When I saw this on ABC News I said to myself this had to be a skit from Saturday Night Live. A German Intelligence officer playing an islamic extremist on the internet makes contact with an islamic extremist only to find the extremist was just hired by German Intelligence. The guy could have been just two cubes over.
I read an article recently that Amazon was changing its system for determining who it keeps and who gets the shaft. The concept they have been using has been called Rank and Yank for decades after it came to prominence by GE CEO Jack Welch in the 1980s. Today however the policy has gained a new title: The Hunger Games. From what I have been reading, it’s an example of what happens when people implement policies based on the newest fad and not on what it was designed to do.
First, lets note that Jack Welch was downsizing GE when he began using the concept. The idea of determining who were the lower 10% performing employees is a means of determining who should be let go VS who should be kept for a company trying to lower costs in a downturn. But the wholesale use of it by companies today is based on the mis-understanding that to be successful “you must use” this concept. The reason is, as a company expands, Rank and Yank forces people out. Thus a company trying to capitalize on a new product is hamstrung by a lack of personnel to bring it to market, or expand production.
Rank and Yank’s policy of constantly removing the lower 10% only works for a company that is expanding if you have a huge pool of new employees to fill the void. This void being the number of new people needed to replace the removed 10%, plus the extra people needed to meet the needs of the expansion. As has been noted for the last few years, tech firms are struggling to find engineers and programmers. Thus we constantly hear of the need to bring in foreign workers with H-1B visas. But as even the foreign worker pool has shrunk, the forced reductions in employees required by Rank and Yank continue. Thus, the concept has become counter productive.
In regards to those employees removed by Rank and Yank, more then likely new employers look at them as a liability not a potential value. Once you have been “Yanked” you are viewed as a sub performer and thus only fit to go into a new profession. Thus why new college hires with no experience, or foreign workers with dubious credentials, get more favored treatment by hiring managers. The end result being this wonderful shortage of tech personnel constantly talked about, even as the number of early-retired engineers continues to grow.
When Rank and Yank begins, yes it can be a good way to clean out some dead wood in various groups within a company. But continuous use of it and its required removal of the lower 10% eventually means the removal of people who were doing well a few years before: their performance hasn’t changed, they were just now the lowest person on the totem pole. That being said, once they are removed they are then viewed as an under performer by HR managers and thus politely rejected for open positions in favor of the new college hire and foreign workers with no history. The rise of the pre-employment tests, now given to determine the potential future performance of new hires, mirrors the Rank and Yank system within the companies and serves only to insure that there are no “Qualified Applicants” for the positions.
Given how long this has been going on its not surprising that companies like Microsoft and now Jeff Bezos’s Amazon are trying to change (key word- Trying). The recession of 2008 masked the negative features of the system as companies downsized. But the economic growth of the last four years has been notably slow, all reported to be due to a lack of trained people. Since Rank and Yank requires reduction, it insures the companies cannot grow. And its obvious, once the system starts it seems impossible to shutdown.
The election of Donald Trump suddenly made a minor Website dedicated to the secession of California into something more media prominent. Originally, this site was for Ultra Libs who didn't feel even Hillary Clinton was left enough for them and thus it was time for California to leave the Union. Of course now people are suggesting that California would take Oregon and Washington with them and make a new West Coast nation. The number of people both viewing this site and even joining is a superb example of how, as Michael Savage states, Liberalism is a mental disorder.
First, they seem to miss the fact that such an action would leave the United States with no west Coast Ports. Oh, they would allow commerce through, as long as the items met their strict environmental standards. This being said I am reminded of how often the port of New Orleans was closed by Spanish officials to American Commerce until the Louisiana purchase. One disagreement between the new government and Washington and you could expect port access to be rescinded. And the Billions of dollars in losses to East Coast Liberal Millionaires and Billionaires would be heard all the way to Europe.
Again, regarding Port access, the US Navy would literally be incapable of operating in the Pacific without Puget Sound or Coronado. And I suspect the leaving of the union would also prompt a pacifist push by the Ultra Libs to remove the few remaining military bases on the West Coast. This would make extremely difficult our supporting of our Pacific allies- Japan and Australia- as well as the defense of California, Oregon and Washington. I would expect within months following a required US military pull-out military forces from Russia, China and even Mexico would enter the State. What would be there to stop them, the San Jose Police Department? Even the Cal Guard exists only because of the support of the United States government. All the weapons would have to be returned to the United States, the actual owner. And California's own Assault Weapon law has provisions to prohibit the State from raising secondary troops: out-side of the fact they would have no arms to give them because of the quarter century prohibition.
I particularly like the remarks of how the United States would collapse if California left since they had all the tech people. Most engineers I know are getting ready to leave California because the companies were leaving to avoid the high taxes and general costs of the State. The West Coast may be the center for Software manufacture (if you can call it that), but the making of physical items is mostly done out of State. Even Big Bad Boeing has threatened to move all its engineering off shore and has farmed production of key components to Japan and Europe. I doubt a secession would make them want to bring the work back, or slow down the present rate of withdraw.
Finally, The movements backers (mostly Software types) seem to forget that there are a number of conservatives in California and more then a few Democrats who would not want to leave the United States and US Citizenship. 3 million Californians voted for Trump, one third of the votes cast. Even if the total number of conservatives was 6 million, that would be 20% of the population. I doubt California would find such a loss of people a blessing. They would bring with them all their skills and knowledge and start new companies to fill the gap caused by the California exit. Copyrights would only be valid if they were international.
In short, outside of the general legality of leaving the Union, West Coasters would more then likely find themselves without jobs, without property, and living under either foreign occupation, or United States protection.
James N. Gibson
Published Author, Degreed Engineer and amateur Military Historian.