Archive for the ‘ Business ’ Category

Curing The Black Friday Blues

Curing The Black Friday Blues

By Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2012. All rights reserved

Black Friday is almost here! In fact, WalMart, Target and others are trying to get a leg up on Black Friday by beginning their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, this year.

There are all sorts of pro/con/”I don’t give a …..” blogs and articles about how to survive Black Friday, and now, I guess — How to Survive “The Day Before Black Friday.”

Unions are up in arms, employess are protesting and a large percentage of consumers seem to be panting in anticipation of the bargains they’re gonna snag on Black Friday Eve (which is really Thanksgiving Day) and Black Friday; which is a retaling nightmare that the retailers themselves have created.

If I remmber correctly from my long ago days with Sears, August through December would account for roughly 60% of a store’s annual sales. If that still holds true, retailers are using Balck Friday Eve and Black Friday to help pad their gross…by offering Real Deals on everything from auto accessories to zippers…

That’s fine by me because I have NEVER felt the need to camp outside any store in order to be able to save a zillion bucks on already outrageously overpriced merchandise…That’s just me, of course.

But after reading the following article, I had a brilliant idea. At least I think it’s brilliant — even if it’s not origirnal. This Black Friday Eve stay home with your family, enjoy a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwhich, another peice of pie and watch a faviorite rerun on TV!

Then on the dreaded BLACK FRIDAY, don’t get up unill at least an hour later then you normaly get up, have a leisurely cup, or two, of coffee and spend the day (if you don’t have to work) with your family — but STAY AWAY FROM THE STORES!

After all, you still have about 3.5 weeks to do your Christmas shopping if you haven’t done it before hand.

If enough folks did that, it would definitely take the BLACK out of the biggest shopping day of the year.

And, just in case y’all haven’t been paying attention, there’s this new-fangled concept that makes Christmas shopping a breeze…it’s called the Internet!

http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/18/news/walmart-strike-black-friday/

HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY EVE  er, I mean, THANKSGIVING DAY, Y’ALL!

No BIG Drinks in The Big Apple

No BIG Drinks in The Big Apple

Copyright, 2012 by: Jake Jakubuwski

 

New York City. The Big Apple.  Everything is bigger, better and larger then life in New York.

Except BIG, sugar-based soft drinks in a cup!

Man, ya gotta love the Big Apple.

You can buy a gun in Manhattan but as of now you can’t buy a Big Gulp®.

You can buy three or four hotdogs with all the trimmings from a street vendor but they can’t sell you a BIG drink to wash them down with.

Mayor Bloomberg has declared New York to be statistically obese and he is danged well gonna do something about it — starting with banning the sales of those big, fizzy, sugar-loaded drinks that America, through the auspices of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola Bottling Companies, has come to love — and demand.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking on Coke and Pepsi. There are dozens of other purveyors of high caloric content liquid refreshment who are industriously pushing their gut busting brews. Coke and Pepsi are simply the most famous.

Hey! Mr. Mayor!

This is America! This is the land of the free. Where Fast Food and Cholesterol Castles, of one sort or another, are on nearly every street corner.

We have an inalienable right to be obese if we want to be. Why else would BK, Mickey D’s, Wendy’s and Denny’s want to Super-size everything we buy? If they were blatantly contravening The Constitution by selling 2,000 calorie meals and 3,500 calorie soft drinks, I think you might have a case 

Otherwise, sir, I think you’re playing politics with our primary food chains refreshments — and that’s wrong, man!

Think about it: “Large” is the marketing strategy of the soft drink industry. “Large” when applied to cold, fizzy, drinks is one of the first words we learn to respond to in a positive manner by saying, “Yes!”

We are programmed to find “Large” acceptable and comfortable even as it applies to our waistlines. And here you are, sir, flying in the face of tradition and public drinking preferences.

Elmer Wheeler, the famous salesman, dramatically increased lunch counter drink sales at Woolworth’s by teaching servers to simply ask, “Large?” You, on the other hand are trying to reverse a proven, acceptable and profitable marketing trend simply because a large percentage of New Yorkers are now larger then you find acceptable.

When it comes to drinks “Large” is expected. And in the face of that custom you want to eliminate large drinks. Think about the potential ramifications of that action.

Aside from the psychological damage you may be causing GutBuster guzzlers; you could be instigating an economic disaster that we don’t need in light of today’s already woeful financial news.

