Tag Archives: BUSINESS

Rookies With Bullshit

A lot of laid off coal miners voted for Trump because he got them to believe in the lie that coal was coming back to Eastern Kentucky and Trump would be driving the lead truck. Well that’s just not going to happen if you believe in reality. There is not a single indicator lending evidence that coal is in out future.

While coal consumption has been dying in America the same has occurred in other nations. China just cancelled the construction of 103 coal-fired generating plants in favor of natural gas. China has stopped importing coal and has laid off tens of thousands of their own miners due to lack of demand.

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Sorry Charlie, You Ain’t Your Average Tuna

I became interested in saltwater fishing in the mid 1990, especially around the Morehead City, NC area. The Gulf Stream runs along the NC coast about 35 miles out and is prime fishing for dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo, and several species of tuna. The most prized tuna is the Atlantic bluefin and can bring huge money in Japan. The US government and the state control the tuna catch and the penalties for bagging one out of season can be substantial.

My brother, who lived many years at the coast told me one year a couple of guys had been out in the gulf stream and hooked up a pretty large and very out of season bluefin. Greed got the best of them so they hid it in the bilge and brought it to shore. That they had the animal for sale quickly became known and it didn’t take long before the tuna cops tracked them down. When it was all said and done the fish had cost them many thousands of dollars in fines, some jail time, and the loss of their 35′ center console deep-water boat, it’s trailer, and the big dually they used to pull the rig.

This memory was prompted by a story I just read about the first fish auction in Tokyo for 2017. The highest priced tuna brought $632,000 ($1,300 a pound). The same restaurant that bought this fish paid $1.76 million for a fish in 2013. That represents the world’s record.

What you don’t hear so often is how the demand for horribly expensive sushi is making tuna horribly rare. There is a worldwide need to place the fish on the endangered specie list before it ends up dead as the dodo birds.

We Need You Gene Feldman

I’ve been thinking about a statement being made by Trump, that he wants people in his cabinet who have made a fortune. It made me think of a man I knew in CA named Gene Feldman. Gene was the VP of the company I worked for and had made his fortune from the ground up. He began life at the bottom and through education and hard work became very wealthy.

About once every other month Gene would take whoever wanted to go to a local restaurant for beer and finger food. We’d all sit there as equals and do what people do, talk sports, jobs, family, etc. The “as equals” thing was at his request. For a couple of hours he wanted to be one of the crew and not the boss. He wanted us to know each other as people and not as boss/worker. We all knew and accepted that when the evening was over Gene became, Mr. Feldman again.

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CEO

CEO TAX: Portland has passed a tax that targets companies where the CEO makes 100 times as much money or more than the average employee. City businesses pay a tax of 2.2 percent of net income, but companies where the CEO makes more than 100 times as much will be assessed a further 10 percent tax, and if they make more than 250 times as much the penalty is a further 25 percent tax. I like this!

Eric’s Tit Got Caught

Apparently Eric Trump got his tit caught in the Twitter wringer last weekend when he claimed the Wisconsin presidential recount called for by Jill Stein cost the lives of 5,000 children.

One might ask how did Jill Stein kill 5,000 children by ordering a recount? Well, according to young Eric, if the $3.5 million the recount cost had been spent on malaria relief that many kids lives could have been saved.

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The Mouse is Staring at the Cheese

A friend posted concern that most of Trump’s nominees are very wealthy people from banking and Wall Street. Trump argues these are the people who understand the system and know how to fix it. I don’t have a problem with that. A guy who runs a 300 acre corn and bean farm probably doesn’t have what it takes to rewrite and correct the US income tax code.

But I do question whether the Wall Street insider who has the knowledge will also have the desire. It smacks of putting the mouse in charge of protecting the cheese.

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A Goldman-Sachs Golden Sack

Why would anyone with a high-end sweet job at Goldman-Sachs want to give it up and go to work for the federal government? Well, one answer is pure economics.

People who have a penthouse office with a corner window at places like Goldman-Sachs are partly compensated with stock or shares of the company. If/when they sell these shares they have to pay taxes.

But, if they take an executive job with the government they get to sell those stocks and keep the proceeds, tax-free. The government essentially hands them a tax-free bag of gold.

Donald Trump has now reached out to at least two such people and that number will most likely grow.

This is yet one more way the very rich get richer at our expense. Keep this in mind next time you cash in a CD or a tax-sheltered annuity and you get a tax bill along with the funds.

Smoke

TOBACCO: 870 billion is the number of cigarettes manufactured cigarette-buttsby Philip Morris annually. The company has invested $3 billion into tobacco vaporizers, already available in some overseas markets, and plans to have the product in 20 markets this year. BTW, PM has announced it may be planning on exiting the cigarette business.

Thoughts on Infrastructure

Following the great recession of 2008 the congress passed a stimulus bill that was supposed to focus on “shovel ready” infrastructure projects. In my opinion it was not as successful as it could have been because it didn’t authorize enough spending and it didn’t demand that every penny spent be spent with American contractors using American labor, American made equipment, and American made supplies.

Another major problem with big government spending programs has always been keeping them from becoming financial boondoggles and money trees for big corporations.

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Wash Pot

WASHINGTON BAD: Jeff Pence, the dude Trump is appointing to be weedbudthe next US Attorney General is not a pot friendly person. He has said in public that, “good people don’t use marijuana.” Well in the state of Washington pot sales in the 2nd quarter of 2016 reached $212 million compared to $249 million for alcohol sales.

The Angry Farmer

Since 2000 I’ve spent a lot of time drinking coffee with area farmers and here’s what I saw. I saw farm income in every category except government subsidies, double or better. I saw farmers making so much money they were forced to buy new machinery, new grain storage bins, new equipment buildings, and lots of shiny brand new 4X4 pickup trucks with full crew cabs and dually rear wheels.

While things aren’t as good as they were they still aren’t bad.

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