Tag Archives: business

If Republicans Are So Great For Business, Why Does Silicon Valley Support Democrats?

This is one of the Great Myths:  That Republicans are good for Business.

No, they are good for Rich Businessmen and Wall Street Money Magicians….

I don’t see how people can forget it was the policies of George W Bush and the GOP that led to the economic collapse….

The Democratic Party looks to the future and entrepreneurship.  The GOP supports money shell games that produce no jobs or social benefits.

And, Democratic Social Policy focused on equality for all allows more people to have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs…

From Yahoo Finance:

One contention of the Republican party is that Democrats don’t understand business and are bad for business.

GOP front-runner Mitt Romney has basically built his entire campaign on the theory that he knows how to run an economy and the Democrats don’t.

Given this, why does one of the most successful business-regions of America overwhelmingly vote Democratic?

And if Democratic “big-government” and “high taxes” choke off innovation, investment, and incentives, why have so many companies located in high-tax, highly regulated California done so extraordinarily well?

We put these questions to Reid Hoffman, who is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in the country. A partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock, Reid has invested in Facebook, Zynga, and many other companies. He is also the co-founder of one of last year’s standout IPOs: LinkedIn.

In Reid Hoffman’s opinion, Silicon Valley’s success comes despite California’s regulatory environment and “big government,” not because of it. Silicon Valley, Hoffman says, is powered by its amazing ecosystem of investors, engineers, and entrepreneurs, along with more than a half-century of start-up culture. And the Valley’s overwhelming support of Democrats, Hoffman suggests, is due as much to the Democrats’ social views as their economic views.

But Silicon Valley is a big fan of the Democrats’ efforts to help start-ups, Hoffman says.

And Hoffman ridicules the Republican argument that increased taxes would make him and other investors and entrepreneurs work less hard.

via If Republicans Are So Great For Business, Why Does Silicon Valley Support Democrats? | Daily Ticker – Yahoo! Finance.

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Shadow Work: How Corporations Make Us Do the Jobs of Thousands for Free

Do you realize that every day you do the job of dozens of people and don’t get paid to do them?  In fact, you pay the corporations and businesses for the privilege to serve yourself.

I’ve been thinking about this for some time….

We now pump our own gas, check ourselves out at the grocery store, help ourselves as we can’t find a clerk at Macy’s, check ourselves in at the airport, pay our parking at a machine….the list goes on and on.

These used to be jobs.  People used to do these jobs.  These jobs used to enable people to buy homes and have families.  They used to make us interact with people and make our lives more human and humane and less frantic and stressed.

Now we “self-service” so the corporations can make more profit and cut tedious expenses like “employees.”

When I visit my Mother at her Assisted Living facility, I see people who made careers as sales clerks and in other customer service jobs. They made enough money to live decent, middle class lives and pay for the outrageous fees at that home.

Shoppers and travelers used to feel pampered and appreciated.  Now they are stressed and over burdened.

And don’t even think about the internet and the push to self service there for banking, shopping and every other imaginable task.

Banks now want to charge Customers to see a teller- and to use their Debit Cards to self service and help banks avoid the processing charges associated with checks.

Businesses will do anything to avoid interacting directly with their Customers.

Customers are also another inconvenience to businesses.  Business doesn’t understand why people don’t just give them money and walk away.  So what, if the service and products are shoddy or not what the people want.

They just want their cash- sorry, credit or debit cards.  Cash is too people-intensive to handle.

But the Corporations are making record profits….and stashing them in under their figurative mattresses.

Think about this a while and you will really start to understand that Occupy Wall Street was a long time coming…

Here is a brief excerpt from today’s New York Times. I encourage you to click the link and read the entire article…..


The conventional wisdom is that America has become a “service economy,” but actually, in many sectors, “service” is disappearing. There was a time when a gas station attendant would routinely fill your tank and even check your oil and clean your windshield and rear window without charge, then settle your bill. Today, all those jobs have been transferred to the customer: we pump our own gas, squeegee our own windshield, and pay our own bill by swiping a credit card. Where customers once received service from the service station, they now provide “self-service” — a synonym for “no service.” Technology enables this sleight of hand, which lets gas stations cut their payrolls, having co-opted their patrons into doing these jobs without pay.

