Recently in Business Category

A double benefit as these are usually the lowest-performing workers.  You are hired to benefit the shareholders.  Not for anything else.  If you seek to change the corporate culture, this is not productive and needs to be stopped aggressively so that others do not get the same idea.  The object of a business is not to go broke (as in: get woke, go broke)

Elon Musk knows this and he took action - from Reuters:

SpaceX fires at least five over letter critical of Elon Musk
Private rocket company SpaceX fired at least five employees after it found they had drafted and circulated a letter criticizing founder Elon Musk and urging executives to make the firm's culture more inclusive, two people familiar with the matter said.

The good news is that other corporations are doing this as well - from the London Daily Mail:

CEO of crypto firm Kraken offers woke workers four months severance pay to QUIT after warning staff 'being offended doesn't make you harmed' - and 30 take up his offer

    • Kraken CEO Jesse Powell issued the new policy in a company memo this week
    • Warned staff to stop accusing each other of being 'toxic', 'hateful', or 'racist'
    • Powell is offering staff who are unhappy with the rules four months severance
    • They have until Monday to decide, and 1% of 3,000 workers have taken the offer

Good way to do it.  Give them a four-month cushion and get rid of them.  1% have taken the offer.  3,000 employees so we are looking at 30 troublemakers.  The company is not going to fail because of their absence.  In fact, it will do much better (see my opening thesis).

Not exactly business-friendly

| No Comments

20220523-joe.jpg

Big publicity over 70,000 pounds of baby formula being airlifted into the US-of-A.  Not that it will find its way to store shelves but, this is actually a very small quantity.

There are 4,756 Walmart stores in the USA as of 2020.  14.7 pounds per store if evenly distributed...

Big difference between being WOKE and waking up and smelling the Cappucino. Walt Disney Corp. seems to be transitioning from the former to the latter.  From Don Surber:

Disney moving 2,000 jobs TO Florida
Led by Ron DeSantis, Republicans stood up to Disney, the world's largest entertainment conglomerate (ABC, ESPN and half of Hollywood are among its holdings). Disney threatened to stop donating to Republicans if they dared pass the Don't Groom Kids law.

Florida is stainding up to this activist bullshit.  What is Disney doing?

In fact, instead of pulling jobs from Florida, Disney is adding to its work force in the Sunshine State.

The Orlando Business Journal reported, "California-based The Walt Disney Co. has had a major presence in Florida since the 1960s when the early stages of Walt Disney World were under development.

"The company should make the move to Lake Nona by late 2024, according to information shared on job postings. The Walt Disney Co. has confirmed it will relocate about 2,000 jobs from its California headquarters to Lake Nona, a master-planned community in southeast Orlando."

Are they looking at moving the corporate headquarters?  That would make a lot of sense with this move being a trial run. Being WOKE is bad for business.

Don Surber has a great post-mortem of events at Walt Disney Corp:

Virtue signaling cost Disney $89 billion

Go and read his post for the whole train-wreck. An object lesson.

Was talking about this with someone over coffee and they had not thought about looking at this metric. I checked today and there is a 222% difference in the rental price for a 10' box truck from Los Angeles, CA driving to Austin, TX depending on which direction you are going.

20220507-losa2austin.jpg

20220507-austin2losa.jpg

From $2,842 to $1,280 - quite the difference. 

The rates have not changed very much though.  Back in August of 2020, I checked the rates between San Francisco and Butte, Montana.  Then, it was $2,187 and $583 depending on direction.  Now? It is $2,800 and $875 - couple hundred bucks higher.  I would have expected a lot more.

And Boeing moves GHQ yet again

| No Comments

They started in Seattle but moved their Global Headquarters to Chicago as Seattle is turning into a shithole city and the costs of doing business in WA State are climbing out of control (one of my primary reasons for moving to N.C.). They jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, moving to Chicago, Illinois - probably got a nice sweetheart deal on taxes. Now? Beetlejuice's worker's paradise has gotten to be too much and they are on the move again.  This time? Virginia. Republican governor. Kick-ass Lieutenant Governor.  Cheap taxes and close enough to the swamp but not too close.

From Boeing:

Boeing Names Northern Virginia Office Its Global Headquarters; Establishes Research & Technology Hub
Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that its Arlington, Virginia campus just outside Washington, D.C. will serve as the company's global headquarters. The aerospace and defense firm's employees in the region support various corporate functions and specialize in advanced airplane development and autonomous systems. In addition to designating Northern Virginia as its new headquarters, Boeing plans to develop a research & technology hub in the area to harness and attract engineering and technical capabilities.

"We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia. The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent," said Boeing President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun.

Boeing will maintain a significant presence at its Chicago location and surrounding region.

"We greatly appreciate our continuing relationships in Chicago and throughout Illinois. We look forward to maintaining a strong presence in the city and the state," said Calhoun.

"We also want to especially thank Governor Youngkin for his partnership, and Senator Warner for his support as we worked through the process."

Heh - "continuing relationships in Chicago and throughout Illinois"  Yeah - they still have factories and maintain offices there but that is not the headquarters of the business.  Boeing will not pay its business taxes to Chicago any more.

Good move and smart for their shareholders.

From American Military News:

Gary Sinise Foundation moving headquarters out of California
The Gary Sinise Foundation, which serves “our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need,” announced on Tuesday that it is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles, Calif., to Franklin, Tenn.

