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GM drop kicks Tiger Woods

As humans, we are supposed to learn from our mistakes, having larger brains than most other mammals. When I see us making the same mistakes over and over again, though, I just have to wonder if our larger brains are working.
Although Tiger Woods is an athlete, he seems to be someone who has at least a few neurons that work. Why wouldn’t someone want to make an alliance with Woods to strengthen their company? How about adding Tiger Woods to a creative team to completely re-do the Buick line? How about using Tiger Woods is an example of someone who does not rest on their laurels, but instead tries to get better every day?

Instead of doing any of the above, GM has decided to cut their contract with Tiger Woods. They are saving money, they say. Give me a break! Fire a couple of executives who continue to make bad decisions again and again… now that would save billions.

From AP:

Turns out, Tiger Woods wouldn’t really rather have a Buick. At least not anymore.

When Woods ended his nine-year relationship with General Motors Corp. on Monday — a mutual decision between a megawatt celebrity who doesn’t need the work and a teetering corporation that needs every penny — it offered yet another snapshot of how badly the American economy has deteriorated.

Woods is the world’s most marketable athlete with an estimated $100 million endorsements a year. If his agreement with one of the world’s most active sports sponsors broke apart, some experts to wonder if any endorsement or sponsorship deal is really ironclad in these tough times.  (more… )

By |2008-12-01T20:49:59-04:00December 1st, 2008|Economy, Sports|Comments Off on GM drop kicks Tiger Woods

What's Going On: Evening Round-up

Being on-call for trauma on a Friday night is always a weird feeling. You know that you are going to get called, but why and when is the mystery.

  • The Taliban are encircling the capital city of Kabul to disrupt and terrorize. Can we destroy these guys once and for all?
  • Senator John McCain has altered his web site. There was an article on this web site that described him as a political celebrity. Oops.
  • The Judge from the Jena 6 case has been removed. Judge JP Mauffray describe the teenagers as “trouble makers” and as “a violent bunch.”
  • A Maryland scientist, Dr. Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide this week was the key suspect in the Anthrax investigation. We all remember the anthrax scare of 2001. My question: Why was the investigation taking so long?
  • I know that the Bush administration has told us that the economy is going through tough times and McCain’s quasi-former economic adviser called us whiners. But look at this: The U.S. economy lost 51 thousand jobs. That’s is almost the population of Asheville. The U.S. job market has lost 463 thousand jobs this year alone. The rate of unemployment is 5.7 percent. Yuck.
  • A huge article in Newsweek discussed how the Saudi government pressured Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, to kill a corruption investigation into British Aerospace Systems and Saudi contracts. Basically, the Saudi’s blackmailed Tony Blair. They stated that if he didn’t shut down the investigation then they would not cooperate with counter-terrorism investigations. This kind of stuff really can’t happen. The democratic nations of the west have to stand up and demand that Saudi Arabia formally apologize and remove any government official connected with this terrible behavior.

    From the article:
    “This shows how the Saudis can get foreign governments to disregard their own justice system,” said Ali Al-Ahmed, the director of the Gulf Institute, a Washington-based think tank that is critical of the Saudi government. “Terrorism is being used to blackmail the West. You watch, it is only a matter of time before they do this in the U.S.”

By |2008-08-01T18:31:01-04:00August 1st, 2008|Afghanistan, Economy, Race, Terrorism|Comments Off on What's Going On: Evening Round-up

Anheuser-Busch and the Loss of Middle America

This Bud isn’t for you.

I understand that the board of directors of a corporation is only responsible to it’s shareholders, but it seems to me that there must be more. Anheuser-Busch was recently sold to InBev, a Germany company for a gazillon dollars (well, $52 billion). The stockholders, including Cindy McCain, are doing a victory dance. Everyone is happy. InBev gets to decrease competition. Upper management and stockholders of Anheuser-Busch get to cash in. Yahoo! Everybody dance.

What? Who is that? It seems there are some folks that aren’t dancing, again: American workers. The employees of Anheuser-Busch aren’t dancing. InBev is going to cut costs because that’s their specialty.

Cost cutting is ‘business speak’ for firing workers and making the workers who stay work harder for less money. This is a very common scenario. We, Americans, should be used to this by now. We have seen companies buy out other companies and then institute “cost” savings. Wall Street loves this. The stock usually will skyrocket and folks with money will make more money.

Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t benefit from these buyouts. Usually, a handful of people will make truckloads of money and several hundred to several thousand are out in the cold.

The gateway to the West, the home to Anheuser-Busch as well as my former home, is going through some significantly tough times. If you drive into downtown from the west on one of the interstate highways (if you drive in from the east do not stop, you are going through East St. Louis. It makes St. Louis look like Beverly Hills), you will notice exactly what I’m talking about. There is an area just outside of downtown which is completely abandoned. There are huge factories and warehouses which are showing their age. Although they hint of a time when St. Louis was a vibrant city, that time has long since passed. The companies that owned these buildings have moved on or gone out of business. These buildings cry out for help from a wrecking ball and a bulldozer.

One of the last major employers in St. Louis is/was Anheuser-Busch. If you haven’t toured the plant, you should. It is amazing how much beer those guys turn out. The operation is very impressive. It is also clear that the workers are/were proud to be employed there.

I bought my first house in St. Louis. The guy who lived across the street from me in this new sub-division in the middle of suburbia was a truck driver. He had been working for Budweiser for over 30 years. He was in the house of his dreams with his wife of over 30 years. They were living in a golf course community. This was/is the American dream. This is what is suppose to happen when you work hard and save your money in America. But more and more, the American dream has been sold to the highest bidder. Wages are cut. Benefits are slashed. Workers are fired and asked to “re-train” and a few at the top make out like bandits.

Do major corporations have an obligation to the community in which they reside? Without the labor of that community could the corporation have prospered?

In order for America, to make it in this new century, we have to make things. We have understand that we are all in this together. If the workers are making money, then management is making money. It has to be a partnership in order for everyone to benefit.

By |2008-07-23T22:04:52-04:00July 23rd, 2008|Economy|Comments Off on Anheuser-Busch and the Loss of Middle America
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