Reacting To America’s Labor Cartel

I stumbled across a February 2012 article online in Harper’s Magazine that just floored me.

Killing the Competition included many great sentences but several sent me racing to cast them across the Twitter network this week as quickly as I read them, along with the shortened link to the article.

I was on fire to spread the ideas to an audience that remained mostly silent to my twittered pleas.

I suspect the silence has more to do with my lack of followers than it does to the message but I’m not so sure.

Think about these concepts from the article:

  • “They treat us like dirt.” – Steve, Silicon Valley Software Engineer
  •  “Amazon is threatening the whole ecosystem of how ideas are created, how they are developed, how they are sold.”
  • “Most of the American public no longer understands the nature—or the political danger—of … dominance.”
  • “… it’s clear now that we never quite managed to slip the hold of the ancient truths.”
  • “To step outside the open market is to step outside the rule of law and to come under the rule of whim.”
  • “Do you wear your power lightly?”

One of the most potent (and frightening) paragraphs (to me) read,

President Woodrow Wilson was decrying the rule of fear that had been imposed on the American entrepreneur and worker. “Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something,” Wilson said. “They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”

What caught my attention to the article was the title of the piece.  The fact that the pending anti-trust lawsuit against Google, Apple, Adobe, et al was mentioned early only heightened my interest to read on.

When I read that statement above by Steve, the Silicon Valley Software Engineer, I was (again) reminded why I telephone source.

I telephone source to bring a wider reach of opportunity to the wider audience that can’t be reached doing only online research and sourcing.

The September 2010 settlement with the Department of Justice by most of the companies accused in the labor cartel lawsuit mentioned really set the stage for what’s coming after.

I would love to have been a fly-on-the-wall in the boardrooms of those companies when it was agreed upon to settle this nasty piece of business – it appears – as quickly as possible.

Did they know lawsuits would follow and make an educated guess at what the settlement amounts would be?

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I suspect they did.

Or did they think all this would just go away?

I suspect they might have.

Gee, I hope the plaintiffs don’t settle this lawsuit.

The issue, as I see it, strikes at the bedrock of America and is beautifully demonstrated in the Harper’s article.

The issue, as I see it, is being presented to a public mostly asleep at the wheel.

I encourage you to read the article and share your thoughts with us.

“The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.” ~ Abraham Lincoln (American 16th US President (1861-65), who brought about the emancipation of the slaves. 1809-1865)

Maureen Sharib has been a “Socratic sourcer” her entire sourcing career; from the moment she first picked up the faxed list of Silicon Valley high-tech companies that was her target list to “phone source” in 1996 to today she has instinctively followed this method of investigative sourcing using (mostly) the telephone.  She is a proponent of sourcing as a synonym for success and envisions the craft moving away from a dangerously drudgery-paced life-form existence to an exciting investigative/competitive place within organizations where practitioners co-exist within a framework of market research, human resources, and C-level future planning. She owns the phone sourcing and competitive intelligence firm, Inc. You can contact her at Maureen at or call her at (513) 646-7306.  If she’s not on the phone she’ll pick up!


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