I started formulating this rant a couple of days ago when I learned that Polaris is closing their plant in Osceola, Wisconsin. This will end 515 jobs in this town of 2,700. Quite a blow for a small population like this. The reason for the closing: they are moving production to Mexico to cut costs. Polaris' stock price has more than doubled in the past 52 weeks. Do they really need to put more Americans out of work?
Sooner or later, these companies had better realize that if they keep putting Americans out of the job by moving their higher paying jobs overseas or to Mexico, there will come a point when no one in our country will have the money to buy their goods! Duh! That shouldn't be a difficult concept.
I got really ticked this morning by an incident with Amazon and that caused me to actually sit down and write this. I am a huge fan of Amazon. I am an Amazon Prime member, so for $75 a year (approx) I get free two-day shipping on all my orders. On two occasions I have had to contact them by phone and each time I understand why they do almost everything on the web! Like most companies, they outsource their call center activities to somewhere overseas. But whereas some companies set high standards to prevent language problems, Amazon doesn't appear to. I called today because I placed an order late last night and the credit card failed to authorize. Turned out I forgot to activate the card - still not sure how I did that. Anyway, I use Amazon's site which has a feature where they will call you when an operator is able to talk to you. The guy calls and there was an immediate language barrier. I just needed them to reprocess the transaction. I explained that and he asked if I wanted to cancel my order. I told him I didn't want anything cancelled, but I need it reprocessed. He comes back and asks if I want to change cards. I told him no, same card, run it again. Finally, he comes back and tells me he has taken care of everything for me. A few minutes later, I get an email telling me that he had processed the card for some of the items in my order, cancelled an item, and left several other items with the payment pending. Talk about frustrating! I didn't want to call back again, so I cancelled the remaining items and bought them all again. Very poor service on the phone from a company that otherwise provides stellar service.
Here's the thing. Those call center jobs don't necessarily pay that much. TeleTech is a local call center company and they start people out in the $8-$9 range. I understand that is triple what they would pay in India, but if none of these companies want to hire Americans, how they continue to expect Americans to buy from them?
Executives needs to start looking at this very real and growing issue when they make these decisions. I know that they have a responsibility to their stockholders to maximize profits. But they also have a responsibility to ensure long-term profitability, which is being endangered by some of these actions. And even more to blame are the shareholders who demand profits RIGHT NOW so that they can just sell and walk away leaving thousands of American jobs - really, American LIVES - shattered just so that they can make a fast buck. Where does this end? Shareholders need to be in it for the long haul. Otherwise, this downward spiral will continue and the end will not be pretty.