Friday, November 25, 2011
So, as the sun sets on what the business media has christened 'Black Friday'; as the first evening of left-overs settle in our stomachs; as shoppers across the country rest weary feet, pepper sprayed eyes - not to mention the odd gun shot; we find ourselves on the eve 'Small Business Saturday', a brilliant idea to holiday shop at your local small business and support the success of the life blood of the American economy. It is the best way to truly occupy Wall Street. However, the concept and the catchy, Madison Avenue coined title has been co-opted by American Express. So, tomorrow, when you go to your local merchant to support them, to support the economy, or just to support a great idea, remember the whole media campaign is simply an American Express commercial and the business that you are supporting, more than not, cannot afford to accept the American Express card. Send a real message, pay CASH.
While we are on the subject of the all mighty dollar, it is important to know where your money is going (and to who). The top ten privately held companies - KOCH Inc. (chemicals & polymers), Cargill (agricultural commodities and food distribution), PricewaterhouseCoopers (accounting), Publix Super Markets, SemGroup (oil & natural gas), Mars (snack food), C&S Wholesale Grocers (food distribution), Ernst & Young (accounting), Bechtel (civil infrastructure, power& telecommunications), Meijer ( grocery & merchandise) - and the top ten public companies - JP Morgan-Chase (bank), HSBC (bank), GE, Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell (Oil), PetroChina (oil), ICBC (bank), Berkshire Hathaway (diversified financials), Petrobras-Petróleo Brasil (oil), CitiCorp (bank) - can be "occupied" only by how you make your holiday purchases and how you get there. And if you have no other choice than to shop at the big retailers, let your conscience guide your decision making. Of the top twenty retailers, as ranked by Forbes Magazine - #2 Kroger, #3 Target and #15 Macy's - gave $64 million, $146 million and $41 million, respectively, back to the community in charitable contributions. Something to keep in mind as you re(a)ward you holiday dollars.
This is all just food for thought - be it holiday budget or protest - knowledge is power. So, as you walk to you local independant shopkeeper and buy his/her goods with cash, keep in mind you have the power to make a difference this holiday season. When all is said and done, it is not about deals, or overnight lines, or profit margins, big business or small business - it's about comodities love, and hope, and peace on earth - try to occupy that space for the next month and see where that gets us.
Friday, November 11, 2011
So, protests are all well and good, they give you a voice and make you feel better, but how does it really effect the corporate heads and stock holders that the everyday person will never know the names of. There is only one way to get the attention and effect change in the finacial world and that is through their wallets. Learn who owns what and buy accordingly.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
The same day that Steve Jobs died, I learned of the passing of an old classmate of mine - Larry Nelson. I've known Larry since the seventh grade and in light of all the accalades being heaped upon Jobs, I can't help but feel that some attention needs to mark Larry's passing as well. I know that many of you reading this didn't know Larry, but then you didn't know Steve Jobs either, so bear with me. I can't imagine two passings more opposite - for you see Larry was mentally handicapped, and something that Jobs (by all reports) was not - a truly nice guy. Larry worked hard, had tons of hobbies and twice as many friends and I'd like to think a better quality of life than Steve Jobs could have ever hoped for. I had not seen Larry for years, but I have always carried his smile and friendship with me and I hope that he remembered me with the same fondness. Life takes people many directions, and at times great distances, but it is those people who we carry in hearts that keep us tied to our roots. So, as you read all of the tributes, remember what is the true measure of greatness and success - it has to do with heart and the smile that comes from it. While the world will continue to morn the loss of Steve Jobs, it is a lesser place without the like of Larry Nelson.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
WASHINGTON — U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, has submitted his letter of resignation to the White House on Monday announcing he intends to leave the post April 30. Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, was appointed ambassador by President Barack Obama in 2009. Huntsman's resignation is generating considerable attention in political circles because his foreign policy experience - not to mention deadly laser/heat vision - could stand out in (and utlimately burn to the ground) an already crowded GOP field.
PHOENIX — First, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer filed suit with the federal government for "failing to control Arizona's border with Mexico and enforce immigration laws." Now it seems the Arizona tea-baggers and Mini-men who are pushing to "dramatically reduce if not virtually eliminate" illegal immigration, have had their irrresponsible, prepetually and morally vacant, self indulgent message drastically misunderstood, as today it was announced that Borders are close closing around the country, as the chain filed for bankruptcy. Not what you asked for, but it's a frist step. Hell, none of you can read anyway.
MTV announced today the return of it's hit reality series PUNK'D in which unsuspecting celebs are duped into candid camera-style hoax or prank. "We're kicking off our tenth seaon with the biggest Punk'd of all. We have been working on this one since Season One," says host and series co-creator ASHTON KUTCHER (seen above) as he prepares to reavel the hoax to an unsupecting GEORGE W.BUSH at last week's Super Bowl.
"A good prank always works best when we have a good inside accomplice and this season would not have been possible without her help," said Kutcher, who amid internet rumors, denies that he would be replaced as host by tween sensation Justin Bieber. "It's Punk'd, do you really think he has a career?"