Layoffs have become a way of life in our economy. The business environment ranges from stagnant to awful, while troubled companies head towards a merger partner or, worse, bankruptcy court. The healthier companies remain under tremendous pressure to boost earnings.
Given the scope of restructurings, the proverbial ax can fall on anyone, regardless of credentials or accomplishments. Since we are an achievement-oriented society, the newly unemployed react with shock or disbelief. Human resources expert Suzanne Lucas (CBS Moneywatch) addresses the plaintive question ”Why Was I Laid Off Instead of My Co-Worker?”, and the survival skills needed to cope with the pain of job loss and move on.
The trauma is particularly acute as the terminations move up the rungs of the management ladder, given the difficulty of finding equivalent employment in a depressed market. The new normal does get easier to accept once one understands that today’s layoffs are driven more by the need to shed costs quickly than by conventional performance measures. She notes:
But, most likely, they are trying to save money and maximize productivity and hurt as few people as possible. If they cut a lower paid person’s job then they’d have to find another area to make up the difference, which could mean two jobs eliminated instead of just one, for instance.
America is likely to struggle with high unemployment rates and an unstable job market for the foreseeable future. Now that the election is over, perhaps the nation’s leaders will focus their attention on the structural factors that are making this period in our economic history so stressful.
For the last several months as I confidently predicted a Mitt Romney victory there were two people who consistently told me I was dead wrong, both are local business owners who deal with people every single day. Their daily interactions with people told them that the country was too far gone and Obama was going to win this election.
I politely listened and disagreed, I looked at the numbers and the trends, I saw where the electorate had seemingly gone and looked at the state of the economy thinking that while here in Massachusetts it was certainly possible people in Massachusetts where so many of our producers had simply left for greener pastures the rest of the country had not reached that point.
I was wrong.
Walter in particular was adamant, he said he hoped I was right but didn’t buy it.
He was right. America did re-elect Barack Obama but there were some interesting oddities such as this from Election Projection:
Four years ago, Democrats made up 39% of the electorate and held a seven-point advantage over Republicans who numbered 32%. Last Tuesday, the Democrats’ share of the vote accounted for just one point less than in 2008 and Republicans failed to improve at all on their 2008 number. Frankly, those results shock me. Republicans who couldn’t bear to vote for Mitt Romney the Moderate or Mitt Romney the Mormon are now faced with having to bear four more years of Barack Obama, the Uber-liberal.
The question is why? Clearly millions of people decided Barack Obama wasn’t for them, so why didn’t the public embrace Mitt Romney?
The answer is really in two parts.
The first is this. While a nice guy personally and an able administrator Mitt Romney was the weakest and least conservative of the GOP choices that ran in 2012 and republicans who turned out for John McCain and Sarah Palin apparently were not willing to show for Mitt Romney.
Second, we didn’t sell, we DUCKED.
No matter how much some people in the professional punditry would like to pretend otherwise, the GOP the party they are a part of is a CONSERVATIVE party. Its electorate is conservative, the folks who do the heavy lifting are conservative and their activists are conservative.
Conservatism is a philosophy. It is a way of life. It is an idea that if you are frugal if you work hard you will get ahead and your success will bring success to many others with you.
Social conservatism is the same, Reality is it better to discourage your daughter from sleeping around then to put her on the pill leave condoms for her boyfriend and hope your insurance pays for an abortion. (even if it wasn’t murder).
And as for equality, It is better to treat everyone the same regardless of race than to decide to grade behavior on a curve based on skin color and ethnicity.
Mitt Romney and the GOP decided it was acceptable to not push these themes, it was enough to say : The economy sucks and Obama is in charge.
Didn’t work did it? Ann at Legal Insurrection quotes an open letter to the GOP establishment:
The grassroots will fix this for you. Please stay out of our way. And don’t do anything stupid like granting citizenship to 15m illegals. We have to persuade Hispanics they are conservatives who belong in the GOP, just like that County GOP Chairman in New Mexico did with Susanna Martinez. We win Hispanics by persuading them that conservatism, that free enterprise rather than entitlement, is the path to the American Dream of individual liberty and prosperity.
Their message is you can’t win without your base, they’re right.
There is an old story about St. John the Apostle during his last days, that he would on the Island of Patmos once a week gather all the believers to teach them. They would sit down and wait for her to talk and then tell them “Love one another” and that was it. One week one of his followers approached him and saying: “Master every week we come here to learn and every week you tell us the same thing.” John smiled and replied: “When you have learned that first lesson then we will move onto the next one.”
The moral of the story is conservatism needs to be taught. It needs to be professed and evangelized in the same religious like way that liberalism is. It’s not enough to say the truth one and count on people believing it, you have to constantly reinforce it.
There is a reason why companies spend millions of dollars to constantly push their product, once the advertising stops, the people forget and easily switch to the next product and the new ad.
Conservatism is the same, it won’t matter how good our product or ideas are, if we don’t’ sell them, if we don’t sell it every single day folks will fall prey to liberal propaganda that promises them everything for nothing.