I mean if you’re successful in banning great tasting, caffeine-loaded, sugar-saturated large size soft drinks what’s next on your agenda? No double or triple burgers? Saltless French fries? Donuts?

Speaking of donuts. I double dare you to ban donuts in the Big Apple. Do that and NYPD would do a Blue Flu the likes of which you have never seen!

Mr. Mayor, I don’t think you’ve thought this one through.

The result of all this anti-obesity mandating could result in New Yorkers slimming down. They would not need yards and yards of material for dresses and jeans. They would suddenly put a crimp in the wallets of bottlers everywhere. Slimmer New Yorkers (And ultimately Americans) would create an economic disaster that would start in the food sector and spread to clothing, shoes (Well, some folks do have fat feet) and even impact Bunny Bread, soda straws and large plastic cup manufacturers.

Wall Street would love that, I can tell you.

You might note that businesses affected by this macabre mandate are already offering unlimited FREE refills on all 12 ounce drinks. An underground cult of offended Big Drink Lovers is already planning demonstrations throughout the city.

I suggest that you rescind this ridiculous ruling and tell everyone it was a belated April Fool’s Day joke! Which many folks actually think it is. 

Make sure you are holding a 44 ounce sugar-caffeine-calorie-caramel loaded drink in one hand while standing in front of my cousin Vinnie’s hotdog cart as you make your announcement.

 

 

 

Of Pots and Pans and Garbage Cans

I wrote the following article with my locksmith friends in mind but the overall concept is apropos to any small business and the entrepreneurs who operate those businesses.

Elbert Hubbard advised fledgling businesses to “find a niche and fill it.” Sometimes  that niche is offering a service or a product that no one else offers. At other times it’s simply a willingness to accommodate the needs of your customer even when their request is outside your normal business parameters.

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Of Pots and Pans and Garbage Cans

By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved 

On a recent forum visit, some of my locksmith forum buddies were discussing their preferences as to the types of locksmith work they favored.

As you might expect, the discussion was all over the place. Some specialized in one thing and some in another and several were simply General Practitioners, so to speak.

One poster to the forum said that he would perform whatever locksmith services were necessary (And presumably legal) in order to make a living. I agreed with that but told him it was better if you could offer the services you preferred rather then a lot that you “had” to offer just to keep groceries on the table and your son or daughter’s college tuition paid.

The whole discussion got me to thinking that things today really are a whole lot different then they were when I was at the point where I knew everything there was to know and I was ready to spread my wings and fly! 

Actually, I was fifteen and I wasn’t exactly soaring with the eagles so much as I was riding Shank’s Mare (Walking) with my thumb stuck out and pointing in the direction that I was headed. Every now and again, some good-hearted soul would see my thumb and stop and give me a ride just down the road or maybe even to the next small town, large city or the next crossroads.

Of course, there were always a few folks that looked at me and pointed their index finger towards the sky as if I they thought I needed to correct the direction I was traveling!

Regardless, I learned a lot about working to keep my belly filled, my feet dry and staying at the Y or a mission.

I picked apples in Western Maryland, peaches in Georgia, watermelons and tomatoes in Florida  and when I wasn’t busy pursuing those lively hoods, I was mopping floors in restaurants, washing dishes, scrubbing garbage cans, sweeping parking lots or trying to get the remains of “homemade” bean soup out of  a ten gallon cooking pot.

Since most of the jobs that I had did not require a Master’s Degree, I looked on myself as sort of a handyman-jack-of-all-trades who could, at a moments notice, drop my broom and clean a restroom — or peel a bag of potatoes.

For more on my varied and checkered career, you can download my FREE book: “PURE JAKE: The Book” and gallop along with me on some of my travels and travails.

 http://www.purejake.com/wp-content/uploads/catablog/originals/PURE%20JAKE%20THE%20BOOK.jpg

Somewhere along the line, I picked up my GED, and wanted to settle into something solid, stable and secure. I drove a laundry truck, worked construction, did handyman type jobs and finally landed a job at Sears selling sewing machines and vacuum cleaners. That was after a stint selling used cars.

 What does all of that have to do with locksmithing? Even more to the point, what does it have to do with anything at all?

 Well, by the time I finally stumbled my way into locksmithing, I had left Sears, owned my own commercial floor cleaning company, a carpet cleaning company, and a campground reservation system. When I started my own locksmith business I would not hesitate to hang a security mirror, put a new handle on a commercial oven or replace a florescent tube in a light fixture.

