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http://www.well.com/user/mp/host.html
Expert witness in nearly all areas of business: finance, marketing, management, compensation, ethics...Author of 11 books on money and commerce
Interests: Licensed Pilot Single Engine Sailor Skier Welder Chinese Martial Arts student Motorcycles
Recent Activity
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Economics traces its history back to Adam Smith in the late 1700s. Business as an academic study can’t trace its history back at all. The first schools of business began appearing in the late 1800s. No two alike. I was a graduate student in economics and left when it became clear that the faculty of U.C. Berkeley was all pro-Fidel... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Pro Commerce
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The photo on the right is a line, on a weekend mid-day, of people waiting to get into Zazie’s restaurant. Zazies’ is very popular. It has everything; petite tables with French decor and the scene where all the techies and foodies want to be seen. What I love is that the line on the left end is in front of... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Pro Commerce
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Politics can be fun, sometimes. The City government of San Francisco was cutting the budget a few years ago to make more room for union pension payments. The cost of maintaining trees on public sidewalks stood out as a visible target. About $30 million in salaries to trim and care for street trees, became the target. So the City passed... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Pro Commerce
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This is a weird blog. I have put together my view of the wealth of nations. I am going on a per capita basis. I have also visited most of the countries listed. I leave China off the list of the wealthiest because China may be a big producer and consumer but there are a billion Chinese who are barely... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Pro Commerce
The Wisc. and Maine policies make sense. Welfare only for those regularly seeking jobs. Local jobs for welfare recipients in cleaning and maintenance. Significant incentives for mothers living with the father of their children. And parks on urban outskirts for homeless with some modest work associated.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Poverty at Pro Commerce
1 reply
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One of the standard complaints about modern commerce is that it creates large differences in the living conditions of the ‘haves and have not's. Between the successful middle class nearly everywhere and the persistent poor found in almost all prosperous nations. This is a serious confusion of two separate and independent factors. Modern commerce rewards some disproportionately more than others.... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Pro Commerce
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I have explained that the modern world is the by-product of modern commerce. Not science, technology, medicine, economic growth, government, capital or religion…. It is only the by-product of modern commerce. I have shown that modern commerce is made up of three distinct types of business; trade, clientry and industry. Only industry has created and been an integral part of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Pro Commerce
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There were many elements that went into the first successful trading nation. Holland in the 1600’s was the first major global trading nation. Trading posts had been developed on sea lanes by the Phoenicians, the Vikings, the Chinese, the Viennese and specifically in the North Sea region by the Frisians (the main source of the English language). Bookkeeping, a vital... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Pro Commerce
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A synonym for openness is honesty. I have always preferred to talk in terms of openness because ‘honesty’ is the absence of deceit. Openness is a condition where deceit can not even take root. A small difference but I prefer the open environment to one that depends on ‘honest’ people being honest all the time. Why would modern commerce need... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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One of the values that makes the modern commercial world possible is ‘diversity’. Unfortunately, many who might otherwise love modern commerce, have the wrong idea about ‘diversity’ as it applies to commerce. Diversity in this context does not mean gender difference, melanin difference or difference in income level or ethnicity. A group of five people who are on the board... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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I did one blog demolishing all the wrong reasons people use to explain what created the modern world, The only source of the modern world is modern commerce, beginning with the industrial revolution. I did another blog explaining the three main varieties of modern commerce, trade, clientry and industry. Understanding these three categories is necessary to see the elements of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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What are we talking about when we talk about ‘modern commerce’? We can go to a national capital like Bamako in Mali and see many shops, a movie theater, a fancy modern hotel and a few bed and breakfasts, yet it doesn’t feel like a modern commercial city. Why not? To answer that question we first need to examine what... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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It is hard to understand why most educated people have no idea that modern life is 100% the construct of modern commerce originating in the 1800’s with the industrial revolution. Many people see modernity as the by-product of science, technology, economic growth, medicine and/or government. Some think it might have been caused by religion or capital. Those are all completely... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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I’m off to Tokyo in a month for my annual vacation in paradise. I still write my blog every day while in Japan. It is a pleasure for me, like coffee and dessert. Japan is a really different world. We will have three guests this year, as is usually the case. I make a point never to express my views... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2017 at Pro Commerce
I just went to the search term 'Trump' on Snopes and found the bias and inaccuracy was common. Often the True or False was based on a narrow reading of the actual event.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2017 on Please, Alexa at Pro Commerce
1 reply
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I was worried about some defrosted pork loin that had been in the refrigerator for over a week. So I first put it in the microwave oven for about a minute before grilling it. I assumed that any microbes in the interior would be killed by the temperature which could reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit in that time. I don’t assume... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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So what happens if Alexa, Siri or Google Voice gives you bad advice? It has happened with Wyse map guidance app which sent some Israeli’s on to the wrong road in the West Bank Palestinian territory. They were put in danger among a group of barbarians but survived. I personally think it is the same as when your doctor, tax... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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There is a pattern emerging that warrants our attention. Especially for businesses. First American military and diplomatic mail were published on Wikileaks, then National Security files were leaked to the British Guardian newspaper, next Democrat National Committee and John Podesta’s email (major Democrat operative) were published on Wikileaks and most recently the CIA clandestine cyber section’s files for 4 years... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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My friend, Stuart Silverstone has been working on Big History for about 30 years. Long before it became popular and got big funding. Stuart asked me to make some trend suggestions for three of the most recent panels. Here is what I wrote back to him about the major trends I've seen since 1980. 1980-2000 The most important trend has... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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Much of the material in this blog comes from the wonderful book by Matt Ridley; The Rational Optimist. I go for metrics. It is hard to compare living conditions around the world. An ordinary American in 1800 had a little salted beef or pork a few days a week, could only drink water in the form of boiled tea and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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Most critics of modern commerce point to something called ‘poverty’ as a problem with modern commerce. As a consequence the word ‘poverty’ and its associated idea are somehow relevant to modern commerce. But like the word ‘capitalism’ poverty is really a creation of the Marxist Left. The Marxist Left proposes that some form of government can change human behavior sufficiently... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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A recent nearby restaurant location has seen a rapid succession of new restaurants that fail fairly quickly. This is a gay neighborhood and there are many restaurants. A few at the high end succeed, very few. There are a few that are good for a meal once every two weeks that do well for the many people who don’t cook... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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I read a fascinating article that I think my readers would like to know about. It is by William Voegeli, in the Claremont Review of Books, Jan. 31, 2017 “The Democratic Party’s Identity Crisis”. It is not free but the reason it was so powerful can be seen in my understanding of what Voegeli says. He is examining the future... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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In discussing the current techie paranoia about robots putting people out of work, I wrote that the hippies prove the opposite. “20 hippies living together could live on the income from one of them working, and they did. And plenty of them did and stayed home smoking pot the rest of the time.” We may have some of that again.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2017 at Pro Commerce
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Where does the hatred of modern commerce come from? This is a continuation of yesterday’s blog. Modern commerce nearly came to the end a few months ago. Barely 65 million Americans from the Old West, saved it from a world of 7 billion who would destroy it. I blame myself for the extent of this hatred of modern commerce. This... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at Pro Commerce