“It will be very, very good to be in a state that’s connected to seven other states, all of them with military bases and many, many veterans and all those communities around Tennessee,” actor Gary Sinise said in a statement. “Having our foundation more centrally located in the country will be a very, very positive thing for the work that we do.”

The foundation has been located in Los Angeles since it was established in 2011, and while it is moving to Tennessee, the organization will maintain existing chapters in San Diego and Orlando.

Sinise said he is moving his family to Tennessee, as well.

“I’ve been in California for 35 years and was thinking of next steps that might be exciting for the family. We have little grandchildren,” Sinise said. “I had a lot of friends there (in Tennessee). It’s a great entertainment industry there. They’re very, very supportive of veterans and would be a good place for the foundation and the family.”

Good call - Tennessee is a gorgeous and well-run state.  I prefer North Carolina but Gary is moving to a more urban area. Franklin is about 20 miles South of Nashville.  Starve the tyrants.

Competition in the marketplace

| No Comments

Sums things up pretty well:

20220427-disney.jpg

Reedy Creek had its purpose - the initial Disney park was a big gamble.  Taking almost 40 square miles of swamp and ag land and turning it into a world-class tourist destination.  Yeah - they needed some incentive to build there but that was created in 1967 —  55 years ago  —  they had their free ride.  Now?  Time to start supporting their community and paying their fair share.

From People's Dispatch:

Mexico nationalizes lithium industry
Mexico has officially nationalized its lithium industry. On April 21, the bill, proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), that modified the mining law to give the state the exclusive right to explore, exploit and use the valuable metal entered into force. According to the law, published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, the executive or the president now has 90 days to create a decentralized state company that will deal with all lithium-related matters.

The reform was approved in a record time in both houses of the Congress. President AMLO presented it in the Chamber of Deputies on April 18. The same day, the lower house discussed the reform, voted on it and passed it with 275 votes in favor, 24 against and 187 abstentions. The next day, on April 19, the Senate also debated the reform and sanctioned it with 87 votes in favor, 20 against and 16 abstentions.

Interesting to see what will happen - their Petroleum industry is nationalized.  Lithium?  Key ingredient for batteries for electric vehicles. More:

The new mining law recognizes lithium as a heritage of the nation, and reserves it for the benefit of the people of Mexico. It elevates lithium to the category of “strategic mineral”, and prohibits granting concessions, licenses, contracts, permits, assignments or authorizations for its exploitation to private corporations.

Current Lithium mining?

There is only one lithium mine in Mexico, operated by Chinese firm Ganfeng Lithium, which is slated to produce 35,000 tonnes of the metal per year starting in 2023. In the coming days, it will be discussed if that will be taken over by the government.

Heh - sucks to be them...  Good for Mexico.  We have Lithium too but the enviro-weenies don't want anything done here.  They are 100% OK with irresponsible mining in South America stripping out the forests and putting children to work hauling rocks (this is for Cobalt - also needed). After all, they covet their neighbors Tesla. A responsible mine here? Not gonna happen.

And he's in - Twitter

| No Comments

From PR Newswire:

Elon Musk to Acquire Twitter
Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction. The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter's closing stock price on April 1, 2022, which was the last trading day before Mr. Musk disclosed his approximately 9% stake in Twitter.

Bret Taylor, Twitter's Independent Board Chair, said, "The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders."

Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO, said, "Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important."

"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," said Mr. Musk. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."

And the fun begins...

Pure schadenfreude - from The Post Millenial:

Disney LOSES nearly $50 billion in stock value since waging war against Florida's anti-grooming law
The Walt Disney Company has lost nearly $50 billion dollars in stock market value since the start of March, when executives shifted gears and became more actively involved in politically-charged ideological culture warfare against Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida leadership.

They picked the wrong hill to die on.  It is not good (or legal) to play social games with your shareholders investments.

No BOD membership after all - from The Daily Wire:

Musk’s Decision To Not Join Twitter’s Board Signals Potential Major Move He Can Now Make On The Company
Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s decision to not join Twitter’s board reportedly means that the world’s wealthiest man is no longer restricted in how much of the company that he can buy.

After becoming their top shareholder with control of more than 9% of the company, Musk signed an agreement with Twitter for the following terms as long as he served on their board: “Mr. Musk agrees that, for so long as Mr. Musk is serving on the Board and for 90 days thereafter, Mr. Musk will not, either alone or as a member of a group, become the beneficial owner of more than 14.9% of Company’s common stock outstanding at such time, including for these purposes economic exposure through derivative securities, swaps or hedging transactions.”

Not bound by the agreement. Looking at acquiring a controlling interest?

Louis Rossmann's video channel is fascinating.  He started off doing very deep-level repair of computers - replacing components on the circuit boards instead of just swapping modules.  He got into the right to repair movement (here, here and here for starters) and is now in Washington, D.C. working with some farmers regarding having the ability to repair your own stuff. He was walking around and noticed something curious:

Good to see Facebook get what's coming to them.  When I hired on at MSFT in 1997, the same thing was happening - the stock price was still crashing from the dotcom bubble so the vestments were not worth anything.  Still, it was a blast - a very fun five years. Got to work with some amazing people and some amazing equipment.

