Recently in Business Category

From America's Newspaper of Record:

Bounty On Groot Skyrockets Due To Spike In Lumber Prices
The bounty on notorious criminal Groot's head has skyrocketed following a sharp increase in lumber prices across the galaxy, sources confirmed Monday.

The member of the outlaw group known as the "Guardians of the Galaxy" -- wanted for violent assaults, escaping prison, more nefarious mercenary acts -- previously had a bounty issued in the amount of $100,000 in Terran dollars, but that number has shot way up, with bounty hunters now seeking him out for the sum of $10,000,000.

"It's just supply and demand," said one member of a Ravager clan. "Builders are seeking lumber right now, which is in short supply. And Groot is a highly sought-after Flora colossus, desirable for its application in building homes and businesses. While he was previously wanted for his criminal acts, he's now wanted more for his potential as a building material."

Groot strongly condemned the increased bounty on his head, saying, "I am Groot. I am Groot? I am Groot." When pressed, he added, "I am Groot," leaving little doubt as to where he stands.

Reporters also sought comment from Treebeard. He has promised a statement but only got out the word "hello" by publishing time.

Feel kind of sorry for the little guy but I do need some 2X4s...

Quite the dinner date

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A simple question

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and a simple answer:


Modern wealth - building

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Prices are still insane:


Short but excellent video - the big multi-national corporations are not capitalist. They hate capitalism. They want a monopoly so they do not have to work as hard.  Amazon. Google. Microsoft. Capitalism benefits the consumer.

Tip of the hat to Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse who has a lot more on the subject.

Everything is going as planned - from Breitbart:

Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Jump to 744,000, Much Worse Than Expected
New weekly jobless claims rose to 744,000 for the week that ended April 3rd, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

Economists had forecast a decline to 680,000 from the previous week’s 719,000. This is the second consecutive week in which initial jobless claims moved up in contradiction to expectations. The upper end of the range of forecasts in the Econoday survey was 705,000.

I miss our President.  Say what you like about the man, he knew how to lead.

From the Los Angeles Times comes this story of a small business in Beverly Hills, CA:

Beverly Hills store let criminals stash guns, drugs and cash in vault at strip mall, prosecutors say
When federal agents descended on a Beverly Hills strip mall last month, it took them five days to seize the contents of hundreds of safe deposit boxes inside a store called U.S. Private Vaults.

On Friday, the government revealed why it was so interested in the seemingly mundane business wedged between a nail salon and a spa: It was laundering money for drug dealers and letting them stash guns, fentanyl and stacks of $100 bills in security boxes that were rented anonymously, prosecutors alleged.

In an indictment against U.S. Private Vaults, Inc., the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles accused the company of marketing itself deliberately to attract criminals, saying it brazenly promoted itself as a place customers could store valuables with confidence that tax authorities would be hard-pressed to learn their identities or what was stored in their locked boxes. To access the facility, customers needed no identification; it took just an eye and hand scan to unlock the door.

“We don’t even want to know your name,” it advertised, according to prosecutors.

I do hope that the federales had the foresight to stake the place out and shoot photos as people came and went.
Could build up quite the database from that. Must be some politicians or elites involved as they report:

None of the people who are allegedly behind the operation were named in the court records. It is was not immediately clear whether any individuals will face criminal charges as well.

Hunter?  Is that you?

From Seattle station KING-5:

Skyrocketing lumber prices drive up homebuilding costs in Washington
Anyone buying lumber these days is in for sticker shock. Prices are at unprecedented levels, and it's affecting everyone from people planning home construction projects to home builders, like Landed Gentry Homes.

The Skagit Valley home builder has never seen lumber prices skyrocket like this before.

The price of lumber has gone up 188% since the beginning of the pandemic, adding at least $24,000 to the price of a new single-family home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Landed Gentry is building a 60-house development.  The contracts have already been signed so they are locked in to what they can bill. Sucks.

Sadly, so true

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And not much we can do about it.  I was lamenting earlier this month that 2X4 lumber has almost doubled in cost in six months. This image brings it home:


Still stuck in the Suez

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Update from gCaptain:

Grounded Mega Ship in Suez Canal Paralyzes Trade for Second Day
Tugs and diggers have so far failed to dislodge a massive container ship stuck in the Suez Canal on Wednesday, increasing the chances of prolonged delays in what is arguably the world’s most important waterway.

