Published on: November 3, 2010
MNB took note yesterday of a Washington Post
report that if Republicans recapture control of the US Congress as a result of the mid-term elections (which they did in the US House of Representatives), they plan to deliver retribution to companies that have cooperated with the Obama administration. Specifically mentioned: Walmart.
I commented:If the GOP actually pursues this strategy, then its control of Congress is likely to be short-lived...because this is precisely the crap that Americans will be rejecting by voting against the Democrats, who are perceived as having been arrogant and anti-compromise when they took control.
All this does is add to the incivility and insanity.
Walmart, and a lot of other companies, engaged with the Democrats because a) it would have been irresponsible not to, and b) because it is better to engage and influence than to be so rigid that nothing gets accomplished.
As much as this election cycle may be a repudiation of Democrats, it also is a repudiation of how politics is practiced in general. Politicians who focus on politics - as opposed to governance and the serious business of legislating and compromising - do so at their own peril.
MNB user Jim Keuth disagreed with my assessment. His email:That is your view, which in my opinion is completely wrong. If you think small business like to pay more taxes or have a new health care tax, then you truly our out of touch with small businesses. American’s are making this change, not because it’s mid-term elections, but because Obama’s policies are not working.
What part of 10% unemployment don’t you understand? What part of a health care plan, that most Americans didn’t want, but he still rammed down our throats don’t you understand? How many small businesses are failing because of Obama’s policies? How many businesses want to invest their company’s money with new taxes coming? If you truly believe that the Republicans are arrogant you truly a loser because you don’t get it. I know one thing, I won’t read this “crap” you right anymore.
Well, that’s why I call it “KC’s View.”
You certainly are entitled to your opinion, and to express it. And not to read MNB if you choose not to.
Though I would argue that we all are better off when we read, watch and listen to not just the people with whom we agree, but with whom we disagree or who challenge our opinions and beliefs.
Another MNB user wrote:I think you hit it, for those pols that don’t do what’s best for the country better start sending out resumes now to avoid the rush. The we won/you lost attitude is going to continue to be punished until we get a whole new crowd up there that are going to do the people’s work. A good first step is to ban all earmarks forget the pork.
You’d think that banning all earmarks would be low hanging fruit.
Another MNB user wrote:Absolutely agree! The day we let politics run the way we run our businesses, we lose all freedom – including the freedom to vote without punishment. I can only hope that the incoming GOP see the mistake this is.
MNB user Geoff Harper wrote:We are all fed up with government and politics. But this election is likely to be a reminder of a wonderful truth: The System Works!
Not that all the things we are fed up with will get fixed. But there are very few countries in the world where the people can kick the bums out.
I assume you are using the “throw the bums out” in a colloquial way.
But here’s what I view as an important step.
Don’t assume that the people with whom you disagree are “bums.” (Or “rednecks.” Or “fascists.” Or “socialists.” Or not patriots.)
MNB user Scott J. Proch questioned the whole premise:As they say on Monday night… Come On MAN!! Do you really believe articles like this?
A very predictable election day article from a publication like the Post.
I absolutely believe this story. There is no doubt in my mind of its veracity, because it seems completely in synch with the political tenor of our times. (And, it happens to match up with concerns that I’ve heard from various people and companies. Just because the story was in the Washington Post
doesn’t mean that it isn’t so.)
MNB user Jim Perko responded to Michael Sansolo’s piece about taking a blind relative shopping, and what that revealed about the food shopping experience:A Saint for what you did! 30 years ago I would bring my grandma shopping. Northern Minnesota and with a new driver’s license – my dad gave me the car – to take his mom shopping.
She wasn’t blind, but asked me a lot of questions. She had coupons from various stores and literally went back and forth to various stores to price compare.
The trip would take 7-8 hours. The stores were 10 miles from her home, but all about a mile to mile and a half away from each other.
The agonizing feeling I had after the novelty of it all wore off comes back to me. But so does the fact that I bet I was a breath of fresh air to her - - my dad I am sure pushed her along.
I couldn’t help but feel that your relative appreciated your willingness to assist her and I bet she told all her friends the neat things you did!
I will go back and read your article - - - I day dreamed through the first read.
It made me feel good!
On the subject of the World series, I got the following email from a Texas MNB user:It was the Giants year. They played great! Very proud of Rangers for getting to the World Series and beating the evil empire in ALCS.
I love any team that beats the Yankees.
And I agree with you about the Giants. It was destiny.
