Fortunately, I still like carnivals. Because I am not too high on capitalism right now. I just saw Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 and the not-so-wonderful connections he makes between big business, the administration and the war in Iraq are a bit disconcerting. I am also running Spybot Search & Destroy, Ad-Aware 6.0 and Hijack This for the 3rd time each, to no avail.
The good news is, however, that I visited France for two days this week and everyone I met, loves the US and --more importantly-- loves the people in the US. Even those of you that rallied around Freedom Fries.
So, as I sit to prepare this week's version of the COTC--while sipping a French aperitif--GWB is still president, civilians and our service-men and -women are still dying in Iraq, and popups, automatic downloads, and browser hijackers are still invading my computer...all in the name of democracy,
freedom, and the almighty buck.
And while pondering whether this strange cocktail of democracy and capitalism is actually working to make our lives better, here are some somewhat related thoughts.
Barry Ritholtz of the Big Picture Blog ponders whether Bush is slipping in the polls among the Capitalists...
Here's my favorite quote of a quote from Barry's post:
"I can testify to the extraordinary destruction of 'American Brand Value' accomplished by this administration, from Europe to Hong Kong to Shanghai to Tokyo, and beyond ," he wrote in a recent e-mail that he widely distributed. "If any CEO of a global multinational had accomplished this for his enterprise as quickly and radically as George Bush Jr. has done for the U.S., he would be replaced by the board in no time."Update: David Tufte has an interesting reaction to Barry's post.
Meanwhile, goobage, doesn't think that it is the stupid white men that run the government that is the problem. It is the whole idea of government budgets based on tax revenue that is the problem. So, instead of letting the government
auction off give-away contracts, make them roll up their sleeves and do the actual serving. Goobage proposes Capitalist Government and asks the question:
Why can't governments support themselves with capitalistic principles rather than extortion?
Not a bad idea. Not likely. But well-intentioned. At least until they figure out that serving the less profitable segments of the
markets ghetto is a bad strategy in maintaining a strong balance sheet.
For instance, how would health care work if the government ran it like a business?
I am not sure, but here is a bit of what happens when they do what they are doing now:
The Treasury recently waived some of the requirements of the Health Savings Account rules until 2006, allowing HSAs to be set up in states with rules mandating low-deductible or no-deductible coverage, at least for some health conditions. These state provisions conflict with the requirement that HSAs be used with high-deductible health insurance plans.
After reading that post 10 times and still not understanding what is going on, I think it might be easier to just let the government run health care?
Update: Martin Lindeskog of the Egoist blog has an answer for the question above about government run health care.
Anyways, I think they could get some help with this whole running-of-a-business concept with some handy number crunching by David Tufte at the voluntaryXchange blog. David points out that the WSJ reports that Hollywood makes 40% of their revenue in the summer months, which as David's calculator tells us also works out to be 40% of the time. I checked his math and can confirm.
So, Mr. Capitalist Government, we don't recommend outsourcing your business plan to Hollywood. They may be good at packaging pretty faces in romantic cheesy war movies, but they don't know how to pick a summer money-maker that actually says something about war, when they see it.
Mr. Capocracy Democritalism, I also recommend reading this post by David Masten at the Catallarchy blog for another lesson on how not to spend the people's money wisely. Contrary to George Bush's thinking that spending money on Mars Exploration is good for the public, David summarizes:
Contrary to the conventional wisdom that the space program is economically a public good, NASA creates public bads and unintended consequences.
Recent survey by NFI Research reveals that despite economic improvement, morale among employees is still low. There appears to be a growing disconnect between economic conditions and employment satisfaction. This Drakeview post suggests that the nature of work and workers is changing and the uncertainty causes low employee morale. And further that the people who recognize what the changes mean to the nature of work and employment will take advantage of the opportunity.
Well, a Carnival with all this advice for the incumbents and the other party that kinda-matters, wouldn't be complete without some advice for the Libertarians. Here's some at the Calico Cat blog. Michael Kantor talks about the consequences of switching back to the Gold Standard and why Libertarians shouldn't support that.
To complete our government and business section and smoothly transfer into "blogging for business", I recommend you check out one of my recent posts calling for a new presidential debate platform on the web[log]. Two candidates- one blog: Read this and think about it.
She compares and contrasts a small software company that was just acquired by Oracle last week - they've been using a corporate blog for about 2 ½ years) on the same day as Jonathan Schwartz, COO of Sun, starts blogging. How big and small company outward-facing blogs uses and challenges are different. (I'm gearing up to write more on "evangelistic blogging" for Global PR Week, July 12-16.)
More on Jonathon Schwartz's blogging, that I just happened to read today.
Ok. Ok. What kind of carnival is this anyways? We've bashed the government, capitalism in general, big companies that blog, even the libertarians. Who have we missed? "Ooh Ooh. Pick me. Pick Me", says the press! Arnold Kling has written a piece on how productivity gains in the US economy are ignored by the press. And makes a case that the press' liberal bias is the reason. I'll spare you my opinion on the whole bias in the press thing for today.
Suffice to say that Productivity is a Good Thing. But, Craig Henry argues that it is bad Bad for Innovation. Especially, as less and less people are around to do the same job (that is how we achieve higher productivity, right?), and they focus on day-to-day operations, they have less down time to focus on creatively creating the products and processes of the future.
Update 7/7/04: Stephen Carlson's take on this productivity vs creativity in the academic setting.
carnival bitch session would be complete without a little Oracle and big consulting company bashing? Thankfully, we have two posts by Frank Scavo weighing in on how the big consulting firms peddle software vendors' wares to clients for a fee. They are titled, “Consulting firm bias toward software vendors” and “Influence Peddling?”
With all this bashing, I think I am starting to get a temperature. I must have a case of google backlink and pagerank fever. Luckily, as we switch to our tech news for the Carnival, Wayne Hurlbert of the venerable Blog Business World, (the guy that introduced me to the COTC) has a cure for me. And all those SEO's that get afflicted when google decides to update their db. He says stop fretting, just create good content and get incoming links (from other people).
And while you are at it, optimize your header tags without cramping your style (using CSS) with this handy how-to from the OSCommerce blog.
So, if you’ve made it this far and you haven't formed a team of lawyers to sue me for libel, I recommend you read this post by Michael Lauher, in his blog, Junk Drawer, and create your own mini-blogger-bio.
Here is what that is:
Bloggers should offer “Blogger Bios” for other bloggers to copy and paste when they reference their blog. Blogger Bios do two things. First they would help provide a little more insight into the person the writer is referencing. Second, it is an opportunity for bloggers to obtain links to their business or company that they may not have received otherwise.
If you like my blog and you want to link to the this post, here is my blogger bio… Copy and Paste Away.
<b>Peter Caputa’s Blogger Bio:</b> Pete uses his blog, <a href="http://worcester.typepad.com/pc4media">pc4media</a>, to network with cool people, to get the word out about new innovations in the online software space, get feedback on his ideas, and to evangelize his event promotional and social networking company, <a href="http://www.whizspark.com">WhizSpark.</a>
And finally, hop on over to Steve Garfield's blog, OffOnATangent. Enjoy the idyllic little made-for-weblog movie, called Micro-Machines and learn how to make a made-for-weblog movie yourself, in the process.
Update: Pick your best weblog post about bizness/politics/tech and send next week's submission to capitalists at elhide dot com.
Udpate: Michael Moore has a blog. I figured since I linked to him so much in this post, and his movie shaped the 'grumpiness' of this post, I'd throw up a link. (Found on Rick Bruner's blog about business. So, I am not the only one mixing business with politics.)