Work to re-float the ship was suspended until Thursday morning in Egypt, shipping agent Inchcape said, citing the Suez Canal Authority. Dredgers are still trying to loosen the vessel before any attempt to pull it out, the ship’s manager said.

It’s taxing to even grasp how big this ship is. About a quarter mile long (400 meters) and weighing in at 200,000 metric tons, its sheer size is overwhelming the efforts to dig it out. A huge yellow excavator, itself about twice as tall as its driver, looked like child’s toy parked next to the ship’s bulbous bow.


The people standing by the excavator really show the scale of this.  Imagine how large a Conex box is - 20' long by 8 or 9 feet tall and wide. This ship can hold a little over 20,000 of these.  Huge. The ship had been purpose-built to be as large as possible but to still fit through the Suez Canal.  Designed specifically for the Asia-Europe trade routes. This is going to shut things down for a little while. 

A good time to be in the marine salvage business.

The ship in the Suez Canal?

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Still stuck - from gCaptain:

Tugs Work to Refloat Ultra-Large Containership Blocking Suez Canal
The shortest shipping route from Europe to Asia remained blocked on Wednesday as eight tug boats struggled to free one of the world’s largest container ships after it ran aground in the Suez Canal.

GAC, a Dubai-based marine services company, said authorities were still working to free the ship mid-afternoon on Wednesday, and that information it had received earlier claiming the vessel was partially refloated was inaccurate.

The 400-meter, 224,000-tonne Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement.

About 30% of global container ship traffic passes through the canal each day, carrying everything from fuel to consumer goods. The main alternative route for ships traveling between Asia and Europe, around the African cape, takes a week longer to navigate.

The article goes on in some detail.  The Canal handles 12% of all of the worlds shipping. Major source of hard currency for Egypt. European oil prices have already risen 2%. In 2020, they had an average of 51.5 ships transit each day.  Wonder if this will prompt them to build a second and wider canal - I know this has been talked about.

Thanks a lot Ford - jobs

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What a difference two months makes - from Cleveland, OH station WKYC:

Ford plans to move new project from Avon Lake plant to Mexico
The United Auto Workers union has informed workers at the Avon Lake Ford plant that it plans to move a major project slated for 2023 from Northeast Ohio to its plant in Mexico.

The letter, dated Friday, March 12, stated that Ford is going back on its agreement to build a "next-generation vehicle" at the Avon Lake plant in 2023.

In 2019, the UAW says Ford promised to invest $900 million in a new project at the Avon Lake plant, that was set to begin production in 2023. The agreement also included a "complete revitalization" of the facility.

So basically, President Trump got Ford to commit to American labor and revitalizing American businesses. Ford bought into the program and promised to build cars here. The Democrats promised to keep the jobs here so the Unions voted for Biden.  This is a perfect example of their payback - what they got for their time and their money. Screwed.

Maybe next time, you might vote conservative - we actually have American at heart. All of America. Sit down and talk with us - you might be surprised.  We are not what the progressive narrative says we are.

What a brilliant idea

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The three key elements of retail sales ae location, location and location. From the Detroit Free Press:

Girl Scouts suspend sales outside marijuana dispensary after misunderstanding
A Walled Lake marijuana dispensary seemed like an ideal place to sell Girl Scout cookies after some local troops set up shop outside the facility and sold 1000 boxes last weekend.

At least that was the case until the Girl Scouts of the United States of America got wind and frowned upon the idea — setting off a storm on social media and leaving scout leaders scrambling to smooth over the hubbub, calling it a “misunderstanding.”

After arranging to go back this Friday and Saturday, local Girl Scout members and families were told not to sell cookies in a "facility where they're not allowed to shop," said Jerry Millen, the owner of Greenhouse of Walled Lake. "I understand that, that's fine ... but they were set up on a public corner, in wildlife."

Seems to me that that would be a perfect location. Sad that the Girl Scout bureaucracy did not let them have some fun.  The pot shop owner stepped up to the plate:

Legally in Michigan, dispensaries are not allowed to sell food or drinks inside the facility, so Millen took it upon himself to buy 301 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from the girls who were going to sell outside his shop today, to pass out for free tomorrow "just to prove a point."

And it is not that this is without precedent - I wrote this in 2014: Great business location - Girl Scout Cookies

Bureaucracy at the feed trough

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Never get between a bureaucrat and the money. They can go feral if they don't get their share.
From Showbiz 411:

Hollywood Women’s Group Times Up Spent Whopping $2.4 Mil on Compensation in 2019, Just $19K in Grants
Time’s up for Time’s Up. Really.

