Diller to profitable companies: Lay off the layoffs

December 4, 2008

IAC Chief Executive Barry Diller took several groups to task at the Reuters Media Summit, but he reserved special disgust for CEOs at profitable companies who add to the country’s rising unemployment rate.

Also targeted by the former Hollywood executive were “incredibly, shockingly stupid” Big 3 auto executives, the Internet’s strange and growing dictionary, and Hollywood’s lack of creativity.

Diller said companies had a higher obligation, especially in tough times like these:

“The idea of a company that’s earning money, not losing money, that’s not, let’s say ‘industrially endangered,’ to have just cutbacks so they can earn another $12 million or $20 million or $40 million in a year where no one’s counting is really a horrible act when you think about it on every level. First of all, it’s certainly not necessary. It’s doing it at the worst time. It’s throwing people out to a larger, what is inevitably a larger unemployment heap for frankly no good reason.”

A few seconds later, he added:

“It’s not that you don’t want to earn as much money as you can — it is your obligation, of course — but companies have obligations beyond that and they certainly have obligations beyond that at certain times, in the times in which they operate. And they also certainly ought to know that meeting and beating expectations is probably yesterday’s game and it will be increasingly so, which would be by the way very healthy for companies. Running a company that meets and beats expectations, and that runs their company accordingly, are companies that I would question why anyone would invest in.”

Diller was equally confounded by the top three U.S. auto executives, who recently were criticized for separately flying corporate jets to Washington before hearings to request a $25 billion taxpayer bailout.

“It’s incredibly, shockingly stupid if you’re going, when you think about it. On that count alone I wouldn’t give them any money. And not because of any reason other than why would I give money to someone so dumb to go to Washington to ask for money and fly in a Gulfstream. You’d say, ‘You’re not qualified. Unless you leave, I’m not giving you money.’”

Other topics:

* When discussing social networking: “Think of the bimbo words this Internet has created: portal, social network; I could riff on …. networking, horrible word too.”

* Hollywood: “Margins used to be very good in the movie business. They’re now, what, 4, 5 percent in a decent year, so where’s the joy in that? Is there really a joy in ‘Superman 17′ or “Iron Man 2′?”

* Movie studio executives: “‘Mogul’ is yesterday. It just doesn’t apply. You use the word ‘mogul’ and what you do is conjure up the fantasy, the memory of when there were actual movie moguls who made their decisions, believed in what they did, were outsized personalities. There’s no outsized personalities in the movie business anymore.”

* Indiscriminate spending: “There is a reluctance, even with people who have vast resources. Right now, it just isn’t the order; it isn’t the day. You’re not going to see a birthday party for three million bucks. I don’t care how many billions you have or paying Mick Jagger $3 million to come and sing for your birthday. I notice this with my friend. I just notice this as a condition of this period.”

To hear the always entertaining Diller riff, go ahead and click on the links…

(Photo: Reuters)

63 comments

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Mr. Diller,

Corporations have “herd” mentality. Thanks for attempting to steer the mindless away from this knee jerk response to economic stress.

You’re my new hero. Maybe Lou Dobbs should interview you …

Mr. Diller will never be CEO of a large corporation. Unneccessary staff ultimately will cause a company’s downfall. It is better to trim a few workers from payroll here and there than to take the whole company under and cause everyone to lose their jobs.

Barry Diller as well as Ted Turner are not afraid to say what is on their minds. I also admire what Mr. Diller has accomplished in the past 50 years. His legacy is well deserved.

It surely would be wonderful if there were 30 or 50 more honest and brave heavyweights who took their own stand and told these greedy syncophant CEOs and senior management in the banking, automotive, airlines, and telecommunication industries (among many others) to treat their fellow Americans like human beings.

After all, many of these business sectors have outsourced millions and millions of jobs overseas and now we’re all getting bit in the behind with the jaws of a possible depression for not supporting our stellar workforce in the backyard.

Come on, there have got to be a few more brave souls who’ll point out those supercilious ‘Emperor’s New Clothes” glad-handers standing in line for their holiday bonuses to the tune of billions of taxpayer ‘bailout’ dollars going in one hand, whilst they hand out hundreds of thousands of pink slips just before the 2008 holidays.

