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9-8-2004

Who's checking anyway


 Mark,

                Sorry I missed what was probably a great party. I had something quite unavoidable come up this past week. And I could have brought my Knack CD as well. Sorry.

                Has anyone out there happened to notice that some folks in the mainstream media are actually asking questions about many of Kerry's claims about his military service? I want to add some to that list.

                Just about everyone has either read about or heard about his claims as to where he was Christmas of 1968. Cambodia. Kerry stated that President Nixon was telling the world that there was no hostility in Cambodia. It has now been pointed out that not only was Kerry not in Cambodia, Christmas of 1968, but Nixon wasn't even President. I guess it was just another opportunity to bash a Republican. In Kerry's eyes it was close enough, besides who's checking anyway. Nixon is almost as evil as McCarthy, and I'm sure if we did a Lexus/Nexus search on Kerry and McCarthy, we could find something.

                Okay, now onto idiot of the month. Who said this: "I spent five years as a Navy pilot, starting in November of 1962. One year was in Vietnam. I was flying F-4s and F-8s on combat air patrols and photo-reconnaissance support missions." Give up? None other than Howard Dean wannabe, Tom Harkin. This guy was the one who recently called Dick Cheney a coward. This is also the same guy that lied about his own service in Vietnam. He was never there. Well, hey, he's a Liberal and it was close enough and who's checking anyway?

                Funny how folks like Cheney, who didn't serve, have no right to comment on military issues, but folks like Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon do.

                Recently, MoveOn.org published an apology to the people of Iraq. I want to add a few more statements to their apology, and pardon me if mine are grounded in facts.

                We, the people of the United States want to apologize for taking too long in relieving you of your generation's long oppression. -We apologize for not taking out Saddam in the first Gulf War. -We apologize for having to use our military to cut down the headless, gutted, and mutilated men, women, and children that were hung from every telephone pole for miles as Saddam evacuated Kuwait (I work with a soldier that actually did this).
-We apologize for the NOW's failure to react to the oppression of your women-my guess is that women's rights are only meant for this country, and only matter in an election year when a Republican is in office. -We apologize to you Olympic athletes, who for the first time can practice and play, without the worry of torture if you lose. The huge smiles on the faces of your athletes at this year's games are a tribute to your resolve.
-In a related story, we do not apologize for a woman carrying the Afganistan flag during opening ceremonies, nor for the two female Afgani athletes that competed.
-We do apologize for the NOW, who probably thought that that part of opening ceremonies shouldn't have been shown on TV. -We apologize for Kofi and the UN, who stood by for years and did nothing as Saddam, his sons, and the Bath party tortured and raped your people, while being on the take with the French and Germans in the "food for oil" program.
-We apologize for forcing you to endure Sean Penn, who couldn't find Iraq on a world globe, let alone prove that there were no WMD as he was taken from one sand dune to another. Spicoli lives dude! -We apologize for the hundreds of thousands of Kurds that were bombed and gased with those non-existant WMD.
-We apologize for prior administaration's "do nothing" attitude and lack of intestinal fortitude to do what was right and not politically expedient (unless of course it was on the eve of some very bad news about a girl named Monica).
-We apologize for 40% of our population that act as if 9/11 was our fault and that it is ancient history and that think our President is somehow related to the Fuhr. On Friday, during a class I was teaching, I was stunned to hear one such person say that he would actually pay money to whoever shot President Bush. I know, he was a union guy and a Liberal, so it isn't hate speech.

                You know what else is weird. Kerry voted to allow the use of force in Iraq, then quickly back tracked to "voting to authorize" the use of force. It's almost as if there were two votes, one to "authorize" and the second to actually "use". It was only one vote. And now he has back tracked again, saying he would have authorized the use of force even knowing now what we know. How in the world is he supposed to balance his anti-war rhetoric with his need to show he is strong on US safety?

                Finally, we get back to Sue's favorite druggie Congressman wannabe-Kurt, who still thinks that our evil Government (especially those on the right) should fix the Government. He now tries to talk shop with Sue about business and economics. His version of economics extends to end of his bong and to the price of a dime bag. I'm sure Kevin can help you with that Kurt...as if...

                Kurt will never understand how our economy actually works. Did you ever notice with him it's always tariffs, taxes, or the government that should do something, the very same government that is, in his opinion, the cause of all these problems? (Sue Henry-Ask him that sometime-ask him why he thinks that more government is the solution to more government.)

                If you actually want to see manufacturing shine in this country, beyond where it is, take away some of the huge taxes, labor, excise, export, material, utility, computer-some states actually charge property tax EVERY year for each computer.

                What Kurt and folks like him do not understand is that there has been a huge shift in business philosophy.

                In the 1970's: Cost + Profit = Selling Price. It was easy, add up your COGS-Cost of Goods Sold, throw in your return and that sets your price to your customers.

                But...In the 1980':   Price - Cost = Profit. With the increase in technology, etc, we became a market driven society. It was the market that was setting the price, so once you paid for COGS, what was left over was your return. Companies had to turn to cost reduction measures.

                Now...In the 1990's and today: Price- Profit = Cost. Not only is the market setting the price, but your shareholders are demanding a certain ORONA-Operating Return on Net Assets (or RONA) and the company is left with having to hit cost targets that are set for them. If these costs are not hit, shareholders go elsewhere, the street bangs you and then you can say bye-bye business.

                In order to control costs and hit the cost targets, companies started outsourcing to other countries. It is true; I was part of it in my past. What folks do not understand is that quite often the COGS is not much different in a foreign country as the same equipment is needed, a building is needed, utilities, insurance, etc and often there are huge losses in the value of capital, even with a weak dollar. My overhead cost was about $56/hr, while our overhead cost in Mexico was $46/hr. The big difference was the labor costs. We paid our employees $18/hr vs paying the Mexican workers $8/day. However, the grand experiment is back firing on many companies as shipping costs are soaring, especially with fuel costs high, quality takes a huge hit, and more companies are bringing the work back here.

                Kurt is so wrong about manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs were up by almost 3% last quarter, which we have not seen in 20 years. My company is going to be hiring for the next 2-3 years. We export more goods and services than any other country in the world. We invent and patent more than any other country in the world, win more Nobel Prizes than any country and are awarded more international patents per year than all other industrial countries combined. I guess Kurt didn't know that Honda shut its Tokyo plant down several years ago because they couldn't keep up with the 450,000 autos and 700,000 engines per year we were making HERE!

                Guess what-there will always be someone that can figure out how to make something cheaper-Japan stole the VCR industry from us, only to lose it to China, only to lose it to Malaysia, only to lose it to Taiwan and on and on. But guess who makes all the movies and VCR tapes. Hell, you can buy a VCR now for the cost of 3-4 video tapes. But you buy 1 VCR every 5-8 years and in that time you buy/rent a hundred movies. Sorry, I'll take the movies and you can keep the VCRs. Kurt has no understanding of this concept. Nor does he understand that in this country we create the future, manufacture it for ten years before it is figured out by Japan or China, and by then we are on to the next technology.

                And by the way, we have the highest all time salaries in REAL dollars, the highest level of disposable income, work more than any other nation-I take this as a compliment, and even had a Japanese consultant tell me that no other nation could ever match our work ethic. He told me that there will never be a time when the US will not be the manufacturing capital of the world, because no one can match our technology, research and development and work ethic.

                In Kurt's world trickle-down economics could never keep up with his idea of "Siphon up." We tried price fixing in the 70's-remember the result-21% inflation, 8% unemployment, gas lines, weak stock market, etc. He should really stick to things he understands-like bongs!

Keep the Faith
Private Sector Dude