Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Overstocked Sale

We are Overstocked

We are Overstocked

One ad that keeps popping up on radio and tv is the
“We Are Overstocked Sale”

I have been in business many years and one the single most important factors in management is inventory. Stock costs money. Overstock is working capital tied up in storage. When most businesses are operating on limited budgets, inventory excess means someone is not getting paid or a bank note is needed to meet expenses. Either way, overstock is a drain on profit.

Inventory is probably the easiest part of business to control. It is a tangible ingredient. Not like the effects of economic downturn, or customer growth and loyalty which are intangibles, ingredients one has to work with and around. Or bank rates, which generally are out of business control, or repairs and maintenance which can bring sudden surprises. Employee relations are another of the intangibles, more than simple counting and ordering.

Yes, there is need for sales projections, but if you are on top of your game and watching the pulse of the industry you are in and look back on past performance, what inventory is required to cover sales should not be such a burden on the company budget.

My point is this; Why would I trust buying from a company which advertises their poor management? Especially when it is the same companies, most often furniture and appliances, telling the same “Overstocked” story over and over again. They are either extremely poorly managed or outright lying to customers and just using overstocked as a sale strategy. Either way, I don’t want to do business with them. They think people are stupid. The ads are directed at the gullible.

If poorly managed, then the services they offer will be poorly managed. If they are lying about being overstocked, then they most likely will lie about their product and service.

NIMBY

Bang

#*^*?@+ Happens

For all those who are favorable to having Enbridge build the Northern Gateway pipeline to the west coast, ask yourselves; “What would I allow to be built in my back yard?”

The community wants to allow a company to build a dynomite magazine in our town and the best place is in your back yard. It is perfectly safe. When was the last time you heard of a dynomite magazine blowing up? It will be monitored. Yes there is a very remote possibility of an accident and you will lose everything, but, with new technology, the chances of anything bad happening are extremely remote. We will be selling this dynomite to other communities and we will all recieve some monetary gain from the sales. We will buy our dynomite from other provinces, there is no profit in using our own. We will make more money selling it.

So what do you say? The mayor is on board with the project. We will grant you a special priviledge, how about the Key to the City. That would look nice on your mantel.
You can’t say no. Either you agree with allowing Dynomite Joe to build a magazine or we will expropriate your property, give you nothing and build it anyway.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1095775–aboriginal-groups-stand-against-canadian-oil-pipeline

“A group of First Nations in British Columbia says it will do “whatever means necessary” to stop exports of crude oil from Alberta’s oilsands through their territories — including the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline.

Stop tankers from entering Northern BC waters

Say NO to tankers

The $5.5-billion project, which is currently being assessed by a review panel in Ottawa, now faces yet another public relations setback in its quest to open up a new supply route to Asia.”

The pipeline would move 525,000 barrels a day of oilsands crude 1,177 km from Edmonton to the Pacific port of Kitimat, B.C.
“Access to the Asian market, which is growing very quickly, is extremely important,” said Travis Davies, spokesman for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know all the facts about oil production and distribution.  I have thought about energy and environment and these thoughts run through my head.

The Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline could lead to an environment disaster, true. There is a bigger more ominous problem, economic reality. The reality is that Canada imports roughly 60% of its crude oil requirements.

Canada is a net energy exporter, Crude oil, natural gas and coal, 99 percent of its annual oil exports to USA, but, Canada also imports large amounts of these energy products. The fact is its major coal and oil fields are located in Western Canada, mostly in Alberta. The main population and industrial centers are located in Ontario and Quebec. Also many of its oil refineries cannot handle the types of oil produced in Canada.

Canada is being held hostage by the oil industry. Not just Canada – the world. Canada exports near all of Canadian production, money in oil company pockets, and they want to export more, and then import more than half of Canadian needs. Ummm, who does the Tar Sands oil belong to?

If Enbridge can build a pipeline to the Pacific, they can build a pipeline to Ontario. If it means using Tar Sands oil, then update the refineries to do so. They won’t because Canada would become oil independent and would then be in the position to get out of OPEC and have lower crude pricing and energy costs would go down. The oil producing companies would cry.

It is not enough just to extract and export or to extract, refine and export. If the end user is over contributing to global warming, not using the best technology available, the end results will remain the same and the Kyoto Protocol will become of no effect, in actuality it probably already is. Should Canada allow exports to countries with insufficient pollution standards? Canada can no longer play the resource game just for profit. Curbing emissions in Canada is of no account if Canada allows other countries to use Canadian resources and products in environmentally detrimental ways. China and India are the top environment offenders.

Simply put, we cannot allow our environmental obligations to be traded away.

Emphatic NO to exporting oil to Asian countries. Canadian oil for Canadians first. The USA will import all the rest Canada can produce. That is good for Canada, good for the USA. If Canada can help the US in their energy crunch, the global economies will become more stable. That is if the USA has the balls to solving their financial crisis.

