Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Just Federal Judge?

They must not have anything on him:
The BLM and Forest Service likewise pilfered cows belonging to rancher Wayne Hage, who like the Danns spent decades fighting the Feds in court. Last year, in what must be regarded as little short of an epoch-shattering miracle, a federal judge ruled that those agencies had conducted a criminal conspiracy against Hage and recommended that their administrators face criminal prosecution.
Pick your battles.  The Bundy Ranch confrontation was a guaranteed loser for the Bundys, a lost cause, forming up to be another Ruby Ridge or Waco winning moment for the Feds, when the documents got out Reid's kid was facilitating Bundy Land to be used for a Chinese solar panel project.  The legal fees along would be worth millions Reif, Jrs law firm.   Ka ching.  So the Fed hired guns skedaddled when the word got out.  (The big lesson from Waco was the Feds ran out of ammo.  So now you know why BLM, the Education Department, Health and Human Services now have billions of rounds stocked up.)

Not to be curbed, Reid has been calling Americans in a property dispute "terrorists."  We kill terrorists, so the Bundys' days are numbered.

The Chinese need not worry.  They'll get their solar farm.  Sen. Reid has unlimited armed Americans willing to kill Americans over a property dispute.

The funny thing is, in the most free market place on earth, Hong Kong, no one can own land.  It all works out, like it did for the Indians before the state stole their lands.

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Maslow's Heirarchy and Bank Credit

Maslow worked out a heirarchy of human needs represented as a pyramid in which the higher things are not attained until basic things are covered.  Basic things such as food, clothing, housing, medicine, education and tools.

I recall a time when, except for housing, people paid their own money for all of the above.

As to housing, people put at least 20% down, and borrowed from local banks that lent local money. People wanted annuities so they would deposit their savings for 30 years, and a bank would lend that to a mortgagee for 30 years, 6% loan would cover the 3% paid on the annuity.  It was immoral, but at least it was financially sound, like say, a brothel.

Today, banks can borrow credit for five years (or overnight) at nearly nothing interest and lend it out for 30 years at 5%.    Ka ching!  Not only is it immoral, it is financial suicide.

It was going off the semi/quasi gold standard in 1971 that allowed the change.  So now we have people racking up debt to pay for

food (credit cards)

clothing (macy's card)

housing (see above)

medicine (medical expenses now bankrupt people while that was rare before 1971)

education - not only are student loans a trap, not bankruptable, but if you are really smart and win a scholarship, you get nailed ...  scholarships are taxable...  when you win your goal of a $100,000 full ride scholarship, you will get a $30,000 tax bill, which cannot be bankrupted.  And the funny thing is, there is no money, just notes on a tally sheet of who owes whom for what, and who cannot escape an obligation.  The state will enforce the obligations to the uber-wealthy, while ignoring the promises to the poor.

In USA we are being attacked at the level of our most basic needs, which prevents us from moving up to higher needs.  The tool in this attack is lending cheap credit, which causes inflation and overpricing.

Rawls talked about the "original position" in which we wipe the slate clean and build a just, rational society.  It ain't gonna happen.

Gradualists tell us, adjust here, occupy there, protest this, and we can make progress.  It never has happened.  What does happen is progressive policies bring down the system and the slate is wiped clean in a crisis.

So it is imperative there are enough people who make it through the coming gotterdammerung to practice business in ways that are sustainable when we move out of the ashes.

That means you.

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What Germans Think of USA Aggression in Ukraine

Here is an article with a European view:
The German letter recalls that Putin has called for economic cooperation in a “Common European House” from Lisbon to Vladivostok, in which Ukraine could act as an “ideal bridge” for future cooperation between the European Union and a Eurasian Union.
“We are convinced that the purpose of the United States’ massive seizure of influence is to make this bridge function impossible.”
Our election-fraud result leaders are out of control.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Specialization - Division of Labor

Color film is an invention, designed for a market.  When they designed the film, they set the chemicals for dead center of the market, a girl of medium whitish color.  This left out people any darker (or lighter for that matter, except Johnny Winter has a better chance of a good picture than Yaphet Kotto).

