The old movie line, “Stop me before I kill again,” comes to mind. In this case, however, it’s “Stop me before I kill myself.”
PandoDaily has uncovered a wide-ranging scandal among tech giants. It’s basically an illegal scheme to limit wages by agreeing not to lure employees away from each other with the promise of higher salaries (see also this link).
How many companies are involved? At first, there were just a few. But Pando has found evidence that many giants are in on the scheme, and “all told, the combined workforces of the companies involved totals well over a million employees.”
The companies are Google, Apple, Microsoft, Pixar, Intuit, Lucasfilm, IBM, Dell, eBay, Comcast, Clear Channel, Dreamworks, Adobe, Genentech. That’s quite a list.
Obviously, these corporations fear dents in their bottom lines. Prior to wage-fixing agreements, they were engaged in escalating bidding wars to grab employees from each other.
“They’re only paying you X over there? We’ll offer you X plus 100!”
Well, whose fault is that? Who created the problem in the first place? The companies themselves did, through their willingness to pay wild amounts of money to prospective talent.
It was nobody’s fault but their own.
You see the same problem in pro sports. The NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball. Bidding wars for players. Salaries through the roof.
So the team owners agree to various wage-fixing schemes, including paying fines, “luxury taxes,” for excessive payrolls.
Television networks have gotten into the act, too. In their competition to sign contracts to broadcast the games, they’re paying out billions of dollars to these sports leagues.
Therefore, the networks have to turn around and charge outlandish prices to corporations who want to advertise during the games. Some of these corporations are now opting out of sponsorship. They can’t afford it.
For those who can, for example, cough up $4 million for a single 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, there is yet another level of insane competition: Who produced the most creative commercial?
Yes, there are postgame rankings of these ads published every year. In a final irony, Communicas has published a study showing that only one out of five Super Bowl ads results in the sale of a product.
It’s apparently the “creativity” of the ad that makes the TV viewer fail to associate the ad with the brand name of the sponsor. Beautiful.
Escalating greed eventually has consequences.
Meanwhile, a McDonald’s tries to figure out how little it can pay its employees and keep them alive enough to show up for work.
Selling a trillion toxic burgers a day doesn’t quite result in sufficient profits.
I don’t want to get into the pharmaceutical cartel, because I’ll be here all day. But as I recently wrote, Gilead Sciences’ new blockbuster-selling drug, Sovaldi, costs $84,000 for a 12-week treatment. That’s $1,000 a pill.
Sovaldi treats hepatitis C. The late ABC News reporter Nick Regush, one of the last true mainstream investigative medical reporters in America, offered evidence that the virus “causing” hepatitis C was a complete fake. It had never been isolated and identified as existing at all.
Regush challenged researchers to a public debate. No one took him up on it.
A thousand dollars a pill to kill a virus that doesn’t exist. Now, that’s a business strategy for the ages.