Published on: February 22, 2010
Responding to my criticism last week of some folks out in Utah who think that simply eliminating the 12th grade might be a nice way to save the government some money, MNB user Ted File wrote:The comment about Utah and the senator who suggested dropping the 12th grade did raise hundreds of eyebrows in the state. You pointed out one result but there are many other negatives such as: what about the affect of athletics and opportunities for scholarships to college; missing the senior proms and many other activities; where would they find jobs .... especially when no one is hiring (with exception of Stop n Go burgers). Bottom line it is not the way to handle the money issues faced by all school districts in Utah.
You’re right. I never considered the senior prom issue.
MNB user Dave Hanneman wrote:I wanted to give you a possible insight into the Utah proposal to eliminate 12th grade. We had the opportunity to live out there for a few years in the mid-90's. As I'm sure you're aware, Utah (especially outside the Salt Lake City valley) is nearly a Mormon church state. What you might not be aware of is that nearly all of those Mormon students will head out on a 2-year church mission between high school and college. That's why you see BYU quarterbacks and point guards who are married with kids and pushing 30 years old!
Anyway, their thinking could be that this allows their kids to get started on their missions a year earlier and back to BYU before their athletic careers are all washed up.
I also never considered the gridiron angle.
This is why I love MNB. It makes me think of stuff I never considered before.
We had a piece last week about how Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, unveiled an Employee Stock Ownership Program which means that the entire business is now owned by the people who work there. In doing so, he turned his back on a steady flow of offers from people and larger companies that wanted to buy his business.
I just thought this was kind of cool, which is why I wrote about it.
MNB user Rosemary Fifield responded:Not sure if you are aware of it, but King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont, is a highly successful ESOP and has been for at least 10 years, I believe.
MNB user John Quinn wrote:
MNB user Chris Connolly wrote:After a decade in this business, I have seen ESOPs that were set up with the best of intentions by the business owner, but in the end there was not a clear leader or group of leaders within the business who were able to keep the company headed down the right path. The business owner(s) may have had a benevolent spirit, but the employees didn't have the talent within their ranks to keep things running after the sale was completed.
I think it's a wonderful story and has tremendous potential for the future growth and success of the firm……if they have the right people in leadership positions.
Another MNB user wrote:You should check out Daymon Worldwide! The original founder of Daymon Worldwide did exactly the same thing a few years back. Now the employees own over ½ of the company stock. Milt Sender felt that it was important that the people who built the business should be the ones to profit from it. He is a very generous man.
And another MNB user wrote:Just FYI...Daymon Worldwide - the giant Private Label company in Stamford has a similar program - not sure that's "public knowledge" but Milt Sender put a similar program in place there and it has instilled incredible loyalty amongst the employees. Just thought you'd be interested…..
And another MNB user wrote:Certainly Bob Moore's giving his Red Mill Natural Foods to his employees via an ESOP was very generous, but I believe there are some very attractive tax incentives involved as well. Anyone in his situation would be well advised to look into that. It often is a true win-win situation (except for the U.S. Treasury).
We took note on Friday of a piece in Crain’s Chicago Business
reporting that Miller Coors is suing a company called PB&J Design, saying that it was making beer pong tables with a logo that resembles the Miller Lite logo. In addition to charging the company with trademark infringement, MillerCoors also says that PB&J is promoting irresponsible drinking.
““MillerCoors has taken steps to promote responsible drinking and has worked with the community and its local distributors to help the consuming public understand the importance of drinking responsibility,” the lawsuit states.
My comment: Okay, I get the trademark infringement part.
I’m not doubting the sincerity of MillerCoors’ commitment to legal and responsible drinking. But objecting to beer pong on moral grounds seems just a little disingenuous to me. It reminds me of Major Renault in ‘Casablanca’ saying that he is “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” And then is handed his winnings by a croupier.
One MNB user didn’t think I was giving MillerCoors enough credit:It’s ok that you think the objection is disingenuous, but give a look here: www.greatbeergreatresponsibility.com Specifically, the Alcohol Responsibility page within the site. MillerCoors has had a stand of promoting responsible drinking for some time. And even goes as far to put the reminder on the packaging.
But MNB user Stephanie Rasor wrote:Right on, this is disingenuous! I’m sure Miller Coors understands that beer pong, quarters, and a myriad of card drinking games are not accompanied with a Sierra Nevada or Deschutes beer. No, you need a nice easy drinking Miller Lite or Bud Light. The drinkability is akin to a Pellegrino and the low alcohol content allows competitors to still be standing at the end of the tournament.
Look, I wasn’t doubting MillerCoors’ commitment to responsible drinking. I was just saying that at some level, beer pong has to be good for business...and they know it.
MNB user Steve Lutz wrote:Amen, Kevin. However, at least at the university where my son is attending school the beer pong game has been indelibly changed by the H1N1 flu virus. Over the past year after the flu hammered the campus I saw a distinct shift in my trips to campus. There are no longer half-full cups of beer on the table to be chugged when a ping pong ball is tossed into your cup. Way too unsanitary. Now, they use cups of water that are used over and over. The beer is now off to the side. It’s still consumed…just not from a cup that has just had a dirty ping pong ball dropped in it. Who says college doesn’t teach kids to adapt to changing circumstances.
That’s why they call it higher education.
On another (liquid) subject, MNB user Dan Jones wrote:Your acknowledgement of Washington’s Birthday and National Margarita Day was extremely well balanced. You may end up editing the 2011 Publix calendar!
That’s what I was thinking.
Now, I have two words for you:Tequila Pong!
Chiming in on our ongoing discussion about my piece last week about “who killed American exceptionalism,” MNB user Jeff Hays wrote:Could someone please tell me what this country would do without OIL, and it
suddenly "dried up" and was gone? C’mon man. It will be American Exceptionalism that eventually brings this country to a new clean form of energy. In the meantime greenies and progressives need to keep their left foot planted in the present moment. Why in the world would any entrepreneur take the risk of developing ANYTHING new and innovative in this anti-business climate? Why put up a "shingle" when you know the EPA, environmentalists and the unions, who operate without discretion and oversight, are going to slap you and your business with all kinds of B. S. Not to mention the fact that the current administration and the puppets in the congress are STILL pushing unpopular legislation that will hurt consumers and business. Let's look at government "Stealth Care" (I mean health care reform), "Cap and Tax" (I mean a comprehensive energy bill), and more "Porkulous Bills" (I mean a jobs bill) as just a "small obstacle" to creating more American Exceptionalism. This is about as transparent as a plastic shopping bag.
I read an email like this, and I cannot help but start to hum a song...Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...
And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...
If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.
And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...