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  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    I have news for you. People work out of self interest, unless they are Mother Teresa, and I would not be too sure about her either.
    Sep 10, 2014. 01:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    You could get somewhere to live for $1000 per month in many parts of Florida, excluding the southeastern coastal corridor and the Keys, but it would not be very grand. I have a 2-bed condo in the Dominican Republic that I rent for $600 a month, and I could not find an equally spacious 2-bed apartment in the Jacksonville area at any price point unless I had it built to order.
    Sep 10, 2014. 01:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    I have lived very close to plenty of people living and working hand to mouth, like for example illegal aliens who lived by casual labour picking oranges, tomatoes, etc. People for whom ever public holiday or rainy day was a financial blow, because it meant they were idled and could not work and earn money. In employment for the state I also supervised numerous single women who were raising families alone on very low wages with massive amounts of mandatory overtime. When was the last YOU worked a 16-hour shift from 11 at night until 3:30 the next afternoon three times a week?

    Yes, if you are young, healthy and mobile, it is always easy to find some kind of work in the US at the lower end, but if you are obese (like so may Americans), sick, a single parent with kids in school, a veteran mentally or physically crippled in some pointless foreign war, it is not so easy.

    For example in my state there is a great tendency to build housing far from shops and stores, and even further from other jobs. There is little or no public transportation. So a $10 an hour worker may have no alternative but to run their own car, quite likely spending the first hour of every eight hours worked just earning enough to pay for fuel to get to and from work, never mind the 56 cents per mile that the IRS allows businesses to deduct from their profits for the use of cars. At that rate a person who lives 20 miles from their job--not very far in Florida terms where you may have to walk five miles to the closest food store-- would be entitled to a quarter of their gross pay as a deduction. How many Wall Street bankers have to spend a quarter of their gross income just to get to the office? And that is without looking at the whole issue of child care out of school hours.

    So I'm not saying that it is impossible for people to work for a living. Of course tens of millions do. But I am saying that a lot of the jobs that are going begging are going begging for a reason--they are not worth having.
    Sep 10, 2014. 01:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    Actually I had come to the same conclusion, so kudos to you, especially as she is interested in Darwin and Mendel, believe it or not. Your numbers are about right too. However I was also thinking of an interim job while she obtains the US HS diploma that would be necessary for CNA school. I think waitressing is probably the best bet for that.
    Sep 9, 2014. 06:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    I have worked extensively for the state of Florida and while they do require law enforcement background checks for employees who work with vulnerable individuals, there is no requirement for Facebook checks, nor am I aware of anyone ever suggesting that it was needed. The idea is absurd and there is no law that requires it.

    I have been looking out for suitable employment for a young woman (27) who is fit and health and desperately wants to work and earn some money who will be coming to the US with a visa to work in a couple of months time--so I do know something about the subject. She also wants to take the GED and do some study to get a better job. Her first husband was killed in the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. She has a daughter of 6 and a second child of almost 2 years of age. What kind of job would you recommend for her and which part of the US? Her ambition is to make enough money to send some each month to buy medication for her mother in Haiti, and eventually to buy a house and a plot of land there for her retirement.
    Sep 9, 2014. 12:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    I am a US citizen and I live in Florida. I am very well aware of the issues that confront lower paid workers. Obviously if you have to pay 50% of what you earn to get to work and get a lunch, then it is not worth working. What are you, some kind of fundamentalist loony?
    Sep 9, 2014. 12:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    Which newspaper, which city, which state, which jobs? I never watch TV. How much does it cost to travel to these jobs, is there public transportation, are they compatible with school hours, do they provide onsite child care for single parents, do they provide affordable meals for employees, what about health care, how much does that cost, etc?
    Sep 9, 2014. 11:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Anybody Surprised That The Job Shortage Continues For So Long? [View article]
    Give some examples of where there are large numbers of jobs going begging. Which states have the most? Is it economically viable for people to relocate there to get these jobs?
    Sep 8, 2014. 08:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Alibaba Is A Big Deal (Largest IPO In History): Your Cheat Sheet [View article]
    I think you are confusing gross profit and net profit. Amazon reports minimal profits because it plows its income back into further developing the business, and uses all kinds of tax shenanigans, tax havens, and so on to hide its real profits from public view. So it may not be reporting taxable profits, but its market capitalization has grown very healthily, thus benefiting shareholders.

