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Jul 30

Maybe This Time

Maybe they work, after all. Maybe I have been wrong, although I was pretty sure for a long time that I wasn’t. I refer here to what has commonly been known as “governmental tariffs,” which get imposed typically on foreign manufacturers who dump cheap goods into the states and put domestic suppliers out of business. Often, in the case of Chinese manufacturers, the allegations and/or assumptions are that the Chinese government is subsidizing these actions.

As reported in this blog a couple of months ago, I had an experience earlier in my career that I feel confirmed the fact that foreign suppliers get assistance from their governments in these matters. This is not a simple subject to deal with, because there are compelling arguments to both sides of this situation/debate. I am for tariffs when appropriate, but I have never thought they do much good. They’re hard to enforce, the foreign suppliers find ways around the tariffs, and there is always the argument that the standard of living in the states could not exist at its current level without the import of cheap goods from various overseas suppliers.

But now comes a report that the tariffs being levied on Chinese solar-panel makers have been a huge boost to American solar-panel manufacturers. In fact, two U.S. panel makers have recently announced large expansion plans for facilities here, and one large Chinese manufacturer is apparently considering building a manufacturing plant here. So, maybe the tariffs working. I surely hope so, because I personally believe that the solar-panel business is a phenomenal growth industry with unlimited potential. And heaven knows, we can use the jobs. My fingers are crossed!

Of Hot Dogs & Politics

I know I promised a couple of weeks ago to drop the “hot dog” commentary and such, but I have to come back to it one more time. You see, this past Friday, none other than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to my city to meet up with Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner. The purpose of the meeting was for Christie to give Rauner a $2.5 million dollar check to be used for the current campaign(s) taking place in Illinois. Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and for the first time in a long time, the Republicans actually believe they have a chance at winning the governor’s race here in the Land of Lincoln. This is foolish thinking on the part of the Republicans. You see, in spite of the fact that under the direction of the Democrats … who have controlled the state for what seems like forever … the state teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, has had negative population growth, has lost thousands of jobs to neighboring states and has some of the highest taxes in the world, nothing is going to change. At least not yet.

However, the point I really want to make about all of this is as follows: Christie met Rauner for lunch last Friday at none other than a downtown Portillos restaurant. YES, the same Portillos that has been featured in this blog off and on over the past few weeks. And you know what they had? That’s right … hot dogs. Those very same hot dogs I have also been talking about in this very blog over the past few weeks. You know what I think? It was the power of suggestion. I think Christie and Raunerhave been reading my blogs, and the power of suggestion over took them. I can hear it now … “Hey Bruce, I got this hefty check for you, and I’ll be in Chicago next week, so let’s meet for lunch and I’ll turn it over.” “Great idea, Chris, ’cause we can use all the bucks we can get. Where do you want to meet?” “How about a hot dog at Portillos, Bruce? Lyle says they’re terrific.” And the rest my friends, is history! Oh the power of suggestion. Oh the power of these blogs!

By the way, in case you’re interested, Christie had a chili cheese dog and Rauner had a jumbo with everything on it. No ketchup of course. It’s illegal to have a hot dog in the city limits with ketchup on it.

The Gold Fish Thing – Part Two

Last week I reported that my daughter, Beth, was given a gold fish to keep her company while she was recently staying at the Monaco Hotel in Salt Lake City. I was amazed by this, but a handful of readers actually made contact with me and said that they too had gotten a gold fish roommate when they were staying at various Monaco hotels around the country. One reader actually told me that the gold fish is old news, and that when they had stayed at an east coast boutique hotel a couple of years ago, they were actually offered a cat for their room. I’m not buying this one! A fish, a bird, a hamster maybe. But a cat??? I don’t think so.

You’re Working Too Hard

…way too hard in fact. And it’s summer no less. So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to take some time for yourself and go for a nice walk. Maybe find a beach or a quiet woodsy area and take a leisurely quiet stroll. And every now and then, just stop and look around. Take a deep breath, and take it all in.

Summer Photos 023summer 25

The Sports Thing

Kind of in the dog days of sports right now. The baseball season is long, and right about now, interest sags a bit. This will change in about a month or so when the sprint to the pennants and wild card races become more apparent, but at the moment, not too exciting. Fortunately, the football season is rapidly approaching and then, after what seems like an eternity, the hockey season will begin! Best part of winter for many, and the best part of the “sports year” for me.

The Quotable Thing

I have to thank none other than Deb Levy for this week’s quote. According to Deb, it was spoken by Albert Einstein. Think about this quote and ask yourself … could it possibly apply to the way I run my business, to the way I run my life? Just asking!

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

“Have a Wonderful Week Everyone”

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