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The Money Slant

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 Money Slant by

*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

The Money Slant by

*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

Neoliberalism

The Failure of Neoliberalism in the World

*Keynesianism is dead. 

The economic failure of liberal capitalism from the American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789) to the Great Depression with the crack on the New York Stock Exchange (1929) led to the adoption of Keynesianism based on the ideas of the English economist, John Maynard Keynes, who unlike classical economic liberals, defended state action in the economy with the objective of achieving full employment. 

Keynesian philosophy ceased to be effective by the 1970s, due to the decline in world economic growth after the so-called “glorious years” of the 1950’s and 60’s. There were two oil crises along with the debt crisis experienced by most  countries of the world that drove insolvency at international banks. 

This situation made the conservative forces of the United Kingdom and the United States, under the leadership respectively of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, carry forward neoliberalism whose economic doctrine advocated the return of liberalism now on the world stage – which meant absolute market freedom and a restriction on state intervention on the economy. Neoliberalism was adopted after the end of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist system in 1989, respectively.

With neoliberalism, social inequality has reached alarming levels throughout the world.”
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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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My Wall Street, My Financial Future

The Money Slant by
*Last week I read an article in a prominent financial magazine written by an unnamed professional financial advisor. Unsurprisingly, he simply spouted off reasons why everyone should work with a financial advisor and even recommended readers invest with someone who will operate in a “fiduciary capacity” (AKA have ultimate control over your money).

He did make some solid points, namely about the importance of finding someone independent  and trustworthy with an investment style you’re comfortable with. These characteristics are crucial to your peace of mind— your future is everything, and you need someone with your goals in mind managing your money.

The author made finding your dream advisor seem as easy as asking a friend or someone you respect for a recommendation. I hate to break it to you, but he or she doesn’t exist— unless you consider yourself an option. Who knows your needs, risk-tolerance, and plans for the future better than you?

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Job Candidates - Applicants

An Imperfect Preference for Perfect Postulants

*I recently read on a website a hiring manager who discarded the application of any applicant who had less than a 3.0 grade point average (GPA). This manager was quite proud of this fact. So let’s take a look at some of the critical qualifications of hiring and compare some of the good points and bad points. Included are some other characteristics that might on the surface demonstrate great qualities, but there might be some other considerations.

This reminds me of a person that I spoke with once who had a particular motorcycle that had a great reputation as a race bike. The person who had owned this motorcycle said that it was a great bike, but if you weren’t a very experienced rider, it was a nightmare, because it only performed well at very high speeds, and if you weren’t capable of holding the throttle wide open and slamming it around, it would torture you. The bike was essentially a production model of the bike that had won the world championship the year before. If you were world champion class rider, it was good for you; if you weren’t a world champion rider, it would punish you.

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Theranos Sunny Balwani

Sunny Balwani – Pecunious, Punctilious, and Prosecuted

*Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was the president and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of a company named Theranos for seven years. The founder of Theranos was Elizabeth Holmes, whose life goal was to be a Silicon Valley billionaire. The unfolding of the story is rather sad, a story whose path was not unlike the fictional character Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” theme. Theranos’s business concept was a great idea, and should a company such as one like Theranos actually work, it would change a lot of how we view medicine, but the concept and reality never actualized.
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