From the New York Post:

Meta employees look to ditch jobs amid stock crash: ‘Feeling like s–t’
Shares of Facebook and Instagram parent Meta have plummeted more than 40% over the past six months — and some employees saddled with underwater stock options are eyeing the exits.

“Joined Meta near [all time stock high], now feeling like s—t,” one Meta employee said this week in a popular thread on Blind, a corporate message board with verified members. “What should I do?”

“Leave this crap place,” another “Metamate” responded.

“Same boat,” a third said, adding that they’re “already interviewing” at other companies.

“Duh, you’re supposed to think Meta, Metamates, and me. Ask yourself if this train of thought is good for the company,” a fourth joked. “Just kidding… it super sucks.”

They (and Twitter and Google) started out OK but their management was seduced by the dark side.  I thought that sort of crap was only supposed to happen in the movies.

Sucks for the employees though - they were probably hired for shit wages with the understanding that they would get shares of META that they could accrue and cash out. Channeling my inner Nelson Muntz

Working retail

| No Comments

Been a business owner most of my life - I can relate to this one:

20220114-retail.jpg

From Bloomberg:

The ‘Mother of All’ Supply Shocks Lurks in China’s Covid Crackdowns
The world economy could be headed for the “mother of all” supply chain stumbles.

That’s the warning from HSBC economists who caution that if the highly infectious omicron variant which is already swamping much of the global economy spreads across Asia, especially China, then disruption to manufacturing will be inevitable. “Temporary, one would hope, but hugely disruptive all the same” in the next few months, they wrote in a research note this week.

China is the world’s biggest trading nation and its ability to keep its factories humming through the pandemic has been crucial for global supply chains.

While the outbreak of omicron in China is small compared with its Western peers, authorities are taking no chances. In recent weeks scattered infections of both the delta and omicron variants have already triggered shutdowns to clothing factories and gas deliveries around one of China’s biggest seaports in Ningbo, disruptions at computer chip manufacturers in the locked-down city of Xi’an, and a second city-wide lockdown in Henan province Tuesday.

And the fun begins.  It would be prudent to maintain a couple months supply of food staples.  Consider gardening - fresh greens are a lot healthier and more appetizing when served along with your beans and rice.  Looking to get any new cheap chinesium?  Get it now before prices skyrocket.

From the Austin Business Journal:

Meta leases up all office space in Austin's tallest tower in historic deal
Months of speculation have come to an end as California-based Meta Platforms Inc. — the parent company of Facebook — recently leased the entire commercial half of Sixth and Guadalupe, the 66-story high-rise under construction that will be Austin's tallest building when finished.

Meta confirmed to Austin Business Journal that it leased 589,000 square feet of office space across 33 floors at Sixth and Guadalupe, located downtown at 400 W. Sixth St. The lease was signed Dec. 31.

“We first came to Austin over 10 years ago with just seven employees, now over 2,000 of us are proud to call Austin home. We’re committed to Austin and look forward to growing here together,” Katherine Shappley, head of Meta's Austin office and vice president for commerce customer success, said in a statement.

California-based Meta also announced it is looking to hire 400 more people in Austin. As of last summer, <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/subscriber-only/2021/07/30/the-list-austin-area-employers.html" target="_blank" >the company had about 2,000 local employees</a>, which ranked No. 25 among the largest private-sector employers in the region. Given the new lease and other Meta offices in Austin, the company could grow significantly beyond that mark in coming years.

The 589,000 square feet of office space in Sixth and Guadalupe is larger than the entire Frost Bank Tower.

That is not a branch office for every long.  Makes perfect sense for them - get out of the high corporate taxes. California city planners are probably hitting the bottle about now - losing all that sweet sweet tax revenue.

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream is on my No-Go list.  They are welcome to be as woke as their little liberal hearts can be.  I am under no obligation to purchase their product.  Looks like other people are coming to the same decision.  From Reuters:

Illinois bars state pensions from owning Unilever over Israel
An Illinois board overseeing state employee pension funds on Wednesday voted to bar funds from holding Unilever PLC shares due to sales limits by the company's Ben & Jerry's ice cream brand in Israel, joining at least five other U.S. states moving to restrict the stock.

A representative for the Illinois Investment Policy Board said it voted 7-0 at a meeting on Wednesday "to add Unilever to its prohibited entity list," following similar moves by other states including New York and New Jersey.

Good.  Anti-Semitism is not a virtuous corporate value.  Never has been.  Never will.

Heh - not just Florida

| No Comments

It's ALL Republican-led states - from Breitbart:

Analysis: Republican-led States Lead Democrat-led States in Economic Recovery in November
States with Republican governors and legislatures are leading Americans back to work quicker than those led by Democrats, according to an analysis of the state-by-state unemployment data from the Department of Labor.

The analysis of the Labor Department’s November unemployment data from the Republican National Committee (RNC) research team uncovered that the Republican-led states continued to outperform Democrat-led states in job recovery for 17 of the top 20 states, and the lowest unemployment in 16 of the top 20 states.

“More jobs are being recovered and unemployment is lower in red states,” the RNC research team wrote.

Without interruption from a Democrat-led state, the top 13 states leading in job growth as states across the country continue to end the coronavirus restrictions as Americans get back in the states run by a Republican governor.

This is my surprised face...

