Archives for posts with tag: Business

A return of $1.61 on a $1.00 investment is awesome, and you just can’t beat it. So why do all the “run our government like a business” types oppose it? Anybody with any actual business experience knows that you can’t hardly get that kind of bang for the buck.

The answer, alas, is that the right-wing nutjobs who oppose UI are uniformly incapable of doing basic math. The lot of them live in a fantasy world full of Ayn Rand and Laffer Curve claptrap, acting as if their fervent belief will somehow make their crazy ideology come true. Belief is NOT a substitute for actual numbers on investment and returns.

Speaking of investment; looking for a job costs money, and it is money well spent. As ChisholmTrailDem reports:

The last time I searched for a job my expenditures for just that purpose, while on UI mind you, was nearly $3000, most of it on fuel to go looking for a job, before I finally found one. And all of that came right out of my UI benefits, right along with all my other financial obligations.

No one seems to be talking about the cost of looking for a job. And those expenses come right out of UI checks. Now, not only can these people who have lost UI benefits not pay their bills, they also now have no money to look for a job.

Once again, Business 101; you have to spend money to make money. Teapublicans seem to think that money magically appears if you think it will. In reality, if you have no money to invest, you’ll get no return.  People need Unemployment Insurance to invest in finding a job. So if you want people to earn a living, then Someone. Must. Provide. The. Capital. Required. That, friends, is how business works.

And there isn’t anybody else out there who is providing that investment. Not neighbors, not churches, not anybody. If the Government wants fewer people on public assistance, then the government must invest in getting people to work. Spending nothing provides nothing in return.

Spending money on Unemployment Insurance provides a proven and positive return. So the Repubs need to shut up, nut up, and pony up.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

This picture of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past year tells the story:Image

Anyone who STILL wants to argue the point is not just a lying sack of s***, but delusional into the bargain.

Mr. B & C

A two-post day in honor of tomorrow’s election: this post about the Prexy, the other about the man who would replace him.  Each man has said some bull*** of his own, or course.  Today, Mr. Blunt and Cranky  shall talk about the stuff  that others say about them.  So grab your nose as we dive straight into the manure pile that is political “discourse” in these degenerate times:

“Obama will take away your guns”: there is no evidence of this. No laws, no proposals, no regulations have come from the White House on this topic during Obama’s time there. This bit o’cowflop comes from the people who make and sell guns and ammo: if you’re scared that the evil Obaminator will take away your guns tomorrow, why, you’ll buy lots and lots of them today. That means big bucks for the gun industry, and less money in your pocket.

“Obama is Bad for Business”: look at the numbers from Wall Street, Congress, and any other non-partisan business metrics indicator you care to cite. The numbers tell you the truth: The past 4 years have kicked a lot of ass for corporate profits, across all sectors.

“Obama’s War on Fossil Fuels”: America is now the world’s number-two producer of oil, right behind Saudi Arabia; we have drilled for so much gas the past three years, the price has hit the floor; and coal jobs are heading back up as we develop export markets for our black gold. If there were such a war, we wouldn’t see these numbers.

“Obama’s War on Religious Freedom”: absolute codswallop. ObamNeyCare does not infringe on the religious freedoms of American citizens in any way, shape or form. It does require certain religious organizations to obey the law, but that’s church hierarchies, not the rest of us. Natch, said hierarchies are screeching like demented, meth-addicted owls; but that’s them, not us.

And so on. So far as this writer can tell, the worst thing Obama has done has been to trust a lot of people he shouldn’t have.

Mr. B & C

Mr. Blunt and Cranky, as many of you know, is a musician/composer of sorts, and has been educated in the history of music. He is fully aware of the essential contributions made by Pythagoras, Mozart, Leo Fender, and manymanymany others who have gone before him, creating the mathematical and sonic body of knowledge upon which he bases his work. He does not for an instant think that he invented the western scale and other music theory, devised and built the instruments he plays, or invented and constructed the equipment used to record and reproduce the music that he writes. He is equally happy to take credit for the music that he writes, because that is his original work, built on the foundation created by others over a millennium or so.