    That doesn't mean that individual transactions are not profitable for Amazon, and as you point out, every time you sell something on Amazon's Web site they do take a commission, (but that has to be set against their cost of running and maintaining the Web site.)
    Sep 8, 2014. 07:02 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Alibaba Is A Big Deal (Largest IPO In History): Your Cheat Sheet [View article]
    "I have recently researched Yahoo. When I heard that Marissa slept through an important meeting, I had to dig: 1) were minions cutting Marissa out? 2) was Marissa depressed?"

    Researched, did you? The story was published in the Wall St. Journal and you still have it wrong. She showed up late for a dinner because she had overslept--she didn't snore through the meeting with her head on the table. At least that was HER excuse--God knows if this was the real reason or not, but people do suffer from jet lag and she probably works ungodly hours. Perhaps she decided to take a siesta for a couple of hours after a French lucheon meeting where vintage wines were served and overslept, it happens. You just don't know and research on Internet gossip sites will tell you nothing about how she makes crucial business decisions at Yahoo!

    I agree that Yahoo! does not do everything right. I had a Yahoo! email account right when Yahoo! started, and then a second account later on and used them for years, but now I have abandoned them in favor of Gmail, because their interface has become a complete mess. But then again, I probably never made any money for the company either.

    However given Mayers impressive resume--employee number 20 at Google! Either she made a brilliantly fluky career decision at that point, or she was one of the people who was very instrumental in making Google the behemoth that it is today. Either way, if you like to go the gossip route, we know she was very close to the leadership at Google. With Yahoo holding a large chunk of Ali Baba, it is very likely that she is well placed to provide some US business and marketing expertise and global credibility to Ali Baba.

    I don't particularly deny that there have probably been some shady goings on at Ali Baba, but this is not Kansas, Dorothy. However Ali Baba has enough momentum now to become a global monster with the right management and it would take a brave man to bet against it.
    Sep 8, 2014. 06:42 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Still Not Buying Wal-Mart [View article]
    "But they don't. Instead, they hire poor people (who likely wouldn't/couldn't get hired by Trader Joe's or Whole Foods) who sell to poor customers (not all, but most) items made by poor people for a few cents less than other stores."

    But where do you live? What state, what city? If you are a billionaire Wall Street banker living in Manhattan you will have a completely distorted point of view.

    Here in Florida the vast majority of Walmart stores are relatively new and are not selling junk, but the normal branded goods that you will find anywhere, plus many lines of Walmart's own house brand products like Mainstays household goods, Great Value groceries, Equate pharmacy items, all of which are good quality and, well, great value. Some of the stuff in departments like computer accessories looks pretty pricey to me.

    Where do you go to get the superior brands of ordinary things like vacuuum cleaners or scissors or sewing machines, that are not sold in Walmart, and do they really sell that many machines anyway?

    Admittedly their furniture is not up to much, but then most of the major furniture chain stores are selling total garbage chipboard furniture for big bucks and make most of their money on financing deals anyway. Admittedly their tools sections is not up to much and they don't really try to compete with Walmart, but if you want to get dad a Black and Decker battery powered screwdriver for Christmas, or buy a basic hammer or pipe wrench, then those things are there.
    Sep 8, 2014. 02:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Target Survive In Today's Retail Environment? [View article]
    That's what it smells like to me. It reminds me of the smell of cheap cars in Europe in the 60's.

    I don't think it is popcorn. Why popcorn? Probably we are not talking about the same smell.

    Anyway, it puts me off as a customer, so I should imagine others too.
    Sep 8, 2014. 02:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Alibaba Is A Big Deal (Largest IPO In History): Your Cheat Sheet [View article]
    Yes, Wall St. does screw investors, no doubt about it, but their is also a great deal of irrationality about on all sides as people look for the next Big One like APPL or TSLA. Just look at the current price of TSLA. I bought calls on TSLA when the stock was at $34 and sold them when it was about $80 and was so happy, and missed out on most of the gains. Yes, Ali Baba may bomb and the forty thieves of Wall St. will make out like the bandits they are as they always do, but if this thing takes off and goes insane, then I know where I want my money. After all you can only lose 100% of what you put up, but gains are unlimited.
    Sep 8, 2014. 02:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Alibaba Is A Big Deal (Largest IPO In History): Your Cheat Sheet [View article]
    Given that Yahoo! is a large owner of Ali Baba, would not out-of-the-money call options on Yahoo! be a way to get in on the IPO for the small investor?
    Sep 8, 2014. 09:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Still Not Buying Wal-Mart [View article]
    They seem to have more food from Chile than from China, tea notwithstanding.
    Sep 8, 2014. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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