Monthly Archives: June 2010

I'm 63 and I’m Tired" by Robert A. Hall

I’m 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I’m tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe , the freedom of the press of China , the crime and violence of Mexico , the tolerance for Christian people of Iran , and the freedom of speech of Venezuela . I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance. I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I’m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime. What’s next? Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”? And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I’m willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military…. Those are the citizens we need.

I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet.

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor. Speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor”. The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I’m darn tired. But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference.

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Thank you Robert!!

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

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About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.  Steve offers his  business building experience to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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ATT, IPhone, IPhone4 – Excellent Viral Marketing for Competitors

I love the IPhone. I owned the first IPhone within 2 weeks of launch and have upgraded to the 3G and then 3GS. As soon as Apple released a new model, I was there for upgrade. Not this time.

I would love to be testing the IPhone4 right now.  ATT has pushed me to the point where I don’t want to extend my contract for two years. Why….ATT’s service sucks.  It has not always sucked. In fact for well over 2 years I enjoyed my service.  Then something changed. I began reporting this situation 6 months ago.

Bottom line .. I want great service at my primary location, had it and now it is opposite that. When I discuss this with ATT the responses are amazing.  Tonight was the icing.  The lady said “the reality is that the service you are getting is what you can expect”  I asked her how much experience she had and she said “my experience level is irrelevant”. Amazing.

So I thought ..well maybe it’s me.  However, when I would make comments about my phone and dropped calls, I would hear …”that is so common with IPhone users.  So I tested that with people I know with IPhones and that is very true. All and I mean all IPhone owners I know complain of dropped calls.

I would love an IPhone4  However, ATT wins…they have worn me out and I am now waiting for Apple to expand to other carriers.  Rumors on line that will be this fall. Regardless of the timing it cannot be soon enough for me.

New IPhone4 owners I am sure you will love your new IPhone and I wish you the best with ATT service.

ATT –  you have had an amazing opportunity to dominate the market. You have benefited from Apple’s success and have not taken notes on how they lead.  Your negative goodwill accelerates. Verizon and others gotta love it. This is a great example of viral marketing for the competition.

Is it too late for ATT?  Not at all ATT could turn this around in a heart beat because customers love the IPhone and they do not like change.

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

Twitter

Facebook

Linked in

MySpace

727-587-7871

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About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.  Steve offers his  business building experience to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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BP Oil Spill Results In Predicable Political and Media Response…and Predictable Consequences

The media and government is taking the predictable “finger pointing” route in connection with the BP oil spill.  Screaming someone is surely to blame attracts attention to the publications and politicians screaming the loudest. Fingers point to BP and Obama.

BP accepts responsibility and has allocated $20 billion for the cleanup.  Citizens and politicians say Obama isn’t acting fast enough. Obama apologizes to no one, blames the MMS (Minerals Management Service) and appoints  Michael Bromwich as its new head.

What if this ecological disaster is actually no one’s fault. There is that strong  possibility. Recognize  that in spite of everyone’s best efforts, sometimes things fail.   Consider this excerpt from an article by Carl Hoffman explaining what most likely happened:

“No oil company wants to have a blowout and these companies spend vast sums of money and expertise to ensure that they never happen. But happen they do. If this was a blowout, it’s the first deep-water one in the Gulf of Mexico that I can think of. And for that to happen requires the perfect storm of scenarios.”

I totally support an independent investigation to confirm what really happened. There are two possible outcomes of such an investigation. First, all practical steps were taken to prevent this event and it still happened. Second, preventive measures were known and not implemented.

In the first case, we learn and get better. In the second case, there would be a violation of fiduciary responsibility and appropriate measures taken.

Related to investigations,  I am wondering what information on preventive measures was provided at the Board of Director’s level at BP.  This is a public company and Boards have very clear responsibility for asking the tough questions and getting answers.  At the government level, appointing a new head of the MMS now is interesting. Obama failed  to act following   two scathing reports on the MMS  by the Inspector General in recent years  (See full article by the  The Washington Post ) What if the MMS was operating as intended?  Would the BP Oil Spill have been prevented?

I am a major advocate of a system of accountability in business and government. The media is accountable for accurate reporting. Citizens are accountable for holding  government responsible for upholding the values of our constitution.  All of us are owed accurate information as to what happened and what steps are being taken now to minimize the risk.  The problem with the finger pointing culture is that the truth can be obscured or even ignored. That would be the ultimate disaster.

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

Twitter

Facebook

Linked in

MySpace

727-587-7871

Email

About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.  Steve offers his  business building experience to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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BP Oil Spill Business Losses:How Claims Will Be Calculated

There are an increasing number of headlines speculating about the extent of damage and related litigation stemming from the  BP oil spill.

There are three parts to a claim for business losses.  There is the physical loss say in the case of a fire and then lost profits due to business interruption. In addition, there are punitive damage awards. This is where a business is awarded compensation over and above actual losses.   These are called punitive damages and are typically for pain and suffering. Normally in the case of a accidental fire or damage from weather (natural cause)  there would be no basis for punitive damages. The BP oil spill falls into the category of an event that likely has the basis for punitive damage awards.

Consider a seafood restaurant on a coast line that has been family owned for generations. It has a great reputation and has been consistently profitable.  Within weeks of the BP oil spill on the news sales began dropping, continued to drop  get worse. For example, say the restaurant has been doing $2.0 million in sales and earning $200,000 profit before tax. Sales and profit  growth rate has averaged 8% per year for the last five years..

Where there is physical damage and business is interrupted, there is the predicable loss of profits from business that would have continued had the business not been damaged. However, when the supply chain is interrupted because people no longer have confidence in the food or where the fish supply is greatly reduced resulting in much higher prices, that is a different story.

Assume sales drop to where it is not possible to remain in business. There are a multitude of issues. It is unlikely the restaurant can be sold as a restaurant since the market has lost confidence in the quality and availability of the product. What about alternative use for the property. Eventually there is always an alternative use. However, the business or buyer having an alternative use in mind is likely looking to acquire the property at a distressed price.

Bottom line… any outcome other than the sale of the business as a viable going concern with a predictable cash flow based on verifiable results is going to be a distressed sale.  Losses in this situation will be future earnings plus diminished value of the property plus punitive damages for pain and suffering.

What would I recommend to a client whose business is destroyed or severely damaged by he BP Oil Spill?

1. Hire the best lawyer possible with a contingency fee arrangement. The best lawyer is one who has experience with business interruption loss experience and a track record of winning awards beyond physical losses. I would research lawyers who have won similar cases. The BP oil spill is not the first one.

2. Be sure to have a business expert as part of your professional resource team. This may seem self serving. It is not. You need a business professional to work with your attorney on a practical strategy that will hold up in court. The stronger your position the more likely for a quick equitable solution outside of court.  In settlement you want a balance of business and legal advice.

I welcome and encourage all comments from attorneys, business valuation experts and those whose businesses are potentially affected by the BP oil spill.

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

Twitter

Facebook

Linked in

MySpace

727-587-7871

Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.   He is  an expert business coach and consultant focused on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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