As many businesses and industries around the state close or cut back production and hours, we are affected," the director of a major nuclear energy producer says. "The trickle-down effect has caused us to drastically cut all expenditures except for the absolute necessities of the cost of operation. Training and travel budgets have been cut to the bare bones. Internal customer-service requests are handled by phone or e-mail wherever possible to minimize the manpower demands.
MY POINT OF VIEW by Publisher/Editor-in-Chief The Trickle-Down Effect on Security Professionals T here seem to be a lot of “trickle down” theories wherever possible to minimize the manpower demands. The bouncing around. We have trickle down in market- security department is tasked with getting the most from ing that says high-end consumer goods will reach a every dollar we spend.” price-point comfortable enough for the masses to Another security director says her actions have been just as afford. Can you say iPhone? Trickle-down theory in drastic: “We were slotted to hire additional staff and those slots the world of technology highlights the deployment of specific were eliminated. We have prioritized our services and are stick- technology solutions in niche vertical markets that eventually ing to the ‘gotta have’ issues like regulatory compliance. We had migrate to other verticals. Perhaps the best example of that in a $500,000 renovation of our security command center in the security are some of the FIPS 201 protocols filtering down to pipeline and that project has been placed on hold. We are all the corporate sector from government. hearing the same battle cry — you need to do more with less.” Yet the most familiar of them all is “trickle-down econom- ics” that was the backbone of President Ronald Reagan’s Many security directors have economic philosophy. The media called it Reaganomics. More accurately described as supply-side economics, this trickle- been told to put projects on hold, down effect is part fact and part fiction. The premise that tax cuts to top-income earners, along with freeze needed hiring and stretch economic stimulus to big business and rich investment bank- ers somehow “trickles” down to benefit the middle class has the budget until the organiza- some merit in a free-market society. But as we have seen this past year, when those same investment bankers fail to let the tional purse strings reopen. free market do its thing, and government steps in to regulate So severe and unique is the current economic deep- the money faucet, bad things happen. freeze that ASIS recently conducted a survey among its CSO Will Rogers once said during the Great Depression that Roundtable and members who are practitioners with manage- “money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would ment responsibility. While CSO and security manager answers trickle down to the needy.” corresponded with their respective levels of varying respon- But when the economy tanks so badly that the trickle dries sibility, there was consistency when reporting restrictions on up and corporate spending is almost non-existent, is there business travel and new-hire freezes. Other areas that have a cumul
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