Nothing can stop you if you deal with truth instead of narrative.
From Breitbart:

Florida Job Growth Rate 6 Times Faster than the Nation’s
Florida’s job growth rate was six times faster than the country’s as a whole in November, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced on Friday.

“Our job growth rate is six times faster than the rest of the nation because we’ve worked hard to keep Florida open and protect the jobs of individual Floridians,” DeSantis said, attributing the success to pro-freedom policies which have allowed Floridians to continue to work while blue states, many of which existed in extended lockdowns, continue to implement coercive policies, forcing people to choose between their jobs and a shot. DeSantis went on to say:

Because we have protected their livelihoods, Floridians are confident in finding work and operating their own businesses. We will continue to focus on our state’s foundation of freedom to ensure that Florida remains a leader in economic growth and Floridians are able to succeed.

Looks like Florida is a nice place to live these days.

Lisa and I have been thinking about moving...

Moderna - what else do they do?

| No Comments

Raise gobs of money and promote the hell out of their first and only product - the coof vax.  Never had a product before.  Never passed the litmus test.  Never approved for use in humans - only because of the emergency powers declaration is it being used.

I keep thinking that I am seeing another Theranos - strong-willed person at the top.  A cult of personality.  Gobs of money coming in and no real product going out.  When is Moderna going to blow up and disintegrate.

Modern RNA is where its name comes from - betting on one trick pony years before that pony is able to perform.

About that minimum wage

| No Comments

Another perfect example of liberals doing something that "sounds" good rather than doing something that "does" good.
From Centralia, WA's The Chronicle:

Study From UW Shows the $15 Minimum Wage Did Not Help Income Inequality
A recent study by the University of Washington has shown that Seattle’s $15 minimum wage “did little to offset widening inequality.” This conclusion matches the research done across the United States and work that the Washington Policy Center has done over the last decade on the effect of artificially high, government set, minimum wage policies.

Increasing the minimum wage, through government regulation, destroys jobs, reduces available work hours and causes inflation. Businesses will often relocate away from areas that have high minimum wages creating longer commutes for workers that chose to stay with the employer or elimination of the jobs completely.

Nowhere is the harm imposed by a high minimum wage demonstrated more clearly than in Seattle, where the city council has aggressively increased the minimum wage over the last few years. The rash of restaurant closures and lost jobs can be attributed, in many cases, directly to the additional fiscal cost the minimum wage increases have caused.

The best minimum wage is $0.00.  Employment is not a "right". If you want to be hired, you have to be able to provide a valuable service for your employer.  If you apply yourself and take on more and more responsibility, take classes and learn additional skills, you will have more value to your employer and you will be able to ask them for more money. If you are content to slide through life doing as little as possible, do not expect to make any appreciable money.

Forcing employers to pay inflated wages to their staff will cause the employers to raise the prices of the goods and services they sell.  This may cause them to lose business. They will then have to lay off their staff - starting with the less productive ones.  Those with the lowest value.  Asking for a higher minimum wage will guarantee that you will price yourself out of a job.

I have covered this problem in thinking before here:

Doing something that "sounds" good is a very liberal thing to do.  There is little or no thought put into the program, all that is needed is for it to sound good.  After the fact, there is no accountability. People do not do the basic research to see if this new program is actually doing what it intended to do.  More often than not, it is not addressing the problem and additionally, adding some new layer of confusion and harm.

The liberal reaction when this is brought to light is to expand the offending program.  They could not have made a mistake - after all, they are the brightest and the best.  It must be that the program was just not given enough money or resources. They need to take the failing program and make it bigger so that it can do even more fail.

Rough way to be let go especially given the season but...
From CNN Business:

Better.com CEO fires 900 employees over Zoom
Better.com CEO Vishal Garg announced the mortgage company is laying off about 9% of its workforce on a Zoom webinar Wednesday abruptly informing the more than 900 employees on the call they were being terminated just before the holidays.

"If you're on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off," Garg said on the call, a recording of which was viewed by CNN Business. "Your employment here is terminated effective immediately."
He then said employees could expect an email from HR detailing benefits and severance.

But this little beacon of light and hope stands out:

Among those fired were the diversity, equity and inclusion recruiting team.

Yay - get rid of the social parasites.  The WOKE serve no function.  If they are allowed to operate, they will corrupt the core competency and damage the business.  They are a feel-good pox and serve no imaginable purpose.

Coming home to roost - Portland

| No Comments

Tourism is big business.  My store near Mt. Baker lives and dies by it. So do many of the businesses on this island. From the Portland, Oregon FOX News affiliate:

Travel Portland presents telling tourism report to city council
Portland’s reputation isn’t the greatest. That’s the big takeaway from a city council meeting Wednesday morning, when Travel Portland presented a telling tourism report.

In the meeting, Commissioner Mingus Mapps started by bringing up some reputation concerns.

“Here’s the problem,” said Commissioner Mapps. “Around the world, too many people associate Portland with homelessness and homicide.”

“Today, a significant chunk of humanity is afraid of spending time and money in our city,” he continued.

That skepticism surrounding the city is holding back major economic recovery, according to the President and CEO of Travel Portland.

“Continued attacks and breaking glass on buildings throughout the city, but especially downtown, continued to affect this hard to overcome sentiment, “ said Jeff Miller. “Our central city occupancy in September lags every competitive city we tracked.”

