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Home Sell Outs Carnival of the Capitalists 01-29-07
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Carnival of the Capitalists 01-29-07

“Capitalist” is a loaded word.

Some people think a “capitalist” is a pig. Some think a “capitalist” is someone who takes advantage of others and exploits any resource he can to get wealthy. Some people think a “capitalist” is someone who believes in hard smart work. Some people conflate it with entrepeneur. Some people think it can be a woman. Still others think “capitalist” defines a type of person who sees fit to crush the weak. The glorious thing about being “capitalists” such as ourselves, is that ALL these things are true. Except the ridiculous part about being a woman; a woman cannot be a capitalist. We looked it up.

This week, we exploit the position as host of the Carnival of the Capitalists to give you the 15 best submissions (of 56 non-spam entries) related to capitalism. These are the best and in a competition with all the other articles, these are the winners. That is not to say the people whose articles did not get posted are losers, but in this case, they did in fact lose and are in fact losers. These are facts. We looked it up.

In no order here are the entries of this week’s “Carnival of the Capitalists”:

Tomorrow’s News Today provided by Avant News: Ford Motor Company Preemptively Recalls 6.1 Million 2011 Models.

“As part of our continuing Way Forward policy,” the spokesman, Philip Vaughn, said, “which encapsulates our commitment to economy, responsibility and quality assurance, Ford Motor Company will preemptively recall every vehicle we plan to produce in the next year. By holding the recall before a single consumer ever gets behind the wheel of one of our cars, Ford is proving its commitment to these important values.”

Charles Green speaks to how American Idol is empowering incompetents:

One contestant, asked why he believed his (miserable) performance rated a “yes,” replied, “because I love it [the song].” If I believe, it will happen.

It’s the same in business. Empowerment is great—to unleash organizational talent. But empowering incompetents is absurd—an attempt to defy reality….

The “just believe” message is ubiquitous: in self-help books, sports (“I guess the other guys wanted it more than we did”), movies (“if you build it, they will come”), fuzzy-think gurus (“start believing and acting like you’re already a millionaire, and you will get there!”).

Axed Idol contestants blame the judges, anyone but themselves. The reality-distortion field is huge.

James Hamilton of the excellent Econbrowser asks What would Milton do?, especially appropriate on Milton Friedman Day.

And what about right at the moment? Friedman was concerned not just that excessively rapid money growth would cause inflation, but also that decreases in the money supply were often the cause of an economic recession. By that standard, if M2 had been growing less than 1 or 2% over the last year, the Friedman perspective would lead me to have additional concerns that the Fed had gone to far in the recent tightening episode.

SoxFirst puts forth that maybe companies going private or out of business as a result of Sarbanes-Oxley isn’t a net positive for the public.

The disturbing part about that trend is that it undermines one of the great strengths of the markets in the US, Canada, Europe and Great Britain and Australia with the rise of the citizen investor.

The Big Picture gives a real life example of a tax credit that could be straight out of Catch 22:

It is ironic – and patently unfair – that a technology could be denied credit precisely because the company has the ability to pull it off.

Photon Courier points to evidence of an ultracap capacitor energy solution coming to market:

EESTOR’s system claims an energy storage capacity of 280 watt-hours per kilogram: this compares with 120 for lithium-ion and only 32 for lead-acid gel batteries. It is, however, still far below the energy storage per kilogram achieved by gasoline, even when the poor conversion efficiency of the engine is taken into account. Still, if these numbers–cost as well as energy density–can really be achieved, then the implications for transportation and for other energy-related fields could be pretty profound.

The Digerati Life examines their own investment portfolio, which looks a lot like LoS’s portfolio but with substantially less returns and substantially higher risk:

Interestingly, the growth of this portfolio — the total increase being 40% in the last 20 months — is attributed mainly to two reasons: stock market gains and stock option sales which we were forced to apply when my spouse resigned from his corporate job to strike it out on his own.

Lip-sticking provides some commentary on how to market to women, but oddly not one mention of the Pink Dollar:

Do you talk to the women you want to sell to? No, I mean really. Not just announcing new products or writing sales copy or mouthing off in your blog. Do you talk to your female customers on a regular basis? Do you have monthly events to which you invite customers – giving away ‘free’ stuff, including spa coupons, or dinner coupons, or mall coupons – and then create a conversation around a topic that is important to them? Do you do this? Or, do you read blogs and newspapers and magazines and think you have us figured out?

SportsBiz undertakes the implications of DirecTV’s pan-sport exclusivity with MLB soon to be undertheir belt:

All signs now point to Major League Baseball following the path first laid out by the NFL and moving its Extra Innings package of virtually unlimited games broadcast with local announcers exclusively to Direct TV, in return for a mere $700 million.

Overseas Property points to budding enthusiasm for Brazilian real estate:

Budding property hotspots continue to garner international investor interest with up and coming locations such as Morocco and Turkey making their presence felt in the survey. Brazil property however has risen from obscurity to second place behind Bulgarian property to overtake property in Dubai, whose marketing overdrive has assured its potential overseas property all-star status.

InsureBlog gives a point by point commentary on the healthcare portion of this week’s State of the Union:

But many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy.

Actually, most CAN afford health insurance. They just need to be reasonable in the way they approach managing their money and risk.

Moneyandfinance talks about the Social Security tax in the context of tax brackets:

By looking at hard numbers we can try to remove politics from it and see its effect on people and society. Increasing the social security tax rates will burden even more our lower income people and will create an ever flatter curve. Not doing something to fix social security now will create bigger issues to solve that will make society do hard decisions: like increasing retirement age or increasing social security tax, burdening people even more.

Searchlight Crusade gives an example of what happens to your home equity during a foreclosure which given the current real estate climate is worth knowing:

So if you cannot afford your payments, and you’re looking down the road at a trustee’s sale, it is usually in your best interests to get the property sold before that happens.

Small Business Trends shines the light on pet industry trends for 2007 — expect strong growth as baby boomers continue their self-indulgence using their pets as a proxy.

3. Growing interest in pet health care.

This includes non-invasive surgeries, human medical devices and services being applied to pets, super-premium foods aimed at specific ailments, and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and behavioral therapies. High end diagnostics, such as MRIs, will become more widely available for pets, with the price dropping accordingly. Online veterinary pharmaceuticals will become more main stream. Pet lovers want, and are demanding, the same treatment options for their pets as they can get for themselves.

Last but not least, Innovation Zen points to a lead indicator as to who will win the format war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray — Can Porn Affect Innovation:

The question then becomes: will the adult movie industry play an equally important role on the format war between Sony’s Blu-Ray and Toshiba’s HD-DVD?

It is not clear yet, but should the answer turn out to be “Yes” Sony will need a lot of lucky to avoid losing again. Most of pornographic movie producers, in fact, are going with the Toshiba HD-DVD format after Sony refused to give Blu-Ray licenses to porn movies.

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