As for Hollywood, pardon me, hollywood, because it doesn’t deserve a CAPITAL H, which stands for heart, hasn’t exhibited any passion from the executive level to risk creative ventures which may inspire and rejoice in the artistic capabilities found in every being on this earth. Maybe the people ruling hollywood should spend an afternoon staring at Norman Rockwell paintings to get re-introduced with their inner child.

The Grinch isn’t stealing Christmas, but with exemplary souls like Diller speaking out, we’re getting a pretty good idea who is!

Posted by Tom Amick | Report as abusive

I don’t think it would take an economic downturn for Mr. Diller to decide to lay off/ fire one who is not performing. He would have done that already. He’s referring to something else – the cutting back of employees to show the stockholders that some action – no matter how mindless – is being taken. As if that will compensate for an economic downturn. NOT.

Permit me to be more succint: surely layoffs are not a perscription for a faltering ecomomy. Can’t we be more creative?

Mr Diller does have a semi noble idea for a company to retain as many workers as possible during tough economic times, but he makes rash assumptions if a company fails to keep employees. Companies are in business to make money not give it away. If the economy is slowing then layoffs may be the responsible business decision. It would be unique if a company could plan for such situations during profitable times, but that has not been a goal of the hippie generation. It has been the selfish decisions of the 60s crowd that has caused many of todays problems and will continue to cause them until they are no longer in power.

Posted by mike (palin 2012) | Report as abusive

Too late big Ken.

Barry Diller has created from nothing every position he has ever had starting in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. He started FOX Broadcasting Company, the USA Cable Network, was CEO of Paramount, Purchased QVC in “95”, owned or still does Expedia.com, Ticket Master, Lending Tree, Home Shopping Network and on and on.

Naw, he’ll never be the CEO of a large corporation. Good Gawd Man, Diller is the most enterprising Democrat I know of. And he is cross hair perfect on this subject.

Wes

Posted by Wes | Report as abusive

He’s right.

Posted by Heidi C | Report as abusive

Ken, Barry Diller is already a successful CEO of a major corporation! Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp and the media executive responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting.

Posted by Kenneth | Report as abusive

so profitable companies should do the exact opposite of what made them profitable? Yea, that is the path to prosperity.

Posted by stephen | Report as abusive

Do not blame it in on the 60s crowd … this country has never operated with more than a 90 to 180 day plan. It started with the Industrial Age, the age of stockholders.

I do not think Mr. Diller has being noble on his mind. He is saying try something else. So do I. The onus is on business to do business better. Business should be better able to figure it out than the government. And layoffs falls into the category of trying to look busy.

I had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting Mr. Diller once. I have never been so eager and terrified to meet the head of a company I was working for as a contractor. He could cut thru red tape like a knife and still be polite. He could also throw things like a baseball pitcher. The one thing he did was to make a profitable company even more so. Like he has with many others.

We should have more industry leaders like Barry.

Posted by Chas | Report as abusive

Dillar sounds like a man crying for Mama.

Posted by Patti O'Riley | Report as abusive

To all the free markets: Don’t be morons. Think and listen to what he is saying. He’s not recommending companies damage themselves by not cutting costs. He’s saying don’t be a sheep and follow the herd just to make it look as if you’re doing something. We’ve already seen this happen. Companies that are very healthy announced large cuts just to try and please market analysts. If you’re making $2.50 a share and your business is stable you should not be laying off people. Also, the market loves to tout the world economy. Well, it time to think about the economy as a whole. The more companies cut the more they do damage to their own business. Many of these companies will ultimately slit their own throats by slashing spending irrationally, further contributing to the eroding economy. In someways it probably doesn’t matter. We’re seeing what Greenspan’s “Service Economy” has left us with. Nothing but a hollow shell covered in worthless paper.

Posted by Velvet Jones | Report as abusive

Barry Diller in the 80′s said that Fox did not want to be the best independent stations. He said that they wanted to be the no. 1 network. Perhaps it has come to pass. If it hasn’t it surely will. For that alone I admire the man’s talent and desire to make everything he touches a winner.

