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pro commerce
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
There are many ways to put this but the simplest and clearest for all my readers who have never left the U.S, for those who probably never will and for the few who will leave the U.S. but will not visit the two thirds of the world that is never seen by tourists: what Americans are doing to ourselves and... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Pro Commerce
Kotkin has again come through with the most brilliant and clear statement about our current state of world affairs. The Ukraine has made three new world alliances visible. Here is the final sentence in his dire but vital prediction: “Until the West wakes up from its self-referential slumbers, the tide of history may turn out less friendly to Ukraine’s loyal... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2023 at Pro Commerce
I was actually trained as an economist but the U.C. Berkeley econ department was so Marxist that I was saved from the misery of becoming a PhD econ professor. My special interests were the definition of capital and business cycles aka Wesley Mitchell. In earlier blog posts I’ve pointed out that the current inflation was caused by the Biden suppression... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2023 at Pro Commerce
Another obituary; Dick died a week ago. The other obits I’ve seen about Dick are accurate but lack the personal elements. I knew Dick when I helped start the Marketing Research department at the Bank of America and then started a national organization of my fellow bank marketing officers. When I started my new job at the Bank of California,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2023 at Pro Commerce
It's time for me to start commenting on my history with the key people in the history of the modern computer. Start with Doug Engelbart. I knew Doug from my monthly board meeting of the Portola Institute in Menlo Park. Doug was part of a circle of Menlo friends, most of whom were runners. I visited Doug’s office at SRI... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2023 at Pro Commerce
I knew and loved Judy, who died at 75 a few days ago. Her obituaries fail to mention Ed Roberts, her partner in the Disability Movement. I give Judy credit for being the mother of the movement but never has the role of a father been clearer; Ed Roberts was the father and the prime mover of the movement. The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2023 at Pro Commerce
I am reminded of my big date, when I recently cleaned and washed Miners' Lettuce. In the early 1970s I attended a casual soiree at the San Francisco Zen Center (relevant later) where I met an attractive woman and invited her to my house for dinner. I then asked around about who she was. It turned out she was a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2023 at Pro Commerce
There is no leading anarchist theorist that I can refer to. I know many of the anarchist writers, a few of whom wrote in the post-Civil War period. Anarchy theory has always assumed that small groups of people, size of the groups is seldom specified, will self-organize and that a government structure, whether kingship or democracy will not be needed.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Pro Commerce
There is an online fact site that seems to be very popular, Quora, which is consistently wrong on one point. I just wanted to set the matter straight. Quora is consistently asked whether people in the Medieval period took baths or cleaned themselves significantly. The answer is always ‘yes’ and the readers are told that taking a bath in a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2023 at Pro Commerce
Elon Musk happened. Nearly all the big tech companies laid off workers in large numbers within the past few months of 2022 and 2023. This seems to be a big secret. None of the media reports what just happened. I want historians to know first- hand. Two things happened. The first was that Elon Musk bought the online site Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2023 at Pro Commerce
Bed Bath just escaped the second threat of bankruptcy. But it won’t survive. “At its peak in 2017, Bed Bath & Beyond had 1,560 stores with 65,000 employees, bringing in $12.3 billion in revenue. But in the nine months through November 2022, it posted sales of just $4.2 billion, and its headcount dwindled to fewer than 30,000.” said a past... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2023 at Pro Commerce
Two words you won’t find me using. Capitalism is part of the Marxist analysis of economics with capitalism as opposed to socialism and communism. A meaningless economic category. Russia may have a backward economy and China may have a command economy but both use capital in vast amounts and the capital is controlled by many different entities. Marx used a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2023 at Pro Commerce
No one who follows this blog will fail to know that I am a strong supporter of Israel and consider Bibi one of the greatest leaders in all of Jewish history. World history for that matter. I lived in Israel in 1958-9 when Israel was a Kibbutz socialist heaven. It was the heaven American Lefty-Jews still romanticize. Bibi has been... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2023 at Pro Commerce
The modern world exists for one reason, one reason alone; modern commerce. On the surface one sees technology as the vehicle for the miracles in the modern world, the movement of half the population on the planet out of poverty, short life-spans and away from hunger. Simple proof that technology is not the prime mover: you don’t see the broad... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2023 at Pro Commerce
I’ve found an element that is crucial to a couple's compatibility that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else. Physics. The insight came when a close friend died and I asked my partner if she could have married him. She asked me the same question about my friend’s wife. We both answered ‘No’ and came to the same conclusion. The reason... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2023 at Pro Commerce
Victor Davis Hansen, one of my favorite thinkers and commentators, has written a beautiful summary of how wrong the current situation in America is for those of us who love this country and appreciate the contributions we have made to the world and to humanity. Here! Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2023 at Pro Commerce
I have 8 grandchildren. It looks to me like they are nearly all ‘woke.’ What does wokeness mean for a large new generation? What does it mean to be woke in terms of the survival of the commercial world? First, what is woke? Wokies hold the following main ideas: America is a systemically racist country. Women are second-class citizens and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2023 at Pro Commerce
I tried leaving a comment to your blog posting "Gays and Jobs" but comments are closed. Here's what I wanted to leave: You might be interested in John Waters' comments at the 50th anniversary of the Cockettes and Angels of Light: I agree that the gay liberation movement owes much to the hippies. Salud, Eric Noble The Digger Archives... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2022 at Pro Commerce
The question is why I have been able to see the sources of the modern world and why I find no one else has. It is definitely not my IQ. I knew I was a Jew When I was 8 years old in El Paso, Texas, where my father was a prominent Liberal rabbi, several (3 or 4) Mexican boys... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2022 at Pro Commerce
I think I am alone in understanding the creation of the modern world. Many people have done a good job in looking at the elements and the significance of separate historic developments. I include Niall Ferguson, Jonathan Israel and Matt Ridley among those who have done the best job. There are many others who have contributed to our understanding. Many... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2022 at Pro Commerce
In January of 1978 Carole Rae and I were driving in San Francisco. Carole wondered why something wasn’t being done about all the dead Christmas trees on the street corners. I suggested we rent a large moving van, fill it with dead trees and burn them at Ocean Beach. The next Saturday, Carole phoned our friends and invited them to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2022 at Pro Commerce
I was sitting with my first cousin and her Arab husband, smoking his hand rolled cigarettes and drinking his Turkish coffee while watching two of his grandchildren running around having raucous fun. He lamented life in the US. without a big family and the wonderful feeling of being surrounded by family members all the time. When he visits his Arab... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2022 at Pro Commerce
Two events provoked this blog. First was an obituary in the Wall Street Journal about a creative director in a Portland ad agency who convinced Nike to go with the ‘Just Do It’ theme. The second was a response to an earlier blog that asked how the Seven Laws were formed from an old Chinese system. The fellow who got... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2022 at Pro Commerce
The question that has been bothering me is: ’Why could I buy a big house in San Francisco on one salary in 1964 at age 26 and my kids couldn’t at the same age and my grandkids certainly can’t?’ In the simplest case the wife of one kid came from a working class large family where getting a college degree... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2022 at Pro Commerce
The moral problem of concern to me has been ‘Who has moral responsibility for human-caused atrocities?’ The great slaughters of Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung and Joe Biden can be focused on the leader or on the people they led. That has always been a moral problem. Joe Biden is on this list because... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2022 at Pro Commerce