Last November, the Daily Mail reported that the Hollywood women’s advocacy group spent lavishly on themselves in their first year of operation but did little for other people. The Mail story cited $1.4 million on compensation, among other things. It was outrageous.

But now Time’s Up has posted its financial report for 2019, and it’s worse! Salaries and compensation totaled $2.4 million —  including almost $600,000 to get rid of CEO Lisa Borders, formerly the head of the WNBA, after her son was accused of groping a woman (that’s putting it nicely) during a “healing” session. (He hired Kevin Spacey’s lawyer to defend him, but Borders left with a neatly wrapped exit package.)

Time’s Up now, according to their website, has an all new staff, with Tina Tchen running the show. But I also count a whopping 25 main employees, all with fancy titles, and no doubt six figure salaries.

The list of 2019 salaries staggers the imagination for a start up group dedicated to advocacy work. Currently, Time’s Up is shooting fish in a barrel, attacking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for not having black members. Duh. They’re acting like this is a revelation.

In 2019, Time’s Up also paid Washington DC law firm Arnold & Porter almost half a million dollars in legal fees —  $454,693. (The only good thing you can say about that was that it was a decrease from 2018’s $719,000.) They also paid a New York recruiter $165,000. Why? It couldn’t have been that hard to find women qualified to come in and make six figures to do nothing. At least in 2019 there’s no listing for a fee to a PR firm. In 2018, Time’s Up paid $112,435 to Rally Public Relations.

And nothing is what all these people did. In the end, after raising $1.7 million (half of what they reported in 2018) they donated just $19,342 to the National Women’s Law Center. That was their sole grant. And it was down from the almost $180,000 they gave away in 2018.

The filed Form 990 is full of more discrepancies than  I usually see on these things. There are plenty of contradictions from one page to the next. And what is the point of creating an advocacy group that helps no one but spends over $400,000 on travel and rent? I must be missing the point.

The group’s payroll taxes– $23,287 — were higher than their one donation to a women’s group.

Typical - so fscking typical. This is not something that is owned by the liberals - look at the National Rifle Association for cryin' out loud.  The Amateur Radio Relay League had it's own problems there 40 years ago but they turned themselves around.

My ex used to do plant (the green vegetative kind) maintenance for high-end businesses and had stories about going into the luxurious offices of major national charities and seeing catered lunches coming in from top-line restaurants. So much money spent on themselves and so little going out to their professed clientele.

Twenty five years working for Nike.  She is now a Vice President. She just resigned. From Yahoo/Sports:

Nike VP resigns after report on son's lucrative sneaker resale business
Nike executive Ann Hebert resigned Monday, a week after a Bloomberg Businessweek report detailed her son's lucrative sneaker resale business that flips hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shoes every month.

“Ann Hebert, VP/GM, North America geography has decided to step down from Nike, effectively immediately,” a company statement reads. “We thank Ann for her more than 25 years with Nike and wish her well.”

Bloomberg's Joshua Hunt detailed the business of 19-year-old Joe Hebert, aka "West Coast Joe," who set up a sophisticated scheme for his company West Coast Streetwear to collect coveted sneakers en masse and sell them for a profit.

There is no indication in either this or the Bloomberg article that she colluded with him but he definitely was gaming the system in a way that prevented legitimate customers from getting their fair share.

Bloomberg described a transaction in which Hebert and his team used bots to overwhelm a Yeezy Supply website designed to limit purchases to one per customer. Hebert told Bloomberg he racked up $132,000 in purchases that day and quickly flipped the supply for a $20,000 profit.

Hebert, who operates out of Portland near Nike headquarters, told Bloomberg that he also gained an edge via access to inside information.

“If you know the right people here, this is the city to sell shoes,” Hebert told Bloomberg. "The right people “can give you access to stuff that, like, a normal person would not have access to.”

And, there was this little tid-bit:

Bloomberg also reports that Hebert provided an American Express statement to verify his revenue claims. Ann Hebert's name was on the credit card.

I doubt a 19-year-old is going to have a $200,000 credit line on their Amex card. His Mom was a co-signer.  What is she going to do for a career now - is Joe going to support her?

