I read over the transcript from yesterday’s blogger meeting with Axelrod, and I have to say, I wonder how accurate it is to say that jobs have been “restructured,” that businesses simply don’t need as many people anymore. That’s not what I hear from my friends who are still employed. They describe one person having to take on two or three jobs, and much more outsourcing to avoid paying benefits.

I think it’s been a systematic stripping of rights, benefits and job security. But that businesses have simply become more efficient in two years? I’m not convinced. My last job was at a management consulting firm, and those kind of changes take a LONGGGGG time to design, and then implement.

I don’t believe it.

And if they’re making policy decisions on the basis of misinformation, they’re making the wrong decisions.

8 thoughts on “Hmm

  1. I think that there has been some change in restructuring jobs but it has been happening over a longer period of time than two years. Mostly, I think they are just making the people left work harder and longer to cover the people let go.

  2. Two years ago, most companies went through massive layoffs to control costs. My company did it, my competitors’ did it and my customers did it. The “rationalization” that took place dumped some employees who had 20 or more years at our place. But high salaries were not the overiding reason for being let go. Some of those folks were independent thinkers who openly disagreed with supervisor’s vision for the company, some were just speed-bumps to change and others were plain dumped out of personal spite from someone above. The folks who are left mostly had reputations for keeping quiet about their reservations and opinions, and for putting their heads down to work.

    We (and the other companies to which I have some insider visibility) have hired a lot of consultants since to get work done. Some are mercenaries, but most are just folks who are looking for a steady job. They take a lot of crap (as do we “regulars”, but not to as great a degree.) The management clearly enjoys this advantage over the workforce. They have no intention of hiring new people full-time until they can’t get the workers they want at bargain prices anymore.

    All this talk of “structural unemployment” is another way of saying that the corporate masters have increased leverage over the labor market and have no intention of giving up their advantage without a fight.

  3. >>if they’re making policy decisions on the basis of misinformation, they’re making the wrong decisions.

    I think we can be pretty certain that they’re basing decisions on misinformation. AND that they’re making the wrong decisions.

    Carolyn Kay

  4. The timeframe certainly is important. We don’t need 100 people to repave or widen a roadway any more because we have bigger and more complex machines that can do that for us. We don’t need 1000s of factory workers because (a) we don’t have as many factories and (b) a lot of the work that required lots and lots of people is now automated and can be run by fewer people. Those changes happened over many years. The office jobs that are common today haven’t been and probably won’t be automated out of existence, but they’re almost certainly non-union and in this economy no one wants to lose a job. You’re replaceable. And you’re probably on salary rather than an hourly employee, so if they give you a three-person job you just have to get it done. If you have to work more hours, tough. You do it because you don’t want to lose that job. Longer hours, fewer vacations, higher stress, more profits for the owner — it’s the new American Way!

  5. wow, that rhetoric shows that they do not have any intention of doing anything about unemployment. Someone needs to say in a big way that your having a job depends upon our having a job. I have said it before and will say it again, Obama is Adrian Fenty with nukes.

  6. “restructured?” Absolutely not. It’s corporate jingoism to rationalize the fucking that American working men and women are taking.

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