Posted by: laughs4dads | November 13, 2010

November Weekend Rant

I haven’t done one of these totally off-topic weekend rants in a while, so I thought it was overdue.

Today’s topic: the economy. More specifically, how Wall Street began screwing us long before the mortgage debacle.

Let me ask you a question. What would happen if things in nature never stopped growing? There’d be a bunch of beings stomping each other to death; and you wouldn’t be able to make shelters big enough; and you wouldn’t be able to get more than one or two people into a movie theater, even if it was IMAX; and people would look really silly driving the Smart Car. Oh, wait…that last one has already happened.

So if it’s not natural for things to keep growing indefinitely, why does Wall Street require corporations to keep growing?

I mean, think about it. If you made a billion dollars this quarter, why isn’t it good enough to make a billion dollars next quarter? Why does your stock go down if you don’t make $1.25 billion?

It’s simply unnatural for any entity, be it a creature or a corporation, to continue to grow in perpetuity. Which is why corporations end up having to grow their profits unnaturally–not by selling more, but by spending less. By laying people off. By outsourcing. By using inferior materials. By cheating.

Now someone will probably post a comment with the old shark analogy: keep moving, keep eating, or die. Corporations, these people say, have to keep moving or the competition will overwhelm them.

Well, it’s true. Sharks do have to keep moving and keep eating. But they don’t have to keep growing. They don’t have to eat more today than they did yesterday.

And neither do corporations.

It’s not their fault, though. It’s Wall Street’s. Because that’s where the standards of measurement are set. If The Street wants to see profit growth, you’d better show it. Don’t care what you made last quarter; you better make more this quarter.

It’s just another fine mess they’ve gotten us into over the years.

And what does it have to do with fatherhood? Well, as I said in the opening, it’s off topic. But not really. Because parents need jobs so they can pay for all the stuff their kids need. And kids need jobs when they graduate college so they can get the heck out of the house!

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