Posts Tagged ‘groupon’

California Train to Nowhere is Not a Solution

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

As we all celebrate Christmas and the upcoming New Year, we are a country that refuses to look itself in the mirror. Politicians and labor leaders harp on the fact there are fewer and fewer jobs in manufacturing and other blue-collar occupations, and put together all kinds of works projects to create temporary jobs that will last for a few months or years but don ‘t solve the big problem of long-term employment.

California has decided to build the “Train to Nowhere,” or as is it now called, “The Train to Bakersfield.”  This project is hailed by the liberals as a job-creator and a method to travel throughout the state on a high-speed rail system.  With $4 Billion on federal stimulus money, tracks are being laid on a 65-mile route starting in a town named Corcoran.

Corcoran, California is a town of 25,000 and is probably most famous as the place where Robert Downey Jr. was incarcerated.

Again, short-term solutions to long-term problems.

A train. A manufacturing plant. A construction project.

None of these are solutions, as once the project is done, the workers are all looking for the next government-funded gig.  America has to realize that we never will be a manufacturing country to the magnitude we once were.  We have evolved. Specialty manufacturing, yes, but able to compete with countries that have cheap, non-union labor, no way. Allen Edmonds shoes in Wisconsin and John Deere, Mack Trucks and Boeing jets.



It’s all about technology and companies that can scale without the need to have incremental head-count increases. Groupon‘s costs do not increase 10-fold when their web traffic increases the same amount. It costs no more to to complete 1o transactions than it does 5 transactions. In other words, it is not labor intensive. And they are worth $6 Billion.

So how do we solve the technology gap? How to we get the people who want to work and now pawns of the liberal programs involved? The days of the UAW having 100,000 people in a town building transmissions are done. We need to find the niche markets that the global market needs and demands Made in the USA on the product.

It takes one brilliant idea to transform a town or region. One visionary to create a widget that everyone needs. One amazing person to rejuvenate all the pizza parlors and beauty salons and grocery stores. It’s not a train line or a highway project. Let’s encourage our brightest and best to create, design and build here and the rest will take care of itself.

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Silicon Valley Start-Up Companies Thrive Without Unions

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

The State of California is broke. Santa Clara County is broke, and so is the City of San Jose.  Most cities and counties in California have nothing in their coffers, and that can be said for most cities and counties regardless of their state.  We all know the reason(s) and we all know that next to nothing can be done, since most politicians bow to the unions that get them elected. A few, like San Jose mayor, Chuck Reed, have the guts to say enough is enough, and threaten the unions that fill city hall with pay cuts or layoffs.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Fought City Hall Unions

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Fought City Hall Unions

Despite this mess that we all live in, start up companies all around us are thriving. It’s not Google or eBay that I am talking about, but new companies that are making huge splashes, such as Facebook, Twitter, Groupon and FourSquare.  These companies, if they were children would be in Elementary School, but are taking the Internet by storm.

Facebook is now the 2nd most trafficked website in the world, according to, and Twitter helped Barack Obama “tweet” his way into the White House.

These companies all hire bunches of really smart engineers and developers to create cool concepts and interfaces. They work crazy hours and get gobs of low-priced stock options that may or may not ever pay off.  It’s a gamble, certainly, but with so many companies having hit the proverbial jackpot of an IPO or an acquisition, the chance of becoming stupid-rich is pretty compelling.

Did I mention that none of these jobs are unionized, and none of these people have a pension? There is no shop steward and no hall meetings and dues to pay. Nope. These really smart engineers and developers are paid based on their level of experience and what they produce. If they are no good, they don’t get the job in the first place, and if they suck after they get hired, they will be let go.  If the company folds, which so many start-ups do, they lose their job and need to look for the next opportunity.  There is no place to hide.

And this is why Silicon Valley has created 95% of the technology we use in our daily life, union-free. If you disagree with this statement, just think what brought you to this page in the first place and read through this list of companies located within a 50-mile radius of where I currently sit: Apple, Adobe, Intel, AMD, HP, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Oracle, eBay, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Friendster, HiFive, Cisco, Symantec, Tivo, Netflix, Seagate, NVIDIA, Tesla, and hundreds more.

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