RE: RE: Sprawl-Mart cuts and runs

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"I'm all for changing the system to ensure that somebody working full time can make a decent living (as opposed to merely surviving). And I'm all for giving as much of a leg up to people in need as possible. However I think that the money (and more of it) should be spent first on the people that are truly willing to try hard to get themselves out of the position they are in, and secondly as a safety net for people to use instead of trying hard to get by."


As strong an argument for unions as I could ever make. Thanks Travis.

"Because there's a safety net that's worked time and again, he makes a choice (consious or not) to rely on the government for his well being. He passes the responsibility to the hospitals rather than taking the effort himself."


What good is a safety net that doesn't work time and time again, or only works for those with a modicum of intelligence?

I am not quite sure what dog-eat-dog scenario you are pointing to Stump. I believe in a social safety net. I also believe that people and companies should be permitted to fail. Why do we have Dilbert? The cartoonist is a laid off engineer. Why do we have Barrick Gold Corp? Because Peter Munk went bust two times trying to find a business model that worked.



Germany, France and Japan seem to believe that people and companies should not fail. I think the human costs are too high. You face higher unemployment--people who will spend a large part of their life frozen out of the labour market. You also create a less dynamic economy. There was a reason that the IT boom was based in the U.S. and that country reaped most of the benefits.



I am not sure what homelessness and the underprivileged have to do with this. I will note that there was a lot of Europeans who were quite gleeful when New Orleans happened and patted themselves on the back, believing they were running a more equitable society. That is, until the riots in Paris.



You tell me Stump, why were there riots in Paris?



"What good is a safety net that doesn't work time and time again, or only works for those with a

modicum of intelligence?"


Again I'm not sure how to improve it, but I feel that it should be improved. We should

encourage people to take more responsibility with their health. How that encouragement is done

is debateable.


I think that the service should always be guaranteed, but perhaps not always free. At some point

we need to make the person take responsibility, and a deductible on the nth self-inflicted injury

would make a certian ammount of sense, but could be a bit of a slippery slope.


Similarly to how a free shelter housing would work, we basically need a way to encourage (if not

force) people who are able to take part in their own help.

You're all over the map Michael, trying to argue that laissez-faire capitalism is the answer (or so I'm interpreting your contempt for organized labour), then saying you believe in a social safety net. What any of it has to do with your contention that unions hurt poor people is unclear to me. Now you're telling me the IT boom (followed by the IT bust IIRC) was a benefit to the U.S., but those jobs are headed overseas now... it all balances out and there's very little benefit for those at the bottom of the economic food chain, since economics is a zero-sum game if you are to simply look at one moment of time in a changing equation, and in capitalism, wealth naturally accrues at the top.


Now despite your antipathy for them, unions are absolutely crucial to ensuring fair wages and treatment for workers in a profit-driven economic climate. That's why neo-con gov'ts want to chip away at collective bargaining. It's a roadblock to fully exploiting labour and maximizing profits (not a value judgement, just a dispassionate analysis of the way the system is currently working).


One only needs to look at that paragon of the free market Adam Smith to see that constraints upon capitalistic excess are as crucial as the capitalist's right to invest as they see fit.


(following quotation from "The Wealth of Nations")


"Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters. (Book 1, Chapter 10). "

"I am not sure what homelessness and the underprivileged have to do with this. I will note that there was a lot of Europeans who were quite gleeful when New Orleans happened and patted themselves on the back, believing they were running a more equitable society. That is, until the riots in Paris.


You tell me Stump, why were there riots in Paris?"


There were riots in France for the same reason there were riots in Watts, Los Angeles, Brixton... the list goes on and on. There are racists in the world. Don't blame unions for governments that ghetto-ize.

First Stump - Temple is not Travis, mon petite couchon.


Second - riots in France were not predominantly race related - they were broadly based in the underclass of Paris's suburban 'slums' and not just a muslim/arab only uprising.....(per your good friend Gwynne Dyer).


