What’s your slant?

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The Money Slant

College Cash Calamity

*As the French say: “Those that profit from crime are guilty of it.” Your parents slid $50k to a university official and got you in to the college of your dreams. Some of the parents had people doctor their children’s SAT tests so that the higher score would smooth their way to getting into an elite college.  One of the “internet sensation” applicants spoke of the excitement of “game days” and “parties” and, for some strange reason, never mentioned long hours in the library researching hypnotic age regression, poring over financial reports to find the best company for which to write a paper, or going to the math lab for help with calculus.

Ah, college, all of the great memories; not having money, driving and older car hoping it doesn’t break down, lack of sleep, staying up late for tests the next day, the pressure of exam week, and all for the reward of letters and emails of rejection. They’re glad you got that degree, not that it means anything to them, mind you. Well worth it. Keep Reading

Automation’s Animus Against the Affluent

*It has come to pass, that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics (the word robot comes from the Russian language, meaning work) are moving ahead as fast as they can be built. AI and robotics are inseparable, presenting a one-two punch to anyone who gets in its way, or, in the way of the people who are creating it.

AI, robotics, the internet and the global economy, a synergistic economy-changing juggernaut, have made things very good for some and quite painful for others. As the unions in the U.S. declined, the wages of the non-union employees fell, as when there were unions they lifted all wages as workers tried to get a job at the union shop and the non-union employers had to compete with employers paying union wages. Why couldn’t the unions embrace the internet? Why couldn’t the unions organize around programmers and coders?

Unions couldn’t get the attention of programmers, systems analysts, and the like, because the demand was so high that wages skyrocketed, and there weren’t many companies abusing programmers for every long, because they would just be poached by another organization where the grass was greener; their gourmet  lunch could be ordered and prepared in-house and they made, median salary, $175,000 per year at Google or $240,000 at Facebook. (Those numbers might be dated, as supplied by The Wall Street Journal some time ago.)

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Glassdoor Reviews – Miscreant Managers Mangling the Message

*We all know that internet is teeming with liars. Conspiracy theorists and quasi-governmental “officials” claiming all kinds of things that never happened, and denying things that actually happened, in order to create doubt or encourage beliefs that will help them advance their atrocious agendas. As long as the liars stay within certain parameters, their impact is minimized and their fraudulence doesn’t affect many people. But then, not to affect many people would not serve the motives of the lying internet scoundrels. Keep Reading

General Motors – Change for the Sake of Change

*How to succeed in business in the twenty-first century: Outsource as much as you can, to the point that the CEO makes over four-thousand times what the poor schlub doing the grunt work is paid. Ask the government for bailouts, and then make sure you have an excuse for not paying back all that you were loaned, by compensating the government with stock you know will never be worth the amount you borrowed. Concentrate your efforts to specific models or types of products as the future, even when you’ve suffered huge losses by betting on that model’s marketability, and your firm’s limited ability to make new models profitable (let alone work) before. Put all of your bets on unproven models, unproven technology and areas where your firm has limited experience and expertise, especially when your firm’s past experience with innovation is sketchy at best, and when your business has a track record of abandoning innovative thinkers. The American car culture is passing on. Read on to see why.

“That men do not learn much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”- Aldous Huxley Keep Reading

The Cracks in the Cogency of Corporate Culture

*Describe the culture here” is a question I like to ask in interviews. Like it or not, most of the places you work will have a culture. I was told once that I should try to fit into the culture where I worked, and my unstated response was that if nepotism and pilfering were the corporate culture, I would just as soon go elsewhere. Looking back upon it, I think that I was supposed to give credit to the solutions I devised to the group. The only problem with that scenario from my perspective was that when it came to the application of any solution, I was the one who would be working overtime, or coming in on my day off. It was strongly in my interest to solve the problems before they arose, if simply to keep from spending my life working overtime addressing problems created by other managers. Keep Reading

Trucker Shortage

The Trifling Take of Truckers

*The economy of 2018 is booming, according to any indicator you would choose to pick. One of the indicators of a booming economy is the volume of items sold. Most household or business items sold need to get to the household or business of destination, whether transported by the buyer, the seller or a third party. Every time the economy picks up, people buy more things.