There is a TLA for times like this: CLM

Such a deal - dishwashers

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Took this photo when I bought my new dishwasher.  It was a mistake and the sales person and I had a good chuckle over it but still... Some poofreading is neaded:


Thinking that all of District of Columbia probably has them. But naaaaaa...  the rules do not apply to THEM.
From The Daily Caller:

In Historic First, Janet Yellen Becomes First Female Treasury Secretary To Request Ethics Waiver For Wall Street Speaking Fees
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sought and received an ethics waiver before she called a meeting between top federal regulators to discuss market volatility surrounding GameStop and other so-called meme stocks, according to Reuters.

Yellen’s move to obtain an ethics waiver followed reports that she received more than $800,000 in speaking fees from Citadel, a hedge fund directly connected to the GameStop saga. Citadel is invested heavily in Melvin Capital, another hedge fund that saw 53% of its $12.5 billion portfolio wiped away in January amid the GameStop short squeeze.

What pearls of wisdom would she have to be worth so much for a 45 minute speech?  Nothing.  Those speaker fees are strictly pay-for-play.  They figured Biden's puppetmasters would cheat "his" way into power and that she would be the new go-to person for the Treasury. They were looking to buy her favoritism. Accountability? Not spoken here.

An interesting analysis from Dinesh D'Sousa - 8:54 - well worth your time:

250+ comments - well worth reading

When I am done with that, I'll start looking around for a different brand - from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

Coke sets diversity targets, financial penalties for outside lawyers
Coca-Cola said it will require diversity among law firms who bill it for work in the United States — and reduce payments if they don’t comply.

The Atlanta-based beverage giant’s general counsel, a recent hire from the top ranks of Ford, disclosed the changes in a letter Thursday to law firms the company uses.

“Quite simply, we are no longer interested in discussing motivations, programs, or excuses for little to no progress – it’s the results that we are demanding and will measure going forward,” Bradley Gayton wrote.

And he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he hopes other major companies make similar moves to “change the trajectory” of diversity in the field.

So the moke who made this bonehead decision is:  "a recent hire from the top ranks of Ford"  Begs the question, why did Ford let him go?  Ford is a well-run corporation.  I drive Ford trucks exclusively (last 20 years: two F-350's and currently driving an E-250 van - a bunch of earlier Fords as well)(note: I do also have a Toyota sedan for my local runabout).

The next question is how long is Mr. Gayton going to be working for Coca Cola? Not long if he is as stupid as he sounds.  Another perfect example of someone who is very highly credentialed but just plain dumb.

On this, we both agree

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No surprise there - Wall Street

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Time to hack their asses - GME needs to be just the beginning. From CNBC:

Wall Street spent over $74 million to back Joe Biden’s run for president, topping Trump’s haul
People in the securities and investment industry will finish the 2020 election cycle contributing over $74 million to back Joe Biden’s candidacy for president, a much larger sum than what President Donald Trump raised from Wall Street, according to new data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The sum includes contributions that began in 2019 and continued through the first two weeks of October to Biden’s joint fundraising committees and outside super PACs backing his run. Former Goldman Sachs President Harvey Schwartz gave $100,000 this month to the Biden Action Fund, a joint fundraising committee for the campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties.

It's their money - they can give it to whomever they want.  There needs to be a lot less pay-for-play.

Dodd-Frank was just the beginning of allowing for this. 2,300 pages of pure pork. (signed into law by Obama in 2010).  It replaced the Glass-Steagall Legislation of 1933 - a svelte 37 pages long. Easy to understand and it served this Nation very well for 77 years until the banksters got greedy.

The best Gamestop Meme

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From Daily Timewaster (anything but)


Tacoma, WA loses out

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They implemented some large taxes on gun dealers and manufacturers.  Guess what happened next?
From The Truth About Guns:

Aero Precision Moves Out of Tacoma In Response to Gun and Ammo Tax
Aero Precision, one of the nation’s leading firearm parts and accessories manufacturers, warned Tacoma, Wash., city officials their proposed punitive gun and ammunition tax would have consequences. Officials passed the proposed increases and instituted the taxes and fees.

Aero Precision answered back. The company and its 800 employees announced plans to expand and grow their manufacturing base in nearby Lakewood, Wash. Instead of investing in more jobs, more infrastructure, and more taxes paid to the City of Tacoma, Aero is literally sending their business elsewhere.

Heh - a bit more:

Aero Precision kept its word. The Tacoma City Council passed the tax proposal in 2019 to take effect in July 2020, which was later delayed until 2021 due to COVID concerns. Still, Aero Precision followed through, announcing an expansion to nearby Lakewood.

