I recently read an article with an interesting article: "How corporate America can win over angry voters". I thought, "Hmm, this might be interesting."
The basic takeaway I got was that corporate America was not telling their story very well.
Story? I don't think a story is going to cut it with angry voters. After at least 30 years of stories about the wonders of globalization with the concomitant result of layoffs, offshoring and wage stagnation, more spin is not going to sway these angry voters. If businesses are job creators and provide prosperity, then they are going to have to prove it by producing the deliverables: jobs with good paying wages. They've been sprinkling pixie dust for 30 years; now they have to deliver.
I saw the video of the interview with Accenture's North American CEO that went along with the article and it was the same tired refrain for improving the economy:
- Tax reform - another way of saying cut taxes. Uh, we had the Bush tax cuts and they didn't create more jobs.
- Less regulations - Um, it was the deregulation that brought on the economic crash called the Great Recession. We also had the massive failure of fraud during the early part of 2000's. Businesses, especially banks, have proven that regulation is necessary. Besides, during the era of broad prosperity, I believe we had more regulations.
- Focus on digital - especially in having digital literacy as a requirement in grade schools and high schools.
The interviewer noticed that Accenture had hired 90,000 Millennials last year and thought it was curious because big corporations are having a hard time hiring the Millennials. Both the interviewer and the Accenture CEO spoke about the possible reason: perception that corporate jobs are stifling with limited upside growth. The CEO mentioned that Millennials should be job searching with the large companies because that's where the job growths are.
Okay, a few things: First, the job engines are found in the small and mid-sized companies, which is exactly where the Millennials are searching. Second, you have to look at history: large companies have been doing massive layoffs or offshoring (all in the name of shareholder value) for the last 30 years. The recent history since the Great Recession is just replete with layoffs by large companies, so of course, the Millennials are turned off by large companies. You didn't hire them when they needed jobs; now you want them but they are not beating down your doors. They just don't trust you. You have to earn their trust.
Just like you are going to have to prove to the angry voters you can deliver on your promises of good jobs with good wages. The magic of the pixie dust is gone.
Here's an article that provides a hint of what is going on in America: "Feeling Let Down and Left Behind with Little Hope for Better".
The key thing to note is how these folks see no way out.
"I don't think he's (Trump) is going to be worse than anybody else up there...If nothing else, he'd be somewhat more interesting to watch things unfold under."
When folks are in pain and see no way out, they don't care who runs or how the country is run as long as they can have enough money to be able to live. These folks sound like they are approaching that stage.
This election cycle should be a wake up call for corporate America. So no matter how this election turns out, if things don't improve for the general folks by 2020, the next election will be uglier. The American people may even elect someone that ruins capitalism.
Corporate America...are you listening? Please no more spin. Just deliver the goods.