business news in context, analysis with attitude

We referenced a New York Times piece the other day that spoke about the disconnect that exists in specific markets between retailers' desire to keep their customers safe - and feeling safe - and the realities of permissive gun laws that sometimes threaten shoppers' security.

MNB reader Kelly Wiseman responded:

Regarding guns, even in open-carry counties and states, the property owner still decides. So, in order to reduce the threat of gun violence, retailers should see it as an obligation to post "No Firearms Allowed" signs on their doors. Every time I've had to confront a second amendment activist trying to make a point by walking into one of our stores with a gun, the argument that private property rights supersede second amendment rights always wins. After all, we've had private property far longer than we've had guns. Retailers need to just find the courage to take a stand.

Agreed.  If I were a retailer, I'd do exactly what you are suggesting … but I'm not persuaded that every retailer feels that way.  In part, that's because a sizable percentage of customers would find it problematic.

On the subject of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) taking aim at non-compete clauses, MNB reader Bob Thomas wrote:

I’ve always thought that non-compete clauses were stupid.  If employees is fired why would a company NOT want them to work for the competition?  And say an employee gets an offer of a similar job with a 30% increase but cannot take it because of the NCC.  How will the work product be then?

The FTC is saying that "30 million people, or one in five workers, would be impacted" by the banning of non-compete clauses, "and the rule could increase wages by nearly $300 billion a year."  That's a lot of economic power being unleashed.

We had a piece yesterday about all the talent now available because of layoffs in the tech sector, which prompted one MNB reader to write:

Maybe SouthWest Airlines should hire some of the tech being laid off. It seems they need an infusion of tech talent and updates to move forward.

And, on the subject of Amazon's decision to lay off 18,000 people, not just the 10,000 previously announced, one MNB reader wrote:

This is the tip of the iceberg! The push by groups to increase the minimum wage for all level jobs past the point that businesses can afford. It all leads back to costs that can’t be sustained. Plus the fact, AI machines/ robots/ etc…are showing up everyday and everywhere not only to save money but reduce the workforce. There are jobs now that can’t be filled that will eventually go away. We are creating our own problems.

I'm not sure how many of the Amazon folks being laid off are working for minimum wage…

And, this email from MNB reader Donna Brockway:

Enjoyed seeing the clip of the song about United breaking the band's guitar and the resulting video.  It reminds me of the powerpoint presentation done in 2001 about bad service at the Doubletree Hotel in Houston.  The group of people that arrived at the hotel late with guaranteed reservations created this hilarious Powerpoint, including charts and graphs, that went viral and is still on the internet today - just google "yours is a very bad hotel".  This is how long these stories last when companies try to ignore complaints!  

Donna is absolutely right … and you can access the Powerpoint here.