 I was a locksmith but if I saw a couple of bucks laying around that I could pickup  by installing a new mirror over a sink, re-gluing Formica to a countertop or installing a mailbox on a fence post — my time was my customer’s as long as they were willing to pay for it.

 In other words, I did whatever I had to do to make a living. Just like I did when I was ‘on the road’.

 So … here’s my take on specializing. If you can specialize in any aspect of our craft and make enough money doing only what you like to do best — go for it.

 I know a lot of locksmiths who live and work in areas where the locksmith sandbox just isn’t big enough for them to make enough money specializing in safe work, or automotive, or EAC. If you’re in that situation, do whatever you must to make the money you have to make to keep yourself in business, your kids in school, your health insurance current and still have enough to enjoy a dinner and a movie occasionally.

 That means being willing to go where the money is, or do whatever is necessary to make a living. Sometimes, that work may not exactly fit the normal job description of a locksmith but the person who is willing to do pots, pans and garbage cans can always make a living.

 That’s one of the reasons I so often suggest door service and repair. Or Electronic Access Control. Or even saw and knife sharpening. All are easier, neater, cleaner, and smell better then garbage cans.

A MESSAGE FOR ROBOTIC CALLERS AND IDIOTIC ANSWERING MACHINES:

By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2012. All rights reserved

 

Personally, I DETEST auto answering devices and robotic voices telling me how important my call is — and then telling me that all “service representatives are currently busy with other customers and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.” Great shades of Ernestine!

 My thoughts on the matter: I also know these ideas could be considered self-centered and maybe even arrogant. No doubt, if you’re inclined to be kind, you’ll simply consider my thinking archaic.

I am THE customer. I am the person that keeps you in business. Therefore, I think you owe me more consideration then a robotic voice, a verbal holding pattern and some idiotic “live” talk show excerpt while I am waiting to CONDUCT business with you! I certainly don’t want a “Push for” menu regarding how I want to spend my time waiting, when what I want to do is spend my money with you and not waste my time because of you.

 I am either trying to spend money with your company, or I am trying to resolve an issue that I have had with a purchase of goods or services from your company. For some reason, robotic voices telling me that someone will be with me as quickly as possible does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. It does not increase my confidence/convenience quotient regarding my experience with your firm.

Even more irksome is when “The Voice” asks me for information. Stuff like; “If you are calling in reference to ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________ please give me your zip code, telephone number, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, you mother’s maiden name, your father’s middle initial, the serial and model number of the item you are inquiring about, the store number and date where it was purchased, or will be purchased and; the size of the speakers in the last boom box you saw!”

Then when a “representative” does connect with me the first thing they say is: “Hi! My name is __________, please give me your zip code, telephone number, etc.” And, all of that takes place before I can even begin to place an order or register a complaint. 

Then, God forbid! I get transferred to “Stacy” and Stacy asks me the same questions all over. This, in my opinion, is not marketing. It is a devilish program designed to make me take my business elsewhere, or cause me so much frustration trying to solve a warranty issue that I’ll throw the $%(*@## item away and buy a new one in a brick-and-mortar-store! I often wonder if the companies that resort to these tactics actually do have a desire to drive customers away… 

I understand voice mail. I use it myself when I have to be out of contact with customers, potential customers or contemporaries. My message is short and sweet: I’m not here. I will be back. Leave a number and I’ll call you when I return. No music, no radio, no sound effects and no “dead air.”

 nd, when I am “in the office”, I answer the phone! Essentially, I say something like: “Hello” or “Hi! This is Jake!” Recently, I had a caller say: “Wow! You actually answer your own phone?”

I may be in the minority but, when I answer the phone and that robotic voice says: “Please, hold. I have a very important call for you…” Or, “Let’s take a cruise!” (With a fog horn in the background) — I hang up! I also hang up when I answer the phone and a chirpy, smiley voice says: “Hi! I’m Audrey…How’s the weather this morning inOxford?”

So; How can your on-hold message provide an opportunity for you to market to me? It can’t.

Consequently, I suggest that you make it brief and forget asking me for information that I’m going to have to repeat to a “real” person anyway. Oh! Yeah! Did I mention this? Require a real person to answer the danged call after thirty seconds — max! Then you don’t have to worry about a sales message during the on-hold time…

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NEW! http://www.2012promisesfromgod.com

A brand-new self-help guide for Chrisitians who are being challenged by life’s complexities and today’s secular attitudes and worldly influences that seem to create insurmountable obstacles to the faithful. Find the answer to your problem in this timely and useful book! Available as an instantly downloadable eBook — directly to your computer. 