Blogs on this topic I am following:
David Suzuki, the Northern Gateway pipeline, and the dollar

The battle lines are drawn, and Northern B.C.’s pristine wilderness is the latest front. With hearings underway into the proposed $5.5-billion, dual 1,172-kilometre Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project to transport bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat and imported condensate to dilute it from the coast back to Alberta, the fossil fuel industry and its supporters have stepped up the rhetoric. Environmentalists and people in towns, rural areas, and First Nations communities in B.C. have lined up in opposition.

SolarIMG – GIC Vulnerability of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Canada

Many Canadians are not happy with the proposed “Northern Gateway” pipeline from Alberta to B.C. and understandably so.[1] Fears of oil leakage, secondary environmental impacts, attacks and other concerns are most definitely reasonable and valid and should be raised. Hats off to all of the people who are expressing their opposition to the plan!

BC Natives fear disastrous oil spill inevitable?

The Gitga’at First Nation has been saying no to the Northern Gateway pipeline project since 2006. The project will bring more than 200 huge tankers annually through the waters next to their tiny community of 160 in Hartley Bay at the entrance to Douglas Channel on B.C.’s northwest coast.
The risks and effects of an oil spill are simply not worth any economic benefits, which the First Nation view as nil, says Marvin Robinson, a spokesman for the community.

Sea to Sands Conservation Alliance

BC Environment Minister admits Gulf of Mexico oil spill raises additional questions about Enbridge Northern Gateway project

Canada’s Faustian Bargain: The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

Rhetorical mudslinging has dominated Canadian environmental news this week, with conservative politicians and environmental activists coming to verbal blows in the wake of the commencement of the environmental assessment of the Enbridge Inc. Northern Gateway pipeline.
The proposed pipeline will run from the Albertan Tar Sands to a long protected channel in Kitimat, BC, where the harvested oil will be loaded onto ‘super-tankers’ and transported to Asia. The pipeline project is estimated by Enbridge to generate at approximately $5.5 billion dollars, and is set to span a whopping 1,172 km.

Stop the Gateway Pipeline which will bring Mega Tankers to the BC coast. Oil spills are inevitable.
Dogwood Initiative, Petition
The most effective thing Canadians can do right now would be to sign and share the No Tankers petition. The more people who sign the petition the better able we are to exercise the power of Canadians who stand up for their values.

Stop tankers from entering Northern BC waters

Say NO to tankers

Get 1 FREE

Buy 1 get 1 Free

Buy 1 get 1 Free

We have all seen similar advertisements like the one on the right. A product hyped as something you can’t do without.

Buy 1 Get 1 FREE!
Just pay shipping and handling.

They are appealing to basic human senses, something for nothing.

But Wait!

There’s MORE!!

Appeals to our senses of curiosity.

It is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book. Surprisingly, it still works. And works well.

Lately marketers, especially on TV have added a twist. Up selling 4-6 items at one low price – just pay shipping and handling. Usually around $6.00.

Sounds a fair deal.

Have your credit card ready and call 866-_____ Very often you are paying for the call. The marketer receives a percentage. Between $4 and $10.

Before you can ask what the final costs will be, they have got your phone number – placed you on their suckers list, plus you have given them your credit card number.

Now you are about to find out those shipping and handling charges have added up to $36.00, sometimes more plus the price of the item, usually $19.95 or $24.95, plus the phone call of $8.00 – $20.00 and the final result is $74.90 + tax.

Not much of a deal is it?

Here is some interesting reading: Deconstructing “Buy 1 – Get 1 FREE!”

Employees Needed

Seeking the person who is willing to work a minimum 1 hr. per day for a large national corporation and pay for the privilege of doing so?
Apply to any television carrier in your area.

Each time you watch 3 hrs of television, that’s 1 hockey game, you have sat through and watched at minimum 1 hr of commercials during that time. The TV producers will even hold up the game, TV timeouts they are called, so that they can run the ads. Fair enough, some one has to pay for the air time, but, did you turn to that channel to watch commercials or watch the game? The commercials are deterrents to your enjoyment of the game and therefore the viewer should be compensated for his time. Since we pay the carrier, Direct TV, Bell, Rogers, whomever, to deliver that program, why then should we not be compensated for the time spent watching the ads. The producer is getting paid, let the advertiser pay the carrier to deliver their ads to the viewer. Why should the viewer pay twice?

Does the post office require the receiver of mail to pay for another stamp? NO. Does UPS expect to be paid by both the sender and the receiver? NO. Why then for TV? It’s just another product. I wouldn’t mind paying for the product commercial free, but even pay for view has those commercial time outs and includes subliminal advertizing.

What adds insult is oft time the carrier owns both the program or the rights to and the network you are watching. That is triple payment.

What I’m really waiting for is the television carrier who offers free satellite TV. The first carrier to do so will capture near all the business and force the TV networks to pay the carrier to include their stations. It will happen some day. Just not soon enough.

Advertizing is everywhere and people are just not willing to show their displeasure even when they pay to watch it. Purchase a video and the very first thing you see is advertizing. The producers of the video are being paid twice. So bold are they that they have even made it so that you can’t skip or fast forward over the commercials. Yet very few people complain.

