Tag Archives: politics

Let the Business Owners Pay for It

When it comes to “No taxation without representation,” the rallying cry of our founding fathers, few identifiable population segments are as abused as business owners. One of my long-time clients is a franchisor, and until very recently I was a … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Entrepreneurship, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Let the Business Owners Pay for It

  1. Maryanne Guido says:

    Working with the City and County we are required to submit certified payroll, ensure our subcontractors submit THEIR certified payroll, and that subs certified they have been paid by us on a monthly basis. If sun fails to do do any of this the GC (we) do not get paid until we “make” each sub comply- or do it for them.

  2. Joani Gill says:

    John thanks for citing a few regulations that hinder business growth for small businesses. I believe our middle market companies suffer the same issues as they fight for their rights to thrive. Just a few years ago, The Association for Corporate Growth, a global organization focused on the middle market, began a grass roots campaign to become the voice on Capital Hill for this business sector. I urge readers to check out ACG.ORG or MIDDLEMARKETVOICE.ORG and see where they can help with this initiative and be heard collectively. CONTACT AMBER LANDIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC POLICY, AT ALANDIS@ACG.ORG.

  3. When is it time to get rid of the red tape and bureaucrats?

  4. Cathy Locke says:

    Since I am a small business and mainly wholesale to small and medium size businesses I honestly don’t feel I have a “snowball in hell” chance of making ends meet or even show a profit. I also feel we need to clean house with the red tape and bureaucrats.

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Why Health Insurance Isn’t

Last week I wrote about the success of Obamacare in driving people from the private insurance market towards a national healthcare system. Clearly, I touched a nerve when I look at the tone of the responses received. Although I don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, John's Opinions, Leadership, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Why Health Insurance Isn’t

  1. Jim Marshall says:

    I had a great uncle who practiced medicine from the turn of the century until the mid 20th century. In the last chapter of his book “Doctor Do Tell” dealing mostly with his experience delivering medical care to the people of rural Wisconsin……he warned of the evils of “socialized medicine”. Much has changed since the time he practiced….including the willingness of health care providers to be “paid in pickles”. The evils of non “socialized medicine” have become crystal and painfully clear.
    The present health care system based on the idea that competition brings about the best result is a failure if for no other reason that there is and will not be true competition. Nationalized health care can minimize system costs….if design and operation remained focused on the goal of efficient, results oriented care measured by and paying for results. A single payer system that assures and pays for results oriented care (as opposed to pay per procedure) is probably the only way that a nation can bring about maximum care per dollar expended. The only logical single payer is government. If a clear goal (as mentioned above) was the standard to which any plan was held….much better product (our health care) could be brought about for all.

  2. Jim Marshall says:

    I neglected to mention his book was written in 1945.

  3. David Basri says:

    Except that not everyone is going to use all they did (or should have) put in. My mother will turn 99 early next year. She is in an assisted living center that costs thousands monthly, but uses just a small fraction of the services the price is meant to cover. This is good thing. Others use much, much more than they ever did (or could have) put in.

    The only solution is something based on the underlying concept of insurance. Many put in
    X and a fewer number take out Y. Even in countries where there is universal government provided healthcare, the concept is the same with taxes substituted for the bulk of premiums.

    The problem in the US is that the insurance paradigm is private and discretionary. Not everyone has to pay in, so healthier lower cost people opt out at a disproportionately high rate. The insurance companies are profit driven, so left to their own they simply do not want to cover those who represent a higher risk.

    Average life span in the US is into the 70s. That means both individuals and companies have to think very long term to justify the equation. In a system where participation is discretionary, and the actuarial pool is private and focused on making shareholders and executives happy the following quarter, the actuarial numbers will not to add up.

    Human nature simply does not work well in multi-decade time frames. Only an external entity can make the health care actuarial equation work. The ACA is bending the curve, but it is a poor mishmash trying to influence an inherently unworkable model based on private insurance and discretionary participation.

  4. Mike Weaver says:

    I have always thought it strange that people expect routine doctor visits and long term prescription medications to be covered under a health insurance plan. When you buy car insurance your tires and oil changes are not covered are they?

  5. David Basri says:

    It is only strange if you try to equate health care with consumer goods. Same basic problem as trying to force market principles to “control” health care costs. It is not a market or a consumer good, and should not be.

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Will Small Business Win in the End?

A few weeks ago Schumpeter, the nom de plume for each current author of the business op-ed column in The Economist, postulated the decline and fall of the Western Corporation. Could small business be the little furry mammals of the 21st … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Economic Trends, Leadership, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Will Small Business Win in the End?

  1. There is innovation which comes from smaller sized organizations. Then they get absorbed by ← larger fish in the food chain. Economic set backs create the groundwork for entrepreneurial growth – starting a business in lieu of not getting a job with bigcorp or the government. it is a cycle. the proven successful small businesses get acquired by larger companies with capital and no innovation. mom and pop video stores were acquired to make Blockbuster but even these have a life cycle and big does not always mean an enconomy of scale. red box in your grocery store lobby seems to be doing just fine as a vending machine operation.
    none of us lead active business lives in the historic perspective of 100’s of years. We have to make payroll or the rent this week, satisfy the customer with good qualty at a market price which is not increasing and do all of the other things required of us by the community we operate in. Small business people are heroes but because we do such a poor job of economic education in our schools their success is viewed as a lucky lottery instead of hard work.
    we will be in trouble when they start saying why bother?!