While today’s economy has a lot of intangible products such as streaming or downloaded products, there are still a lot of material products being purchased. Material products, be they commodities or finished goods, have to be moved, and the vast majority of times, the material products are moved by a truck. The trucking companies have lots and lots of potential customers, all wanting the company to transport something for them. Every time this economic condition happens, the trucking companies cry out that they cannot get enough drivers.

There’s a national driver shortage, and has been one for a long time. As someone who has extensive experience in the trucking industry, I can safely tell you, there is no driver shortage. Sorry, the driver shortage is another urban legend, conspiracy theory, fake news, whatever description you wish to use to describe something that doesn’t really exist.  Keep Reading

Alqattan

Imparting Inclinations Involving Indentured Servitude

*You’ve probably not heard of Sondos Al Qattan.  Neither had I, until recently. Sondos Al Qattan is a Kuwaiti beauty blogger, if you hadn’t already guessed. I realize that in the world of political correctness, using the title Miss, Mrs. or something else might be presumptuous of me, so I will just use the name. You can assign a gender as you wish, or, not even use a gender. Let’s not assign genders here, as that is politically incorrect and presumptuous.

I will get straight to what Sondos Al Qattan said in social media regarding new laws passed to help the Filipino housekeepers in Kuwait: “The new laws that have been passed [in Kuwait] are like a pathetic film. For her [domestic worker] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month. Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her,” she said in a video in July, adding, “”

Pretty strong stuff. A day off a week, and the ability for the worker to hold in their possession their passport was just too much for Sondos Al Qattan, who had to speak out. Keep Reading

Library - Theoretical Education

Theoretical Education in a Practical World

*From the New York Times, May 26, 2018: “Last year the University of Wisconsin at Superior announced that it was suspending nine majors, including sociology and political science, and warned that there might be additional cuts. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point recently proposed dropping 13 majors, including philosophy and English, to make room for programs with “clear career pathways.

It’s about time.

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Facebook’s Fickle Finger of Fate

*Some years ago, there was a comedy show that had as a part of its weekly bits, the “Flying fickle Finger of Fate” award, which went to people in the news who accomplished “dubious achievements.” From The Wall Street Journal, Friday July 27, 2018: “Facebook shares fell 19% to $176.26, erasing about $119.1 billion in market value, after the Menlo Park Calif., company warned late Wednesday about slowing growth. Facebook’s loss in market value Thursday is larger than 457 of the 500 companies in the S&P 500. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg alone lost almost $16 billion in the value of his stock holdings.”

But Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg poses a question during the CEO Summit.

Perhaps Zuckerberg will have to skip the Wadyu steak Friday night, and just have the regular filet mignon. Keep Reading

Age Discrimination - Employees at work

Documenting and Detailing the Discrimination Against the Decrepit

*For those of us who have taken marketing coursework, we know that one of the most important aspects of any marketing plan is to identify your target market. If you aim at the wrong target, you will surely fail to achieve your goal. In my career, I have sold, excuse me marketed, over a million dollars’ worth of merchandise, to various target markets. One of my hard-learned fundamental precepts of marketing is that you should never try to market something that you wouldn’t purchase yourself.  I have done marketing research as well, and it was so good that students in the next class copied my research design, almost to the letter. You will always know the value of your work by who copies it, steals it, or clams that it is their own. While I wasn’t necessarily offended by their behavior, I resented that the professor approved and encouraged it. He probably didn’t even use my name when describing the design.

When recruiting potential employees, you are essentially selling the company to a postulant. But if no one was aware that a company or organization was looking for employees, the number of candidates would be limited. Selling is marketing, and marketing is selling.

My favorite marketing joke is:

Do you know what they call a salesman who can’t sell anything?

The director of marketing.”

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