Posted by rick | Report as abusive

Barry Diller is a business genius. Every decade he creates a new product that transform entertainment. In the 70′s it was the movie of the week. The 80′s he created FOX network with Rupert, in the 90′s it was home shopping network. In the new millennium he was the force behind the internet. He would never have this success if he hadn’t studied the great DVD Presidential Debates Gone Wild. See it for yourself at http://www.PresidentialDebatesGoneWild.c om It should be studied in every high school history class

Posted by jason king | Report as abusive

Barry Diller is an overbloated Hollywood type that could never manage a real company or employ anybody. He should mind his own business and stay in H Land where he belongs.

Posted by Pete | Report as abusive

“Bimbo words”? The man is a moron.

He is also laughably ignorant of history. The novel idea of 1930 was that businesses shouldn’t fire workers; this way the recession would be “painless”. Hoover compelled industrial leaders to maintain their workforces – many, like Henry Ford, thought this was a grand idea – and consequently, when the layoffs came in ’31 and ’32, they hit that much harder.

And it’s especially odd that Diller turns around and condemns the Big 3, when they more than any other industry have followed his mantra of sacrificing profitability in order to cushion the workers.

Disgusting in every conceivable way.

Posted by Costard | Report as abusive

Sure Pete. I’m sure you’ve done much better than Barry Diller ever could. That’s why we’re reading and commenting about what you said, and not Barry. Pete! Pete! Pete!

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

At last, a Human Being.
Thank you Barry Diller.
You speak the truth.

Posted by Yes He Can | Report as abusive

I totally agree with this post. At a time when the country is in a major economic shift, the “busines as usual” mantra is out of touch. Profits are great but not at the expense of people.

I was recently laid off so that my former company could make extra money. They were purchased by a private equity firm who then sent 100 jobs to India to a company also owned by the private equity firm. I trained 4 people to take my position, 2 of whom failed and 2 who remained with a 33% success rate. And what does this company do? It deals with health insurance companies – now your health insurance information, which is supposedly protected by HIPAA, is sitting on computers in India, where it is no longer protected. Not only did this company contribute to the rising unemployment rate – with threats of laying off even more – but it then sent your private health information someplace where it cannot be protected. It’s time that corporations start taking care of the people in the country where they are based. When Americans are laid off, it affects everybody and will eventually affect even those corporations who performed the layoffs in the first place.

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

Dillar’s a giant. He’s also right. If you fire enough people there won’t be anyone left to buy anything from anyone, including you. If that’s what you ankle biting fleas want, be careful. You just might get it.

At least Dillar and Ted Turner have spoken up recently with a modicum of understanding based on being personally at the helm of huge balance sheets. So you loudmouths that think you can knock him off the pedestal with a bog comment should just go back to praying to your porcelain gods instead of puking your lack of knowledge here.

Posted by Hunter Gatherer | Report as abusive

Right on Mr. Diller! All profitable companies are doing when they lay off people is reducing the potential customer base for their own services and products. They add to a weakening economy that will just stress their own company. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by kenth | Report as abusive

I once read that “corporations are created to make
money. Any consideration that they will act with a
conscience is illusory”. With very limited exceptions
I have always thought that the writer was correct. He
could have gone one step further and spoke to the burgeoning power of government, where the game is power
and enlarging personal fiefdoms at public expense, while disregarding the desires of the nations citizenry. I want to see all of those who knowingly contributed to this meltdown, some who have been placed in Obama’s cabinet, particularly his chief of staff, along with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, in for 20 to 30 years hard time. We need to “discourage the others” who eventually want to follow their meretricious examples in the future.

Posted by John L | Report as abusive

Barry Diller is one of the most overpaid CEOs in America. He is looting the company. He deserves no respect.

Posted by William Combs | Report as abusive

If any company listens to Diller and fails to prepare for the hard times to come they are fools. You don’t wait to lay off employees until you are in the position that GM finds itself in. The time to layoff employees is BEFORE you need a bailout to survive. Layoffs are tied to future expectations. Obama has promised to raise taxes on businesses and on the individuals that rune them (the wealthy). It would be foolish not to take Mr. Obama at his word and prepare now for the inevitiblly more difficult business climate to come under his administration.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

“Profits are great but not at the expense of people.”