Examples abound, helping drive unemployment rates. Airports now have self-service check-in kiosks that allow travelers to perform the jobs of ticket agents. Travel agents once unearthed, perused and compared fares, deals and hotel rates. Shadow-working travelers now do all of this themselves on their computer screens. Medical patients are now better informed than ever — as a result of hours of online shadow work. In 1998, the Internal Revenue Service estimated that taxpayers spent six billion hours per year on “tax compliance activities.” That’s serious shadow work, the equivalent of three million full-time jobs.

Once upon a time, retail stores had employees who were not cashiers but roamed the floor, assisting customers. Go into a Wal-Mart or Target or Staples and find someone to help you locate and choose a product. Good luck. You’re on your own, left to wander the aisles in search of an unoccupied staff person. (Meanwhile, you might stumble on and purchase some item you hadn’t planned on buying.) Here, it’s not technology, but a business tactic that cuts payroll expenses by trimming the service provided to customers — and prolongs the time those customers spend rambling around inside the store. Regardless, the result is still more shadow work, as customers take on the job that retail salespeople once did.

via Our Unpaid, Extra Shadow Work – NYTimes.com.

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Filed under Occupy Wall Street, Politics, The Economy

Airplane Caught In Duct-Taped Window Shocker

Oh, god….please don’t give USAirways any ideas!  I have to fly home on them Friday and I wouldn’t put behavior like this past them.  I think they find Ryanair inspirational….

At least this does show there is at least one non-U.S. airline as cheap, tacky and undependable as all the U.S. Airlines.

This has to be exaggerated- has to be- but still, it’s not outside the realm of the possible.

From Gizmodo.com:

200 passengers got the shock of their lives when their plane was forced to do a U-turn and head straight back to the airport after their pilot’s window, which had been ‘patched up’ with duct tape, came loose.

Apparently the mental-underachievers in the Ryanair maintenance crew thought that just taping the window down on a jetliner would be a good idea. But according to the Irish Aviation Authority the tape was there just as a precaution to secure a new window seal. One passenger told The Sun:

“We were kept in the dark, and were terrified. I could see guys taping in the windscreen with what looked like duct tape or gaffer tape.”

I’m surprised Ryanair didn’t call the tape a ‘cost-saving measure’, or indeed charge the customers more for the thrill. [The Sun via Aol via Gizmodo UK]

Update: Many readers have pointed out that it was most likely “speed tape” used to patch the window up, which is reportedly stronger stuff than your average duct tape. We can only go on what was reported at the source (in this case, The Sun – not the bastion of facts, as you’re all aware).

via Airplane Caught In Duct-Taped Window Shocker.

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One in three Africans is now middle class, report finds | Global development | The Guardian

The world is changing….

We just need to change with it…

And adjust our perceptions to the new reality….

We aren’t the only rich consumer society anymore…

From The Guardian:

One in three Africans is middle class, a rising group of consumers to rival those of China and India, researchers have found.

Record numbers of people in Africa own houses and cars, use mobile phones and the internet and send their children to private schools and foreign universities, according to the African Development Bank.

Mthuli Ncube, the bank’s chief economist, said the findings should challenge long-held perceptions of Africa as a continent of famine, poverty and hopelessness.

“Hey you know what, the world please wake up, this is a phenomenon in Africa that we’ve not spent a lot of time thinking about,” Ncube said. “There is a middle class that is driven by specific factors such as education and we should change our view and work with this group to create a new Africa and make sure Africa realises its full potential.”

Ncube said the study used an absolute definition of middle class, meaning people who spend between $2 and $20 a day, which he believed was appropriate given the cost of living for Africa’s nearly 1 billion people.

The study found that, by last year, Africa’s middle class had risen to about 34% of the continent’s population, or about 313m people – up from around 111m (26%) in 1980 and 196m (27%) in 2000.

More:   One in three Africans is now middle class, report finds | Global development | The Guardian.

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The Gap Fires Chief Designer

Gap needs to realize they need to stop selling low quality crap.

I used to shop there but stopped as the prices went up and the quality went down.

It’s typical of the new American Fashion Business Paradigm:  Make poor quality junk and sell it at designer prices….during a recession.

Somehow, I don’t think the designer is totally to blame….

From the Guardian:

For the best part of two decades, it was almost impossible to walk down any street without seeing a Gap logo hoodie or baseball cap. The logo was a powerful symbol of the strength of the US fashion store, which dominated the high street with its simple, clean-cut, college style.

But the brand has fallen out of favour, and with sales dropping at an alarming rate, Gap has admitted that the decline had reached crisis point and announced the immediate dismissal of its chief designer, Patrick Robinson.

via Gap sacks Patrick Robinson as chief designer | Life and style | The Guardian.

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