Monday, April 18, 2016

Macro-economic Monday.

If you want to read about what's really going on in our industry--not the trade press' silly obsession with comings and goings and awards for fake clients and fake ads--you'd be well-served by reading today's op-ed by Nobel Prize-winning columnist, Paul Krugman.

The article is a macro-economic view of what's happening in our world. You can read the article here.

Krugman writes about what happens when monopolies or oligarchies take control of an industry or a segment of the economy. In the case of Verizon there is "no need to spend money on providing better service...." Monopolies, like Verizon, can raise profit at the expense of wages. Investments in plants, equipment and technology are stagnant.

It's not hard, for me anyway, to make a leap from how Verizon acts as one of the three or four broadband providers to how the four holding companies act in our industry.

Last I heard, the four holding companies controlled something like 70% of the advertising jobs in New York. The salaries of the monopolists at the top of those holding companies are routinely $20 million and up. While salaries in general--at least from my personal experience--have sustained downward pressure for more than a decade

In other words, the chieftains are profiting at the expense of wages.

As for investments in plants, equipment and technology being stagnant, in advertising, people are your main capital outlay. And investment in us, in people, has been, again in my opinion, negligible.

In short, Krugman says, we are living in a second robber baron era. Power is concentrated in the hands of the few. Rather than invest--in people, plants or progress--these few deposit those profits in their pockets. Leaving the rest of us worse off.

No wonder why, at every turn, we feel squeezed, used and used up.

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