Sounds pretty reasonable, yes? It is an attitude based on historical fact, and gives credit where due, both to Mr. B & C and those who came before him. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a sane individual who would care to argue the point.

But if one changes the word “music” to “business”, oh my, what shrieks will emerge from some parts of the business community and their bought politicians. Evidently, the centuries of innovation and decades of publicly funded infrastructure, research and investment that facilitate and enable a prosperous business community don’t exist to these blinkered yahoos.

When one lets ego, talking points, or political philosophy distort their view of historical and contemporary reality, one is no longer living in the real world. For Mitt Romney to claim that he was successful in business solely because of his own brilliance and work ethic would be like this writer claiming to have invented the Fender Bass he uses: flattering to the ego, but a complete fantasy when looked at objectively.

We work best when we face cold, hard reality and deal with any resulting hits to our egos: all of us are to some degree dependent on those who came before us, and to those who share the world with us at this time. This does not in any way add to or diminish our own work ethic, intelligence, talent or other character traits. It just means that others play their part, too.

America is a great place to do business, due to our long tradition of social, regulatory and economic policies that provide infrastructure, educated workers, and tax incentives designed to encourage business success.  Anyone who favors a totally independent environment might want to consider doing business in Kenya, Ethiopia, certain Pacific Ocean islands, or other nations with less law and public investment. This writer predicts that once you see the alternative, you’ll agree with what the Prexy said last week (even though he said it poorly).

Mr. B & C

In Mr. Blunt and Cranky’s July 3rd post, he said that foreign individuals and organizations were buying the loyalties (such as they are) of U.S. officials.    It was pointed out to him that there was no evidence that anyone without U.S. citizenship was listed in the story, and it was further posited that the B & C premise du jour was fatally flawed. That impression was entirely due to this blogger’s having had a bad writing day, and he accepts the forty lashes via keystrokes that he quite justifiably received.

Note that he does not consider the premise itself to be incorrect. There are a goodly number of examples of U.S. citizens who have made money overseas and then contributed large sums towards American election efforts, oftimes with the tacit or active support of their overseas employers. Google “Adelson Macao” for one representative case. So, even if you cannot prove that a specific Yen, Dinar, Pound, etc. from a personal or business account was converted to a Dollar to be part of a specific contribution to a campaign fund, we can see that these individuals and entities make money overseas and then contribute via channels various and sundry to American candidates.

Thus the “what”. But the “why” is always the more important bit. So, why do businesspeople and businesses spend money? Obvious answer: to earn a profit

For-profit businesses, foreign and domestic alike, exist to be profitable. Even socially-responsible for-profit businesses must make a profit if they are to do the “good works” to which they aspire. This means that handing out free money is unethical for a for-profit entity.  Understand this well: if a business spends money, it is ALWAYS looking for a return on its investment (ROI, in business jargon).

 American politicians provide a fantastic ROI for the savvy investor: a few tens of thousands of dollars can provide millions in return. Look at some of the no-longer-required tax breaks for oil companies, for instance: once justifiable due to market conditions, they are actually working against the overall market in the current day and age. But they remain in place because of campaign contributions (bribes, by any other name) that buy the votes of the politicians who receive these funds. Very profitable, sometimes a several-hundred-percent ROI or better.  Quite the good investment (for the investor, of course. For the rest of us, it can cause great financial pain).

So, back to Barclays U.K. and its apparently legal fundraising employees. What’s their ROI for being the ninth-largest source of funds (so far) to the Romney campaign? In a word, deregulation of its U.S. interests and trading partners.  Romney has pledged to roll back post-crash regulations, and Wall Street (and its international analogues) loves them some de-regulation. Bigger bucks can be made when no one is looking (or even allowed to look). Well worth finding a way to funnel money across the pond.

If we get hung up on technicalities, we run the risk of missing the big picture: that being the ever-increasing influence of financial globalization and economic interdependence on the conduct of American electoral politics and the related financials.

In fine: businesses are after profit. They are investing in Romney so as to make a profit. If he wins, the investors will make out like bandits. And many of the rest of us will wind up with what is called a “negative ROI”; AKA, our loss.

Mr. B & C