“We are very excited to be working with the City of Lakewood on our relocation,” Dover said. “The city representatives have been extremely welcoming, and we foresee Lakewood as the long-term home for Aero Precision as we continue to position ourselves as a top tier manufacturing facility in the State of Washington.”

Lakewood’s gain is Tacoma’s loss and a sizeable loss at that. Aero’s new facility is 268,000 square feet and will welcome some of the existing 800 employees and newcomers who will sustain the new growth. That’s a huge loss for Tacoma whose council members were looking for $30,000 in extra taxes.

Sounds like the City of Tacoma needs to elect a new City Council.  The ones they currently have aren't that bright. They can not seem to grasp the idea of cause and effect.

And hello Walmart Plus

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Checking out their 30-day free trial:


They are like Amazon in that they serve as the gateway to a whole bunch of independent small retailers. You are not just shopping the contents of the WalMart stores, there is a lot more variety out there.

We will see...  At least, they do not meddle in progressive politics and censorship.

So true - the lockdown

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About sums it up:


Finally - the FTC

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Should have done this fifteen years ago - from Tech Crunch:

FTC orders ByteDance, Facebook, Snap and others to explain what they do with user data
The FTC is ordering the companies behind many of the largest social and video platforms to explain how they use the treasure troves of data they harvest from users. Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance, Facebook, WhatsApp, Discord, Reddit, Snap, Twitter and YouTube were all sent the order, with a deadline set 45 days from now.

The FTC’s focus is on how these companies “collect, use, and present personal information, their advertising and user engagement practices, and how their practices affect children and teens.” Four of the FTC’s commissioners voted in favor of the order, with Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips dissenting.

“Despite their central role in our daily lives, the decisions that prominent online platforms make regarding consumers and consumer data remain shrouded in secrecy,” Commissioners Rohit Chopra, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Christine S. Wilson said in a joint statement.

Good - the Federal Trade Commission's job is to protect consumers and to prevent unfair practices. The Social Media companies are stomping all over us.  It will be good for them to be taken down a notch or two.

A bit of irony - The North Face clothing

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Their stuff is overpriced so I do not buy it to begin with but...  From the Midland Texas CBS affiliate:

North Face turns back on West Texas oil and gas company
Innovex Downhole Solutions says it was recently denied an order of jackets by The North Face, a popular outdoor recreation company because they are in the oil and gas business.

“I was surprised but not surprised if that makes sense,” Innovex CEO Adam Anderson said.

Innovex is based in Houston and has nearly 100 workers in the Permian Basin.

Each year, the company gets a Christmas gift for its employees. This year, it was supposed to be a North Face jacket with an Innovex logo, a company Innovex has ordered gear from in the past.

The company providing the jackets said The North Face doesn’t want to support the oil and gas industry in the same way they’d reject the porn industry or tobacco industry.

“They told us we did not meet their brand standards,” Anderson said. “We were separately informed that what that really meant is was that we were an oil and gas company.”

The irony of The North Face denying service to an industry that provides its ability to make and sell its products isn’t lost, either.

“The recreational activities they encourage are all ones that require hydrocarbons to make the products, to provide the means to get to whatever activity folks want to perform,” Anderson said. “It’s just so intertwined with everything that we do.”

Yeah - nylon and polypropylene are both made starting with petroleum feedstocks. The CEO of Inovex published a four-page document laying out the truth: Virtues of Low Cost and Reliable Energy  Listening to the soft popping of liberal heads exploding.

Interesting news from China

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Looks like their economy is based on continued growth.  This is a sort-of Ponzi Scheme where the income from the new marks are used to keep the old ones afloat. In China's case, they sign deals with other established corporations and then the revenues from these new deals are used to keep the older ones afloat.  Easy to do when all big busuniesses are functional arms of the state. From CNN/Business:

Chinese state-owned companies are in trouble. That could hurt the global recovery
Chinese state-owned companies are starting to default on their debts. It's a problem that could ripple through the country's financial system, threatening to slam the brakes on the nation's economy and hobble the global recovery from the pandemic.

State firms defaulted on a record 40 billion yuan ($6.1 billion) worth of bonds between January and October, according to Fitch Ratings. That's about as much as the last two years combined.

The problem has only gotten worse in recent weeks. A slew of major companies — including BMW's Chinese partner Brilliance Auto Group, top smartphone chip maker Tsinghua Unigroup, and Yongcheng Coal and Electricity — declared bankruptcy or defaulted on their loans last month, sending shock waves through the nation's debt market. Bond prices have plummeted and interest rates have spiked, and the turmoil has even spilled over into the stock market, where shares of state-owned firms have been sinking.