Yes, they should ignore profits at the expense of people because such a thing has worked out so well for the Big 3 automakers, lol. I mean, they can always go to Capital Hill and beg for money when the going gets tough. Better to screw the entire country than to cut a few jobs.

The private jet is a red herring. Since he’s easily distracted by the irrelevant, Mr. Diller should have a bright future in politics, as he’s clearly qualified for it.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

Mr. Diller can go ahead and choose to invest in companies that don’t meet or beat expectations if he has a problem with it, but smart investing it is not. For my money, I’ll invest in a company that turns a profit and makes wise business decisions – it’s what they’re supposed to do, after all. This is pure drivel from Mr. Diller. Businesses don’t exist to keep you employed, they exist to make money. If your employer doesn’t make a profit, you’re not likely to have a job for long anyway.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

I suppose Mr. Diller wants us to all go invest in losing companies so we can be good citizens. I’m sure that’ll work out — not! Talk about being stuck in the past… Today most employees own a share of those terrible profits corporations are making — through pensions, 401k plans, and stock options. If our companies don’t make a large profit they are screwing us.

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

I disagree with Diller. Companies need to preserve as much cash as possible so they can stay in business and keep the 90% who work at the company employed. They could also use the extra cash to buy up other companies and resources on the cheap right now.

Those jobs are the companies, not the workers. You hire people because you make more money with them on staff. You fire for the same reason.

It is unreasonable to expect people and companies to not do what is best for themselves. We are an economy of individuals doing what is best for ourselves – anything else is communism.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

Ann Rand anyone?

Posted by Coby | Report as abusive

“There’s no outsized personalities in the movie business anymore.”

Yeah right!!

Businesses do what they must to survive. They are in business to provide products or services, not to create and keep jobs. If you want to create jobs – start your own business.

Posted by GRA | Report as abusive

This is the rant of a typical Hollywood airhead. If Hollywood has all of the answers, why are their profit margins slipping so badly? If Diller wants cuddly compassion, he should buy a puppy.

Posted by Patrick C. | Report as abusive

I am puzzled. Just exactly who do you blame for a company being amoral? Is there some lady named Chrysler that I can knock on their door and appeal to their sense of humanity? Corporations exist for one purpose to separate their “owners” from all of the liabilities of owning a business. The sixteenth amendment to the constitution was sold to the American people as a way to limit corporate privilege and wealth. What we have here is a failure of the government’s social experiment on the American people. In a perfect world communism is a perfect idea. In the real world it is insanity. What the government has given us with Corporate America could be just as aberrant.

Posted by Deborah Gold | Report as abusive

Is this guy serious? “If you are not on the brink of going out of business, then continue to expose yourself to the market and to the coming tax storm.” So I am to risk everyone’s job later in order to save a few now. No thank you…

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

As a conservative Republican, I agree 100% with Diller.

I just read that AT&T is going to lay off 12,000 people and I’m wondering if this is one of the companies that Diller is concerned about. They’ve sold millions of iPhones which means they’ve got a steady stream of income for the next 2 two 3 years.

Posted by So_Cal_Mark | Report as abusive

Typical Hollywood twit. A company’s principal obligation is to it’s owners. Since most Americans have some type of retirement account or insurance, that’s YOU. If your company was selling one amount of something last year and needed x number of employees to do it, that’s how many they have in a well=run shop. If you are selling half as much, keeping all the employees will mean you are paying half to do nothing. Keep that up for a while and you have GM. I would be curious how many people Diller kept on the payroll to do nothing because “it was the right thing to do.” Maybe a dumb brother-in-law.

Posted by old grouch | Report as abusive

All of the whiners on this thread, complaining about their employers doing this and that: get your rear ends in gear, and start your own company. IF you can make a success of it (highly doubtful), then repost here in a few months and tell us about all the great things you are doing for your employees because you have “extra money.”

What a load!

Posted by Curmudgeon10 | Report as abusive

It is too bad about Berry Diller’s brain rot. The entertainment industtry spend billions making really bad shows that entertain who? No one wants to see most of the new shows that the television industry puts on, There have always been flops made and no producer has ever been able to be absolutely sure the parts of a show are really coming together. Hollywood has gotten much worse lately at promoting producers with better hits to flop ratios. I think that this is becouse the have social structure has become so dependent on being politically correct that they can not hear when the audiance is booing. Mr Diller, we are booing your product! We were also booing back when you made entertainment.

