Our fearless leader, Sir Mike, rode in on his editorial white horse with pen drawn and extolled the truth that no one wants to state in public anymore. The inability of a company to control its workforce is killing the USA's competitive and innovative ability. 

The current mindset of the inclusive common denominator works well in math and socialism, but is the Archille's heel in a capitalistic economic system work force. We are not talking about exclusion where only a certain type of sex, race, skill level is mandated, we are talking forced acceptance by employers of human resources who are not conducive to a well-functioning workforce.

Add to that, most companies cannot now control the work force it employs. Manufacturers that are able to do so are superior to competition and are able to compete, adapt and overcome other competitors in the market place. They make money, reinvest in themselves and serve the public good. Is a company like this detrimental to competition? Nope, it spurs others to the same excellence and competitiveness in the market. Whether it is a better tractor or a tastier meal, the general public benefits.   

Are we talking going back to sweat shops of the early days of the industrial revolution? No, that will never happen again in our mobile society. We are taking about a workforce that has to change with new technology and avoid the dead weight of job descriptions that exist no more. Remember the firemen on the diesel locomotives?

My uncle was a union steward that spent time in Washington in negotiations for a large plant. "What are they going to do? They can't close the plant." Famous last words.

We are also talking about non-human resources as well. If a future business is forced by government to use certain HVAC, vehicles and use only so much energy that is produced a certain way, we will fall behind and be trounced by those businesses and countries who are not forced to play by the same restrictive rules. Well-meaning, in their minds, professionally paid fund raisers (politicians) are not capable of running the economics of a country.

We, the U.S. of A., are borrowing and adding to our national debt one trillion dollars every 110 days. Need more proof? We are mandating EVs ahead of a power gird to support same. We could go on.

So, what are the answers?

First, education. Instead of fighting unions, manufacturers who have them must embrace and partner with them explaining the economics of production. It will take time. It will be like hammering a large nail with a small hammer. Where there are no unions, their workforce also must understand the economics of the place they work. There must be a symbiotic relationship where increased quality and production results in a bigger piece of the pie for the workers and vice versa. We must stop forcing confrontations resulting in strikes and the ill-begotten afterbirth results. The employers must still be in charge, however, without lording it over the new students.

Now, let me be fair, there are those aloof corporate heads out there who put self over the companies they manage. They are ammo for those against a capitalistic society. Most corporations have adversarial relations with the workforce, and this has to stop. Corporate boards have got to do better in hiring as well and eliminate those golden parachutes.   Workers use these corporate leaders' unbelievable benefits as ammo in their fight for increased benefits and other anti-productive actions without understanding the economics of the alphabet top: CFOs, CEOs etc. Can you blame them?

Corporate boards must return to hiring more from within to allow tribal knowledge-laden talent to rise within the ranks rather than reaching out to the most padded resume. We have allowed a socialistic mentality to bend the minds of generations who only listen to argumentized positions against 'The Man.'

Participation trophies and government programs safety nets perpetuate this paradigm that often results in more administration costs than recipient benefits. Alexander Pope wrote, "'Tis education that forms the common mind; just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined."

Can the corporate leaders reach down and pull up the growth of the work force? Can they reach out to government and bend the twigs and educate them as to the fact that industrial leadership means national leadership and all the benefits for our U.S. population?

We have to break this aforementioned Idiocracy movie path on which we are headed. Education, communication then more education and communication. We all have to wake up and remediate Econ 101 just like Mike Lessiter, who had the intestinal fortitude to do it, pointed out: our future depends on it.

Click here to read Mike Lessiter's blog, "Steelmaker Woes, CNH and Pyrrhic Victories … It’s About the Margin, Stupid!"

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. —  Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.



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