A study by Travel Portland shows a major problem affecting the economy right now, a lot of people don’t want to attend conferences in the city.

Conferences are a big money-maker.  Also, a little known fact is that a percentage of what you pay for a hotel room gets taxed and handed to local business associations so that they may promote local attractions to bring in tourists to the area.  Actually a great idea.

There is a conference I visit on the Oregon coast regularly and last couple times, I made it a point to bypass Portland when driving down even though the freeway passes right through downtown. More driving but less hassles.  Spidey senses don't tingle quite as much...

Unintended consequences anyone? 
A good leader will know about these.
A poor leader will be surprised by them.

Traditionally, Unions have voted Democrat. Fait accompli. End of story.
These days? Not so much - from the Sacramento, CA NBC affiliate KCRA:

US hasn't seen worker anger like this in decades
Workers are saying enough is enough.

And many of them are either hitting the picket lines or quitting their jobs as a result.

The changing dynamics of the U.S. labor market, which has put employees rather than employers in the driver's seat in a way not seen for decades, is allowing unions to flex their muscles.

Already on strike are 10,000 workers at John Deere, who hit the picket lines early Thursday after rejecting a tentative deal that would have improved wages and benefits. They joined 1,400 strikers at Kellogg who are upset with seven-day work weeks and a two-tier retirement system. Other unions are preparing for walkouts of their own.

The overwhelming majority of strikers and potential strikers are doing so for the first time in their careers. Many say they are driven not just by wages or benefits. They say they are striking, or planning to strike, in a bid to do their jobs the way they believe they should be done, and to gain basic improvements in the quality of their lives, such as time with their families, which they say they deserve.

One of the main issues running through many of these strikes, or looming strikes, is workers' anger.

A lot more at the site.  A lot of it is general malaise (Carter years all over again), a lot of it is the economic downturn and people wanting to negotiate better terms.  Of course, this will be reflected in higher product prices so we will all be right back where we started from.  A good chunk is vaccine mandates. Interesting times...

Fun times in the Windy City

| No Comments

From Chicago's CBS affiliate:

Chicago Police Union President Estimates More Than 3,000 Officers Defying City’s Vaccine Reporting Mandate
The back and forth between the mayor and the Chicago police union continues, with the city sending out a flurry of emails and memos as its vaccine mandate enters its first full week in effect.

CBS 2’s Mugo Odigwe obtained the latest threatening memo sent out to officers.

At least two memos have gone out since Friday’s deadline for all city workers to report their vaccination status to the city, but Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said thousands of officers are still refusing to do so.

“The unofficial number we have is about over 3,200; so about of third of the department,” Catanzara said.

Catanzara has said the mandate is illegal, because the city didn’t negotiate terms with the union.

Love to see the unions backing up the workers. Nobody is happy until the Union is happy. How it should be.

I do not like it when unions negotiate unreasonable demands - excessive pay and benefits and/or pensions. The workers should be paid an amount based on the real economy - too many pension funds are in trouble (looking at you Chicago for example) because pensions were over-promised.  Still, protecting the worker is crucial and there, the unions do a great job.

Port of Los Angeles - the back-story

| No Comments

Now the real reason is coming out - from National File:

L.A. Cargo Terminal Operator Makes Massive Chinese Communist Deal; Union Leader Says ‘Foreign-Owned Shipping Companies’ Are Blocking Supply Chain
A union leader exposed the role that “foreign-owned shipping companies” play in the cargo backup at the Port of Los Angeles, which is causing supply chain shortages in the United States. The union leader said that “foreign-owned shipping companies” that own the terminals at the Port of Los Angeles have not been requesting union labor at a high enough rate for quite some time, thus slowing down the process of hauling and transporting goods off ships. The biggest foreign-owned company running the biggest cargo terminal at the Port of Los Angeles is Maersk, which has many Chinese offices and does massive business in China. Just weeks ago, Maersk sold its refrigerated container business for over $1 billion to a Chinese company that counts multiple Chinese Communist government state-owned enterprises as its major shareholders, giving China more control over our food and pharma supply.

In response to the supply chain crisis, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo recently stated, “the reality is that the only way we get to a place where we work through this transition is if everyone in America and everywhere around the world gets vaccinated.” Clearly, this has led to speculation that the supply chain shortages are being manipulated in order to push the vaccine agenda. The Biden administration has touted a supposed deal it negotiated to help the Port of Los Angeles to operate 24/7 to offload the backed-up cargo. But one union leader said that union workers are already capable of working 24/7. The problem, in his view, is that “foreign-owned shipping companies” are not requesting labor.

The picture starts to get clearer.  They played along until the big push to assume global power and now, they are showing their hand. When this is over and sanity returns, we will remember...

There is hope - System D

| No Comments

Fascinating article about the real economic powerhouse of this planet.
And no bureaucrats can screw it up.  From Foreign Policy:

The Shadow Superpower
Forget China: the $10 trillion global black market is the world's fastest growing economy -- and its future

With only a mobile phone and a promise of money from his uncle, David Obi did something the Nigerian government has been trying to do for decades: He figured out how to bring electricity to the masses in Africa’s most populous country.

