Downsizing


Downsizing has both positive and negative aspects. In most cases I believe that the business benefits most. When downsizing occurs a company is able to cut costs and reorganize, in essence becoming more efficient. This newfound efficiency in the long run benefits everyone because companies are able to provide quality products at lower prices due to lowered production expenses.


Certainly the employees who are dismissed in the process of downsizing do not immediately (if ever) benefit from the process. Having your employer view you as expendable is a tough blow to take, both to the ego and to the pocketbook. Being laid off as a result of downsizing can have its benefits, however. I always try to view things from an optimistic perspective. A door closing can be sign that a person should look in another direction, because most likely another opportunity is awaiting.


This is not always the case, as we saw in the events that occurred in conjunction with GM’s off-shoring jobs from Flint, Michigan to Mexico. People in Flint were left with seemingly no options toward which to turn. The decision to downsize would be an extremely difficult one. Circumstances surrounding the company would be vital considerations, as downsizing should not be taken lightly. Many people are affected, and proper steps should be taken to ensure as seamless of a transition as possible. I agree with points brought up in chapter three of The Heroic Enterprise, one being that services should be provided to newly unemployed people to help them stay on their feet. Morale of remaining employees must also be maintained, providing assistance with what could possibly be additional workloads and responsibilities due to the department downsizing.


Private business can and does have a role in public education. It is definitely in the best interest of private companies to get involved with school systems, as this will provide better qualified human capital for them in the future. If people get the education and training they need while in school, companies will have less training to worry about (and pay for themselves) in the future.


Private schools must obtain their own funding since it is not provided by the state, as in the case of public schools. It does not make sense, however, for companies to only contribute to these private sectors. Only focusing on private schools severely limits the potential labor pool that will exist when these children grow into working (at least hopefully working) adults. We know there is a great discrepancy between the educations provided to students in most private schools, versus those in public school. As we saw in the PBS special about Ohio public schools, however, there are also drastic differences between public schools.


These extremes need to be lessened. It would not be appropriate to take away from those children who are exposed to great possibilities, great tools and a plethora of available activities in their school environments. There must be something done to bring the bottom level schools up to par, though. Children in poor schools, exposed to decrepit buildings and measly materials are being shorted in terms of their education. This in term has a detrimental effect on their future possibilities. Children who begin with great potential learn that they are not valued enough to be well educated in poor school systems.


The big question here is funding. In most cases the dollars spent per pupil in suburban schools are much greater than the spending per pupil in inner city or rural schools. The American way implies that all people are created equal, so how can this be? Why does one child deserve less than another because of where they live? The answer is that they do not, that all children deserve the same treatment and opportunities. Unfortunately, making policy to solve this problem seems to be a difficult task.


One final issue raises questions in my mind as well. What do we do when spending is increased and the results still do not follow? This may be the case in looking at Columbus public schools. Funding has been increased and graduation rates are still much lower than desired. The problem may be bigger than funding. Money in education is extremely