Friday, August 03, 2007

Corporate Mergers = Global Decline

We live in a material world. A world where each person must feed off of their environment for survival. Each man/woman must take money from others to sustain themselves and their family members until they too start grabbing for dollars, euros or whatever the local currency is called.

This grand scale materialism naturally shifts the focus of the masses from the earliest age. We educate our children so that they become useful, productive members of society - so they can get a job, buy things, start a family and create some replacements to repeat the performance for as long as humanity lasts on the Earth. This seems a sort of dismal, repetitive performance and is an incomplete interpretation of life.

Living life just to make money, reproduce and keep busy for X number of years until one dies seems like a description of hell. At this time, the capitalist system is the best at providing for the masses and giving each an opportunity to manipulate their environment.

Unfortunately capitalism itself requires a blend of small entrepreneurs and large corporations. When either become too dominant, the masses suffer and individual wealth potential is stifled.

Over the past two decades, in the USA, we have witnessed a deficit of small entrepreneurs and small businesses and we are watching the corporate sector grow exponentially. Smaller corporations are bought up and consumed by larger ones, shrinking the job market with each swallow as employees are pruned from the corporate branches.

Unemployment is the direct result of unchecked corporate mergers.

This has a long-term damning effect on the economy because this unemployment destroys the consumer-base.

Let's paint the picture to the extreme: One company produces everything used on Earth, has no competition and employs 1 billion people.

The 5-1/2 billion that are unemployed can't afford the wares produced by the company and sales are made solely to their employees. However, because they have no competition, they pay terrible wages and their prices are high. So even their own employees can't afford much of what they produce. The result? A De facto communist monarchy disguised as capitalism. In such an environment with that many unemployed the government takes over and socialism/communism is the result. For evidence one only need to look at FDR's response to the great depression. Socialism is mandated, price controls emerge and corporations are despised and face complete regulation.

That's the worst case scenario of continued corporate mergers and already we can see it's very real potential on the distant horizon. Corporate CEOs unfortunately, more often than not, think short term these days. They are not thinking about anyone but themselves and it shows. In a sea of sharks, soon all that are left is sharks.

Corporate decline can occur in many ways, but these are some of the most obvious routes of decline:

A) A company with a board, or largest stockholder that is now only concerned with boosting stock, selling it and cashing out the wealth of the company. That is how many venerable old companies, like Sears Roebuck, were destroyed.

B) A company with a board, or largest stockholders, that plan to bail out wealthy after making their company attractive to a buyout by a larger company.

C) A company that looks at the mergers around them, panics and cuts corners, fires employees and hires only 3rd world labor - all instead of focusing on delivering a better product/service.

D) A company that, in its desire to unfairly compete, consumes its competition, puts x number of folks out of work and then wonders why sales are slowing down as their product/service is less than stellar, priced higher and less wealth is generated.

Those are the A-D corporate decline routes of the past twenty odd years. There are many more, but most companies today fit within these four patterns.

If folks lived 10,000 years instead of 100, or even 1,000 years - they would see the folly of short term, selfish thinking in both their personal life - and personal life's mirror - actions in the corporate world. Eventually one realizes short term excess leads to long term suffering.

Corporate irresponsibility yesterday created the global market of today and today's excesses and selfishness will bring capitalism down a notch and ever closer to the day when socialism rears its ugly head and the party will be over - permanently.

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