complex world of business.
  2. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Reading, UK
    So let's throw all of our eggs into the small business basket where a modest number of start ups will succeed and eventually grow. You've responded to none of my comments on investing in higher education and job skills training. Instead I get an example of a small business success story, as if I'd disputed their existence.

    "What planet are you on" was my response to your assertion that small businesses don't consolidate or eliminate jobs? How is "forward looking" and "visionary" relevant to that fact? For every small business that succeeds, 3 fail. Have you looked into the future and envisioned a world were this is not occurring? Good luck with your visions.

    Costly regulations? Yes, there were environmental standards and regulations that were somewhat of a burden on the company but you don't go into that business expecting to be able to dump hazardous chemicals at will? Environmental regulations are like death and taxes. So what other regulations do you imagine were putting a burden on that small business? I was office manager and was privy to almost everything that went on there so I find it funny that you assume the struggle was due to government regulation. And not to burst your bubble, but metal plating is not a dying industry. It's a fairly stable one. When the small company I worked 7 years for began to struggle coincided with the owner's contentious divorce. Not the sort of thing an employee needs to worry about working for a larger company. (I can do anecdotal too)

    That sort of growth early on takes a steady flow of capital. Do you think less government regulation is the answer to opening up investments? You probably do and there may be an argument for it. But it's certainly not the only obstacle to getting the capital necessary to operate like there was no tomorrow.
  3. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    On another angle, employers are finding it difficult to fill certain jobs.
    10 Jobs Employers Can't Fill
    • Sales representative
    • Machine operator/assembler/production worker
    • Nurse
    • Truck driver
    • Software developer
    • Engineer
    • Marketing professional
    • Accountant
    • Mechanic
    • IT manager/network administrator
    But I can see where their problem is...and it's the employers themselves.
    Almost all of these jobs are ones where there are LONG hours, under-staffing and unrealistic expectations.
    (don't get me into pay for ALL this...)

    Sales & Marketing...produce or else, keep the numbers up
    Nurse...muck & yuck, and even though you're fully skilled, trained...doctors & hospital still treat you like labor.
    SW dev and IT...available (and used) 24/7, uptime 5 nines 99.999%...and computers are magic, everything is projected in ideal terms.
    Accountant, unending numbers...constantly double-checking everyone else.
    and so on....

    If you could treat your people as people, not machines...you may find they'll stick around and give it a go.
    But if you're a selfish prick...then find another sucker.
    There's no such thing as loyalty anymore, because they aren't loyal themselves.

    What comes around, goes around.
    Karma. :rolleyes:

    PS...oh yeah, they aren't willing to train...they want someone else to be completely experienced and oriented in their field/vertical from the get-go.
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    Maybe if employers didn't spend the last few decades increasing their productivity expectations without commensurately increasing compensation, they'd have a good excuse to complain about unfillable jobs. When I got out of engineering school 5 years ago, the industry was hiring people with 5 years experience for the salary that they were giving new grads when I entered engineering school.

    At least we don't have a lot of companies going without overpaid executives. That would truly be a shame.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    I am not a wordsmith and I often misunderstand what is meant by certain terms and phrases - I am more of a numbers person and I visualize thing numerically - so forgive me in advance for what you may take odd.

    If a company has a 10% profit margin. Meaning for $1 earned, $.90 are costs or expenses and $.10 is profit. If another $1 is earned (growth), costs increase by $.90 - it is not possible to "grow" and cut costs.

    It is possible to increase profits without growth. This can be accomplished through reducing costs. In the above example increase the profit margin to 20%.

    It is possible to grow without increasing costs, but only in a circumstance where there is a fixed cost and variable costs equal zero.

    If there is a circumstance where growth occurs and costs went down I would argue it is a unique or coincidental circumstance, not something that can be repeated on purpose - i.e. a trucking firm having a reduction in fuel costs due to a sudden drop in price, even with an increase in miles driven. to me cut is a verb, something you do as opposed to something that you experience. In the trucking example you are not cutting costs, your are experiencing lower costs.

    When I look at industries, what I find is that, not including organic growth, a mature industry consolidates and increases profitability based on margins and market share - not due to growing markets. this analysis complicated due to international trade and organic growth - a mature industry in the US can achieve growth in developing nations and growth through population growth. However, emerging growth industries face a very different outlook. An error many investors make is putting a disproportionate emphasis in individual companies to the industry the individual company is in. My first step is to always study the industry.
    --- merged: Jul 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM ---
    Not an accurate viewpoint.

