Archive for Economy & Business

Cleveland in crisis

A new census report exposes more of the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, showing sharp population declines in waterfront counties of Louisiana and Mississippi. But it may also leave some observers wondering what natural disaster struck Northeast Ohio.

Cuyahoga County saw the sixth-largest drop in population among American counties, losing about 16,000 people between July 2005 and July 2006.

Four of the five counties with steeper losses lay in the path of a hurricane in August 2005. (more)

I’m disappointed that the article didn’t touch on the horrible state of Cleveland’s schools. If you want to attract people, you have to attract businesses. No business person is going to want to relocate anywhere where the school system is sub-par (which for Cleveland is an understatement). I believe the county’s politicians should be focusing on 2 core efforts:

  1. Make Cuyahoga county as safe as possible
  2. Make the school systems as strong as possible

With good schools and safe streets, everything else will take care of itself.

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Ridiculous Lawsuit

Members of the National Music Publishers Association sued XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. over XM radios that blur the distinction between listening to a song and owning it.

The suit revolves around receivers with the XM+MP3 service, which allows listeners to store songs they hear on XM and arrange them into playlists, much as listeners do with iPods. (more)

A statement released by XM said that the suit was a negotiating tactic by the music industry to get leverage in current talks surrounding royalties. I agree with XM. It’s not like they are promoting the distribution of the music by 3rd party individuals.

To me, this would be like the music industry suing radio manufacturers, back-in-the-day, for manufacturing machines that could record radio programming onto blank cassettes. I guess that was a little before my time, maybe they did. Does anyone out there know how far back music industry lawsuits go?

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Shot in the Arm

With luck, political muscle and at least $25 million, Cleveland hopes to transform The Q into the home court of the Republican Party during the final months of the 2008 presidential election. (via Cleveland.com)

This would be a huge boost to Cleveland’s depressed economy. The city leadership (all parties) should be fighting for this with all they’ve got. This is their chance to really make a defining moment and to reverse the momentum of the city’s economic slide.

That being said, the realist in me doubts the city’s leadership is up to the challenge. Why is the mayor not on TV and radio rallying the troops?

…a small delegation of Clevelanders including Valarie McCall, Mayor Frank Jackson's chief of intergovernmental affairs, Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland Chief Dennis Roche and Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Robert Frost met in Washington with Republican officials to discuss the minimum requirements for the proposal.

Forget the “chief of intergovernmental affairs”. No offence to her, but I want to see the mayor himself fighting tooth and nail to secure this opportunity. My fear is he won’t fight for it with all he’s got because if he looses it could affect his personal political future (i.e. better mediocrity than a failed attempt at improvement)… I hope I’m wrong!

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Bad Idea!

President Bush will announce plans on Monday to deploy thousands of National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border to support efforts to catch more illegal immigrants, as he tries to placate conservatives demanding a tougher policy. (via Yahoo)

The whole illegal immigration debate has gone crazy! What a colossal waste of money and manpower. Does anyone think that this will do any good? If so, please comment here! I’d love to understand how a few thousand people are going to lock down one of the most frequently crossed borders in the world. A border that’s almost two thousand miles long and generally run’s through the middle of isolated areas (i.e. mountains and deserts).

Even if it did slow illegal immigration, what good would that do? We’re still left with the millions of illegals already here.

Oh, one more thing, don’t preach to me about security, because our border with Canada is even less defended than Mexico, and our ports can be more porous than either. The fact no one is willing to admit, is that we can defend against an invasion, but we’ll never be able to defend perfectly against a handful of terrorists and still retain our most precious freedoms. Look at Israel as an example, their security is much stricter than ours, yet terrorist routinely are able to compromise their defenses…

Armies are meant to kill people and break things. Put them on the border and God help it when some 18 year old (American) kid ends up shooting some even younger (Mexican) kid (or family), just because they’re trying to make a better life for themselves.

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Pirates Abound in China

"My understanding of President Hu Jintao's dialogue with Bill Gates … is that it sent the signal that the Chinese government wants foreign investors and businesses to have confidence in China's intellectual property protections," Wang Ziqiang, the spokesman for the State Copyright Bureau, told a news conference. (whole store here via Yahoo)

Yeah right. I’ll believe it when I see it. A Chinese “Copyright Bureau”… that’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

With the people in China so afraid of their government (and rightfully so), if the government really said STOP, the people would stop immediately. I strongly doubt anyone in China would be interested in an extended stay at a local prison. I’m not an expert, but I hear they’re a little rougher than a minimum security US country club.

Frankly, I believe the Chinese government loves (and unofficially supports) the pirating of intellectual property rights. It helps to weaken their global competitors.

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Illegals Fight Back!

I found this post about how illegal immigrants are threatening a work stoppage (Monday is National Cut-Your-Own-Lawn Day) to be very humorous.

Personally, I think everybody is missing the real issue. Illegal immigration is just a symptom of our greater welfare problem. Reform Get rid of government supported welfare, and the immigration issue will take care of itself.

Trust me, Americans would be taking those lower paying jobs if they actually needed to be able to make money to eat.

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Starbucks Sucks

Okay, I have to get this off my chest. This is going to sound sacrilegious to many of you in the business world, but I just don't like the taste of Starbuck's coffee. I've given it chance after chance and I always find it way to bitter. Please don't confuse "strong" with bitter. I just got back from Europe and I love the strong coffee there (sans the UK). My personal choice for "fast food" coffee is Dunkin' Donuts (2 Splenda & 1 cream)

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