I think the point on that though was these riots began in the heavily unionized, heavily socialist France...not in the US. I'd suggest that the riots are due to a loss of hope for a better tomorrow in the individuals involved. They are locked out of work by unions who control the labor market in france and a stagnant economy brought about by a government that is too involved in the market and manages more of the economy than is wise. There is no path up and out of their current existence so a better tomorrow doesn't exist for them. In the US that hope is not dead except in isolated pockets(watts and compton come to mind) with systemic issues that have never really been resolved and derive from a number of complex issues ranging from race to education to drugs and gangs.


Third, belief in a laissez-faire economy and a social safety net is not precluded. You can't have a social safety net without taxes (or charitable donations - ie. voluntary taxation) Taxes require profits. Profits are maximized in a laissez-faire system. Therefore the social safety net we now enjoy is part and parcel of a strong and vibrant economy. Look back to the peak of socialism in canada back in the mid 50s and 60's, if we had the safety net now that we had then we'd be considered a third world economy. The fact that we have what we have today is attributable to two facts - the demands put forth from the unionist/socialist side of the spectrum and the economic growth derived from the capitalists that has allowed us to meet those demands for ever more from the safety net. Unfortunately the socialist never stop pushing for more while the ability to pay from growth is being eroded.


Fourthy, bringing Walmart back into it - the point that started all this is that Walmart brings quality goods at the lowest price to the consumer, but he innercity poor do not have access to this benefit due to the fight put up by unions/nimbyists/socialists/anti-big business types everytime one is proposed in a city or near those it would help the most. That has nothing to do with the social safety net although you took it there in a very tangential way resulting in the last twenty posts.


Finally, since we are off topic. Unions are not bad in the way that business and capitalism aren't inherently bad. But, what rankles me most about unions is the expectation of enhanced wages and benefits without any consideration that that should involved enhanced productivity, performance and/or value from the people employed. I have never seen a union tout the value they add to the employer or society even when the opportunity is there. Example - construction - would you rather live in a union or non-union built condo/home. I know my answer, but that's because I understand the apprentice/journeyman systems and value the quality that that generally represents. Unions need to at least consider this approach going into the future in order to maintain relevance in an increasingly white collar workforce.

"Unfortunately the (capitalists) never stop pushing for more (profits) while the ability to pay from growth is being eroded."


Fixed it for ya! :-)


Unions constantly tout their value to society, I don't know why you would say otherwise.


It's the union's job to represent their workers to the best of their abilities. As a corollary to that, others reap the benefits as well. Not sure why it's the union's job to "add value" to anything. It's not their mandate. If you're going to ask that question of unions then it must be asked of employers as well to justify their drive to maximize profits. Does maximizing profits benefit the whole? I would answer rarely, esp. as previously noted the wealth simply accrues at the top.


To bring it back to Wal-mart, you might want to look more closely at their pricing strategies. A few loss leaders does not necessarily mean you'll be walking out with a full shopping cart and a fuller wallet. Not that I would know, cuz I don't shop there. And yet, somehow, I manage to stay out of the poor house. Perhaps the real reason for that isn't the price I pay for things, but the ethos I carry that eschews consumerism as a panacea to economic inequity.

Another thing, the riots in France were relatively isolated as well and poverty and racism is hardly confined to Compton in the USA. It wasn't like the whole country burned. In fact, about all that burned was a few thousand cars. Imagine my utter dismay at all those 'cages' (or cars as you non-radical cycling kooks know them) lookin' all chimney red and Halloween orange (to poach an image from Tom Waits). Why, when you factor in all the new cars that will now have to be bought riots are an economic boon just like the Exxon Valdez spill right?

Acutally Stump, the unusual nature of the riots in France is that the participants were new immigrants who were unable to find a job. Racism also had a part to play. But lacking an ability to work and integrate, the problem was compounded and will not be resolved in the current social structure. Compare this to the U.S. A high proportion of the new IT companies were led by recent immigrants. About 20 per cent of the founders of new companies were of east asian descent.

