Nikki Haley’s is lucky this didn’t break a day earlier. It would have taken some of the shine off her State of the State address…
#BREAKING: Bose Corporation shutting down plant in Blythewood. More details to follow
— News 19 WLTX (@WLTX) January 22, 2015
To be clear: Nikki has every right to tout ecodevo successes; I said as much to Bobby Hitt when I ran into him just the other day. (I didn’t mention his boss specifically; I just alluded to all the success they’ve been having).
I’m just saying that it’s a good thing for her speech last night that this bad news wasn’t ringing in people’s ears at the time.
There will always be bad news mixed amid the good, even if our economic development strategy is perfect…
I’m guessing that iPods and iPhones, and satellite and internet radio have rendered a lot of Bose’s product line moribund.
It’s too bad. Those were good jobs.
Bingo! If I can buy a bluetooth speaker that sounds 80% as good as a Bose at 20% of the price, why wouldn’t I? Bose had a niche and lost it.
This is just the business cycle. Adapt or die.
It’s one thing to say that about companies.
It’s another to say that about people who just lost their jobs.
You know, Doug, some people are not gifted with creativity, or the ability to see the next trend coming, or the even rarer ability to see the way to monetize that trend.
Some people have only their honest labor to offer. And they work hard, in good faith, until it is all yanked out from under them.
Yes, it’s a shame everything just can’t stay the same and never change. I should have stuck with programming my Radio Shack TRS-80 computer back in 1978. Why would anyone need anything better than that?
The company I worked for from 1978 to 1995 went from 140,000 employees to nothing in the span of a dozen years. Why? Markets changed and the company didn’t respond. In fact, they ignored the realities of the market.
Companies don’t disappear overnight. There are usually YEARS of downward trends that should be warning signs. The news release on the closing has two facts:
“The Bose plant previously laid off 200 employees back in 2012.”
Red flag. Two years ago. How many employees saw that and sign and left? How many ignored it and spent the past two years just hanging on?
“The company says it will will move some of the operations currently performed in South Carolina to facilities in Arizona and Mexico.”
If you want a global economy, you can’t complain when jobs that don’t require any special skills go to places where labor is cheaper.
That’s why we need a social safety net.
I was just reflecting on how, when I started practicing law in 1984 in a so-called silk-stocking law firm, things had been the same for decades—just practice law and send out the bills, working fairly reasonable hours, and you will be set for life. Then, bam: competition hit and mergers and young Turk law firms, and people willing to work 80+ hours every week in exchange for ridiculous amounts of money, and …. My dad worked for Savannah River Site, as it is now called, his entire career. He carpooled everyday. Zero overtime. Made a great living.
Times have changed. Income inequality keeps getting greater as the Gospel of Reaganomics and the Church of Unfettered Capitalism take over.
I believe some heavy-duty wealth transfers are in order.
Here’s a piece from The State with more details about the Bose closing.