Let me get this straight …
We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don’t! Which purportedly covers at least ten million more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a Dumbo President who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese , and financed by a country that’s broke!!!!!
‘What the hell could possibly go wrong?’
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. - Chinese Proverb
This is probably one of the truest statements I have ever heard. Human beings are creatures of habit, and unfortunately the bad and lazy habits stick fast and are hard to break. Hard work and determination are life skills and we carry on using them til the day we die, or we should in my opinion.
You cannot beat human nature… and we all know that here really is nothing free.
Creating a world where incentive to achieve and perform is curtailed by high taxes and disdain from government will lead to a loss of entrepreneurship and innovation and investment…. what great cars and contributions did socialist Europe and Russia contribute to the world….
Rich people and business are far better at distributing wealth through jobs and investment and innovation than any government will ever be. A government does not run for profit, it squanders and is hugely inefficient. Rich people can teach poor people to elevate their positions in life far better than government can.
Governments are like pimps… they keep their subjects “fed” and “clothed” and “housed”…as well as drugged up and absolutely dependent on them and locked into a vicious cycle that many never break. The people in government who care so much for the poor never teach them to fish. They give enough to appear helpful, but all they do are supply crutches. It’s a self-righteous arrogance they have and they call themselves “liberal”. Yet the only “serving” they are doing are their legacies and emotions. They have no understanding!
We need to love our fellow man enough to say… no more hand-outs, no more easy-ride. Life is hard! Tough! We all deal with it to some degree. Stop looking at what others have and develop in you a sense of pride and value that a humble attitude and good work ethic produce. Tough love is a great form of love!
The world needs fully dedicated capitalism to thrive and help democracies survive so that we all have a chance to learn how to fish and in that way feed each other with an abundance that has no end! The socialist agenda must come to an end… it has created a generation of entitled addicts and at this rate their future is dim and that of their children has no light!
So Sembel-It has gone out of business!!!! After 30 years as a leader, what a crying shame. They have entered into provisional liquidation at the time of writing this article.
This is how one of their agents describes Sembel-It on their website:
What happened, one can only hypothesise. I’m willing to take a guess.
From the www.hellopeter.co.za website, tracking consumer complaints and compliments, it seems like the past 365 days have not been to kind on Sembel-It
17 complaints vs 2 compliments. Sure, that’s probably a good statistic, who really pays a compliment on good service? Usually it’s a case of ‘no news is good news’. But it’s not that statistic that’s insightful to me; it was the nature of the complaints. In Sembel-Its case, the complaints were really bad in my opinion. Far too many complaints were cases of poor after sales service taking months and months to try and resolve. Some of the more telling complaints were the ones where people had paid in full and many months later were waiting for delivery. For a company with 30 years in the game, the warning bells were right there…. cash flow negativity. The reason jobs were not getting done, were probably as a result of the unavailability of supply due to non-payment on Sembel-Its part.
I am going to do a blind analysis here…. Sembel-It did custom kitchen installations. They were very good at it. So, I ask myself when I look at their services…
You can make do with an old kitchen. You don’t have to sit on it or sleep on it or spend much time in it. In fact, chances are, only 1 member of the household actually spends any amount of time in it worth noting down.
Now, I believe that consumer’s first move based on ‘want’ rather than ‘need’. I don’t believe that consumers apply too much rational thinking behind personal purchases, they hardly ever subscribe to sacrificial non-purchasing. In a bull market, this is awesome. Money is in abundance and people will spend and cash will roll in. In a bear market….not so good. Money is tight, people are FORCED to spend less and therefore they will prioritise spending and the “want” items will move behind the “need” items.
However, most bear markets do not last as long as the one we are in, nor have they been as devastating in over 60 years. Furthermore, what has changed the money landscape to boot has been far tighter regulation within the credit and lending institutions. Even in a bear market, people will max out their credit or have access to credit. But in today’s bear market, there is no credit to max out on. It’s been maxed out long ago! Consumers are now being forced into prioritising their spending.