 

 

Cell Phone or Hell Phone?

Cell Phones or Hell Phones?

By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2012

All rights reserved

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PREFACE:

I often take part in a business-to-business forum where various participants ask questions about problems that they’ve encountered and seek possible solutions to those problems.

The question that I answered below was one, as you will see, regarding personal cell phone use in the workplace.

For my part, I dislike cell phones. Sure, they are great for staying in touch and emergencies and letting folks know that you’re tied up in traffic and will be late for a meeting, church service, or your wedding.

I also realize that cell phones have changed the way we communicate. Some of that is good. Some of it I find distasteful, rude, and an infringement on my privacy.

Anyway, here’s my answer to the question that was asked:

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“Pam,

Robert said that he might be “Old School” in the way he deals with the issue of personal cell phone use in the workplace. I guess that makes me an antiquated boor and my ideas about this issue totally archaic.

Robert also said that his “worst offender” chalked up a whopping 45 hours of personal calls made during one month! Roughly translated that means that person only worked for Robert three weeks out of an entire month! That individual “stole” over a week’s worth of production from Robert’s company!

Figuratively, I’ll probably be lynched for this statement: To my way of thinking stealing a week’s worth of production from an employer is no different then stealing a week’s pay out of the cash box!

The pathetic thing is that this type of ‘theft” is happening everyday, of every week, across the employment spectrum — employees subverting production time by using their cell phones to text and talk to friends, neighbors, play games and participate in “Social media”. None of which is germane, and certainly not beneficial, to the employers interests.

Yes, Pam, this is definitely a rant.

On the other hand, I must make it clear that since I now work alone, and free lance, I no longer have direct employee issues regarding this matter. Yet, I can readily empathize with employers who have to deal with the topic — a problem that is growing exponentially everyday!

As a consumer and observer, Pam, I DO have issues regarding cell phone use in the workplace.

I find it distasteful for the counter personnel at Mickey D’s, BK and Wendy’s to be talking on a cell phone while trying to ring up my order.

I find it irritating to be shopping and have the salesperson talking, or texting, on their cell phone.

I think it is totally ridiculous, as well as unsafe, for the sanitation worker to be talking on a cell phone while trying to wrestle a 90 gallon trash container into position to be dumped in the truck.

I have refused to deal with service personnel who come to my office with a Blue Tooth hanging out of their ear and while I’m trying to explain my problem and they give me “THE HAND” while they take a call! After all, I am paying for their time, so technically they are my employee for a given period.

I have had business dinners, lunches, breakfasts where the person I’m trying to interact with (on a personal or business level) interrupts the meal to take a call or text a message. That’s rude and constitutes stealing my time.

As a result, I don’t think any employer should have to be sensitive to any “issues” that an employee has regarding their “dependence” on cell phones and develop a “more accepting approach” as Andrew suggested.

After all, the individual works for the employer — not the other way around — which means that it is the employer who loses money for the production hours that are eaten up with personal calls, texts and game playing.

My personal feeling is that employees should be told up front (And apparently, Pam, your firm has done just that) that personal use of company cell phones is prohibited — and the use of personal cell phones are forbidden on company time. If necessary, spell the rules out as an official statement of company policy and have the employee read, agree to, and sign the policy statement. Then enforce it!

Long before cell phones became ever-present trappings for professional and personal use alike, calls of a personal nature were made to an employee through the employer’s office. Non-emergency calls were frowned upon and often harshly discouraged.

The problem, today, goes beyond emergency calls…it has become an issue that has grown to be of truly epic proportions and highly expensive practice in many workplaces. Stop to think about Robert’s single example. An employee stole 45 hours of time from Robert’s company — how many times a month are employees stealing time, with cell phones, throughout the American workplace?

In my mind, this issue is one that every employer, manager and HR department should take very seriously and work assiduously to control; if not eliminate.

I also believe that organizations that send their personnel to interact with customers on a face-to-face, one-on-one, basis should “train” those representatives to but their cell phone on “MESSAGE” until the interview, service call or whatever is complete.

Pam, thanks again for asking this question. And, thanks for giving me an opportunity to offer my probable, and potentially archaic, solutions — sometimes the old ideas really are the best. But, that’s for you and your other readers to decide.”

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In closing: You, my blog readers,  may agree with my assessment or you may disagree with it. One thing you can be sure of: It’s PURE JAKE to the core!

