He who knows other men is discerning; he who knows himself is intelligent. He who overcomes others is strong; he who overcomes himself is mighty.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How it looks to me.

With computers, new fangled communications and all other forms of technologically advanced gizmos, one intelligent, connected person can now oversee enough barely trained, minimum paid minions that there is no need for the highly skilled, high paid workers, nor the hordes of high priced management. Everyone is happy and getting paid what they want instead of what they contribute. And the owners and top people are OK with that because most are not selfish as long as there is enough to go around.

Then Wal-Mart grows to monopolize the grocery/clothing/tires/sports/hardware market.
People are content to shop there because it is cheap and easy, it doesn’t matter the sales people know less then the customers. People are delighted that a Wal-Mart goes in because of all the (minimum wage) jobs it brings. The real money that Wal-Mart earns doesn’t stay in the state. Stores with knowledgeable owners and staff close up. Imperceptibly the middle class salaries don’t keep pace with the homes that they get convinced they can afford. Even the lower class seem to be ablee to

In 2008 gas prices go high enough to affect every business in America. The margin of profit shrinks and there is not enough to go around. By the time the gas prices go down spending habits are changed for at least the next generation. Every day the layoffs scare more people in to making changes in their spending. The margin of profit shrinks more and more. The owners have to trim the fat. Not to hand out bonuses but to pay health and unemployment insurance and to keep the lights on.

It looks scary to me.

Will changes continue until the standard of living of the whole world reaches equilibrium?

Most of my problems have no answer or else the answer is worse than the problem.
- Ashley Brilliant

After I wrote this I stumbled on this at the New Yorker:
What is holding up well is the “staples”: groceries, basic clothing, medicine—stuff people can’t live without. Still, New Yorkers are cutting back even on the basics, buying less than usual or making do with what they already have (business at cobblers and other repair stores is generally up). Liquor, a traditional tough-times standby, is holding steady, although Greenpoint’s Mark Bar, for one, now makes its margin on the $2 “PBR special” while top-shelf booze gathers dust above. The ratio of espresso drinks to less expensive drip coffees sold at coffee shops has, in the words of one owner, “flip-flopped.” What we’re witnessing, in other words, is not a single fatal blow, but death by a thousand spending cuts.

but you ought to read the whole thing.

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