I think you will find that many of the rioters were second generation slum dwellers, the children of Algerian (and other) immigrants.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4414442.stm for an interesting perspective (and one which supports my contention that the rioters were NOT predominantly recent immigrants).

When the capitalists stop pushing for profits then we will really have to restrict the growth of the safety net. The drive for profits is a natural imperitive in both the business and the natural world. The drive for the 'free stuff' of the safety net is a human foible of compassion of the many (offset by either the misfortune or the sloth of the few). In the end thought the safety net needs the 'profits' more than the corporate world needs the safety net. So watch what you ask for you just may get a world without profits or a safety net.


RE: union value - If unions are always touting their value then why have I never heard it. If the only places they do so are in union trade papers etc...then the getneral public will never see it and absorb it. No matter where they 'advertise' their value, I also think they need to be explicit. The few times I have ever heard something approaching a statement of the value of unions it's always about uninos pushing for benefits/wages that then improve the lot of the non-unionized. This is not the statement of value that I meant. What I meant for example - was, say for the carpenter's union - run an ad campaign touting the value (quality, workmanship etc....) of having a journeyman carpenter working on the job site versus Joe Hammerslinger. Make the union workforce a competitve advantage for an employer not a liability that it is so often in a price sensitive world.


RE: employers adding value....they have to do this everyday....if they don't add value to their products then someone else will come along and take their business away OR their will be no substantial enough profits to allow the employer to stay in business. The employer employs staff for the sole purpose of adding value, but the employer wants to maximize the value added vs. the cost to add that value. Basic business concept.


RE: wealth accruing at the top - this is due to the basic idea of making your money work for you. If you have no savings, you will never have your capital increase. If you have savings though you will then invest it with the purpose of increasing it. You will choose a level of risk you are comfortable with and invest such that your personal capital increases. Seems fair to me as an average joe with money in the bank. Should seem fair to anyone with a union pension as well (some of the largest pools of capital in north america of held by large union pension funds). Sooooo....maximizing profits is benefiting the majority - maybe not the whole but damn close. What would you have companies do? Not make money? Just make less? How much less would make you happy? Get taxed more? Pay their workers a higher proportion? Get taken over by an anarcho-syndicalist commune?

The push for profits is one thing. Reckless disregard for the future to earn short-term gain is a net loss to my mind.


Unions aren't there to provide employers with a competitive advantage. That's up to managers. Unions have a different mandate. It's not to make life easy for the boss. It's to make sure workers get a fair wage, fair benefits, fair treatment, and have a safe place to work. You're expecting unions to do the work of the company.


"If unions are always touting their value then why have I never heard it."


I don't know. I can look out my window at my neighbour's pickup truck and see union bumper stickers promoting the fact that unions do make life better for everyone. It's a fact that unions have made life better for all workers. You understand it. How did that come to be?


Again, maximizing profits when it has a long-term cost that we won't have to bear, but our children will, is anti-thetical to common sense and good manners. Profit is fine. Profit that relies on treating people unfairly isn't.


That's the way I see it.

@!#$!@# I hate this timeout bullshit. The one time I don't copy my message just in case and of course timed out and relogin and back/back and my message is gone. Why didn't it work today....damn you webbies. Web 2.0 my ass - web 0.1 more like it.


rant over - now retrying


Unions don't have to help the employer generate a competitive advantage but don't you think that maybe, just maybe it would be a good idea anyway. It's such a union attitude - that's management's job not mine. Well take another look - for almost every company it is everyone's job - value creation is what corporations are all about. If the unions would consider this path then maybe they'd get less pushback from management - figure out how the union creates value and push on those points with management.


Maybe the unions need to reconsider their mandate - much of what you have noted as union mandate is fairly well taken care of....they need to reinvent themselves to add relevance to their very existence nowadays.


