March 6, 2006

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Links (030606)

Free Links:

  • Retails sales increased only 2.9% in February, which is understandable, given how good January was.
  • Ex-CNN Anchor Aaron Brown Makes a “Startling” Revelation — “The News is a business.” And, in a demonstration of contempt for his former audience, he says it’s OUR fault that we’re not interested in the right type of news.
  • Something I learned while researching something else — The State Department issues a “comprehensive status report on Iraq (that) provides weekly updates in the eight key areas identified as pillars of U.S. Government policy.” A page with all reports for this quarter is here. The latest report (PDF) is here.
  • Following up on this February 10 post (“You Might Be Surprised at What Some in the Mainstream Media Call ‘Theft’”), newspapers continue to contend that Google is “infringing on their audience and revenues,” and should pay for the privilege (HT Techdirt) of listing their articles in Google News results. Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine says, fine — “If you want to boycott search and links, then you will die on paper.”
  • A partial answer to the question, “What are the Chinese doing with all that hard currency they’re piling up?” — The country increased its military budget 14%.
  • Another English language controversyHere’s a situation that has echoes of the “For Service Speak English” civil rights dispute here in Mason, Ohio. This time it’s in Colorado, where “Arapahoe County is threatening to fire a veteran Public Works employee for promoting the fact that he is an English speaking American”:

    The problems began last spring. (Mike) Gray, 50, owns a lawn service business on the side. He was routinely driving to work in his pickup truck towing a trailer that he uses to carry lawn mowing equipment for his business. On the side of his trailer, the married father of two affixed a sign that reads “Lawn Services Done With Pride!! By An English Speaking American.”

    The sign also gives Gray’s phone number and the lettering is over a background of an American flag.

    “There are a lot of people in the lawn service that are non-English speaking,” Gray said. “Customers and different people were telling me that they have a hard time trying to communicate with them about the work they want done on their yards. I just want to let people know they at least can communicate with me when I do work on their property.”

    Gray also wore a hat to work that says “U.S. Border Patrol,” which he says was a gift from his son.

    Arapahoe County officials told Gray the sign and hat must go or else.

    Sounds to me like he just wants to make his customers and potential customers aware of his competitive advantage.

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2 Comments

  1. For the side business, yes. But bringing the trailer to his county job is kind of unwise, considering that something like 30 percent of the voters in Colorado are spanish speakers.

    Come to think of it, what’s he doing advertising his side job on county time anyway?

    Comment by Charlie (Colorado) — March 6, 2006 @ 10:56 am

  2. That point made me pause a bit before I completed the post, so I looked at the vid of the news report again (and noticed that I forgot to supply the link–now it’s up there).

    I don’t think he’s advertising his side job; it just happens to be on the side of the truck he drives to and from work (presumably not the one he may use during the county work day).

    If they want him to cover up his sign while the truck is parked at work, they will have to make sure everyone else who has business names and phone numbers on the sides of THEIR cars and trucks do the same. They could even order all political bumper stickers be covered up. Seeing a Kerry bumper sticker in 2006 would especially offend me (kidding).

    If they aren’t willing to go there (and they shouldn’t be), the county has no business picking on this guy for his business sign.

    If they have a case against the guy, it would be with the Border Patrol hat, which is unprofessional for someone who has customer/client contact to wear. If the county were smart (which they probably aren’t), they would issue official county hats to everyone in that dept., and say if you’re going to wear a hat, it’s got to be this one.

    Comment by TBlumer — March 6, 2006 @ 11:27 am

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