  2. Hi John,

    I see small businesses growing and playing a bigger part in the US, and heck, around the world, in supporting economies. As more entrepreneurs get the gist that they are making a difference and with the ease of buying a domain and hosting more folks are growing prospering small businesses. Side note; I’m awake and it’s almost 2 😉

    Ryan

  3. Luis says:

    The longer insterest rates remaiin at zero or below zero levels, the more difficult things will be for SMBs and middle classes. Because real zero rates are just for Big corps, banks, etc. in most of the Western world. This means they can almost print money.
    On the other hand, all the rest of us are deeply indepted with them (either through credits or public bonds), and we have no other resources but our working hours to pay them, competing on a global basis to sell them.
    Inequality is absolutely inevitable, and it will get much much worse beacuse politicans and central banks are into this strategy of ‘asymmetrical capitalism’.

  4. Mike Wright says:

    Last night I heard on the presidential debate that they were going to do something for small business in new tax codes. They also said they were going to do something for the middle class and those at of near the poverty level. All of the money of the wealthiest people cant come close to covering the budget. Maybe the politicians have a plan to bleed the dinosaurs. But, in true financial wealth theory we need to grow companies capable of moving large sums of money into our economy. Curious! When might we start focusing on educating future voters on economics and understanding how capitalism works as a whole. Small furry mammals or cockroaches? We must remain nimble to stay out from underfoot of Big Business, Big Government and Big Labor.

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Germany Makes a Business Decision

Germany just announced that it could accept an additional 500,000 refugees when other countries are jockeying to accommodate as few as possible. As much as the announcement was portrayed as a humanitarian effort, it is just as likely a simple business decision. Few members … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, John's Opinions, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning, Top Blog Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

7 Responses to Germany Makes a Business Decision

  1. Dan Bowser says:

    Thanks for putting a face on the other side of the immigration issue. Our country benefited greatly economically from immigration in the past. We can benefit now while helping many people at the same time.

    I wonder if we as a nation can get past the frustration of extreme political self-interest and see through the pandering on the part of some candidates.

    I’m hopeful but concerned.

  2. David Cunningham says:

    This observation is spot on. Japan will suffer worst because their racial intolerance is so bad that they cannot contemplate the an immigration program at any scale that would save them. On a visit to Yokohama I had repeated experiences in being denied access to jazz clubs, because they were “Japanese Only”. It was a trivial discrimination but it made me aware how bad it can make you feel.
    The least intelligent of the current US immigrant phobias are the proposals to repeal the 14th Amendment to the Constitution – “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” and to repeal the Dream Act that removes the threat of deportation for children of illegal immigrants. In most cases, we have already educated these young people and they are an economic benefit to their communities.
    I wish “Cost / Benefit” analysis could be applied to many of the challenges that face the USA.

  3. Katrin Anger says:

    Good point!
    While there are many perspectives that can be taken on this topic, this is certainly one with a positive side effect. – Whilst I don’t think that this is the main motivation for the German government, it could indeed prove true and benefit Germany in a few years … if they succeed on integration.

  4. Several years ago I was traveling in Norway and was struck by the large population of Somali immigrants there. Norway also has a negative population problem and had been attracting immigrants from many countries including the US becuase they seem to be color blind according to several former American black people I met. they would rather raise their children there there away from gangs and low expectations. Norway only wants you to commit to raising your children there and will subsidize you to do so with parental leave, education and job training for the parents. I was surprised to see so many olive and dark skinned people in the land of the blond, blue eyed Norsemen even outside of the urban areas..

  5. Mike Wright says:

    On Point. One other factor in Germany’s favor is the effectiveness with which they assimilated a less skilled East Germany population back in so efficiently and effectively. We must make education and training of the new immigrants a priority so they can help our economy grow, and not just to perform low skilled low paying jobs.

  6. We all should be champions for open immigration and free movements cross the borders, as long it is based on the trader principle. If you have the right to your life, you should be able to live and work wherever you want, in a free world.

    Immigration as become a hot topic in Scandinavia. I hope people will learn from the melting pot and the land of opportunity: the United States of America.

  7. As with most European countries, meetings etiquette in Germany relies on professionalism, good business sense and formality. Bearing the above in mind, together with a positive attitude will ensure good results.

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Minimum Wage and the Middle Class

“Amongst the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of conditions.” – Alexis De Tocqueville (Democracy in America, 1831) Americans have always considered themselves “middle … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, Entrepreneurship, Managing Employees, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Response to Minimum Wage and the Middle Class

  1. Mike Wright says:

    The only real way to solve the problem of the shrinking middle class is through technological advances and higher levels of universal education. Governments at all levels have failed to provide the education required and continue to take more money away from the private sector. Money that could be used to develop new technologies and train their workers to move into higher paying jobs. They are taking actions to get the political support of those who cannot, or choose not to, understand that their simplistic approaches will fail. The envy of astronomically higher salaries of CEO’s are playing right into their political strategies that are definitely not “for the people”.

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