A $15 Minimum Wage Would Be Nice but….. (Opinion)

By David Docekal, Editor The Hypercapitalist

@DavidDocekal

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There has been much talk about raising the minimum wage to levels significantly higher than they are. But I always say: If you ask me what a bank teller looks like when there is a $15.00 minimum wage, Id be happy to show you a picture of an ATM machine. That’s where its headed. I would fight for more pay but it would mean fighting for my own financial demise. It’s simple business logic. McDonalds is not going to pay someone $15 an hour as a cashier when they already have automated technology that could be easily deployed to their locations. In the long run it’s more cost effective. You can clamor for a higher minimum wage but the reality is, that’s not how the economy works. You’ll be fighting the wrong cause.

Slow Shopping Season? I Think Not.

By David Docekal, EditorĀ The Hypercapitalist

@DavidDocekal

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Some analysts are saying that it is going to be a slow holiday shopping season. My gut says “No!”. The numbers coming out this morning regarding Home Depot and Best Buy are pointing towards a long term recovery. Now those that know me know that I am not an optimist by any definition of the word. This time, for once, I am! Companies like Home Depot and Lowes point to a better housing market. The housing market is the key to long term recovery. Whenever you have a store that sells building materials and housewares beginning to do well, you’ve might have yourself a recovery.

The companies are going to be betting a lot on housing in the upcoming year. I think it will pay off for them. Even people who already own houses are going to be in a position to improve their existing property. New kitchens, new decks, a fresh coat of paint. After all that hard work, it’s time to treat yourself to a brand new TV at Best Buy!

These companies are going to be applying the 62nd Rule of Acquisition: The riskier the road, the greater the profit.

The song “We’re in the money” will be playing quite a bit in 2014. Trust me.

Government Spending… Or rather, Overspending.

By David Docekal, Editor, The Hypercapitalist.

@DavidDocekal

money-down-the-toilet-zaw2

What is my biggest problem with this administration? Spending.

Overall I see the value in what the Obama Administration has to say. In fact, on many issues I am aligned with their ideology. My issue however is with the money being used to close memorials to bar vets from entering. This was an obvious game for publicity. It probably cost the government more to shut some things down than to simply allow them to operate. That bothers me. Money should never be a pawn in an argument especially when it is wasted. Granted, the staff used can save their money or spend it to help the economy but that is still short-sighted.

Why won’t universal healthcare work like other countries? We can’t afford it.

Why can’t we constantly provide aid to other countries while our own citizens need assistance? We can’t afford it.

Why can’t the government help every single individual affected by a disaster all the time? We can’t afford it!

Now I look at it this way: People want a brand new iPad every year and not live with their parents. The problem? They can’t afford them!! Sometimes we can’t afford the things we want and the solution does not come from floating on an island of credit.

Hmmmm… I just recklessly maxed out my credit card and spent all my money on a fancy new car I didn’t need and now I can’t afford to go to the doctor…. Maybe I’ll call the credit company to raise MY debt ceiling!!! God bless America!

Corporate America: Apparently Big Equals Evil.

By David Docekal, The Hypercapitalist

@DavidDocekal

starbucks-concept-storePhoto: Business Insider

I resent it when people refer to big companies as evil empires. God forbid you be successful! If you are an independent coffee shop (aka “a little guy”) for example and you are extremely successful. You are successful to the point that you could open another location. and another. and another. Where is the point where you become the evil empire?? Because YOU WILL whether you like it or not. Because big equals evil in America. Starbucks is called “Big Bucks” and if you aren’t making big bucks like they are, well then you are the underdog and that entitles you to shoot your mouth off about how evil Starbucks is.

How many times have we seen McDonald’s and Walmart do charitable work? A lot! Why? because they started as family-owned small businesses and that’s what they have done from the beginning. Its not because they are evil and trying to save face in the eyes of the public. I’m sure some are but not these examples.

The “Duffin” (as its called) is a combination of a donut and a muffin. Starbucks is trying to trademark the name and that has some smaller businesses up in arms about it because they also make Duffins. The video I have attached portrays Starbucks as the evil empire. Even presenting the Starbucks logo as the emperor from Star Wars. Now I agree that Starbucks is in the wrong on this particular issue but come on liberal media!

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2013/10/09/2951917/

Comcast & Clear Channel Should Merge

comcast-logo

By David Docekal, Editor The Hypercapitalist

@DavidDocekal

Comcast (CMCSA) has become the largest cable operator in the United States, the third largest phone provider (now they have an agreement with Verizon Wireless to bundle cell service) and one of the largest media companies in the world. Before acquiring NBC Universal, they made an unsolicited and unsuccessful bid for The Walt Disney Company (DIS) in 2004. After the failed Disney Bid, General Electric (GE) agreed to sell their controlling stake in NBCUniversal to Comcast in 2009. Comcast has been integrating the NBC branding into all of their properties.

Comcast currently has a major TV network, numerous cable channels, content distribution, movie studio and even sports teams at its disposal.

It is still missing one key thing though after all of that: Radio.

Comcast would still be missing another item: An Outdoor Advertising network (Electronic Billboards) but we are gonna hit two birds with one stone with this solution.

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The company that should be targeted here is Clear Channel. Clear Channel Communications (Private) is a major player in the radio industry. Owning over 850 stations, the company would be a perfect plug-in for Comcasts other properties. The massive radio platform and outdoor advertising business would be a perfect fit for NBC. The network could expand on to IHeartRadio and the 12 channels the company leases from SiriusXM (SIRI) to resurrect the NBC Radio Network.