No wonder they wanted to swing last November's election - Biden is a known quantity to them.  His administration would give Bejing another four years of stability. They have suffered under President Trump - he will not let them get away with doing whatever they want. Trump has his eye on them and this makes them very uncomfortable. Good.

Trimming their feathers - China

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Some good legislation being passed - from Market Watch:

House passes bill that could delist Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges
The Democratic-run House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that could bar many Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. exchanges or otherwise raising money from American investors.

The measure, known as the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, could get signed into law quickly by President Donald Trump, as it was approved by the Republican-controlled Senate in May.

The bill aims to make foreign companies let the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board oversee the auditing of their financial records if they want to raise money by selling stocks or bonds to the U.S. public. All U.S. companies and most foreign companies already work with the PCAOB in this way, but Chinese ones do not.

A simple case of financial transparency.  Nothing more, nothing less. We have to do it - they should have to do it too.

Good news - Facebook

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From the United States Department of Justice:

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Facebook for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers
The Department of Justice announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. for discriminating against U.S. workers.

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions that Facebook, instead, reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorization (or “green cards”) in connection with the permanent labor certification process (PERM). The positions that were the subject of Facebook’s alleged discrimination against U.S. workers offered an average salary of approximately $156,000. According to the lawsuit, and based on the department’s nearly two-year investigation, Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified U.S. workers a fair opportunity to learn about and apply for jobs that Facebook instead sought to channel to temporary visa holders Facebook wanted to sponsor for green cards.

“The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “This lawsuit follows a nearly two-year investigation into Facebook’s practices and a ‘reasonable cause’ determination by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Our message to workers is clear: if companies deny employment opportunities by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice will hold them accountable. Our message to all employers — including those in the technology sector — is clear: you cannot illegally prefer to recruit, consider, or hire temporary visa holders over U.S. workers.”

Of course they hired H-1B's - they are almost as productive and cost a lot less.  A lot of times they are actually hired by a management company that provides dormitory style accommodations and food.  Cheap to implement and since the H-1B visa is linked to the company, the poor people cannot look for work elsewhere. They need to start hiring local talent - we have enough of it and FB has enough money.

An elegy from Bon Apitit magazine:

I’m Afraid It's Too Late to Save Restaurants
“This is the end of the independent restaurant era, and I don’t know any chef in their right mind who feels hopeful right now. We have meal kits; we’re getting tents and heaters. But at the end of the day, I’m on the Titanic, trying to throw out buckets of water to stay afloat. I’m fighting to save my restaurants and chefs and farmers whom we’ve had relationships with for decades. But part of me is very pragmatic. We’re not getting a bailout from the federal government and we’re not getting leadership—state, federal, even local. We’ve been left to our own devices.

The options for restaurants right now are to go further into debt or to close. If we make 80 percent of our income now, that’s a great day. It’s like a Saturday night with all the tables booked. But then there are days when we’ve done 15 percent of our normal revenue. Those are days where it’s actually cheaper for me to keep the lights off and close the doors.

It’s the fluctuations that really hurt us. We rely on patterns and predictability for inventory, for staffing, for everything. Now we don’t have a clue. Some of it is COVID-related; some of it is related to the protests; and some of it related to consumer fears about eating out at restaurants. Sometimes it’s just a viral article on Facebook that affects consumer confidence. 610 Magnolia has weathered recessions. Revenue-wise, last year was our best year ever. And we were on pace to beat that in 2020. There’s cold comfort in knowing an entire wave of restaurants will have to close.

Some local places have been really hit hard. Again, this is not a public health crisis, this is a power and control crisis.

How IKEA was invented

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Been at meetings like this:

Two headlines - Wuhan Flu

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These caught my eye this morning:

Heh - could not happen to a nicer Chinese company. Zoom did an excellent job of promotion while people were working from home.  People do not want to work from home. End of pandemic? End of Zoom sales.

Get woke - go broke - twitter

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The latest in a long line of stupid business decisions - here is the Twitter stock price for the last month:


Doing pretty well until they decided to censor the Joe Biden corruption story. Again, get "woke", go broke.   It never works out well to kowtow to the marxist socialist mob. These people are very vocal but they are a very small minority.  The proper response is to mock them, to laugh at them and to keep on doing what you were doing.

