Redefining the Corporation, Or: Archer Daniels Midland is the DEVIL!

by hulk

Kodak’s cutting jobs. Again. After the last time they cut jobs. And their great business plan for the future? Cutting more jobs. Whee. What is the modern corporation? I don’t know, so I’ll make up a description and then rant about it.

The modern corporation is an association of people designed to provide a service that generates profit that increases the stock price thus pleasing the shareholders. Think about that for a second. Is this progress? Is this going to get us anywhere? Now, before you call me a communist, allow me to call myself one first. I hate what I sound like, I know, I know, it sounds like I’m a dirty red hippie commie prevert, as Mrs. McGraw, my high school AP US History teacher would say.

But here’s my point. Is the current jobless recovery a direct result of the economic crash of the past few years, or the culmination of the downsizing policies most corporations have adopted for the past two decades? And just what is the point of the corporation? Currently, most corporations fall into the category where they are constantly downsizing, running lean as possible while still kicking an exponential salary up to the CEO’s and senior management. That’s insane. No member of a corporation should receive a salary whose relationship to a lesser employee’s salary is exponential. Bonuses are a much better way of compensating those above. If they do something revolutionary, or do something above and beyond, inflate their bonus by a couple million as a one-time event. Don’t offer them $20 million to begin with while the majority of the employee’s are receiving 30K a year.

Putting the bigwigs aside, look at the structure of corporations today. They’re designed to squeeze as much productivity out of employees without killing them. I’ve got a better idea. Instead of eliminating half of your company to inflate the stock price half a point, how about keeping those people? How about employing more people? Think of the opportunities for innovation. The lean model just sits there and hopes they accidentally employ someone smart who thinks of a new idea to sell to others. If you had a well-staffed corporation, you could have people who have time to experiment and to think and to discuss ideas with each other to improve practices and to sell new products. Keep the current models, but employ more people. Avoid allowing corruption and apathy, but don’t ask your employees to do the jobs of six people. One employee, one job.

It just pisses me off when I see some CEO receiving a multi-million dollar salary, saying, “we need to cut overhead to perform better”, which is just such a lie, and get a bonus from the board of shareholders for cutting costs, while wondering why stock price continues to go down overall (because you’re not producing anything). So Kodak is cutting more jobs to “compete”. Compete how? Shipping off production to mexico, where people work for pennies a day? Yeah, exploit a lower-income-country, you cheap bastards. The japanese don’t expect thier employees to work the jobs of six people, just to be productive and put in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. They don’t have the unemployment problems we do, the ghost towns where everyone’s receiving social security or unemployment pay. Hmm. I wonder what we’re doing wrong?

The corporation should be redesigned to employ as many people as possible without countermanding productivity, and a profit should be a benefit, not an expectation. Fuck the stock market. Heaven forbid your company should have to produce something or enhance performance in order to increase the stock price.

Workers of the world unite. I hate myself

Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.