That’s our job and will be mine for the next four years or at least until I can’t afford to do it anymore.
In Massachusetts the 2nd biggest shock was not so much the defeat of Scott Brown, after all the polling showed it was anyone’s race, but the sheer margin of it, 8 points. That’s a swing of 13 points toward democrats since the last election.
Brown is a decent fellow but the local dems who had no skin in the game in Jan 2010 went all in. And spending months running away from the party didn’t help.
If you are ashamed of saying you are a republican then you tell people that being a republican is something to be ashamed of. That’s not a great selling point, if you don’t believe me ask well running away from the GOP worked for Congressman Richard Tisei.
And I’m sorry if you can’t elect an openly gay republican when you are running against an actual crook then Massachusetts is in real trouble.
The real shock was Question #2
I had little faith that Question #2 would be defeated. When I covered the forum in Hudson weeks ago I was the only media there and it was not picked up widely.
Last week I covered another event that got absolutely no press, a 24 hour Eucharistic Adoration was held in at St. Joseph Church in Medford Ma. I spoke to a woman named Geraldine there and through her got an interview for a show before the election.
There was no thing I was more worried about than question 2, because the idea of making it culturally acceptable to dispose of people in such a way in the name of “compassion” will over time corrupt a society in ways that are abominable, particularly when our future looks so bleak in terms of healthcare costs.
While I was sure of Mitt Romney and cautiously optimistic on Scott Brown I was absolutely convinced that question #2 would pass in a state as liberal as Massachusetts. Reason told me that all of these things were the case and no matter how much I wanted question 2 to be defeated, it was not going to happen
When I looked online just after I got to the Romney victory party it was leading and projected to win.
By the time it was all over the question which was leading in the polls 68-19% just a few weeks ago had lost 51-49.
It was a cause of great joy for me but I was ashamed of my own lack of faith.
So now comes the job of teaching, but if another four years of Barack Obama doesn’t teach the public not sure what will.
Maybe I should ask Walter.
Zero Hedge – If the Fiscal Cliff negotiations are supposed to result in a bipartisan compromise, it is safe that the initial shots fired so far are about as extreme as can possibly be. As per our previous assessment of the status quo, with the GOP firmly against any tax hike, many were expecting the first olive branch to come from the generous victor – Barack Obama. Yet on the contrary, the WSJ reports, Obama’s gambit will be to ask for double what the preliminary negotiations from the “debt deficit” summer of 2011 indicated would be the Democrats demand for tax revenue increase. To wit: “President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011. Mr. Obama, in a meeting Tuesday with union leaders and other liberal activists, also pledged to hang tough in seeking tax increases on wealthy Americans.” Granted, there was a tiny conciliation loophole still open, after he made no specific commitment to leave unscathed domestic programs such as Medicare, yet this is one program that the GOP will likely not find much solace in cutting. In other words, all the preliminary talk of one party being open to this or that, was, naturally, just that, with a whole lot of theatrics, politics and teleprompting thrown into the mix. The one hope is that the initial demands are so ludicrous on both sides, that some leeway may be seen as a victory by a given party’s constituents. Yet that is unlikely: as we have noted on many occasions in the past, any compromise will result in swift condemnation in a congress that has never been as more polarized in history.
From the WSJ:
WSJ – As Republicans grapple with how to adjust their party’s long-term strategy in the aftermath of last week’s election losses, an immediate choice facing the party could provide an early signal on which way it is headed.
House Republicans vote Wednesday on their leaders for the next two years. Most of the top slots are all but assured, including Ohio Rep. John Boehner’s re-election as speaker. But a hard-fought contest is brewing between Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Tom Price of Georgia for the fourth-most-senior position.
The two lawmakers are seeking the job of conference chairman, whose job is to shape the Republican message and run House GOP meetings.
Mr. Price, 58 years old, is a former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a powerful group of House conservatives who often pull the party’s leadership to the right. First elected in 2004, he emerged from the party’s longstanding power base.
Ms. McMorris Rodgers, 43, also is conservative. But as a young mother from the Northwest, she fits a profile that is rarer for the GOP and that House members might find appealing after an election in which the party struggled to attract female voters.
PCWorld – It was just a few weeks ago that a $249 Chromebook appeared courtesy of Google and Samsung, but on Monday that already-low price point dropped even further.
Google and Acer today announced the brand-new Acer C7, a Chromebook priced at just $199.
Powered by an Intel Celeron 847 processor and equipped with 2GB of DDR3 memory, the new device will be available to U.S. customers starting tomorrow on the Google Play store, at Best Buy stores, and on BestBuy.com.
In the United Kingdom, it’s available on Google Play, Amazon UK, PC World, and Currys; “we’re working hard to bring it to more countries soon,” wrote Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Chrome and Apps, in a Monday blog post.
An 18-second boot time
The Acer C7 weighs just slightly over three pounds and measures a mere one inch thick, yet it features a full-size keyboard, a fully clickable trackpad, an “extra bright” 11.6-inch display, and a battery life of more than 3.5 hours.