A question – Would you be willing to trade in your digital wide screen TV for a 30″ analog without commercials and no carrier fees?

Interesting reading on advertizing – Why Americans Hate Advertising “Sixty percent said their opinion of advertising “is much more negative than just a few years ago.” It’s always been negative. Why should anyone like advertising? It’s a tax you pay to be entertained.” “…life in the early 21 st Century can’t be lived without continuous obeisance to Mammon.”

Commercial Love

People love advertising, commercials. So much so many will even pay to see them.

I don’t understand peoples’ fascination with advertizing. Is it the media that builds the desire to watch?

Advertisers pay huge amounts to place their newest commercials on Super Bowl time, part of the value must surely be that they know that even stations that don’t carry the Super Bowl game will still play the ads as part of their news or sports broadcast. Do they play them for free or are they being paid for the hype?

Many television stations have a once a week segment showing what they consider the best or funniest commercials. That I can perhaps understand, do they get paid to show them?

The biggest mystery to me is brand name clothing. Why would anyone pay extra to have Tommy Hilfiger in bold letters printed across their chest or back. Or Nike. Or Bum. You can buy the same quality shirt or pants without advertizing for less than half price at other stores and often at the same store. This is a day and age when it is very hard to have people volunteer their time for free, yet those very same people are willing to pay the garment distributor for the privilege of advertizing for them. I say, if you want me to be your billboard, give me the shirt.

Then there are the Home shows, Car shows, Boat shows Garden shows and a host of other advertizing venues that charge admission to go and see a suppliers product. What’s up with that? Pay 20 bucks or more to see the same product you can find at any building supply outlet or garden center.

Fairy Tale Dollars

Once upon a time, the dollar in your pocket had positive value. Money is now only a number in a database. Even the money in your bank account is a fictitious number. Roughly, only 10% of the people could cash in their accounts, bonds, pensions or securities in any given month or even year. That is why the US banks crashed a few years back and required bailouts in order to keep pension funds and savings afloat. Too many mortgages based on fictitious values went sour.

Could it happen again? Yes! The only thing different is the shift in responsibility. Now everyone owes, instead of only the richest who had the most dollar amount to lose.

Will it happen again? Yes! The debt didn’t go away, it is still there – accumulating interest, on a graduated scale. The more the debt, the higher the interest. The deeper in debt, the greater risk of collapse.

Election Politics

What would happen to an election candidate that said, “Everyone needs to pay more taxes. The rich and the middle class incomes need to lower their standards of living. We need to enforce the highest standards of environmental controls.”?

That’s right, they wouldn’t get elected.

It is not the politicians fault. It is the fault of the electorate. Almost everyone wants someone else to shoulder the burden. It matters not at this point how a nation got themselves into the fiscal morass they are in, what matters is how to get out of overburdening debt. Tax more, spend less; that’s it.

Unless national pride takes over and the peoples make a spending shift to buying mainly products manufactured in their own country, the economic base is not going to expand favorably. Industry will not come back. It just ain’t gonna happen. People would much rather buy cheaper imports than products made by workers paid at their own income standard.

Dollar Cycle

There is an old saying, Money is made round to go round. That is no longer the adage. A dollar spent at a locally owned and operated business using local services and selling local products where possible, will cycle in the community approximately seven times, buying more locally produced products and services, paying local wages, paying local taxes, paying for community services. Everyone in the community benefits and more community services can operate effectively and efficiently within budget. There is less unemployment and better paid employment.

Alas, in reality, people tend to spend their dollars at national or even international outlets where, the prices are less but, where the over half the dollar is skimmed off the top leaving the dollar to cycle only, on average, 3 times in the community. Generally the wages are lower, meaning less taxes are paid. The goods and services they offer are mostly imported, jobs and profits leave the country. The footage per retail is condensed leaving less local taxes collected by the community. Whenever a retail giant moves in to a community they will brag about how many people they will employ. In reality, the overall employment level drops as they force local merchants out of business. Local taxes have to increase to compensate for the losses.

Multinational and international retail giants are a lose, lose, lose reality. A loss for the community, a loss for the country and a loss for the tax payer.

Prediction

As my first post I will make a prediction.
By 2015 the world economics will be in total disaster.

I say this from looking at the economic and foreign policies of the USA which are a disaster now and who’s politicians are refusing to change. China is the world’s most powerful country, they hold the US purse strings and the US has no choice but to dance to the tune the piper is playing. The only thing holding China back in expanding an empire is oil and they are the only power nation left able to purchase oil without going further into debt. To US disgrace they are doing so mainly on US monies.

I liken US politics to two negotiators. One insists that 2+2=7, the other convinced that 2+2=5. Even if they compromise, they will be wrong. Not to say that the USA is worse than most other G20 nations, just that they have the most influence economically. Seeing the results from the primaries last night, it is obvious that nothing is going to change. The truth hurts and is about to hurt more.

To the American peoples all I can say is – A little humility and down sizing will go a long way.

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