RE: marketing - yeah I've seen the bumperstickers - so what TWU exists. so what? does knowing that make me believe the world is better off or that it would improve my life in any way.....NO. But a marketing effort that showed the TWU workers at Company X ensure that companies products are safer, better etc.....then maybe I will care. The union made label doesn't carry the cachet it used to because the unions have let that competitive advantage languish. And just to fire your juices up - maybe that is because most of them don't add value and the union made label means little if anything anymore.


re: maximizing profits - profits are essential - argue that at your peril. But the level of profits is up for debate - as you quoted before - corporations must be constrained. The level of constraint is at question. There are so many constraining factors on corporations, many pulling in opposite directions, that it is surprising any are successful at all (note business failure rates as near proof of this) But yes we need some constraints on how the corporations utilize the 'common good' assets like earth, air, water etc...That is one of the primary roles of goverment to maintain stewardship over these assets - this is where they have done the least (mostly because of lack of resources due to other demands from the gov't) and need to be held to a higher account.


Just to follow up on your previous point Stump. Let's put it this way, the rioters in France were relatively new entrants compared to those in New Orleans. A large component of the riots in France were about jobs and opportunities which union-loving and heavily-regulated France has no hope of solving.



Second point regarding unions: I guess you see BC as too far right. From my own point of view, when you compare professions purely on wages and benefits and job security, it is looking pretty skewed: it makes more sense to be Jim Sinclair than the premier; it makes more sense to be a school principal than a cabinet minister; bus drivers or BC Ferries workers make more than a financial analyst with a graduate degree working at a bank; and an obstetrician delivering a baby at a hospital on a holiday will earn less than the janitor.



A friend of mine who works in the civil service has accumulated about 2 months off paid each year through seniority. I asked him if he would ever consider politics. (It was an ambition during his school years.) He said you would have to be nuts considering the pay.



I admire the unions for negotiating such sweet deals from our dopey government. But as a taxpayer and voter, I want value and I am not getting it.

"when you compare professions purely on wages and benefits and job security"


Except nobody does that.


"A large component of the riots in France were about jobs and opportunities which union-loving and heavily-regulated France has no hope of solving. "


A blanket statement which can neither be proven or disproven. More a reflection of your beliefs than verifiable truths. Needs an IMHO in there if you ask me. Further, New Orleans and the Paris riots can't really be compared. Apples and oranges. Or should I say pommes et oranges?

"when you compare professions purely on wages and benefits and job security"



"Except nobody does that."



Except those choosing careers

"It's such a union attitude - that's management's job not mine. "


It's simply common sense. Division of labour and all that. The union is there to represent the workers to the company, not market the company to its customers. Nobody asks the defence lawyer to argue the case for the prosecution. No matter how you slice it, there will always be a an adversarial bent to company/union interaction, just as customers push suppliers to give them the lowest prices.

Whose arguing that?

M: "when you compare professions purely on wages and benefits and job security"


S: "Except nobody does that."


M: "Except those choosing careers"



C'mon Michael. that's just ludicrous. Please put forth something resembling reality.

Who's btw, not whose. Whose is a possessive, Who's is a contraction of who is.

"I admire the unions for negotiating such sweet deals from our dopey government. But as a taxpayer and voter, I want value and I am not getting it."


BTW, do you really want to throw down the grammar gauntlet?

"It's such a union attitude - that's management's job not mine. "

So you ignored my next statement that was inherently tied to this one - that value creation is the job of every employee in a company. That is for any company that wants to stay in business. And that's my point - value creation = job security and benefits - two of the unions primary jobs. Again the overall point is that the unions need to take another look at their mandates and see how they can work WITH management to improve the competitive position of the company to ensure there is money to pay wages. Instead of working against management in trying to only ensure their members get as much as they bloody well can regardless of the consequences to the companies welfare.


If you want to know why unions aren't all that successful in the private sector you may want to consider the above as part of the issue.


