The Vicious Cycles of Upsizing and Downsizing
Have you ever wondered why the upsizing and downsizing of businesses and governments make such a huge impact on the various aspects of society? Due to all of the recent media coverage of businesses and government upsizing and downsizing, I have given quite a bit of thought to this lately. I have come to the startling realisation that businesses and governments are mere extensions of all the private individuals that make up society. And that as extensions, businesses and governments are simply extending the natural cycles of upsizing and downsizing that is inherent in all living creatures to the business and political realms.
What is even more startling is the realisation that most humans are not aware they are participating in the cycles of upsizing and downsizing on a daily basis. Nor are most people aware that they are making a significant impact on society via their participation in these somewhat vicious cycles. Yet, it is the daily upsizing and downsizing decisions made by individual consumers and citizens that eventually lead to the upsizing and downsizing of businesses and governments.
What is upsizing and downsizing?
In order to understand how humans have an inherent tendency to upsize and downsize, you first have to know what those terms mean. According to the Oxford dictionary, the term “upsize” means to increase the size, extent or complexity of something or to undergo an increase in size, extent or complexity. The Oxford dictionary defines “downsize” as making something smaller or to make a company smaller by shedding staff. However, we all know that downsizing a business means much more than just shedding staff. A company downsize entails a complete reorganisation of that company and its entire business operations. Nevertheless, since all humans make decisions whether to increase or decrease the size, extent or complexity of something, then all humans are involved with upsizing and downsizing to some degree.
An Average Person’s Cycle
Most of the upsizing and downsizing decisions humans make start out as subconscious choices. They are made as instinctive reactions meant to satisfy physical, emotional or mental needs, without much actual thought given to the options. For instance, a newborn baby may upsize the amount of food intake when it is hungry. The same baby may choose to increase his or her sleep while decreasing the amount of food intake when the child is not as hungry.
As the child grows up, he or she starts making more conscious, more complex upsizing and downsizing decisions. The individual chooses which foods and drinks to upsize and downsize, based on personal preferences, health condition, cost, and the extent of hunger and thirst. As the child passes through various stages of life, he or she also starts making upsizing and downsizing decisions more frequently.
The cycle becomes a natural part of life, as the individual applies this principle to every aspect of their lifestyle. The person may choose to increase of decrease the amount spent on clothing, transportation, food, shelter, education, healthcare, and/or entertainment. The person’s choices of employment are also affected by decisions to upsize or downsize his or her income and other benefits. For instance, the person may choose to increase his or her income by upsizing the amount of pay for employment. Or perhaps, he or she decides to decrease the income by retiring or changing jobs. The individual continues the cycle with every purchase, every lifestyle change, and as every need and desire is sated or a new one arises.
How the Upsizing and Downsizing Cycle Becomes Vicious
When properly planned, upsizing and downsizing may have numerous benefits, whether it is an individual, family, business or government entity performing the upsize or downsize. However, if the upsizing or downsizing is forced upon a person, business or government, then it can have severe negative effects. Unfortunately, most of the downsizing of businesses and governments are forced occurrences. And once one part of the linked chain of consumer, business and government is forced to take any drastic action, then the rest are forced to react to the changed set of circumstances too. So the cycle may start out with a group of consumers changing their preferred diet. This lessened demand for the food they were eating makes the producers of foods for the old diet have to downsize, possibly making it impossible for the business to stay afloat. In the meantime, the increased demand may make another business upsize at a time when it was not prepared to do so. The company may go into a huge amount of debt, which forces it to lose its ability to stay competitive. Both companies may end up having to raise the prices of their products, passing the cost on to the consumers. The additional cost of the products makes the consumers and other businesses that rely on those products to have to find ways of reducing their spending or else increase their own income. Those who are not able to do either may end up going bankrupt, which in turn sets off another chain reaction.
How to Break the Vicious Cycle
Now that the vicious cycle has caused such a huge downturn of the global economy, the only way to right it is for everyone to pull together. Consumers, businesses and government entities must remember that they are all links in one chain and do have an effect on each other. Consumers must be willing to spend money in order for businesses to exist. Businesses and governments need to exist in order to provide employment, products and services to the consumers, thus providing consumers the money to spend.
If the negative impacts are going to be turned into positive ones, then someone has to stop the chain reactions by making some planned upsizing and downsizing decisions that will benefit the consumer, the business and the government. For instance, a company that has to downsize could lessen the negative impact on the local community and government by outsourcing some work to other local businesses. Consumers can also help lessen the negative effects by making a more conscious effort to help support the local businesses. Consumers, businesses and governments can form networks that help each other out. These networks can work together to adequately plan out any upsizing or downsizing so no one is forced into making an upsize or downsize at the wrong time. And most importantly, larger companies can network with smaller companies to help each other upsize and downsize in a way that does not create a huge amount of unemployment among the consumers.