All one has to look at is the oil markets. Did it make sense for oil to be at $147/barrel this past summer? Yes, if you believe in killing the goose that lays the egg (i.e., Consumer spending, especially in America). Yes, Americans are in over our heads with debt. Yes, corporations need to maximize profits. Yes, Yes, Yes. What we’re seeing though is the downside of short term thinking. OPEC/Super Majors/entire oil ecosystem/politicians/Hedge Funds all bought and told bunch of lies to prop up $147/barrel story. Hurricanes? India? China? War on Terrorism? All used to justify jacking up oil to unsustainable rates.

Communism and Socialism are not the long or mid term answers. History has proven this. Free enterprise and Capitalism will win the day. BUT – in times like these, government needs to step up and regulate these markets.

Diller himself has contributed to past hypes (ask.com on part with Google? Please!). But he is right – in current GLOBAL craziness, long term thinkers will reap what they sow. And what we need right now is Long Term Leadership and stability – not short term thinking so that stock price goes up $.10.

Posted by Texas Horns | Report as abusive

I believe that he is not talking about those about to go out of business, he is talking about corporate responsibility. Corporations have more responsibility other than to their stockholders. Barry is right on and I am proud to call him the Chairman of our corporation.

Posted by Don Dureau | Report as abusive

IN addition, most of the comments that are bashing Barry Diller are from those who were not on this earth when corporations knew they had a responsibility to more than just their stockholders. There was a time when corporations died after a certain number of years, unless they had the approval of the citizen representatives of that state to continue. Maybe we need to return them to that kind of reponsibility.

Posted by Don Dureau | Report as abusive

If you lay off employees now it’s a red flag that your business is failing or will soon in the future.
It’s not worth firing 10 employees to have a drop in the stock of your company.

Posted by hal halop | Report as abusive

Barry the communist! Companies have an obligation to their stock holders or their owners. They are the ones who risked their money and time to start and keep the company running.

Employees are along for the ride. It is in their best interest to make the company profitable. If it is not it means cuts must be made.

Remember, these are the people Obama promised to tax into oblivian. These are the rich Obama and the Democrats hate so much. These are the people who can afford to pay more to our socialist government. THIS WON’T AFFECT YOU MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS, THE messiah SAID SO.

Now they are cutting your jobs all you Obama nit witts. Just wait until the socialists increase their taxes. DON’T WORRY, THE messiah SAID IT WON’T EFFECT THE MIDDLE CLASS. Welcome to Amerika!

Posted by Bob A | Report as abusive

Diller is right on. Certainly, a struggling company needs to make adjustments in its workforce as needed to fit demand. However, he is talking about layoffs as an easy short term solution to artificially inflate profits in an already profitable company so the fat cats in the board room can continue to increase their already ridiculously inflated salaries, pay themselves 6 figure bonuses, and throw themselves big parties in exotic locals that they fly to in their private jets. Corporate crooks are driving our economy into the ditch and our government is bailing them out. Wake up people.

Posted by Jeff W | Report as abusive

I think Diller makes some fine points, in particular that many companies are showing very little imagination and that “laying off” people is way to “pretend” to manage a business in hard times. So much so that Cathie Black, President of Hearst Magazine, recently told a group of industry peers, “We had to lay people off in the last few months, and that’s OK.” “That’s OK,” to my mind an off-the-cuff comment like that reveals a real failure of leadership.

Posted by RWordplay | Report as abusive

Where was this idiot for the last 15 years when the globalist swine exported every job they could to the third world or today when the conservative politicians daily agenda is to eliminate american workers jobs and praise the socialiized workers of the communist orient. Good luck asking the hollow men of wall street safely handed their bailout without question or hearings to accept a 90% profit rather then the 99% they have with their slave labor,,these types have no nationalism only devotion to their euros safly in their overseas banks

Posted by mcnertny | Report as abusive

diller speaks for me for shure. he’s not like the babbling idiots who call themselves experts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch…

goldieshouse.piczo.com

Companies don’t care about people only profits. If the CEO made 20 million $$ last year what’s makes you think they would take anything less this year. The real sad part about it is if the CEO does a lousey job he still gets big $$$, were as an employee gets canned. You think Congress and Senators care look at what they get $$ of what we know of, meanig they get money from lobbists special interest etc. When they get caught with money in their freezers they still don’t get booted out. Healthcare for life for them and spouse, great gig.