Look at this graphic from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
In a nutshell, it has been over 3 years since unemployment in the worlds largest consumer market has been above 8%. Since 1948, when the graphic starts, it has NEVER been that bad. It is the longest sustained period of high unemployment in 60 years. Now this data from the US tells us a story and can more than likely be applied here in South Africa. Households where unemployment has been in effect for a prolonged period have no money left. Even if they get a new job, the chances are that they are paying off debt and trying to get their lives back into shape. When you couple this to the very tight lending regulations in place (National Credit Act, Basel 2), there is literally no disposable income available for a new kitchen. Home sales have been down for a long while, property prices have regressed to 2003 levels in many areas. Therefore, it would pain you even further to spend on a new or upgraded kitchen if you were looking to sell or invest. The chances are that whatever you spend on the kitchen today will not realise you any sort of return immediately.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of what I call misinformation. The US Economic Bureau insists that the recession ended in mid-2009. Technically speaking, according to the measurements they use, they are correct. President Obama called 2010, and I may be misquoting here, the season or summer of recovery! We know that neither is true. Times are tough, money is tight. if you are in a game where the product you sell has a far greater weighting on being a “want” than a “need”, then in this era of no credit and low cash you had better come up with new and innovative ways to sell your good, because the olds way are gone. This recession, when it is over, will take a few years to recover. That is far too long for any business to try and ride out the storm without changing tack.
Perhaps Sembel-It should have become a credit provider, if it hadn’t, or they should have closed doors 2 years ago or they should have re-looked at their entire business model and strategy in order to have re-engineered themselves into a business which could have thrived in this new market. I feel bad for them. No company with such a good name and such a legacy wants to go out of business. No one wants those kinds of job losses ever! Now is the time to re-think the way you do business and to act upon it before you become a statistic.
Please visit us at http://www.business-plans.co.za for further information!!!
Many people cheers when the oil price drops, along with the price of gasoline. This is understandable. The prevailing thought is that the oil price is fixed and that it’s greatly manipulated. In the US, the POTUS will be held directly responsible for the price of oil and gasoline even though he has no control whatsoever on the prices.
Oil is traded on the futures exchange in the form of a futures contract. Futures contracts are an agreement to buy or sell a commodity at a specific date in the future at a specific price. In a nutshell: a trader is determining how much oil demand there will be at a specific time in the future. Then he will match it against what he knows supply will be at the time e.g. Opec supply details, oil reserves, natural and man-made disasters affecting oil output (earthquakes, flood, oil leaks, political uprisings, etc in oil producing regions).
Now this trader will say to himself, for example, “in October 2012 there will be demand for 100 million barrels of oil a day against a supply of 120 million barrels. If I try selling my contract at $100 a barrel then, no-one will buy as there is too much supply and they can negotiate with other traders for a better price. Therefore, based on the over supply / under demand I predict, I am willing to bet that the price people are willing to pay will be $90 per barrel.”
That’s how the price is determined. Traders are there to make a profit. If they set a price too high, no one will buy their contract and they will be lumped with a massive bill. In fact, traders are very analytical in their predictions. Therefore, when the price of oil per barrel drops significantly, it is a bad thing. The first lesson to understand is that oil is at probably the right price. There are millions and millions of cars on the road. More energy is being consumed than ever. Emerging markets like China and India have negatively impacted the demand/supply ratio in addition to ever increasing
Demand in developed countries like the USA and in Western Europe. It is expensive to run a car, period. There will not be R2 a litre petrol again. Ever. Unless alternative fuels and electric vehicles swamp the markets worldwide, and I mean literally take over en-masse. That is a looooong way off.
So whilst consumers rejoice at the lowered petrol prices, it is not because of an upswing in the economy or some “successful” government policy. Unfortunately, its bad news. Sure, some other external factors which contributed to the high prices may have clamed down and played a role in the reduced prices, BUT, it is coming from expert predictors in world economics who are saying that there is going to be significantly less demand for energy consumption. They are expecting demand from transportation companies to be down, from airlines to be down, shipping companies to be down, etc. In many ways, a higher gasoline price is a great sign of ever increasing demand. As I write, the official US unemployment rate is 8,2%. In reality it’s probably closer to 17%. The official figure excludes other statistics, including people who don’t count themselves in the labour market anymore. When the world’s largest consumer of energy (25%) faces those kinds of figures over a sustained period, it’s not a good sign. When Spain seeks another 100 Billion Euros in EU Aid as I write, there has to be some knock on effect negatively impacting the markets globally. Markets are so liquid, that no-one is immune to the US unemployment rate and the crisis in South European countries for example.
How do I end off…. buy gold… real gold :)