And actually the defence lawyer does have to do some of hte prosecutorial work - in that they have to share any evidence that comes forward. Not a lawyer but I watched My Cousin Vinnie 3 times so I am pretty much an expert on all matters legal, but I can't sign passports.

Umm, I think unions are plenty successful in the private sector. UAW, Teamsters, CEP, IWA, etc. Lots of unions in the private sector, working with companies that somehow manage to stay afloat despite the onerous task to having to pay a fair wage. (sarcasm)


"Again the overall point is that the unions need to take another look at their mandates and see how they can work WITH management to improve the competitive position of the company to ensure there is money to pay wages."


Happens all the time, but good news rarely makes the news. You might just as well say companies should learn to work WITH unions to find out how to create a workplace that fosters the kind of team spirit that can make a company successful.


The idea that unions are not cognizant that a company must do well to provide jobs is simply not the case. They just don't necessarily take the company's usual "sky is falling" rhetoric at face value come negotiation time.


"value creation = job security and benefits - two of the unions primary jobs."


Value creation is the bailiwick of everyone in the company, but it's management that decides the strategy and tactics. I don't know where you work, but at my workplace union mbrs aren't usually invited to take part in the management meetings where such decisions are made.

Everything I read has union membership in the private sector diminishing, not expanding. Post me a link and prove me wrong. (see my link below - US stats but it's about right.)


If unions are making these moves as you say (and I believe they are in many cases) to work with the employers to create value then this is exactly the stuff they need to trumpet. Let the people know about it. But also let the employers they are trying to organize know it and the employees and customers of the employer know it too. If the union is creating value then these other parties will come onside and make the certification a breeze. If not then maybe they should fight the certification as a value drain or try to minimize the impact of a union already in place.


Yes strategy and tactics are managements job, but if you can put a tactical or strategic advantage into the hands of management and don't because you aren't part of management you are doing yourself and your employer a disservice. If unions can create new value with the employers then they should to enhance the fortunes of both the employees and the employer. If the employer doesn't make use of the advantage presented then ownership should be dumping management.

I think you would find union membership is falling in the USA due to changes in legislation (so-called right to work laws), not due to economics. To me, that's not a market-driven initiative, but the kind of government interference that is damaging, unnecessary, and usually has the right-wing all atwitter with criticism. Further, that right to work legislation is simply an extension of a flawed ideology rather than being based on any solid economic reasons. Worth noting that the link you provide also expressed some doubt about the accuracy of its own numbers due to a change in the way data is recorded/reported... and that that annual drop was only 0.5%.

"if you can put a tactical or strategic advantage into the hands of management and don't because

you aren't part of management you are doing yourself and your employer a disservice. If unions

can create new value with the employers then they should to enhance the fortunes of both the

employees and the employer. If the employer doesn't make use of the advantage presented then

ownership should be dumping management."


I agree completely. But the lines of communication aren't always as open as necessary, esp. when

people get defensive and ego-driven as the Peter Principle comes into play. So it goes.

"BTW, do you really want to throw down the grammar gauntlet?"


Michael:

I just thought you might like to know. Next time I'll send a private email I guess. Saving face and

all that.


Here's another report that compares Canada US and Mexican unionization rates.....Although Canada is much higher, it seems to be falling off. At best it's stagnating.

"I agree completely. But the lines of communication aren't always as open as necessary, esp. when people get defensive and ego-driven as the Peter Principle comes into play. So it goes."


I agree also - and when Management fails to make use of advantages handed to it, then Ownership should dump management fast. In smaller companies management and ownership are the same and thus it may not work, but in larger organization - where most unionization occurs - that result should be occuring assuming Ownership is made aware of managements mistakes.

"Here's another report that compares Canada US and Mexican unionization rates.....Although

Canada is much higher, it seems to be falling off. At best it's stagnating."


Well, three very different countries w/r/t labour rights and attitudes. Interesting figures however.

