Friday, December 17, 2004

The Wal-mart Problem

As someone with too much time on my hands, or more specifically, my mind, I tend to toss around issues over and over til they make sense. I have been a pure capitalist. Yet over the last few years my position has changed and I would like to express why.

Assume for a second that Wal-mart, our nation's biggest retailer, had the ability to get every product sold from China. Short term profits rise. Customers continue to see prices fall. China's working class gets a chance to rise from the level of peasant farming.

But what happens over the longer run? What happens as more and more Wal-mart customers have lost their jobs in the United States. They will buy less. Much less. Sure, Wal-mart would likely get more of their business. But is more, say 90% of less better for Wal-mart than 50% of more? I think not.

What if Wal-mart 's inventory were produced in one state only? What if it all came from, for arguements's sake, South Carolina? The standard of living in South Carolina would rise. Businesses would grow that support all of the manufacturer's that are making things. Restaurants, housing. medical services, and so on would all grow. The effect of a customer spending $1 on an item from Wal-mart made in the US would actually be more like a dollar spent 6 or 7 or 8 times. The results would be enormous. So, a million dollars in sales might actually be creating an 8 million dollar economy in SC.

And an bigger producing economy would certainly lead to more being spent at Wal-mart there. Even if they had a lower percentage of sales. In the long run, Wal-mart would certainly make many more dollars.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

15 Minutes

You have only 15 minutes to talk to anyone in the world. Who will you call and what will you say?

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Loss of Innocence

Baseball had been a constant in our lives, or at least we thought so. But the revelation today that some of the so called best players in baseball have been cheating to enhance their performance has ruined that. Player performance has become a variable, subject to what they are willing to introduce into their bodies.

Ignorance, as Bonds is claiming, is laughable. Anyone making millions of dollars per year by using their bodies, grasps what the risks are, as well as the rewards. For Bonds, the potential rewards and risks were evaluated, and he went for it.

If Bonds had any integrity at all, he would announce that he is retiring from baseball permanently. Then there would be no questions about how to look at the records as he approaches the HR total by Henry Aaron.

But we can be certain that he will not do so. For ego drove Bonds to take that extra step to enhance his performance. And his ego has tainted baseball for millions. Bonds failed in his risk analysis. For in the end there is there should be no reward for him. And if baseball leaves room for him to continue playing, there is no integrity in baseball left.