It wasn’t a matter of technology. David is not an inventor or an engineer, and his insights into his country’s electrical problems had nothing to do with fancy photovoltaics or turbines to harness the harmattan or any other alternative sources of energy. Instead, 7,000 miles from home, using a language he could hardly speak, he did what traders have always done: made a deal. He contracted with a Chinese firm near Guangzhou to produce small diesel-powered generators under his uncle’s brand name, Aakoo, and shipped them home to Nigeria, where power is often scarce. David’s deal, struck four years ago, was not massive — but it made a solid profit and put him on a strong footing for success as a transnational merchant. Like almost all the transactions between Nigerian traders and Chinese manufacturers, it was also sub rosa: under the radar, outside of the view or control of government, part of the unheralded alternative economic universe of System D.

You probably have never heard of System D. Neither had I until I started visiting street markets and unlicensed bazaars around the globe.

And System D?

System D is a slang phrase pirated from French-speaking Africa and the Caribbean. The French have a word that they often use to describe particularly effective and motivated people. They call them débrouillards. To say a man is a débrouillard is to tell people how resourceful and ingenious he is. The former French colonies have sculpted this word to their own social and economic reality. They say that inventive, self-starting, entrepreneurial merchants who are doing business on their own, without registering or being regulated by the bureaucracy and, for the most part, without paying taxes, are part of “l’economie de la débrouillardise.” Or, sweetened for street use, “Systeme D.” This essentially translates as the ingenuity economy, the economy of improvisation and self-reliance, the do-it-yourself, or DIY, economy. A number of well-known chefs have also appropriated the term to describe the skill and sheer joy necessary to improvise a gourmet meal using only the mismatched ingredients that happen to be at hand in a kitchen.

Wonderful news - this is where the "gig economy" springs from and if the State is going to "manage" our banking and report transactions over $600 to the Internal Revenue Service (the trigger point is at $10,000 now), I see a lot more of our economy moving over to System D.  It does not seem that we can vote the deep-state out of office but we can certainly starve them to death.

Finally, a System D that I approve of.  Not this systemd  —  here and here for starters...

Glad I did not go - auction

| No Comments

There was a commercial kitchen auction that ended today - was tempted to go to the preview possibly to bid on stuff but decided against it.  Glad I did.

Here is a vacuum sealer for Sous Vide cooking.  I love Sous Vide cooking and have a small Cabella's vacuum sealer but looking for something a bit better.  These two units from VacMaster sold for over $1,100 each.  Note that they are used.  As is/where is.  Zero warranty.  They were made in 2015.

20211015-auction01.jpg

Here is the listing at Amazon for the new model (VP220 instead of VP210), brand new in factory box with warranty for $1,099.95.

20211015-auction02.jpg

Rule #1) in auctions is: Know what you are bidding on.  Rule #2) is: Do your own research first.
Those are the only real rules when buying at auction.

That shipping delay - the reason

| No Comments

I hinted at the reason last night and this morning, Sundance at Conservative Treehouse lays it out in full technicolor:

The California Version of The Green New Deal and an October 16, 2020, EPA Settlement With Transportation is What’s Creating The Container Shipping Backlog – Working CA Ports 24/7 Will Not Help, Here’s Why
Hundreds of requests for details on the specifics of the container shipping backlog. So, I spent 3 days calling sources, digging for details and gathering information on the substantive issue at hand. The epicenter of the problem is not what is being outlined by financial media, corporate media and politicians who have a specific interest in distracting from the issues at hand. This has nothing to do with COVID-19.

The issues being discussed today relate to events that happened a long time ago. As a matter of fact, it was so predictable that Amazon, Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Samsung, The Home Depot and Target all had taken actions years ago -long before COVID- because they knew this day would come. It was not accidental that those companies showed up at the White House to discuss the issue, because there’s now a full court press to hide it.

There is one very specific regional issue driving the problem. Read on:

The trucking issue with California LA ports, ie the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB), is that all semi tractors have to be current with new California emissions standards.  As a consequence, that mean trucks cannot be older than 3 years if they are to pick up or deliver containers at those ports.  This issue wipes out approximately half of the fleet trucks used to move containers in/out of the port.  Operating the port 24/7 will not cure the issue, because all it does is pile up more containers that sit idle as they await a limited number of trucks to pick them up.  THIS is the central issue.

On October 16, 2020, the EPA reached a settlement agreement [DATA HERE] with California Air Resource Board (CARB) to shut down semi tractor rigs that were non-compliant with new California emission standards:

Much much more at the site with complete links to back up Sundance's research. Over 550+ comments essentially saying the same thing:

So, Crazy CA can now be allowed to bottleneck the ENTIRE NATION’S GOODS, with its nutso regs?!?

Good God!! P. Trump wouldn’t put up with that for a minute.
What a shitshow! There NOTHING that these people do that doesn’t screw up something!…NOTHING!

Absolutely. Yet another perfect example of a politician doing something that SOUNDS good as opposed to something that DOES good.

And meanwhile, our Secretary of Transportation is taking a two-month maternity leave of absence to be with his husband as they settle in with their adopted twin babies.

20211008-business.jpg

Looks like Tesla is moving its Corporate Offices from California to Texas.
From TechCrunch:

Elon Musk announces Tesla to move headquarters to Austin
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company would be moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas, a city that has recently seen a flood of tech companies and remote workers. Musk announced the news at the 2021 Tesla, Inc. Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which took place at the Tesla Austin gigafactory, rather than in the Bay Area as it did in previous years.

