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SnowCritter's Journal - Archives
Posted by SnowCritter in Economy
Fri May 22nd 2009, 10:05 AM
“There is one rule for the industrialist and that is; Make the best quality of goods at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.”

Here's today's quiz, for those of you who wish to partake: who is quoted above?

Before I give you the answer, let's examine the “rule”. “Make the best quality of goods” - the speaker obviously knew that producing goods of inferior quality was a sure way to fail. That part of the statement is almost axiomatic (I say almost because there are always a few that will require proof). Providing quality goods has always been and always will be a precursor to success. Consumers will want a quality product even if the price is higher than similar product at a lower price. This applies to a service economy as well.

“... at the lowest cost possible, ...” Well, that's just good business. Profits increase as costs decrease so, to maximize profits, you try to keep your costs low. This can be a bit difficult, because to produce a quality product you need quality materials and quality materials don't usually come cheap. Still, the word “possible” allows for the purchase of the materials necessary to fulfill the “best quality” clause.

“... paying the highest wages possible.” The speaker knew that producing a quality product (or any product, for that matter) was fruitless unless consumers could afford to purchase them. The speaker also knew that retaining quality workers was more cost-effective than continually training new workers due to employee turnover. All that considered, the speaker was, surprisingly, anti-union. The speaker believed that the smart manager should do right by his workers, because by doing so he would be increasing his own profits. The speaker's thoughts were that labor unions would be unnecessary if good management treated labor well.

That final clause would make the speaker anathema in today's business environment, where the standing order seems to be to reduce labor costs by any means possible.

Oh, the speaker. Have you figured out who it was? It was the man who is considered by many to be the father of the modern assembly lines, Henry Ford.

(On edit: I think I'll post this at my local newspaper's Web site, too)
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Posted by SnowCritter in The DU Lounge
Sat Oct 11th 2008, 06:22 PM
You know the rules, don't you? Pick a person. If that person knows or knew someone that did something illegal, nefarious, or just down-right rotten at some point in their life, then that person is branded as being of the same character and talents. Remember, though, that if the same person knows or knew someone that was a fine, upstanding member of the community, well, that doesn't count.

Oh, wait, those are the rules for the “basic” game. I prefer a little more of a challenge, so let's try the rules for the “advanced” game.

Rules for the “advanced” game:

Step 1: Pick a person who did something illegal, nefarious, or just downright rotten at some point in their life. It doesn't matter when it was or whether or not they've changed their ways. You're going to attempt to link this person to other people who have had dealings of any kind with him or her.

Step 2: Choose the “degree of separation”. One degree of separation means that your only going to attempt to relate to the target person anyone who has had direct contact with him or her. Two degrees of separation means that your going to include persons who have had direct contact with persons in the one degree of separation group.

Step 3: Label these other people as having the same character and talents. Remember, though, that you must include anyone else who also shares the same “degree of separation”. Keep a running count of all the people in the resulting set.

Winning the Game:
The object of the game is to create the smallest group of people within a specific degree of separation.

Sounds pretty easy. Let's play! I'll go first. I choose William Ayers as my object person. He's been in the news lately so should all be fairly familiar with him – he is/was a “domestic terrorist”. I'm going to choose one degree of separation.

Here's my result set: Barack Obama.

Hey, I got a result set that contains only one person! I win!! What? You think there are more people who share one degree of separation. Like who? The other people who served on the Board of the Annenberg Foundation? The individual or individuals that selected Mr. Ayers to the Board? Other people he met with during the course of his duties on the board? Neighbors? Aw, come on, they don't count, do they? Students that have attended classes taught by Mr. Ayers?? His physician!? Oh, now you're just being silly! Good grief, that's a lot of domestic terrorists! You can come up with more??

Ah, heck! I quit! I knew this was a stupid game!

How 'bout a nice game of chess?
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