I guess when sickle cell anemia is ignored getting film right is not a high priority.  But in a free market, all of these things that capitalism makes "orphan" would be addressed, through the normal free market functions.  Here is a problem widely known:
The Guardian notes that filmmaker Jean Luc Godard was quite vocal, famously refusing to use Kodak film stock in 1977 while on assignment in Mozambique because the product was “racist.” 
The stuff is not designed to capture African skin. Which leads a storyteller/photographer to passion, or suffering:
I only wonder if unbiased technologies were available to us then, could they have enabled an alternative story? If images produced by Western culture represented a wider variety of black and brown identities, images in stock agencies that showed black women in professional settings, or just carefree girls, jumping rope, swimming, camping, with all shades of light highlighting how light changes on our skin, that together we’d reach some accord, some comfortable vernacular about the diversity of beauty and humanness. I wonder if the technologies available to us in those days would have taught me early how to love the richness of my brown skin. 
Joy, in solving the problem. Now as the article points out, Kodak is happy to up their game so chocolates and furniture will show up, but not people.
I began shooting color film again in 2000. The Fuji film I use now still struggles with a bias toward lightness in its color standard. But it does seem to be more forgiving to darker skin. More satisfying are my experiments with cross-processing slide film. It’s a process where you develop e6 film, which gives you a positive image, then mix with c41 to get a negative image. Double processing the film stock skews colors, and leaves me with a more vivid range to play and document the world.
So at no real financial cost, just breaking the rules on film processing, she is creating a work around with much improvement.  From here I would advise Syreeta McFadden to share with Fuji what she has done, and then ask them under what conditions they would develop film stock to her specifications?  Fuji has billions in R&D equipment, and massive excess production capacity.  Working with Syreeta would make news, enhance the image and grow the business.  And everyone is looking to Africa as a market, even the USArmy now has an Africa Command, in order to command Africa.  Fuji may very well work with her.  She might call the film stock F-41 after the immigration status "Brother or sister of US Citizen" given the 2nd class status of people of African ancestry in USA, or better yet "Jambo stock" after the friendly African greeting.

In a free market, such film would already exist, because the pie keeps growing and although people are no different, the ability to oppress others is limited for lack of exceptional wealth which gives exceptional power over others.

Wealth is not how money people have how much money, but hoe many people can afford what array of goods and services with their own money.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Got Gold?

As I've been saying, means of production beat passive investments, especially heading inot the crack-up that will happen later this year.  One lesson we'll relearn is what is money:
In the rest of the world and particularly Asia, people do not think like we do. As far as they're concerned, gold is the only long term asset worth holding. It is the family pension fund. I like quoting the typical situation in India. I first went to India in 1965 and the price of gold at that stage in rupees was around about 170 rupees an ounce. Today it's about 100,000 rupees an ounce. And when you think that the young man getting married at that time -- he'll be a grandfather now -- he would have got a dowry from his wife's family which would have been in gold. His presents would have been gold. Every time they had children there would have been gold. Every time there's a festival there would be gold. Gold is the family pension fund. What other investment has gone from 170 rupees to 100,000 rupees over that period of time? Absolutely nothing! There isn't even an alternative like sensible equities or anything like that for them to play. Gold is the only way they can escape the devaluation of the rupee. And so no wonder it's so popular. That's the story all over Asia, by the way.
If I wanted savings, I'd keep it in gold.  But in hard times, your gold will just be taken away.  Whereas no one wants to take away your pizza oven, since it is no good to them without you.  And they will trade something (a silver coin?) for a pizza.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Turn everything off and spend the day with your family.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

End the ExIm Bank

When there is a call to get rid of the harmful Ex-Im Bank, that is not enough.  There needs to be a trap door: when out never back.
Conservative senators, including Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), are going to oppose reauthorization this summer, and they’re already asking useful questions about the bank’s opaque accounting. Senator Lee is pushing for a debate within the GOP about crony capitalism more generally — he recognizes the corruption it represents within the party and our government. Of course, tearing down corporate privilege is far from a sufficient answer — or even a primary one — to the problems that plague America’s economy. To win the trust of American voters, the GOP needs more ideas on how to boost middle-class wages and restore economic growth and security. But winning that battle won’t be easy when Americans have an ample number of reasons to believe that Republicans favor big business over the working class. It’s time to end one of them.
And here is the best part... no sooner does national review editorialize on getting rid of Ex-Im bank than the Ex-Im bank lights up the PR Wires with Tales of Great Things.  None of which will stand scrutiny.