Heh - leadership in Washington State

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ie: None.  Check this out - from Gun Free Zone:

Somebody is pissed
That feeling when you realize you cost your state 27,000 jobs and might cost them 71,000 when it’s all said and done.

Not to mention the tax revenue lost from that.

Right now Kay Ivey and Mo Brooks should be sending armies of hookers and dump trucks full of cocaine to Boeing corporate offices to suck, fuck, and blow them into moving the rest of their production fleet to the Huntsville area.

There is plenty of space in Limestone County to drop in a new airplane factory near where Blue Origin and Toyota Mazda are now.

Our costs of living are lower than Seattle, the weather is nicer, and our residents don’t burn shit to the ground.

Kay Ivey is the Governor of Alabama and Mo Brooks is the US Representative for the State.

Inslee is probably a nice guy - just waaaay in over his head. Does not help that he is in the pocket for MSFT, Boeing, Adobe, Amazon, etc... and does not represent us normies.  You know - We The People. He failed to read the writing on the wall. He failed to learn his history.  About twenty years ago, Boeing moved their Corporate Headquarters from Seattle to Chicago.  There were many mitigating factors but one biggie was that they were not able to get a break on taxes. Seattle lost  a huge tax base then. Despite the 737MAX fiasco, Boeing is a pretty well-run corporation and the people at the top are no dummies.

The Seattle City Council is all salivating about the new taxes it is going to levy to fund their pet projects.  Boeing sees the writing on the wall (Here We Go Again) and decides to pull up stakes. Socialism has never worked.  It only functions in the minds of the low-information bureaucrats who advocate for it and the low-information voters who put them in office.

Now this is depressing - plastics

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From National Public Radio:

Waste Land
Last year, Planet Money ran a show about why it doesn't make sense economically and, heartbreakingly, even environmentally to recycle plastic. But if recycling most plastic is not working now — and if it didn't work 30 years ago when the numbers and arrows first popped up — did it ever work? And why did it take us so long to learn the truth? In this episode, NPR reporter Laura Sullivan, with the support of PBS's Frontline, sets out to find out who is responsible.

And what she finds is a paper trail — crinkled-up documents (that apparently did not get recycled) long forgotten in old boxes. And the trail leads, well, to a guy on a beach in Florida.

24 minute audio show - the plastics manufacturers lied to us saying that recycling would be guaranteed, safe and cheap. None of the above.

Under the radar - President Trump

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The stories about peace in the middle east may finally be gaining some traction but this is flying completely under the radar. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinal:

The Trump administration is committed to a safe, democratic Latin America
I recently traveled to Panama and Colombia to meet with presidents Cortizo and Duque and to announce the launch of several of President Donald J. Trump’s initiatives to enhance security, prosperity, and democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

The U.S.-Colombia Growth Initiative will unleash billions of dollars of American private sector investment in Colombia over the next three years. These investments will focus on projects that empower rural Colombians and expand economic opportunities for farmers, such as roads, land titling, and farming infrastructure. By making investments in Colombia’s legitimate agricultural economy, we can begin to move rural Colombians away from coca cultivation.

We expanded our agreement with Panama under the América Crece — Growth in the Americas — program to include infrastructure investment as well as energy projects. Beyond Panama, América Crece will help address the region’s shortfall of over $150 billion in annual private sector infrastructure and energy investment. Almost a dozen of our neighboring countries have already signed framework deals, and we have unleashed over $1 billion in regional investment through the U.S Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

A rising tide floats all boats. This will bring peace and stability to the world. Present an alternative to cocaine as a cash crop and get the farmers educated and the crime cartels will lose traction.

Dealing with China - Sweden gets it

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From the South China Morning Post:

H&M cuts ties with Chinese supplier over Xinjiang forced labour accusations
Swedish clothing giant H&M said on Tuesday it was ending its relationship with a Chinese yarn producer over accusations of “forced labour” involving ethnic and religious minorities from China’s Xinjiang province.

The fashion retailer specified that it did not work with any garment factories in the region and that it would no longer source cotton from Xinjiang, which is China’s largest cotton growing area.

A bit more and some other good news:

Rights groups say over a million Uygurs languish in political re-education camps, which Beijing describes as vocational training centres where education is given to lift the population out of poverty and to chisel away at Islamic radicalism.

China says criticism of its handling of Xinjiang is politically motivated, and based on lies about what happens in the vast facilities it has built.