Posted by toray99 | Report as abusive

[...] Says the Dillster: “The idea of a company that’s earning money, not losing money, that’s not, let’s say ‘industrially endangered,’ to have just cutbacks so they can earn another $12 million or $20 million or $40 million in a year where no one’s counting is really a horrible act when you think about it on every level. First of all, it’s certainly not necessary. It’s doing it at the worst time. It’s throwing people out to a larger, what is inevitably a larger unemployment heap for frankly no good reason.” [...]

Who the hell is this guy?

Posted by $ | Report as abusive

Bob A the Republosaurus!
Companies do have a responsibility to their shareholders/owners. True. They ALSO have responsibilities to their employees, customers, vendors, and the society they live in, because their actions affect them all. One does NOT take huge precedence over all the others. Employees take no risks? What planet is he from? Diller is a decent human being.

BTW, it’s “oblivion” not “oblivian” – and Obama is simply stating the obvious, that those with more money than they know what to do with can contribute a bit more to support the social structures that enabled their wealth accumulation. It’s “nitwits” not “nit witts,” “affect the middle class” not “effect.”

Posted by John B. | Report as abusive

I was pleased to see that he isn’t in favor of layoffs so that a company can make 40 mil in profit rather than 20. That is what he is saying. If your company is turning a profit (but not as much as last year) then you have no business laying people off. Layoffs for the sake of maintaining an already high profit margin is ridiculous. It’s short term, quarterly book cooking. These companies will have to rehire in the next quarter anyways, as they will be understaffed. Finally a CEO with a head on his shoulders. Thanks Barry.

Posted by Gene | Report as abusive

He is right. It is a socialist mind set, but, those layoffs contribute to the bad economy. It’s short term thinking. If companies making money held strong with less profits then the economy would improve faster. Pay attention, read about Honda’s approach to the last auto crisis. They didn’t lay off people.

In theory, companies have no obligation to their employees and visa versa, except to pay for work and to work for pay. However, since employees are not machines, companies must craft policies to maximize work received from employees and to allow employees to maximize pay received from companies. This is an implied symbiotic relationship. Without this relationship, low employee morale will threaten the viability of the company.

Posted by Jimmy | Report as abusive

These comments are horrible. Since when is a company obligated to employ a certain amount of people? A company has obligations to its shareholders, NOT to employees. No matter the size of the business or corporation, profit is the goal. Employees have to EARN the right to have a job by producing what is expected of them. It concerns me that so many people commenting here believe that they deserve jobs just because a company makes a certain amount of profit. Welcome to the Obamanation.

Posted by Dason | Report as abusive

[...] media baron Barry Diller is asking profitable companies to pull back on the pink slips. He says, “It’s not that you don’t want to earn as much money as you can — it is your obligation, [...]

Diller and all of you people are NUTS!
The reason the companies are making money in the first place is that they are doing Responsible things such as cutting costs AND cutting jobs in this difficult market so as to maintain profitability. Do you have any idea what those numbers you “throw around” are in terms of percentages of revenue? That is what is important. If 40m is 1% of revenue, cutting costs and jobs IS indeed the responsible thing to do. That company is on the edge of Losing money. Yet you and this genius Diller seem to think that you are smarter than they are; and want to “tell” them what they should do. That is socialism, communism, central planning. I know you don’t like those terms; but they do apply.

Posted by Richard Lund | Report as abusive

Companies also lay-off in anticipation of bad times and to fortify their cash reserves.

Posted by task | Report as abusive

John B. how nice of you to edit the other guy’s grammar, that really lends credence to your argument.

Employees have responsibilities. Company Owners have responsibilities. Everybody has responsibilities.

