Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two New National Political Parties

I have become very disillusioned by the political atmosphere in the United States. For many years the outlook has been that anyone who doesn't agree with my viewpoint is evil and should be slandered. I feel that it is time to do whatever is necessary to bring back the spirit of compromise and tolerance of the other person's viewpoint as worthy of logical debate and discussion. Accordingly, let's shuffle up the players in the Democratic and Republican parties so that people on both sides of the aisle have to talk and live with each other. I recommend that we mix the more conservative Democrats with the conservative Republicans to form the Demoblican Party. We should also mix the more moderate Republicans with the progressive Democrats to form the Pubrats Party. You have your choice whether you want to be in Demob or whether you want to be a Pubrat. Either way, we should have more intelligent conversation and more of a party.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jobs and the U.S. Economic Recovery

According to the Bureau of the Census data (Click on the title of this piece.), there are only 17047 firms in the United States that have more than 500 employees. There are 19,523,741 firms that do not have any employees at all. These are one-person operations that may be run on a full or part-time basis. There are also 5,885,784 firms that have payrolls, 4,980,165 of which have fewer than 100 employees. The most direct path to economic recovery lies in a combination of more people starting their own businesses and a significant percentage of small businesses adding a single employee. The Federal Government would do well to encourage entrepreneurship and to take steps to make it easier for small businesses to hire one additional person. The leverage of small businesses on the economy is huge, and their employees tend to stay with their companies for as long as those businesses remain economically viable. Add to these choices the fact that the government is finally starting to encourage the manufacture of products domestically, and we may find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicago Blackhawks Decline Arbitration Award for Antti Niemi

The Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks, have demonstrated that common sense is trumped by financial considerations in today's sports world. Capital availability, budgets, salary caps and shareholder pressures are more important than trying to turn a once-in-fifty-years championship into a sports dynasty. This is obviously a very conservative approach to sports management. The Blackhawks are thankful that they won this year, but they are assuming that they are not likely to repeat, so they are being fiscally conservative and hoping for the best.

The salary cap restriction made them release or trade a bunch of players who were central to their phenomenal season, but given the fact that they had already conceded that they could stay under the salary cap with Niemi's arbitration award, their action baffles me. In playoff hockey, a reliable goalie is essential. The Blackhawks are disregarding the adage that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Not only that, but they are turning their backs on a young goalie with many years of future playing potential in favor of a good but older goalie who would be only a temporary solution.

The other Blackhawks news item that throws me is their statement that they lost money this year. They had bigger crowds than ever; they had TV revenues that they didn't have in the past; they had all of the souvenir sales and other benefits of a championship; and they lost money. Next year they will have higher salaries and a low probability of repeating as champions. Will they make more money than this year? I doubt it, but good luck to them.