Monday, May 21, 2012

Formula Retailing?

Many formula retailing establishments are facing frictions in smaller towns. Revised zoning laws seek to "preserve local character" by limiting or prohibiting so-called formula restaurants or retailers that force patterned menus, uniforms, signage, shopfronts, etc. As ordinances are tested in court, the legal framework for such zoning control is adapting and gradually getting stronger.

Some argue this is simply an audacious barrier-to-entry imposed by greedy non-competitive local retailers. A new entrant might be severely limited in allowed retail space, but an existing business would be free to expand, devouring neighboring businesses with impunity is natural in free enterprise.

Some see franchises and chain stores as a creeping illness, a disease that drains character from the local high street, making each Main Street nearly identical to many others, creating homogeneous retail districts, a bored subclass of clerks & consumers, and stale shopping experiences. Locally-owned franchisees send substantial franchise fees to far-off headquarters, while other local businesses may keep more money in the local community.

Formula retailing systems can be highly efficient, but efficiency may be expensive. Campaigns against formula retailing are growing in strength.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank you Dennis Kucinich

Rep. Dennis Kucinich early next year will leave the U.S. House of Representatives, after serving since 1997.

His persistence against American overseas militarism was often a lonely voice in top level American government. He advocated using such funds & energies at home, for American social services, and for peaceful outreach.

I thank Dennis Kucinich for stepping forward into the rough-and-tumble of public service, and for honorably persevering at a time when U.S. partisan politics often seems senseless and a tragic waste of life.

("Seems" senseless is used because what transpires is typically filtered by corporate news services - it's difficult for us common citizenry to gauge what really goes on). 

I thank Dennis Kucinich for his 2004 US Presidential Election efforts. Thanks to candidate Kucinich, the more contemptible dimensions of candidates John Edwards, Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama were clearly revealed (link). I'm deeply sad to have the pettiness of these other people clearly displayed, and but genuinely glad my own expectations and vote were not soiled by those bums.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Talent Wanted

Nobody wants to live or to raise their family in a shithole.

Place Appeal is an increasingly important dimension of management & government. Every locality needs talent, entrepreneurialism & jobs to sustain (or create) a viable community.

Labor has increasing opportunities for migration. Places are in competition with each other to attract & keep key people. Those whose ideas and energies can create and develop crafts, industries and jobs are most in demand.

But it's not enough to offer a good salary. Lifestyle and living environment are also vitally important. Talented people with choices look for a creative, fun & prospering community, and a nice place to raise a family.

Systematic development of place appeal is thus essential.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nuclear Cheat

The whole world now knows:
            Fukushima = nuclear disaster

Japanese nuclear operator TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company's) Annual Report is thus frightening reading for us all (link).

The financial accounts show something of how the operator prepared & responded. The 11 March 2011 disaster circumvented a planned dividend payment for the end of March 2011. But though the firm suffered huge losses & liabilities, and received large injections of public funds, no explicit attempts were made to claw back the dividend handouts disbursed 30 Nov 2010 and earlier that year (some 81 billion yen, or nearly US$1 billion).

We can also see (p.14) TEPCO's total power generation capacity was 64,988 thousand kW, of which only 4 thousand kW were renewables (wind & geothermal). German energy supply was then (early 2011) 20% renewables, over 300 times TEPCO's percentage. TEPCO's pitifully small proportion of 0.006% renewables shows that management & those with policy oversight were terribly, perhaps criminally, shortsighted.

Due to TEPCO, Fukushima's glow now lights the world!
Stop nuclear profiteering.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Corporate Shirks, Up Yo'Ass

Not "sharks" misspelled - but a pervasive, expensive problem.  
We cannot allow corporations to shirk & escape paying full cost for mistakes & crimes. We've been lectured on "fiscal discipline" while the owners of corporations have been able to avoid responsibility for grave errors in hiring and operations. Corporate owners must face full & true liability for corporate activities. Otherwise it's looting, as we pay for their downside.

Limited liability loopholes must be closed. Corporations escaping full cost force the rest of us to pay their bills. Corporate oversight & responsibility will be encouraged when limited liability is dissolved for costs stemming from criminal acts.

Corporate crime is real crime.
Society can't afford corporate limited liability.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

No Nuclear Flash

Japan's power industry shut down all nuclear generators today for the first time since May 1970. Fukushima's disasters have raised awareness of many ongoing dangers. Let's hope the industry does not recover, and Japan's 50 nuclear reactors stay shut down.

Nuclear power generation is built on lies! True costs are not covered by producers, operating under strictly limited liability. Dividends should never be paid until all nuclear waste is safe & disposed of securely.

Dividends paid by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) before the 11 March 2011 Fukushima meltdowns should be clawed back. The public needs compensation for huge involuntary subsidies and recovery efforts subsequent to the disasters.

In a major nuclear accident your property values might drop to zero. You can be forced to leave your home, and (as in Japan) whole towns & cities may be emptied. You could enjoy miserable lingering decline & death from radiation poisoning. Nuclear promoters can melt away with no responsibility. Why do we grant them limited liability?

The downsides to wind power, or geothermal, are very mild in comparison. Nuclear energy has been shoved down the throats of the public. The blunders in Japan highlights a need to stop all nuclear plants worldwide. None are properly funded. The potential for disaster is too high. Whole regions have been destroyed for generations, while operators wash their hands with limited liability and "so sorry"....