Jake Jakubuwski

 

NOTICE!   NOTICE!  NOTICE!

A FaceBook friend posted the following notice in an FB group that I belong to and I thought  might pass it on. If you’re into treasure hunting this could be a really fun day for you and your family.

Kenneth W Briggs Crl

Three Seasons Treasure Hunters LLC


The Three Seasons Treasure Hunters LLC will host there 2nd Annual Open Seeded Treasure Hunt/Contest June 2nd, 2012 at the River View Park in Cadott, WI. There will be Raffles and drawings throughout the day. We will be raffling a Tesoro Metal Detector. There will be 2 timed hunts. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. This will be held rain or shine. If you have a metal detector and want to try your hand at a timed hunt for prizes, contact Ken Briggs, President of Three Seasons Treasure Hunters at (715) 577-0235 Entry fee is $30.00 for the day. Cut off is May 15th, 2012 so we have a head count for food and prizes.

If you call ’em to reserve a slot…mention the PURE JAKE blog…

 

9+9+9 = 27 or 3×9= 27 Do I Have That Right?

 

9 + 9 + 9 = 27

By Jake Jakubuwski

 

9+9+9=27.

3X9=27.

Simple — everyday math, right?

But 27% added to whatever I’m already paying in Social Security tax, state sales tax and what I lose in “deductions”; means I am gonna have to pay more money to somebody.

I hate to start an article with an apology.  In this case, I feel I have to.

You see, I am not an accountant, bookkeeper or math wizard. I’m just a guy who has operated my own business, of one kind or the other, for nearly 50 years. I figure that gives me some sort of platform to base my ideas of what constitutes profit, what makes up a loss and whether or not I’ve got enough money left over at the end of the day, week, month or year to have made it all worthwhile.

There are some things, financial, that I take as givens.

You can’t sell for less then the cost of your merchandise plus the cost of your expenses and stay in business very long.

You can’t spend your way out of debt.

And, no matter how big the pile of whatever it is that you have, if you keep taking away from it and not replacing it; one day — it will be gone.

Another thing I’ve learned is this: If you’re in financial trouble, the cure, generally speaking is not simple, sweet-tasting or fun.

That’s what leads me to believe that the economic problems this country faces (from the White House to the lowest paid laborer in a packing house) some tough choices, that will require a lot of sacrifice on everybody’s part in order to get our financial house back in order.

Those choices might be so hard to make that they prove impossible to implement.

None of them will be simple. None of them will be easy. None of them will be popular.

The politicians from the top of the heap to the wannabes are spewing mouthfuls of rhetoric that is so convoluted; it’s gibberish to the average voter. Some of it sounds so simple, and so easy, it makes you wonder why no one thought of that before. Here’s a newsflash! Someone probably has. The new group just gussied it up in flowery language, added a new twist to it and kept their fingers crossed when they delivered their solution to the voters.

I know I’m being cynical, but all of these folks running for office today remind me of what my granddaddy had to say about shirttail relatives that came seeking a handout. He said they had a mouthful of promises and a handful of gimmie. That seems to sum up all rhetoric; at least in my mind.

Specifically, I’m wondering how we’re gonna pay for all the bailouts, pork barreling, and give-a-ways that Uncle Sugar has been throwing around like we have an endless supply of money to give away.

Unless I’m not understanding the situation, Uncle seems to think that we can speed recovery by pouring bucks on top of the pile where the bankers and other financial sharks can gobble it up but when asked how we’re gonna pay for it, Uncle tells us we can cut programs to the poor and  “straighten out Social Security.” In other words, they look for the fix and sacrifices at the bottom of the pile. It might only be me, but I just don’t understand that idea.

With a new crop of presidential wannabe’s running around mouthing all kinds of promises and espousing ideas that they claim are a nearly painless way of fixin’ what’s wrong with the economy. I have to wonder if they really think Americans are actually so stupid as to believe their guff, or they figure the majority of the electorate is just so fed up with the current crop of crooks and cretins that they’ll vote for anyone who they think sounds like they know what they’re talking about.

For instance: Herman Cain has a plank in his platform that he calls, “9-9-9”. Just on the surface of it, folks seem to like the idea as a real simple roadmap to fiscal responsibility and a way to sort of make everyone pay their fair share. I don’t believe a word of it — at least not the way I’ve heard Mr. Cain talk it up.

First off, this “fair share” drum is rather tattered and worn. From what I read and understand only about 6% of the taxpayers (including Joyce Lunchbucket and Joe the Plumber) pay their full tax rate on their actual earnings. Is there anything “fair” about that?