    Look at it this way if 500,000 small businesses hire 2 additional people that is a million jobs. There are actually close to 6 million small businesses with employees in the US. Total unemployment is about 12 million. If each US Small business (as defined by SBA) hired 2 people unemployment would go to zero.

    There are about 27 million small businesses in total. In total they account for about 80% of new job creation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2013
  6. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member


    All I can say is that your argument isn't universally true, especially when you factor in businesses operating in the Web 2.0 environment. Consider the business models that benefit from the advice in books such as Rework. There are companies that ramp up in large part because of new web technologies. They find that a simple and cheap (often free) solution not only saves them money but makes them buckets more. If you want to talk about trucking companies and manufacturing facilities, then I see your point. But if you look at the big picture, even in those cases, it's possible to cut costs and grow, not impossible. It's just isn't likely, and, as you say, isn't going to be an easily repeated strategy. But it can be done, and it is done, depending on business and industry factors.
    --- merged: Jul 19, 2013 at 1:15 PM ---
    The problem with this is that it doesn't take into account that small businesses likely make up 60 to 80% of job losses in any given quarter as well.

    Remember, about half of small businesses fail within the first five years.

    You wish to look at the contributions small businesses make to job growth. The reality is that they're also a challenge when it comes to job losses.

    What does this mean? It means that small businesses shouldn't be ignored or under-served when looking to fighting nagging unemployment. It's myopic to look only at well-established big businesses to pick up all the slack. But this doesn't mean that big business should be ignored either.

    Actually, the focus should probably be skewed towards medium sized companies, especially considering the number of small businesses that aren't doing and hiring and firing when you account for self-employment and the number of sole proprietorships.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2013
  7. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    I am not familiar with Rework, the next time I am in my local bookstore I will browse it. I still find it very difficult to visualize the circumstance you describe. Again, actively cutting costs and growing. In my mind there has to be some other variable involved that compensates for the cost cutting and in that case I would argue that it is not the cost cutting that is correlated to growth but the other variable.
  8. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I'll also point out that there is a historical precedent in traditional industries. Andrew Carnegie was notorious for cutting costs while expanding his empire. One factor was introducing technology that automated processes. We've seen this in manufacturing industries. What happens is, after capital investment and widespread layoffs, production is increased, prices are lowered, and sales skyrocket.

    It's been the case in many situations where technological advancement has been a boon: cheaper, faster, more.

    Why do you think you can buy a laptop today for under $300 when it didn't seem that long ago you couldn't get a desktop PC for under $1,000? (And factor in inflation over the past 15 or 20 years!)
  9. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    This may be also happening in other countries too, because this seems to be a trending corporate dynamic, not so much government.

    Not only are corporations continuing to increase flexibility to their advantage...not to employees,
    but utilities, commodities and other factors are increasing their methods of fees on customers.

    So, people are being hit on both sides...a slow closing of walls.
    So your sources are going down and your output is going up.
    Basic math, bad economics.

    And things also seem to be hitting you more randomly than before...so it's difficult to budget.
    The inconsistency of income and outgo both make managing more problematic & cumbersome.

    So if you're exhausted from playing wack-a-mole...there's a reason. :confused:

    I think the key is making sure you have a substantial pool of savings as resources in case anything occurs.
    But growing that pool is even more difficult because of the factors above.

    A Catch-22 and between a rock & a hard place...

  10. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    I have been at my job for almost 10 years, and I have hardly even felt 'secure'. I'm still amazed that I have lasted this long.

    And since it took so long and was so difficult to find this 'first' job, I project that it will be just as hard to find the next one, even though I have a good amount of experience and my friends who end up changing jobs all get raises and such. I doubt that I will have any problems finding another job, but it might not be as good if I go for the office 9-6 type of job again. I do have a few backup plans if I do get laid off though, so I would be happy to go out on my own and see if I can make something useful.
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    And continuing the trend of the malaise for most of the citizens of the US (and likely the world...)

    I'd say the leaders better figure out how to get "Trickle-Down" to really work, not just rhetoric.
    Because the public will sooner or later will figure it out.