Note that in real numbers the total of unionized workers hasn't changed much, but what has

changed

is the number of people employed in non-unionized industries. My instant interpretation... the

public sector (where the largest numbers of union workers are employed) doesn't really (and can't)

'grow' in the same way a successful company can expand its market and therefore require more

workers.


All I was really concerned with was the trend line. Yes there are factors that are involved. But at the end of the day the union 'density' in the market is falling. It goes to support my claim that unionization is falling off in the private sector. Also I'd note that the private sector unionization rate in the Canadian stats includes healthcare workers so in many respects the private sector unionization rate is even more dismal than it appears, and this is one of the few 'private sector' growth areas for the unions.


I have yet to see any stats from you that say unionization in the private sector is improving so I will take my point as conceded.

Even I won't argue in the face of the facts! A troubling trend IMO. The setbacks unions suffer always reverberate and are often amplified in the non-union workforce.

And that goes back to my main point that the Unions need to look at a new way of doing business. If I had an organization stagnating or falling behind, I'd be looking for ways to change and improve, not keep doing the same thing only harder....Obviously whatever business is doing is working for them as business is booming - so don't expect them to change. The Unions need to find a new path. I've suggested one path but there must be other even better paths they could tread.

"whatever business is doing is working for them "


I believe it's called mortgaging your children's future, but that could be my belief in the "Long Now" coming to the fore.


:-)

Nice change of subject....so I am right then - Unions do need to rethink their ways find a better way to meet the needs of employees and employers at the same time to enhance their relevance.


RE: the Long Now - I'd conjecture that 90% of companies think more about the future than you do and 99% give more thought to the future than you give them credit for. Do they always do the 'right' thing - no unfortunately there are times when you have to take care of the issues of today so you can survive until tomorrow. But to say that they ravenously rip up the earth _only_ for the sake of a dollar today is not giving business leaders nearly enough credit.

"I'd conjecture that 90% of companies think more about the future than you do "


At risk of being a smartass, you'd be 100% wrong.



If being 'right' is your goal, then sure, you can be 'right'. No skin off my ass. I'm here to debate and learn.


"unfortunately there are times when you have to take care of the issues of today so you can survive until tomorrow."


The thinking that got us in the mess we're in.


"But to say that they ravenously rip up the earth _only_ for the sake of a dollar today is not giving business leaders nearly enough credit. "


Show me a company that's planning for the year 2100 (roughly the point at which my grandchildren {to presuppose} will be adults) and I'll buy a little piece of your argument.

OK, ok, the only reason I post her is to be right and in the best case scenario have you say I'm right - all is well with my world now.


I knew you'd pick on my use of 90% so it's some other number but corporate entities are always planning - primary plans are 1-2 years - secondary plans are 5-10 years, and there are special companies out there that are looking 30+ years out but those plans are pretty nebulous at best. Do you have a 5 year plan, for your career, life, garden? If you are like the majority out there your answer is no, most people have no life plans at all - I extended that to you on a purely odds basis that you are one of those people.


If you never take care of the issues of today you won't live to see tomorrow - that thinking got us from amoeba to the thumbsucking hairless apes we are today.


No company is planning for 2100 - they may be (but not likely) thinking about it from a theoretical point of view but it won't affect any planning....but if you take their marketing at face value (just for arguments sake) take a company like BP - their marketing push for the last year has been all about the future - renewable resources, wind power/solar etc.....that in the face of reports that show that oil reserves may last well into the middle if not the end of this century. So that says to me they are looking well beyond 10 years into the 30+ range where these other power sources are viable.

"corporate entities are always planning - primary plans are 1-2 years - secondary plans are 5-10 years, and there are special companies out there that are looking 30+ years out "


I think you've made my point for me.