Musk also said Tesla would be continuing to expand activities in California, increasing its output at its Fremont gigafactory by 50%, although he didn’t elaborate on how he would achieve such a ramp up in production. The factory is currently able to produce about 500,000 Model 3 and Model Ys per year and another 100,000 Model S and Model X per year.

Yeah - they are keeping their factory in California.  They already have the sunk costs of the building and equipment so why not.  The headquarters is a different beast entirely.  The profits that Tesla makes are taxed by the state where the head office is located.  Boeing did this to Seattle in September, 2001 as they were getting screwed by the city of Seattle.

Wonder when/if California will wake up.  The State made a buttload of money in the dot.com revolution.  Now, they are stifling the very businesses that will be the basis for the next revolution.

Not if.  When.

From Don Surber:

Amazon leaving Seattle
Bloomberg reported, "Amazon CEO, citing ‘rougher’ patch with Seattle, looks to ’burbs."

This is not white flight. Seattle has become coyote ugly crazy and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wants to leave before he has to gnaw off his leg to get out of the trap.

Shades of Boeing and the Seattle Supersonics.

Bloomberg's story said, "The world’s largest online retailer is by far the biggest private employer in Seattle with more than 50,000 workers. That distinction has proved a headache in recent years, with some residents and government officials blaming the company for exacerbating homelessness and traffic."
Seattle has turned Amazon into its whipping boy, blaming the company for problems the city creates.

Jassy spoke at an event hosted by technology news site GeekWire.

He said, "I’d say the last five years, the city council has become less enamored with business or with Amazon. It’s just been rougher."

The city wanted to burden Amazon heavily with taxes. The company and others fought it back, Then the company backed a slate of city council candidates who lost.

It is time to vamoose.

I am a big believer in cycles and we are getting near the bottom of the current one.
Shades of the Seattle of 50 years ago:

Billboard reading "Will the Last Person Leaving SEATTLE — Turn Out the Lights" appears near Sea-Tac International Airport on April 16, 1971
On April 16, 1971, real-estate agents Bob McDonald and Jim Youngren put the words, "Will the last person leaving SEATTLE -- Turn out the lights" on a billboard at S 167th Street and Pacific Highway S near Sea-Tac International Airport. The two realtors, who work for Henry Broderick, Inc., put up the billboard as a humorous response to pessimism generated by the national aerospace industry's nosedive, known locally as the Boeing Bust.

Seattle is doing this to itself.  They are not listening to their constituents, they are only listening to the more vocal activists who are in a profound minority. There will be a recovery but it is going to be long and painful and things will be getting a lot worse before they get better.

Looks like another win for centralised planning - should have let the utilities plan for themselves as they have skin in the game. From The Beeb:

Power cuts hit homes in north-east China
Residents in north-east China are experiencing unannounced power cuts, as an electricity shortage which initially hit factories spreads to homes.

People living in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces have complained on social media about the lack of heating, and lifts and traffic lights not working.

Local media said the cause was a rise in coal prices leading to short supply.

The country is highly dependent on coal for power.

One power company said it expected the power cuts to last until spring next year, and that unexpected outages would become "the new normal". Its post, however, was later deleted.

The energy shortage at first affected manufacturers across the country, many of whom have had to curb or stop production in recent weeks.

Just wonderful - not only leave the population without heat, they also hamstring the economy.

Is there anything that Communism can't do?

My kinda place...

| No Comments

20210925-coffee.jpg

Turns out it's a place but I have to travel to Wales to go there.  Dagnabbit... I love their food menu.

...unemployment benefits.  I think that the people who first implemented these could have chosen a better date to end them.   And why all at once? Odd. London Daily Mail:

Biden takes selfies with union workers during Labor Day weekend trip to Delaware as more seven million Americans see their unemployment benefits end TODAY

    • President Biden made a surprise Labor Day visit to a local electrical workers union, lasting roughly 30 minutes
    • He was all smiles socializing with a friendly crowd as millions of Americans lose COVID benefits the same day
    • Four types of special COVID unemployment benefits all end on Monday, 18 months after the pandemic began
    • They include unemployment that 7million people couldn't previously claim but did over the last 18 months
    • They also include a boost of $300-per-week to people who were claiming regular unemployment
    • It comes after a disappointing jobs report in August - only 235,000 new jobs were recorded
    • Some say ending the payments so abruptly is dangerous given how growth is slowing
    • Morgan Stanley now predicts the economy will grow annually by just 2.9% - down from 6.5% earlier this year

President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to an electrical workers' union hall on Labor Day where he was all smiles socializing with blue collar workers there - as millions of Americans lose their federal COVID pandemic unemployment benefits.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 313 in Delaware represents 700 active members.

And those benefits:

Meanwhile, more than 7million Americans will lose federal unemployment benefits today and an additional 3million will stop receiving a $300 weekly boost on checks as emergency COVID payments expire.

Four types of specialized unemployment payments that were created because of COVID end on Monday.

They are; the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($300 weekly boost on existing payments), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (for those who already exhausted their state unemployment benefits), Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation ($100-per-week for people who previously worked as a contractor and employee) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (which widened who could apply for unemployment).

