While flaws are inherent in this and any other country, we've made one thing clear : we don't give up on each other. That "come what may" attitude has changed in a quite pronounced manner over the last two decades as America has become a disposable society. Corporate leaders prance around with talks of the necessity of making "hard decisions" when they damn well know that any decision is an acceptable one, so long as it doesn't affect their wallets.
I wish more people understood the numbers and the truth that is inherent in the outwardly tedious details. Without going too granular, these "cost-cutting initiatives" simply don't work because they merely address the nominal aesthetics of The Problem, but do not address The Problem itself.
Two big companies that are in the media spotlight today, J.C. Penney (NYSE : JCP) and Best Buy (NYSE : BBY), are prime examples of executives not understanding how to run a business in an evolving ecosystem. It may have been great to be the big, bad, Tyrannosaurus Rex, but the race has now shifted to the leverage of the more nimble raptors. The dilemma is not the size of the T-Rex because let's face it : no matter how much that puppy goes on a diet, it ain't getting much smaller!
Yet management across a plethora of industries buy into the cost-cutting madness : by being smaller and weaker, they reason, they would be able to compete with the speed of the raptors. But by artificially reducing the infrastructure, the T-Rex has given up one of its advantages for a questionable and partial benefit. In the meantime, the raptor has given up nothing, thereby increasing its pound-for-pound capabilities against a weakened T-Rex.
Sometimes, a company absolutely has no choice but to cut for the sake of its survival : everyone understands that. But to make that decision, the entire business strategy must incorporate the cut into its plan. An amputation of a badly rotting organ has to be both precise and complete ; a lapse in either category will inevitably create more serious, likely fatal problems later.
Layoffs are serious business. They have long running consequences that may not be appreciated during the stark emotions of the moment, but consequences care not about the intentions of the jettison. Because of this, they should be absolutely avoided if at all possible, but if nothing can be done about the inevitable, an overhaul of the business model must align with the hard decision to give the company's future a chance.
It is the American thing to do...