Payday Loans uk
payday loans

Posts Tagged ‘opinions’

The Bottom Line — Profits

Friday, January 28th, 2011


I remember watching a movie about a small business and its rise to “the top”. The CEO, a Donald Trump wanna-be, pounded his fist on the conference table, pointed to the chart behind him showing flat line growth and shouted, “It’s profit, the bottom line is profit!”


Let’s look at this statement. Are profits the bottom line? What are the benefits of profits? I suppose those getting them think they’re great — but whom do they benefit? Do they make the lives of those on the assembly line, toiling day in and day out more worthwhile? Do they aid those who buy the product or service? Or is their greatest boon given to those sitting behind desks all day, flexing their power?  


Let’s do a quick comparison.


In most companies, the profit goes to the Board of Directors (BOD), and then to the stock-holders. A definite minority. By doing little to no work, the group gets the majority of the assets created by the workers for the specified market.


Consider a malignant tumor or cancer. It too, does little work, taking from the host and feeding only itself, growing and fulfilling its own needs first.


If profit equals cancer, what can we do to stop the growth of the interloper?


How about:

- Profit-sharing. Instead of the BOD getting the money, give it as bonuses to those who manufacture the product or provide the service. The percentage to the employee can be determined by years of service, type of job done, hours worked, and other specifics.


- Put back into the business. Keep up with technology; maintain the equipment, working conditions, and employee benefits. (Don’t follow BP’s example.)


- Living wage. Make sure your employees are receiving a “living wage”. This means they have enough money to pay their debts and live comfortably while working for you.


- Give back to the community. Some local businesses give some of their profits to local social organizations, schools, and community groups.


- Act as a patron. Pick out a charity, or non-profit and give a monthly contribution.


Choose one or a combination, but stop feeding the tumor.


Making profits need not be evil or harmful. But the money garnered by a corporation, agency, or whatever, should be used in a way to provide the greatest benefits to society as a whole. Ostentatious wealth is neither a necessity for a happy, meaningful life, nor a requirement to prove “you’ve made it”. While a bit of luxury is nice, an overabundance of anything can stifle and cause harm. The harm usually isn’t physical; stunted emotional growth, mental anguish and indecision, as well as feelings of isolation are all possible results.   


Up until now, we’ve discussed profit as if it was made in an honest, up-front manner. That goods manufactured are of the highest quality, assembled in clean and humane conditions, and built with an eye to lasting for years (with an excellent warranty). That services rendered are the best available, given with sufficient guarantees, and have follow-up options.  


This sadly is not the case. Most manufactured items today are of inferior quality, have a short lifespan, and generally need constant repairs (if they have moving parts). Services provided often expire after the warranty or are not offered at all. A printer purchased for our computer was given a 2 year warranty, with no option to renew. After two years, the company considers it too expensive to repair the unit. They expect you to buy a new one.


So, is most profit garnered from low quality items sold for exorbitant prices that last for a short period of time? Is it fair for companies to rake in millions selling these inferior products and services?


Would the quality of products improve if those making them had a share in the profits? I think so. If we bring back “pride in our workmanship” I think quality will improve. If a salesperson working for a major department store got a percentage of the profits, would she try to sell more? If she knew the goods being sold were of the highest quality would she point this out to customers?  Again, I believe so.


There are a small number of companies in the U.S. today that are employee owned. Why don’t we hear more about them? Could it be corporate America doesn’t want the word to get out that those at the top may not be needed? If we cut out the majority of our top-heavy corporate structure, how much would the system improve? Are we willing to try?    


Or do we have our heads in the sand so deep we no longer see the sun? Opinions?


The litmus test:

Profit cannot exist without people.



People can exist and thrive without profits.


Profits are not the bottom line.


The Bottom Line — Introduction

Friday, January 28th, 2011


I’d like to start a series of articles concerned with where you consider your “Bottom Line”.


“Bottom line” refers to the final, determining consideration in a decision. It’s the grit or core of a subject; usually the basic or most important factor, consideration, or meaning. It shows a net positive or negative result — in your business, your career, your life. Let’s extend this to include: your community, the country, our society in general.


Not only am I interested in where your bottom line is, but also your opinions on things I think can and cannot be considered a bottom line item. So, let’s keep the “nice article” comments to a minimum and let me know how you feel about these items. Agree? Agree with reservations? Disagree? Disagree, but with some modifications, maybe? State your opinion. Take a side.   


Our society as a whole has gotten too — materialistic, commercialized, egocentric, and electronic gadget oriented. Should we refocus? And if so, to what? And how?


Have our brains been rotted out by our music, video games, advertising, and focus on ourselves instead of on our environment, community, children, and things outside of ourselves? What can we do to change things? Is it worth it, or are we “too far gone”? Have we reached the point in our civilization, like that of the Roman Empire, where the only direction to go is down? Can we pull ourselves back up to the top and fresh air and sunshine? Or has the rope rotted through and it’s only a matter of time before we drop into the dark abyss?  


In case you haven’t noticed, we’re raping the earth of her resources, polluting her water, land and air at an increasing rate. It may come as a shock, but there’s no place else to go. Once the earth has been ruined, it’s too late. We’re stuck.


How much longer can we ignore our own in our attempt to have the biggest, newest, best? Does the pig at the top realize others underneath can’t breathe?  Have we lost sight of the meaning of life, if we ever had it?


Millions of years ago, reptiles, in the form of dinosaurs, ruled the earth. They gave way to mammals, which over thousands of generations, led to Homo sapiens taking their turn as the ruling class. If we don’t change our evil ways, will a new ruling line emerge? Will we be supplanted by the insect kingdom? Will giant cockroaches rule? Will the billions of insects inhabiting the world be the only ones able to live amidst the polluted, resource sparse environment our world is heading towards?  


The big question remains — do we still have time to stop the decline? Or will the human race be just another blip, too small to notice, on the timeline of our universe?