One offer vs. Two

Yesterday, I wrote a similarly titled post (click here to read it) for those who may be unhappy with their current job situation. The idea was to point out that there are always options and seeing them gives you negotiating power. Today, I’m flipping it around to help you understand the national, economic, political and media landscape.

At huge scale, companies like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Target employ enormous workforces. With so many bodies to be hired, there is always someone who will do work for rock bottom prices. Inversely to the worker seeking better pay in yesterday’s post, if these companies have multiple people who will take an offer, they can keep pay low, or even lower it. These companies are seeking the same thing people are, multiple offers, but their goal is the opposite in keeping costs low.

In order to achieve these ends, they must keep peoples’ interests separated. They must keep people competing against each other for the jobs, rather than uniting together as general labor. If the labor force becomes united, then the offer for these large companies become singular and the labor has all the negotiating power. Like the job seeker with no prospects and one offer, there isn’t much choice.

In order to keep this going there must be messaging of individualism. In order to keep this going there must be division amongst nations. In order to keep this going there must be division amongst any number of political lines. With the power of the internet and modern media, it’s relatively easy to keep all of these divisions in place, especially with the amount of money on the line. With the power of the internet, it became more necessary to stoke these divisions as national borders stopped acting as a barrier to communication. People from all countries starting talking to each other online and could easily understand that “humans over there” were just like “humans over here.”

We can look back to history at this. It’s where all the talk of “States’ Rights” and the Civil War came from. If some states could maintain the right to own slaves, then no big deal, all operations involving slavery could be moved to those states, that kept multiple offers on the table. If the entire country outlawed slavery, there was nothing left for those people who owned them in this country to do. They had one offer and no leverage any longer. This backed a considerable amount of them into a corner. We fought an atrocious war as a result.

Yesterday, I mused “Two offers isn’t just twice as many as one, it’s something entirely different.” That’s true for these companies as well. Everything about the operations of these types of companies hinges on the ability to negotiate with many people for a single job. Once that goes away their costs go up. Once their costs go up, they are competing with the local store on even footing again. Once their employees salaries go up they gain breathing room and savings, which gives them more leverage for even further future increases because they have more options again when missing a few paychecks doesn’t mean missing meals or rent.

If you want to understand why there seems to be a “dark other side” to the world, and attribute significant malice to groups of people, understand that there is a return-on-investment to multi-national executives and politicians in making you and others believe this way. The divide keeps multiple offers on the table for all sorts of conversations: employee pay, corporate tax rates, regulations, and more.

When the division stops, so does the power dynamic. The next time you see outrageous headlines. The next time you see an angry message. The next time you see someone stoking division, understand not only should it be ignored, but by doing so you are literally taking power back for both yourself and others, rather than giving ever more of it to large multi-national conglomerates and politicians.

Once you see this, and you combine it with yesterday’s post. There is an opportunity for everyone. Increase the competition. If you don’t like the pay people receive at Amazon, start a small local or niche competitor with a group of others who Amazon also would have hired. Then you create multiple offers for the people they would be hiring and bring your own alternate option into the world. The world needs organizers (Click here to read more) now more than ever.

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