My take on Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 deal is that businesses will pay a 9% rate on all of their income, period.  They will not get any deductions, tax incentives, set-offs or loss carry-overs. Does that mean McDonald Corporation pays 9% on their gross income and loses any incentives, or tax breaks, to support Ronald McDonald House, their scholarship funds and deductions for all the wages they pay as well as all of the hamburger, rolls, fries and drink cups they buy?

What about Mickey D’s share of FICA (Social Security Tax) that they pay into the Treasury on behalf of their employees? Do they still have to pay that? Or is it “included” in the 9% tax?

If I understand the program, it’s going to affect General Motors, General Electric, AT&T, NBC, Sheila’s shop of Tonsorial Splendor, Mike’s Garage, Mom’s Apple Pie Shoppe and every other business inAmerica— regardless of size or income.

If a guy or gal is self-employed and are paying their own Social Security taxes, does the 9% Mr. Cain envisions cover that contribution as well, or is it in addition to it? If this “9” is just another tax that businesses of all sizes and income levels have to pay in addition to FICA, State, County and municipal taxes that they may be liable for — I don’t see the benefit. Actually I see it as regressive.

The idea of a “flat” income tax has been floating around for years. The idea has a lot of appeal because of its simplicity and the fact that it would yank half a zillion pages out of theUnited States Revenue Code. There have been at least a half a dozen variants discussed over the years without any notable success.

The next “9” is the 9% income tax that individuals would have to pay. Does that 9% pay the wage earners share of their Social Security; or is the FICA deduction in addition to the 9%? I believe that most wage earners that are currently in a 20% tax bracket probably wind up paying far less then 9% when their personal deductions, mortgage interest, child care fees and medical expenses are deducted from their gross income.

Those folks that currently fall below the poverty level are not paying any tax at all. Are they able to take a 9% hit on their already poverty-level wages?

Then comes the final “9”. The National sales tax of 9% which, as far as I understand it, is in addition to any state, county, city or municipal sales taxes. Ouch!

InNorth Carolinawe currently have a 7.5% sales tax. If Mr. Cain is elected and his 9-9-9 program is adopted, my sales tax goes to 16.5%! That also seems to mean that anything I buy to run my business: paperclips, ink cartridges, pencils, staples and a plethora of other stuff will cost me more. Those items become expenses that I can not longer deduct.

Does that same ‘sales” tax apply to GM, GE and Mickey D’s? If it does, that means cars, electric motors and hamburgers are going to cost all of us more. Which means, as far as I can see, another loss I have to absorb because I can’t claim it as a deduction.  What’s fair about that?

Another thought. If Staples buys computers from Dell, does Staples pay a 9% sales tax on them? If so, Staples is going to charge me more for the next computer I buy from them…

Why? Well, let’s say they have a computer that I can buy today for $500.00. That will change drastically under the 999 plan. If they pay Dell $375.00 for it, plus 9% Federal Sales Tax, then I pay that 9% as well. In which case, Staples will add a MINIMUM of $34.35 to that computer. So now, I will pay NC State sales tax on $534.35 at 7.5% PLUS the 9% Federal Sales Tax.

Another thing I’ve learned over the years is that if your cost of doing business increases — your selling price has to increase as well. Not simply by adding in only the extra cost but by adding in the extra cost PLUS a profit. If a business does not factor in a profit on their TOTAL costs of doing business that means they will make less gross profit at the end of the year. Doing that as a matter of course is a sure way to lose your business!

Here’s the really scary part of 999 as I see it: The first year it’s 9%. The next year, how much? Who knows?

I know something else from my years in business: Whatever Uncle Sugar does to help us out is going to cost us money because there is one immutable facet to the  Law of Financial Reality According to Jake:

“Nothing happens. Nothing gets sold. Nothing gets built, nothing gets repaired, nothing gets refurbished and nothing gets “overhauled” (Including the National Debt, the US Revenue Code, bureaucrat’s and politician’s salaries) that consumers and taxpayers don’t foot the bill for.”

 So, is Mr.Cain’s “999” idea just a catchy campaign slogan to entice voters and has no substance or value beyond that? Is “999” something he believes will work but has not given any meaningful thought to the actual impact of the program if it becomes law? Or, is it a smoke and mirror cure that that might kill the patient?

At this point, for me at least, the only thing 9+9+9 adds up to is 27% more money that will be coming out of my pocket.