Vulture Crapitalism…

I happened to be in a Lowe’s the other day.  If I can help it, it will be the last time.  I found the experience…frustrating.  I was buying a dryer.  It took over a week.
“What, to have it delivered?”
“No, to buy the fucking thing!”
But I’m not here to tell you about the process.  That’s a different column.  I want to comment on the problem.  I THINK I’ve noticed a trend, probably brought on by the predator class as they dismantle America one business at a time.  The problem?  Under-staffing.

The first time I was in there, I waited…well, a LONG time for someone to help me.  Finally, I decided to leave and literally accidentally came across an employee.  She was very enthusiastic and helpful.  I hadn’t made up my mind yet and told her I was going to look around a bit more and she told me that if I came back I could find her in Appliances…or “over there” (she indicated a different department across the aisle).  “Oh, I also have a department in the back.  Just have them page me.”

One employee.  Three departments.  I wondered how many people walk into – and then out of – one of those departments without service because there was only one employee for three departments.  It’s not an accident.  Some ‘never-worked-a-day-in-his-life’ paper pusher made a staffing decision.  It maximized profit today and all it cost was the life of a going concern…eventually.

Let’s say it takes three people to do a job well.  The bosses put two out there and give them a slogan: ‘Work smarter, not harder!’  (What they mean is “Fuck you.  Work harder.”)  Now, in truth, two people probably could do the job with only a few irritated customers.  So, corporate cuts another position, saving a little money.  ONE annual salary of an underpaid “associate” isn’t going to make or break the company but combine that one position with one from every store and the profits for the year increase nicely.

BUT…people coming into the store quickly realize they can’t get the service they need there and start looking for alternatives.  The under-staffing strategy causes people to stay away.  Revenues start falling.  Staffing gets cut again.  At that point, it’s a slow death spiral.  As I was thinking about all of this, I realized I’ve been, recently, into some of the stores now closing their doors.  Venerable, nation-wide institutions that have existed my entire life (Sears, for example, or J.C. Penny) are disappearing.  I think the under-staffing strategy took hold at each one, as well.  We’re told it’s the internet.  Maybe.  I think it’s vulture Crapitalism.

The people at the top have maximized short term gains but surrendered long-term viability.  A very few people make a lot of money.  A very large number of people lose jobs.  The nation loses institutional memory.

I preferred the well-regulated system that prevented lazy, greedy “money men” from intentionally destroying companies because there was short term profit to be realized…


Speaking of lazy and greedy, Donny the Drumpf is out howling that the Mueller Report “cleared” him – but every Republican in government is working as hard as they can to suppress the actual report.  I wrote only a couple of weeks ago that there were only two choices: if the report cleared the so-called “President”, it would be released in it’s entirety.  If it did NOT clear him, it would be suppressed to the extent possible.  Either way, conservatives would declare full exoneration.

Once again, actions speak louder than words.  Despite claims, I’d bet the Mueller Report did NOT clear The National Shame.  We’d see it if it did.  We wouldn’t be offered a redacted version and it wouldn’t be promised in a while.  We’d have it now.  But we DON’T have it now and every Republican in government is working as hard as they can to suppress the actual report.

They won’t let anyone see it so I can’t tell you what the report says.  But I CAN tell you what it DOESN’T say.  It does NOT say “complete exoneration” – or anything like it…

Note: every once in a while, I post one of these bits without a title.  This was one of those.  Oops…

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