Laying people off or firing them means paying them unemployment and expensive severance packages. It's MUCH more efficient (cheaper) to force them out, eliminate promotions, raises and perks so that redundant employees leave in utter frustration (making work miserable until they do). Of course you have to imagine the two drones with redundant roles looking at each other and saying "the one of us that's most competent will be most likely to find employment elsewhere" This attrition process of natural selection ensures the new company will receive the worst of each previous company and the natural order of incompetence is restored. ...until the nest merger.
Several years ago I was working in a bigger company. Once my boss (who still is a very good friend of mine) and I were attending a meeting with the ceo, and everything went the way we hoped. So I left the meeting very happily, while my boss seemed to be very upset, what I didn't understand. When I asked, he told me that things wouldn't go the way I expected to go, because the ceo was lying.
He said: "It's quite easy to tell. If he says 'we will see', 'we will try' etc., you got a chance. But every time he uses a personal phrase like 'I promise', 'you can trust me', 'you can rely on me' or 'belive me', he's lying."
I tried to keep an eye on that and found out that this was true.