Time to eliminate the ExIm Bank, and once an agency is eliminated, enough with the "government service" of those who work there.  Let them find work in the real world, and like Lazarus, report back what a hell those who are working inside the state are creating for those who support the state.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Sales Process - Part 2

This is taking longer than I thought, but here is the second step, plus a graph.

When you have a qualified buyer, you move on to AGREEMENT ON NEED.

It is important that your product, as mentioned elsewhere, is the simplest necessary to gain enough orders from customers to cover the supplier’s minimum in a workable amount of time profitably.

If you overshoot design, then you ran ahead of the customers, but you also make the “test market” too complicated to analyze. If you have Gluten Free, non GMO cake mixes, you are probably fine in a test market.  If you add on “kosher” then you are not sure what feedback is telling you.  Regardless of the sales, good or bad, you have no idea what role “kosher” is playing in customer feedback.  So introduce your value in its basic form, and then add other values.  (Of course if your market is strictly kosher, then “kosher” is not an add-on.)

Not only are you constantly testing, the buyer is also testing, you may have very well have convinced him to test Gluten Free NonGMO cake mixes, but he sees “kosher” adding a variable for which he does not want to control (statistics talk).  So you sold him on gluten free, but he will buy from somewhere else.

“Here is the ice cream scoop.  As you see it has these benefits, and has not only won these awards, but has ever increasing sales.  It allows for delivery of one scoop per second of ice cream to 25% fat content frozen to 12 degrees F at three pounds of pressure.”

They buyer may at this point say, not enough benefit to interest me, “If I am to take yours and dump another, you have to get that down to 5 degrees F. “  At that point you received valuable feedback, and you go back to the drawing board.

Or, the buyer agrees he needs this scoop.

At any point the person with whom you are talking very well may bail out.  If so, they were never a customer.  At any point they do bail out, the process is organic enough for you to know why, in terms of information upon which you can act to improve your product or company or both.  In any event, we are also keen on running off anyone who is not a legitimate buyer, while arriving at the agreement on need.

And note something else, up to this point, there was never any reason to introduce yourself.  if you did, you may have out of politeness, but it was not necessary.  Most likely you were wasting time if you introduced yourself and discovered that you were not speaking to a buyer.  As a matter of efficiency, you should tend not to introduce yourself or anything about your company until you are at the point of “sell the company.”  Not out of any sense of secrecy, just cold, blooded efficiency.  There is an old protocol, you only give a business card to someone with whom you will do business. If you have not agreed to do business together, then why exchange cards?  Respect other’s time...  if they are not going to be a customer, don’t waste their time.  If they cannot be a customer, extricate yourself.

Since the buyers job is to find new products that will advance their mission, you need to make your offer the easiest, most stripped down as possible.  The entire MOQ FOB tactic and tool is devoted to this.  With an offer no legitimate buyer can refuse, you move on, one way of another.

When you have worked out what is being sold and that the buyer needs it at the stipulated price, then you move on to SELL THE COMPANY.

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Another one of the people who gets it consistently right is Marc Faber.  He is quoted here saying...
But according to Faber, consumption doesn’t create a strong economy. ‘Wealth doesn’t come from consumerism, it comes from capital spending,‘ he said.
Well, yes... but to clarify...  capital spending is on capital goods, the jet airliner, the pizza oven, the lawnmower.  Wealth is not the capital good, but what it produces: movement of someone from San Francisco to Shanghai, a pizza, a cut lawn.  Without small business both using up excess production and calling into creation new capital equipement, the economy is all about ripping people off.  That is what we have today, a largely false economy, risible balance sheets, massive misallocation and malinvestment where capital equipment does exist.