But don’t twist these rightful responsibilities into some idea that those who work harder are beholden to those who do not. You are doing this when you talk about Obama’s wealth redistribution plans. You can throw all the bleeding-heart arguments out there that you want: but when it really comes down to it, you’ll always be able to find someone who’s working as hard as he can and accumulating wealth, and another person who could be working harder and is complaining about the other guy’s success. Herein lies the fault in Obama’s wealth redistribution plans. Sure there are many exceptions, but in the above, all-too-common scenario, what right does the lower income earner have to demand direct or indirect monies from the higher income earner? None.

Posted by Henry Rearden | Report as abusive

Companies should acknowledge an ethical duty of benevolence when dealing with employees. An excellent point was brought up and I think brought up well. A company that is profitable should be benevolent! It’s the lack of benevolence and the abundance of greed that helped get us into this mess to begin with!

Who does this guy think he is, James Taggart?

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

[...] global economic paradigm. To that end, I’ll leave you with the recent words of IAC chief exec Barry Diller regarding the spate of US workforce layoffs: The idea of a company that’s earning money, not [...]

RE: Henry Rearden;

Henry your logic is shockingly stupid! He is talking about ‘responsibility’ and not an ethic driven by money accumulation to create ‘shareholder wealth’. We gave the keys of our economy to wall street, and they ran the bus right off the cliff. What do you expect from Wall Street bankers? I am actually not surprised that you forgot about responsibility, most people have.

>But don’t twist these rightful responsibilities into some idea that those who work harder are beholden to those who do not.

Ok, we weren’t talking about that but it is obviously on your mind. Not sure how you define work, to me, working hard is working fast-food, mindless jobs where all you do is the same thing over and over again. That is working hard. To assume that the world works in a way where the ‘hardest’ workers got paid the most and the ‘laziest’ the least, well, you have better drugs then me my friend.

It’s not about who works the hardest at all. It is about who has the means. If you have the means, then you have a responsibility to this country to help it in a time of need. To help-out your fellow man. But I’m sure that thought doesn’t cross your mind too often.

>You are doing this when you talk about Obama’s wealth redistribution plans.

Umm, no, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Obama is talking about taxing the rich more, it has nothing to do with ‘hard work’. It has to
do with the fact that we have given tax-cuts to the wealthy. Now that the nation is in a financial crisis. I think it is prudent to start having the wealthy pay more. The bottom line is that hyper-capitalistic behavior managed to do something called ‘destroy production capacity’. Ever hear the saying “don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?” Here ‘the goose’ represents a healthy economy.

Think I’m overstating? The bankers developed a ‘financial instrument’ called mortgage-backed-securities. I believe Frank Fabozzi was instrumental in their development. Anyway, they decided to get as greedy as they could until they had no idea how much their ‘financial instruments’ were worth. Hmmm, bankers
who have a nice big vault of ‘something’ could be gold, could be dirt. The party ended when AIG found out that that behind door number three was a pile of dirt.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

[...] Profitable Companies Lay Off Employees? By citypositive Barry Diller does not think so. It’s not that you don’t want to earn as much money as you can — it is your [...]

[...] Clayman, Reuters, Diller to profitable companies: Lay off the layoffs. IAC Chief Executive Barry Diller: “It’s not that you don’t want to earn as much [...]

The lower income earner is not aware that the really higher income earner pays a smaller percent in taxes. Did not Warren Buffet say his employees paid more taxes then he did, and they were not aware of that. Nor was I until I heard that story. So why should it not be equal?

Posted by Suzanne Chimovitz | Report as abusive

[...] Summit Notebook has this quote from Barry Diller: “The idea of a company that’s earning money, not losing money, that’s not, let’s say [...]

[...] Read the full interview with Barry Diller on Reuters. [...]

[...] Chief Executive, Barry Diller, was quoted in Diller to profitable companies: Lay off the layoffs at Huffington Post: “The idea of a company that’s earning money, not losing money, that’s [...]

[...] to Nazis (for the record: I am not personally making that comparison). Barry Diller has also had some harsh words for executives of companies that are profitable but nonetheless cutting back on labor costs—i.e., [...]

[...] as, I imagine, in other businesses), as Barry Diller has pointed out, the slash-and-burn mentality can be a crippling strategy. After  you fire everybody and kill promising new developments in the recession in order to [...]