Yes, I do have plan actually. And, when the law forces you to avert your eyes as I pass and refer to me as "Exalted One" you'll know I've realized it! (joke, obviously)


Funny to me that you castigate unions for not changing their thinking, but believe that short-term planning (the way we got here, and the way we going to screw ourselves) still suffices. Are you sure the thought processes that were good for our scraping-to-survive ancestors are good for the 21st century humans whose day to day survival is not an issue? Almost all the evidence would suggest not.

Sony has a 100 year plan.


Most companies do a LOT more planning than the vast majority of people. And I believe that includes Stump's "Plans" for the future. While you might have an idea of what you'd like the future to look like, I don't buy that you have "plans" that go 100 years into the future. I'm skeptical that many people have any "plans" for after retirement, if you even have those. That's basically the end of the majority of peoples "plans" for the future. Even that usually doesn't start until they're almost there.

Stump - there's planning - detailed this is what we are going to do and that can only be effectively done for the short term....too much will change in the intervening time to allow for any detailed planning. Then there is visioning - most companies have a vision of the future 10-20+ years out of where there company will be and how they will be interacting with the world. Thats as detailed as a company or person can get.....that said many companies 'visions' and 'missions' include stewardship of the environment, of people, of community....now much of this is lip service but it is a guideline for the company.


As Dugly said and I upheld before - this is significantly more planning and forethought than the average person and significantly more navel gazing than your average person will ever even consider doing. Will this affect how they interact with the environment or with human resources - I'd say yes....any company worth it's salt is looking at the next 30 odd years and seeing major demographic shifts which will put labor demand well ahead of supply - ergo unions and employees will have significantly more power in the future to demand wages and working conditions (offset somewhat by planning the management makes to make itself less dependant upon labor resources) Ie.. Walmart will not be able to continue it's current practices that much farther into the future and stay in business. Also looking out 30 years these companies are seeing the environmental liabilities they are carrying and are doing something about it (the something may be contentious but they are doing something)....Oil companies are seeing a restricted supply and and increasing demand for energy resources so they are diversifying their energy supply network to include renewable resoureces.


If left up to individuals we'd only be worried about the next latte. Most people don't even look to next year - if you do you are special.


RE: castigation of unions - I look at it as a point of the unions are the ones stagnating - if you are in that state you should consider changing your methods to improve your success rates. The business world is constantly in flux and adjusting to new and varied external stimuli (say a product boycott) and making changes to how they do business - unions haven't changed their methods in nigh on 50 years.

Combo response to Dugly and Manjuice (I think there's a name for a band in there somehow. Hall and Oates, Brooks and Dunn... D and MJ, yeah, cd on sale now)


Thanx for mentioning Sony Dugly. Kind of the exception that proves the rule though perhaps? And, not surprising to me that they would have the common-sense to ask themselves where they want to be in a century. A visionary company ever since Mr. Sony revolutionized communications with mass marketing of the tape recorder and transistor radio.


"Most companies do a LOT more planning than the vast majority of people. And I believe that includes Stump's "Plans" for the future. While you might have an idea of what you'd like the future to look like, I don't buy that you have "plans" that go 100 years into the future."


It's not for sale for you to 'buy'. Sorry. But, I do have a 'plan' for myself a century from now. I expect I'll be resting comfortably as worm food. Do I have a plan for post-retirement? Yes. Will I be able to actualize it? Hard to say. But I sure as hell can't make it happen without knowing what it is right? And sure, lots of people don't have a plan for next year, next decade, etc. But that doesn't excuse organizations of all stripes for failing to consider our progeny IMO.


"most companies have a vision of the future 10-20+ years out of where there company will be and how they will be interacting with the world. Thats as detailed as a company or person can get."


Sorry, but I disagree. There's no reason a company can't set a path to the next century. Certainly things may change, but without a plan you're left in a permanent reactive mode. And, there's plenty of bright futurists out there who can provide possible scenarios to consider and plan for/against.


"if you do you are special"

Yes, yes I am... and not in a have to wear a hockey-helmet 24/7, riding the short yellow bus kinda way. :-)


"unions haven't changed their methods in nigh on 50 years."