The process to achieve this unbalance is called usury, and I guess I will remain the only person pointing this out.  No, although the evil is great, I don't think it should be ooutlawed, because I don't think the state should exist, let alone outlaw anything.  If we in business simply do not recognize loans as anything more than a charitable event, and interest as somethign nonbinding, like a gambling debt, then usury will die.

Faber also knows words, so when he says consumerism, he is speaking in contradistinction to materialism.  USA is consumeristic, while Europe is materialistic.  This is why we have thrift stores and Europe generally does not.  We buy a sweater thinking it is for a season, in Europe they tend to think of a sweater as a long term investment.

Wealth is the array of goods and services which are available to people with their own money.  The more people can afford with their own money, the wealthier the society.  Achieving this can only be through a free market. I do understand that some people think wealth is to what degree few can claim much.  But neither etymology nor common sense is on their side.

And then Faber notes -
China’s massive growth triggered massive commodity export booms in emerging economies. China’s real success was exporting the products it produced back to emerging economies. This has created a significant shift in the global economy: exports from China to emerging countries are higher than exports to the US or Europe.
Just so. As our access to goods and services with our own money dwindles, the rest of the world is emerging under China's aegis, since China offers a better deal than USA to emerging economies.  Privatize the profits, socialize the costs, if it's new tax it, if it keeps moving regulate it, when it stops moving subsidize is.

The most revolutionary act you can make is start a business.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sharia Compliant Business Loans In Seattle!

Along with Bill Gates, I believe Mohammend Yunis does incalculable evil to the poor and marginal worldwide with their evil programs inflicted on the defenseless.  Giving away mosquito nets wipes out the mosquito net dealers, microfinance traps countless people in loans they cannot repay and covenants that destroy their communities.  Is there no end to the assaults on the poor by the rich?

Lending money at interest (usury) is a crime in Islam and Christianity.  Defying Church teaching is not remarkable, something like 94% of Catholics reject the Church teaching on artificial birth control, so if 99% reject the teaching on usury (interest), no big deal.

So my head spins when I see a group form and spontaneously offers loans that are Sharia-compliant and Catholic-compliant.  I suppose what is good and true and beautiful cannot be forever discounted by Church leaders, at some point good will come forth.  It is just too bad no Catholics presented this.  Perhaps when your theology is reduced to Sola Obamacare other matters of faith and morals take a back seat.

The astonishing good thing is here.  I'll be kicking in a "section" for a usury-free loan.  For what?  To whom? Who cares!  Here is a chance to be ethical in business in USA.  Rare!

Now I am pretty sure these lenders will suffer IRS problems since we'll have to declare imputed income  from interest on the loans since the IRS forbids usury free loans, or be liable for failure to declare taxable income.  (And the recipients will be in trouble for undeclared income in the measure they did not pay imputed usury.) My daughters gained scholarships at college and were obliged to pay taxes on the scholarships, since the IRS views scholarships as taxable income. (Imagine a poor family getting a full ride scholarship at Harvard for $60,000 per year, and owe the IRS $20,000 per year for it. In this way we make sure smart poor kids can never get a break in USA, or if they take it, we break their families.)  Under capitalism, even imaginary income is taxed, because capitalism is relentlessly evil in practice.

The economy of the United States has already failed, it is just a matter of time before enough people realize it, and the system collapses.  is an example of things done right, and I hope that enough of this makes it so we can grow something good out of the coming ashes.

Francis Cardinal George of Chicago says he expects to die in bed, his successor die in prison, and his successor executed in the public square.  Sounds about right, but for what?  Will they understand it was for failure to teach the immorality of usury?  And how the acceptance of capitalism, with its heart of usury, brought down the country?  Probably not.  Do you think the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had any idea what they had done wrong?

Cardinal George said he expects a renaissance after that last Cardinal is executed to cheering crowds in Soldier Field.  Renaissance of what?  Resurgent usury-based economy?  Romney/Obamacare? Capitalism?

The free market is essentially ethical.  Usury is unethical.  Out of nowhere comes an ethical capital provider, in essence a bank like what has not been seen for 250 years.  Astonishing.

Encouraging.  ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός!

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