Had a story yesterday about a Dunkin’ Donuts that is rounding sales up and down, trying to eliminate the use of pennies, which strikes me as a common sense move, especially because it costs 1.7 cents to make a penny.
MNB user Joyce Mann wrote:We lived in The Netherlands more than 20 years ago. They calculate to the penny on their cash registers, but handle change in nickel increments by rounding up or down as needed. It's a great system, and I heartily recommend it.
Another MNB user wrote:The penny is not used at all here in the Netherlands and, although I felt robbed the first time I didn't get my 2 cents, everyone thinks it is a good thing. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down, but on average all of the rounding works out in the end.
MNB user Deborah J. Maestu wrote:Interesting concept - is it really because the penny costs too much to make or are we suffering from clerks who have a hard time counting out change?
Especially in the current economic climate with people living paycheck to paycheck, sometimes not making it to the next paycheck, there are probably a lot of consumers out there who sometimes have to count those pennies towards the end of the week to, say, get a gallon of gas or bus fare to get to work. Sure, it will work out for them the times that the change gets rounded up, but its a definite problem when the change gets rounded down.
Will stores stop pricing things at $1.99, 2.99, etc.....will Uncle Sam go along with the concept and round taxes down (most likely up)?
I prefer exact change, thank you.
And MNB user Michael Freese wrote:This Dunkin' is assuming it's employees can actually round up and down in giving change!!!
Go to any typical fast food establishment and give them 3 dollar bills and 2 extra pennies when the bill is $2.52. See how long it takes them to figure out your change.
In reporting yesterday about an Advertising Age
story that Walmart seems to relying on Justin Bieber to help in its sales rebound, I joked:I know this is the best way to show my age, but here’s my question.
What the hell is a Justin Bieber?
I know I can Google him, or check him out on Wikipedia. But I just don’t want to.
Just from the Ad Age piece, I gather he is a 16 year old male teen idol who is selling nail polish and a fragrance. Which is already too much information.
Man, did this prompt some emails...
MNB user Gerry Howatt wrote:I thought you always preach that if you don’t stay up on the times, you’re bound to be behind them.
Sure, throw my words back at me.
MNB user Michael Schillo wrote:You will get slammed by many on this, but how do you claim relevance in the business and not know who Justin Beiber is.
Part of a retailer’s success is being able to stay on top of current trends and react to them. This would apply to you also. Your comment “What the hell is a Justin Bieber” makes you sound like an cantankerous old coot who takes pride in not keeping up with the “young’ins”.
Come on Kevin. Keep up with the times and perhaps less Jimmy Buffett and more topical artists.
You don’t have to like him, listen to him or even buy him…but at the very least you should know who he is.
Okay, let me be entirely clear about this.
I was indulging in a little hyperbole. Having a bit of fun. Making fun of my rapidly advancing age.
I’d heard Bieber’s name before, knew he was a singer, knew there was some sort of deal about his hair, and knew that he seems to be the current version of David Cassidy, Davy Jones or Bobby Sherman. (Boy, do those names date me...)
Here’s the deal, though.
I know nothing else about Justin Bieber. And I think I can be current without being immersed in the minutiae of the celebrity du jour. (And there are so, so many of them.)
I also know this.
Don’t pick on Jimmy Buffett.
One MNB user wrote:Don’t feel bad Kevin. I asked the same Bieber question myself a few months ago (I think he was coming to Green Bay or something) and people looked at me like I was Rip Van Wrinkles and just woke up after a 100 year nap. I’m not sure exactly how he became so famous so fast. He must have one heck of an agent. There was also a UTube video of a little girl in love with him that got a lot of publicity. Let’s hope he doesn’t end up in the same rehab camp as Lohan.
Another MNB user wrote:Thank you for making me laugh out loud on an otherwise difficult day. I thought my granddaughter (age 10) was listening to a little girl sing and it turned out to be Justin B. Apparently his mom was posting YouTube videos of the little hottie singing popular songs and the right person saw him and turned him into a big star. Meanwhile, the rest of us just keep plugging away ...
MNB user Jeff Sandgren wrote:Jenny McCoy, Social Media Manager at MTV News, recently told us that their BIGGEST day on the social media scene was when Justin retweeted one of her tweets. I don’t understand rocket fuel, either; but I know that when you hit it, you launch. Forget WWWMD, the mantra du jour is WWJBD?
Maybe I can get him to endorse MNB...
Though, to be honest, I’d rather have Buffett.