Sez you. There's probably plenty of examples to refute that but I don't think I can change your mind on that point, so I'm not going to worry about trying.



l8r sk8rs

Ah Stump, you've made the classic mistake of confusing a goal with a plan. A goal is what you want to do. Bizarrely you want to be in a box in 100 years, might as well stop taking care of yourself now, maybe get your healthy ass behind the wheel of an SUV, maybe cut down some trees and start smoking. A plan is what you intend to do to achieve that goal.



For instance, in 3 years goal is to have bought a house. But in order for me to "Plan on owning a house" I have to realize what's involved. I know I'll need to put a down payment on it, I realize that it will need to be about $50'000, I have $5K in the bank now, so I need to save $15'000 / year.



Since I believe (because of my situation and my wife's work situation) that it will be easier to save $18'000 each of the last 2 years, I'll still need to save $9'000 this year. So my plan is to put away $800/month towards my downpayment every month this year, and $1600 every month for the subsequent 2 years.


Then I can refine my plan. Can I achieve $800/month now? Is it realistic to double that next year? What factors may come into play? What risks are there?



"I'll be resting comfortably as worm food" isn't a plan at all.



OK Stump, I don't "buy" that you don't have a plan. I just don't believe it.


In a while Crocodile.

"Bizarrely you want to be in a box in 100 years"


If I live to be 142 years old, I'll guess I'll revise my plan and goals, but it seems unlikely.


On the semantics issue, point taken.... however, I don't believe you've misunderstood the gist of my comments. So, what companies have a goal to achieve one hundred years from now... and how can they expect to achieve that goal without a plan? Despite the error in word usage the point remains valid does it not?


Just so you know, and frankly I'd rather not share this cuz it seems a little self-aggrandizing, but I will to prove my point....


My post-retirement goal:

Improve living and learning conditions in developing areas of the world.


The plan:

Take a portable video editing suite and camera gear to regions in need of infrastructure and create short educational videos that allow people to share their local knowledge and demonstrate effective techniques for things like irrigation, nutrition, small-scale power generation, and such.


Donations gratefully accepted. Please make out the cheque to "cash"


More bad news for the retail giant.


New York Times... reg. required.


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/13/business/13walmart.html?th&emc=th



---------------


BTW, anybody see the article about the multi-million dollar fine levied against a cabal of paper product companies that were found guilty of collusion and price fixing for carbonless paper products. Nice to see corporations eagerly welcoming competition because it's good for business and consumers. (sarcasm, dripping with)

To little time in my life to waste signing up for the NYtimes....but your comment on the paper boys got my immediate response of ....it looks like our system of checks and balances is working.....what are you complaining about.


AND


In this case it wasn't a competitve environment but an oligopoly where a market is dominated by only a few large competitors with significant barriers to entry. These (and monopolies) are the markets that need the most scrutiny by gov't and the people and apparently in this case the scrutineers did their jobs well. In a competitve market price fixing won't work even on a short term basis.

I recommend signing up for the times. The daily headlines email I receive has been well worth the few minutes it took to register. Your results may vary


AND


They got caught. Great. If the 'system' was working these jerks wouldn't think trying to screw the customer was good business or ethically warranted. That's what I'm complaining about.

Ahh the idealist -


Rule one - everyone is trying to screw you (especially you...you spandex clad god). Caveat Emptor. My thinking is that if noone ever gets caught then it's happening and we just don't know it. With a group being very publically caught the rest are reminded that they are being watched and will be less likely to believe they can pull of a scam like this and thus won't even attempt it.

--> I recommend signing up for... <--


Not until and unless they stop giving my address out for unwanted advertising and other types of spam. It wasn't these folks, but another 'respected' newspaper gave (more likely sold or possibly even got it hacked/stolen) my address to marketers.

I don't know if the spam I get is from the NYT or not. I haven't noticed a big jump since I registered however.

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