Friday, August 28, 2015

The coming oligopoly

The National Labor Relations Board just decided to hold franchisors accountable for employee procedures in each of its franchisees' locations. This is big. The idea that a franchisee in Florida may now be impacted by another in California, even if indirectly, is so far outside the bounds of a free and accountable society that it borders on comedy.

Decisions like this lead to the inevitable corporitization of America where big business is the only business allowed to operate. Consider how few choices you have when you examine how many brands are now owned by fewer and fewer companies. As horizontal mergers continue under the argument for "economies of scale", America will be hemmed into an oligopolistic society rather nicely, where big business pays for favors and politicians deliver. Well done America.

"Business groups countered that the decision was meant as a favor to labor groups, who have targeted retailers such as Walmart and franchise restaurants such as McDonald’s for unionization. Unions have run into obstacles because under the franchise model they have to organize on a store-by-store basis. The new standard could make it easier for unions to get a seat at the table by unionizing at the corporate parent level, according to David French, a vice president at the National Retail Federation."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Circular logic and government programs

Of the many reasons I like Rand Paul, one is his pragmatic approach to budgeting. In business, you budget from the bottom up: what do I absolutely have to do to stay open. Everything else is discretionary. Find the fraud, waste, and abuse. Like Rand says, "Not one more penny to countries who burn our flag."

If businesses budgeted and spent like the government, they wouldn't stay open, much less thrive. Too often people justify the existence of a program simply because they don't know what they'd do without it, but that's just because they've never been forced to justify it. Circular logic.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Have you read the Constitution?

Have you read the Constitution? Rand Paul has. Conventional wisdom and constitutional scholars want you to believe that you have to be a lawyer to understand it. They don't want you to read it. They want to be the one to tell you what it means. They want you to trust them. And when you do, they've got you.

The elites want you to confine yourself within a box, to bind your mind with chains, and to conscript yourself, by your own choice, to the advancement of their ideals--not your own.

They want to put you in a cage, restricted by the bars of their big words and advanced degrees. They feed you just enough freedom, in tiny bites, to keep your appetite under control. What you don't realize is that by now you're only hungry when they turn on the light, your conditioned response to their machinations. Like a dam operator releasing water as the pressure builds, they maintain the barrier between you and true understanding.

They don't want you to read the Constitution. Your self awareness is their critical vulnerability and the biggest threat to their straining clutch upon power.

The truth is that the Constitution is easy to understand, simple to read, in common English. So, have you read the Constitution? Rand Paul has. He wants us to read it and understand, but the opportunity is short.  Free your mind; nurture your critical ability to keep yourself informed. The time to act is now.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Rand against the machine

This much I've come to realize, that those on the left  must think the same thing about us that we think about them, that they say the same things about our news sources that we say about theirs, that this is a war of ideology and not gerrymandered statistics, and that the leader of this country will be decided by the 40% or less of the electorate who sit in the "middle" and change their minds everyday. The people on the "right" like me will never vote for chains, and the people on the left are just stupid.

Rand is the only candidate with depth on either side, and if we knew the reason that he didn't show up at the Koch brothers', it probly is because he doesn't want the money. Better to lose and be right, than to win and be a slave to the money.

This contest will come down to Trump vs Paul because Paul will beat all the others on issues. To beat Trump, he's going to have to demonstrate passion because Trump is dialed in on the oppressed America that is sick of us looking like pansies.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Seattle CEO learns the hard way about minimum wage

I remember when this guy went public with his plan to pay everyone in his company a minimum of $70k, and I knew of no way to pull it off. I applaud him for his heart and for the courage to try it. Private enterprise enables you to use your capital in any way you choose, but apparently he didn't include his partner, and brother, in the decision making.

As a small business owner, I know that personnel costs are the greatest expense. You can't increase your expenses exponentially without totally changing your structure. You either have to dramatically lower costs elsewhere to pay for it, or you have to substantially increase your gross profits through higher sales or lower variable costs.

The bottom line is that personnel costs hold dramatic influence over the sustainability of a company. You can't wake up one day deciding you're going to be a philanthropist and triple the incomes of your lowest paid employees without negative consequences.

Apparently, if you do, you can be a short term hero, three months in this instance, but are destined to be a long term goat living in your garage, lol. Lesson learned.