The Layoff Binge
February 15, 2001 11:00 PM   Subscribe

The Layoff Binge The last piece on the page gives a worker’s perspective on the recent attack in the Class War.
posted by capt.crackpipe (10 comments total)
Some people grow up to be hard working and decent; some grow up to be CEO's.
posted by xtrmntr at 5:07 AM on February 16, 2001

i'm sort of shocked that this piece ran in the new york press. thanks for posting it.
posted by maura at 5:37 AM on February 16, 2001

I don't know why, that kind of piece seems to be the NYP's stock in trade. Or did you mean the New York press as opposed to the New York Press?

See the Taki piece on that page? ewww.
posted by rodii at 6:08 AM on February 16, 2001

I was about a qurter of the way through the Taki piece before I noticed his name (I was glancing back up to see "who wrote this crap")

A prime example of the new economy can be seen here in the UK
posted by fullerine at 6:19 AM on February 16, 2001

I can get over this:

"The average CEO of a major corporation made $12.4 million in 1999, 475 times more than an average blue-collar worker."

475 times more. So when pressure mounts for one of these corporations to increase profitablity, 474 workers lose their jobs at the expense of one of these jerks.
posted by magcarl at 7:05 AM on February 16, 2001

For better or worse, CEOs, too, are losing job security in a dramatic way -- just look at Lucent (4 CEOs in 5 years) -- when their companies are not performing. Boards are as demanding of CEO performance as CEOs are of performance of business units and divisions, if not more.

The supply-demand equation which sets CEO salaries (just like it sets blue-collar salaries) cannot be moved by any sense of injustice. A company feels that a CEO is critically important -- and someone who is qualified to be a CEO will be in demand by dozens of other companies. Prices will rise accordingly, and there's just no helping it in the short term.

In the long term what could reduce the CEO-blue collar disparity would be a sustained effort of business academia and business journalism to deflate the importance assigned to a CEO -- increasing the supply of candidates who are deemed qualified for a less-important job, and thus decreasing the price paid. This already beginning to happen a bit -- see, for example, this article which discusses a McKinsey-turned-best-selling-business-book-author new theory that companies become great in many cases without any "great CEO" input.
posted by MattD at 8:12 AM on February 16, 2001

For better or worse, CEOs, too, are losing job security in a dramatic way. . . when their companies are not performing.

Perhaps, but I've heard a few stories of some high muckity-muck who got cut loose from one company, and was then quickly snapped up by another eager to give them a chance to make the same mistakes there. Not to mention that these schmucks often get severance packages that dwarf the amount a blue-collar worker can hope to make in a lifetime.
posted by harmful at 8:46 AM on February 16, 2001

Since when have the rich and powerful *NOT* helped out their friends, at the expense of anyone they can bilk?

The way of the jungle, as it were. And most people (me included) just count themselves lucky to have a job that doesn't make them vomit every day.

I'm quitting soon, though. Enough of this crap.

I think it's time to retire the Corporation as a means of organizing people's work together. It's too damn dangerous and serves only Profit at the expense of anything else - dignity, decency, safety...
posted by beth at 9:24 AM on February 16, 2001

Maura, I gotta grit my teeth whenever I read the NY Press. Occasionaly, I’ll find something like this.

MattD, I refuse to feel bad for anyone who takes a home a few million in one year. I’d love that job, even if it did have an expiration date.

I thought the most interesting part of the column was that a temp agency is the largest employer in the States. This is a direct reflection of where our economy is headed: no manufacturing jobs, an upper-class with earnings in the stratosphere and flattened middle- and lower-classes. Yet, the one institution that could actually make rules to force sane labor policies on the private sector, is run by politicians who have no interest in doing so.

We are well on our way to an economy like Mexico’s.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 12:20 PM on February 16, 2001

Captain -- I didn't say anyone should feel sorry for CEOs, it's a club to which I'd love to belong! I am saying that the CEO pay is just as much a factor of supply and demand as is blue-collar pay, not the product of any conspiracy, bias or favoritism. The "cult of the CEO" puts incredible constraints on who is deemed eligible to lead a major company, and constrained supply inevitably causes skyrocketing prices.

And, Maura, the people who ultimately hold the power are institutional investors, who work very consciously for you and me in the form of our $9,210 Fidelity balances and our parent's union pension fund which insures that we won't have to support them in their old age.

If and when the businesss writers and researchers (comprised almost exclusively of upper-middle-class people) persuade asset managers that there's no substance to the "cult of the CEO," you better believe that those salaries and option packages will start heading down.
posted by MattD at 2:00 PM on February 16, 2001

« Older ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US   |   No, really now... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments