Monthly Archives: February 2008

How to Handle Bad Service

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IMF says $100 Oil is OK

The IMF once again shows how out of touch with everyday people they really are.  $100 oil is not ok for the global economy; we saw it at $80 and even $60.  If you go to some developing nations, you will find many cars that run on non oil based fuels.  Why?  They can’t afford to buy oil.  And this is before oil hit $100, this was back when oil was at $80.  So already a large portion of the world is priced out of the market.  The US consumer can’t last another 5 years of such prices.  When gas eats up $70 a week that adds up!  That means less goes into the real economy the true engine that drives the global economy.

 

Too many analysts have forgotten what really makes the world go around.  Oil doesn’t, oil is a piece of it, but when oil prices are out of alignment as it is now, the real engine starts to shut down.  Consumers can’t consume because they don’t have money.  And things that rely on oil get priced higher and higher.  And unlike the developing nations, for some reason, the will to create real viable alternatives just doesn’t seem to be present in the US or Western Europe.  Why?  I really don’t know, how can small island nations transition to biofuel and natural gas to power cars and we can’t with all our technology, already have real working solutions on the road being used by everyday people; just like those developing nations have now?  It’s shocking and shameful we as the technology leaders do not have working solutions and better engines on the road.  We have the technology, I guess we just lack the will.

 

The IMF is just way out touch on this one, it’s going to spell trouble if they and Wall Street don’t put down the sparkling water and realize it is Main Street USA, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Kenya, Japan, etc… that is the driver of this world.  It’s time we move away from oil, there are plenty of ideas out there to do this; we should be putting our money into those ideas.  From a practical point of view, it only makes sense; the current system makes less and less sense everyday.

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Filed under Alternative Fuel, Business, Consumerism, Energy, Europe, Globalization, Government, International Trade, Renewable, The World

Spielberg Attacked by China

So China is using its state run papers to attack the director because he pulled out of helping them with the Olympics over the Darfur situation.  China has a lot of pull over the government of Sudan, and Spielberg put his beliefs where he feels they count.  I applaud him for that.

 

Whom I don’t applaud is the Chinese government for what is really childish.  Instead of saying what they think they hide behind their state run press to attack Spielberg, at least Spielberg said what he thinks out loud.  Added to that, instead of taking responsibility like a growing nation, it instead pointed fingers at the west and what it can do.  That smacks of immaturity and the director was right to back out and not support such a government who will not take ownership for its own actions.  China is not a small nation, it should be held responsible for its actions just like Germany, Japan or the US.  In fact, it would be good if the sponsors of the games would follow the directors lead and walk. 

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Man Fired over Dilbert Cartoon

This is one of those things that can only happen in a politically correct work environment.  A man gets fired for posting a Dilbert cartoon which makes fun of management.  Then the company tries to stop him from getting unemployment benefits too!

 

Seriously, some people need to lighten up big time.  It’s a cartoon!  Was it professional, probably not but I doubt it was done with the kind of hate and desire to inflict harm towards management as the company claims.  Plus if management is that thin skinned, they probably shouldn’t be in management.  I can just see the conversation where they guy gets fired and they talk about how they have “zero tolerance for intolerance,” which I always find amusing because that in itself is intolerant and insensitive. 

 

Management would have been far better off to just talk to the guy, say “hey, we are under a lot of stress, this just isn’t helping now, can you not put it up?”  Instead, they made a mountain out of an ant hill and are now the true butt of the Dilbert cartoon jokes as the writer of the cartoon is now using the situation in the actual strip.

 

Another great example of what happens when you stop acting human and put PCism first; you look stupid to everyone else.  Seriously, chill out people.  It would be nice if humanism were the way to be professional, act human, treat others decent, stop punishing people who say things you don’t like and realize it’s you not them that has the issue.  This company would have been better off if they had; this probably never would have gone beyond their own doors.  I wonder who much business they lost as a result of this, I’m sure the number isn’t zero.

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Filed under Business, Hiring and Management, Leadership, Life, Political Correctness

Censorship Rising in Europe

Just when you thought the fascist had left Europe, along comes the Internet and filters and the “just trust us” censorship police.  In a very good cause, the police decided to filter out harmful content such as child porn.  Great, no problems with that.  However, there were no filters on the filters, essentially it was a “just trust us that we are doing the best job.”  But it was found out that the system was being abused and far from going after child porn, the police were going after people they didn’t like who had nothing to do with child porn.

 

This is really sad and the ones that lose out are the victims of child porn.  Instead of using the filters for what they were intended, to stop a very horrible crime against innocent kids, the police instead use it against people they just don’t like.  On the list were found NGO’s, journalist and non porn sites that for whatever reason, the police just didn’t like.  This is abuse of power and the real victims are the kids who the police should have been protecting but failed to do so.

 

My European friends keep telling that Europeans are so much more enlightened than Americans, one more example of how that is just a myth.  I sure hope we don’t have to bail them out again when they let another crazy dictator run amuck over there.

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Filed under Censorship, Europe, Globalization, Government, Life

China Selling you Counterfeit Computers

It wasn’t enough to poison our kids and our pets, now Chinese companies want to sell you counterfeit parts for your computer too.  The US and EU are actually cracking down on this one, which is telling in itself, cracking down on computer parts but not food, but that’s another blog post. 

 

As a fair trade capitalist, I think it is about time we slap some real penalties on China, they obviously do not want to play by the rules so do like you do in anything, penalize those that break the rules.  In hockey if you do unsportsmanlike conduct, you get thrown out, do the same to China, throw them out of the WTO until they learn that safety and brand promises are important aspects to a business and it is not for them to make money at all costs, some costs are not worth it, like a consumers health and safety.

 

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Filed under Business, China, Consumer Activism, Consumerism, Globalization, International Trade, The World, Trade

No Retirement for Baby Boomers

This USA Today article really makes me shake my head.  So now after spending the last 20 plus years laying off boomers for being too old, now people want them for the “experience.”  At least that’s how the article writes it.  The reality is, businesses want the best labor for the lowest cost.  What is a great way to do this, keep the boomers in the market, now you have Boomers, X and Y all competing for the same jobs, throw in a few hundred thousand H1B’s, green cards and millions of illegals and you have a great recipe for stagnant wages.

 

I feel sorry for the boomers, they knew this train wreck was coming and did nothing, and as is common in America, we react to a crisis when it is sitting on top of us, not when we saw it coming a mile away.  Eventually this is going to cost us a lot more money than it should have in the long run because we failed to do anything about it when we had the chance.

 

And business or government is just doing what they do, it’s the workers that need to wise up and realize what’s going on.  Businesses are socialist by nature, yes I know, we all think they are conservative but that’s not actually true when you take the time to look.  Businesses love regulation as long as it is regulating someone else.  It cuts down on competitive pressures.  Businesses also loves it when the government does their work for them, in this case, keeping costs down by keeping boomers in the market longer.  So don’t expect these groups to make any changes, it’s just not in there basic interests.

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Filed under Business, Consumerism, Government, Life