Today, 18 months after they were first created, Americans will no longer be able to claim any of them.

Many say the expiry is overdue and that the inflated benefits drove a labor shortage because people could make more money doing nothing than they did in certain jobs.

Which will be good for the real job numbers. Our tax dollars at work.
Again, I have zero problem with a hand-up but it should not become a lifestyle.

Heh - soul food...

| No Comments

From the London Daily Mail:

Florida diner that posted note refusing service to Biden voters because of his botched Afghan withdrawal is forced to close after it SOLD OUT of food following a boom in customers

    • Angie Ugarte posted the sign in the window of DeBary Diner in DeBary, Volusia County
    • Comes after Thursday's attack by ISIS-K at Kabul airport that killed 13 US troops
    • Now, she says she's seeing an outpouring of support, with patrons inundating the diner on Wednesday offering to buy meals for veterans
    • The support was so overwhelming that the diner ran out of food, forcing the diner to temporarily close due to the amount of donations and diners
    • 'I think that the veterans will be fed for the rest of the year at the rate I'm getting donations' she said of the outpouring of support
    • She intends to keep sign up as long as American's still stranded in Afghanistan

The Florida diner where the owner posted a sign turning away Joe Biden voters after 13 US troops were killed in Afghanistan has had to shut its doors - because so many people called to buy meals for veterans that the small business ran out of food.

'I've gotten so many people calling me from all over the world, from Europe, trying to purchase meals for veterans, which I still haven't been able to organize,' said Angie Ugarte, who posted the sign in the window of the DeBary Diner in the central Florida city of DeBary.

'I think that the veterans will be fed for the rest of the year at the rate I'm getting donations.'

The sign told customers: 'If you voted for and continue to support and stand behind the worthless, inept and corrupt administration currently inhabiting the White House that is complicit in the death of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan, please take your business elsewhere,' the sign read.

I would go in for dinner if they were in the area.  Great idea and great response.  Shows what: "We The People" are thinking (and voting).

A shortage of the stuff - CO2

| No Comments

Wonder what the environmentalists will say or do with this - from Quartz:

US carbon dioxide supply is a bottleneck for Covid-19 vaccine distribution
Over the last few months, industries in the US have had to contend with a troublesome carbon dioxide shortage. From May to July, beer brewers and soda makers across the country were at a loss to source the fizzy stuff.

But as summer turns to fall, a lack of CO2 could cause an even more problematic shortage: one of dry ice.

In early September, the New York Times reported that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects that at least two Covid-19 vaccine candidates will require dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, for transportation. In order to ship those vaccines, distributors will need to make sure industrial chemical plants can supply enough CO2 gas.

More at the article - couple of different reasons.

Why some people are so up against CO2 never fails to amuse me.  They think that by choosing this gas as the "boogeyman",  they can hamstring our industry and slow down our development.  They fail to realize that #1) - CO2 is plant food and #2) - they are causing grievous harm to 3rd-world citizens and little or no harm to Western civilization. Unintended consequences.

Abject stupidity in full view.

Tip of the hat to Eaton Rapids Joe for the link.  His is a daily read for me.

Finally - arrival

| No Comments

Took four months longer than anticipated.  From American Shipper:

Ever Given containers finally being offloaded at Port of Rotterdam
Despite the early-morning hour, 5:15 a.m. Thursday in the Netherlands, the Ever Given “arrived amid great interest,” according to a Port of Rotterdam statement. 

Normally a container ship’s arrival in port does not warrant a press release. But the case of the Ever Given, which will be forever infamous for getting stuck in the Suez Canal, is anything but normal and prompted Port of Rotterdam officials to post a brief statement and two photos of the Ever Given’s arrival Thursday.  

The statement said the berthing of the Ever Given in Rotterdam went according to plan — well, a revised plan. The Evergreen Marine-operated container ship had been due in Rotterdam some four months earlier. The vessel was waylaid, of course, when it was lodged between the banks of the Suez Canal for six days in March.  

The Port of Rotterdam said containers will be offloaded at its ECT Delta terminal. Boxes bound for Hamburg, Germany, will be loaded onto the Ever Utile over the weekend to finally continue their journey. 

Like they say: Better late than never but better never late. Wonder what the total overall cost will be.

June 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

Environment and Climate
AccuWeather
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Depot
Ice Age Now
ICECAP
Jennifer Marohasy
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Watts Up With That?


Science and Medicine
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
Medgadget
Next Big Future
PhysOrg.com


Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
FAIL Blog
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Neatorama
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF


Comics
Achewood
The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Dilbert
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
Tundra
User Friendly
Vexarr
What The Duck
Wondermark
xkcd


NO WAI! WTF?¿?¿
Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?


Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog


Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
DIYPhotography
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
PetaPixel
photo.net
Shorpy
Strobist
The Online Photographer


Blogrolling
A Western Heart
AMCGLTD.COM
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cobb
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Instapundit
iowahawk
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Neanderpundit
neo-neocon
Power Line
ProfessorBainbridge.com
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Samizdata.net
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Velociworld
Weasel Zippers
WILLisms.com
Wizbang


Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Allah
BigPictureSmallOffice
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
MegaPundit
Masamune
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Publicola
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Business category.

Asshats is the previous category.

Climate is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Pages

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9