On Monday US customs said it would bar a raft of Chinese products including cotton, garments and hair products, from Xinjiang over fears they were made using forced labour.

China on Tuesday slammed the US move as “bullying” and dismissed accusations of forced labour as “a complete fabrication”.

Nice to see that the US Customs is doing the same thing. As for this being "a complete fabrication" - the communist Chinese government doth protest too much. We know. They know that we know. They just want to save face.

Commercial sports - get woke, go broke

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From Hot Air:

Super Bust: New Gallup Poll Shows Sports Industry As Popular As … Big Pharma And The Feds
Is this outcome from Gallup’s latest longitudinal poll fair? After all, big pharma and the feds might be having a better season than the sports industry. Nonetheless, those are the only three industries that find themselves in negative territory, with sports taking the biggest dive:

The biggest slide, however, has been for the sports industry, with its positive score falling 15 points — from 45% to 30%.

The sports industry now has a negative image, on balance, among Americans as a whole, with 30% viewing it positively and 40% negatively, for a -10 net-positive score. This contrasts with the +20 net positive image it enjoyed in 2019, when 45% viewed it positively and 25% negatively. …

While it’s not clear how much the various challenges and controversies swirling around the industry are each responsible for its slide in popularity, it is notable that sports has lost more support from Republicans and independents than from Democrats. In fact, Democrats’ view of the sports industry has not changed significantly in the past year, while Republicans’ has slipped from a +11 net-positive score in 2019 to a net -35 today, and independents’ from +26 to -10.

The sports industry’s image has also deteriorated more among women than men, and among older adults than those younger than 35. Sports has also lost more support from non-White than White Americans, but given the extraordinarily high ratings from non-White adults a year ago, this group continues to view the sports industry positively on balance today. That is not the case with White adults, who now view the sports industry more negatively than positively, and by a 22-point margin.

Not a follower of commercial sports so this does not impact me. Still, that was a huge industry until they started pandering to the extreme minority of activists.

Dropping the gauntlet - New York City

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A strong dose of coffee from the Wall Street Journal:

Business Leaders Urge Mayor de Blasio to Stop New York City’s Decline
More than 160 business leaders, including executives at Citigroup Inc., Mastercard Inc. and Nasdaq Inc., have signed a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio warning of New York City’s deteriorating condition in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and growing anxiety over public safety, cleanliness and other quality-of-life issues.

In a letter sent Thursday, the leaders said the pandemic has devastated the city’s economy, causing high levels of unemployment. They urged the Democratic mayor to restore essential services that have been cut from the budget that he and the New York City Council recently approved.

The budget reduced or eliminated services like garbage pickups and graffiti removal, as well as shifted nearly $1 billion in funding away from the New York Police Department. The city still faces a $9 billion deficit over the next two years and may have to lay off 22,000 government workers in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the city has seen a surge in violent crimes and thefts over the summer as officials loosened restrictions to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

For the four-week period that ended Sunday, the city recorded 55 homicides, up 49% from 37 in the same period last year, according to NYPD data. The city also had 222 shooting incidents during those four weeks, more than double the 90 shootings a year earlier.

“We need to send a strong, consistent message that our employees, customers, clients and visitors will be coming back to a safe and healthy work environment,” the business leaders’ letter said. “People will be slow to return unless their concerns about security and the livability of our communities are addressed quickly and with respect and fairness for our city’s diverse populations.”

I love it.  Show some leadership, turn the city around, kick out the bums or we are outta here.

The New York Post also writes about the letter:

NYC CEOs plead with de Blasio to crack down on crime, quality-of-life issues
The heads of over 160 major corporations, from Macy’s to MasterCard, are pleading with Mayor Bill de Blasio to finally crack down on crime and address quality-of-life concerns so New Yorkers can return to work after the coronavirus shut down the city.

Some bits:

Shootings have skyrocketed in the last few months with a 50 percent increase over Labor Day weekend alone compared to last year, while arrests for gunplay are down by about 13 percent.

Garbage is overflowing on city streets as budget cuts reduced the number of weekly pickups, and homeless encampments have proliferated around the five boroughs.

Less than 10 percent of the city’s office workers had returned to their desks by last month.

 And this:

The effort was organized by the Partnership for New York City, a business group whose members employ over 1.5 million New Yorkers.

That is a lot of jobs. A big chunk of the tax base too. I do hope he listens or that the voters get their collective heads out of their butts and elect someone good this time around.

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