The outdoor advertising would compete directly with CBS which owns billboards across the country.

Maybe someday we will see a Comcast/Clear Channel combination. Time will tell.

College: Your Biggest Expense…Er I mean Investment

University_of_Sydney_Main_Quadrangle

By The Hypercapitalist

@DavidDocekal

I look upon college as an important aspect of our society. Not only does it provide you knowledge in your field but it also gives you overall knowledge of the world. Most people, second only to a house, is one of the biggest expenses they will ever incur. Myself included. I try real hard to think of it as an investment in my future. That is a tough prospect though when that bill for thousands of dollars comes due. the result however is that seeing the numbers like that makes me take college very seriously. I am an A-with-an-occasional B student. I want to succeed in life and investing much time and money helps the drive toward that goal.

Those who know me know that I take my money very seriously. It is rare that my cash is sent off to war without good purpose so I consider College, not only an investment, but a service being provided to me in exchange for compensation. It frustrates me to no end when that service is sub-par. I make it known that there are issues. Don’t get me wrong, I am very respectful and most issues are resolved quickly but I am on top of things. I am proactive in my education. Instructors are usually very accommodating. It is rare that I need to contact them outside of the classroom but I don’t hesitate if needed. The school and staff have certain expectations of me and in turn I have expectations of them. I always make sure to meet my obligations and I expect them as a staff to do the same.

I don’t think that is unreasonable considering the amount of money and time spent on a typical degree….. do you?

CEOs: Shut your mouth and leave your politics at home!

By The Hypercapitalist

@DavidDocekal

To those CEOs who let their political and religious views interfere with their businesses( i.e. Chick-Fil-A and Barilla), here’s some advice: Shut your mouths!

Didn’t you learn anything in business school?? Money is more important than anything so shut up and do your job!

All you do is alienate potential customers and money is what makes your company survive. If I invest in your company, I don’t care what your opinion is on gay marriage. I don’t care who your political candidate is. Make me money! You don’t like gay marriage? Keep it out of the office. Judging other peoples lifestyles is not your job. Your job is to make money! Plain and simple.

In the case of Chick-fil-A a couple of years ago coming to Chicago, the CEO stood by his stance of not liking gay marriage. His own employees were telling Chicago not to listen to him. They saw the value of being in that market. Chicago did not want to support a company that didn’t support gay marriage. Now if the CEO would just keep his opinions and so-called religious views to himself, he would already be high on the hog in Chicago. His own company has repeatedly come out to say that they do not share or want to represent his views.

Mr. Cathy! Keep your mouth shut and make money!

In the case of Barilla: Mr. Barilla, keep your mouth shut and make money!Image

References:

http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/01/news/companies/barilla-gay-apology/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/28/chick-fil-ceo-dan-cathy-deletes-tweet-gay-marriage/

The Pope & Money

By The Hypercapitalist

@DavidDocekal

Perhaps it is sacrilegious to disagree with the pope as I have family that our devout Catholics however last week Pope Francis criticized the worlds economy. How dare he! He is in NO position to denounce such an important part of our lives. He mentioned to the world that we worship a so-called “God of Money” and that is wrong.

For shame, Pope Francis!

From someone who worships this “God of Money”, let me say I am very disappointed. Until now I was enjoying the prospect of having a Pope that has actual realistic views of the world and its people. He of all people should know that he should respect other peoples ideologies and religions. I am saddened that I have to turn my back on one of the most iconic religious figures of our time.

I understand that the root of his argument was that there is rampant joblessness in the world right now but the path to fixing that is not denouncing the only tool to fix the problem. You may pray to fix joblessness and that is fine but remember, money and the economy are the tools used to answer that prayer. Without money, this world would collapse into chaos.

In the popes defense, he is giving words of encouragement to people who have lost everything to great depressions throughout the world but let me say this: Denouncing money itself is not the answer. Getting to the root of the issues causing depressions is the answer. That is the true path to righteousness.

Respectfully: You may have the ear of God, sir. But so do I.

References: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/22/us-pope-economy-idUSBRE98L04H20130922

The Problem(s) with BlackBerry

The Problem(s) with BlackBerry.

By David Docekal, The Hypercapitalist @DavidDocekal

Image from Amazon.com

This week BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) announced plans to go private and agree to be sold to private equity/insurance firm Fairfax Holdings of Canada. Fairfax is in turn paying $9 a share for a stock that is currently worth about a dollar less. According to Reuters, Executives of the struggling company sold stock immediately following the warning of a quarterly loss and massive job cuts amounting to 4500 workers. It makes other investors wonder where their faith lies. Blackberry has been a household name for years by being the pioneer of the smartphone arena. The roots for the losses are not being attributed to its hardware product line (which has recently received positive reviews) but rather its software offerings. iOS and Android have featured popular apps such as netflix and instagram while Blackberry has not. The apps that Blackberry does carry, like Facebook, are not updated regularly by the developers. This approach to the software side leaves consumers wondering ‘Wheres the incentive?’.

To compete against Google and Apple, companies like Blackberry need to amp up their operating systems and app markets. Blackberry is still a popular platform with a sound following which includes President Obama. It isn’t too late for the hardware maker. This won’t be the end for this so-called household brand. Perhaps a move to Android is in order? A focus on hardware may signal a turnaround. I call this move the “Reverse-Sega”. Just make sure it has BBM…

Sources:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101061600

http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/25/technology/mobile/blackberry-apps/index.html?iid=HP_LN