Aug 13

Industry Controversy? Imagine That!

An alert reader (and at last count, this blog has three … alert readers, that is) called me a couple of days back and told me that there is an incredible “glass controversy” going on in Minnesota (of all places) regarding the glass to be used in the new Minnesota Vikings Stadium, and it has reached a feverish pitch in some circles. On the surface, this is hard for me to believe because I have always thought that Minnesotans are some of the most down to earth, practical and level headed people in the nation … don’t ya know?

The only thing I know for sure is that the new stadium is under way (from a construction standpoint) and that it is scheduled to open for the 2016 season. I think it is also scheduled to host the Superbowl in 2018. But don’t worry, you alert readers (hey, I’m talking to the three of you, so pay attention here), I will investigate and report back next week. Nobody loves a good controversy more than me!

Talk About Controversy

Well, we created some last week, and I never saw it coming. I refer here to the very innocent question I posed last week about whether or not people who buy cheap foreign made products (when they could have purchased American made ones) are any more or less unpatriotic than those companies that move out of the USA to avoid high US tax rates. I referred to it last week as the “Inversion Thing”, wherein a company will merge or acquire a foreign company in a favorable tax region and then move what had been domestic income to the foreign operation to lower its tax burdens. As an example, the USA’s combined corporate income tax rate is 39.1 percent, whereas Ireland’s is 12.5 percent. They also have this neat way of talking in Ireland, and those leprechaun guys live there, so in addition to saving all that tax money, it would be kinda fun to live there, anyway. I once spent two weeks traipsing through Ireland and, I’m telling you, it is one very special place. Everything so green and … wait, where was I?

Oh yes, so I asked if people who buy foreign goods are any better than the inversion seekers, and did I ever get an earful from a couple of readers. I had no idea what a hot topic this was with some people. So, let me apologize and ask your forgiveness for equating those who don’t “buy American” with those who want to leave our fine country to lower their tax obligations. Shame on me. And I promise to do my best to never again offend you whining, cheap and unpatriotic leeches again. Oh, and by the way, none of the people I am referring to here were from Minnesota. Apparently they are too busy with this glass controversy thing to spend any time on the inversion matter. And that’s the way it should be, ’cause these glass controversy things don’t come along that often.

Going Postal Yet Again …

I wrote about the US Postal System’s financial problems a couple of times last year, and I even took some heat for the things I said. As those of you who regularly read USGlass Magazine (and I can’t imagine anyone not reading USG) might recall, I developed a very comprehensive solution for the postal system’s financial problems but was attacked … some might even say viciously attacked … for my suggestions, and so I backed off. But now comes a report that the USPS has lost 2 billion dollars in the three month period of May-June, putting us on a path that will see the taxpayers get the hook for at least $8 billion dollars in 2014. The USPS also has a past due pension payment that is to be paid by the end of the third quarter that is also multiple billions in size. Maybe I need to dig out my plan and send it to them one more time. Then again, they haven’t cared to listen in the past, why would they listen now?  

What A Wonderful Summer

I wish it would never end, although here in the Chicago area, you know it will. Thus far, this has been one of the nicest summers I have ever experienced. Maybe Mother Nature felt sorry for us after the horrible winter we had. Whatever the explanation, I’m going to enjoy it for as long as I can. I really hope you are, as well.


Working grist mill just up the road.


Grandson Jake with the one that didn’t get away.


The Sports Thing …

Is “Bags” a sport or not? Just wondering, ’cause a whole lot of people are playing it, and there seems to be tournaments (with cash prizes) popping up regularly. I’m going to look into this, but if you know about it, let me in on it, please. Cash prizes – my kind of sport!

The Quotable Thing …

Another submittal from Dick Johnson, who said he pulled this one out of a recent Readers Digest. The author is Dan Harman, a TV writer.

“People is more important than anything, even grammar.”

“Have a Wonderful Week Everyone”


  1. JR

    I do not think buying products made in foreign countries is unpatriotic and I feel what we ought to be concentrationg on is how to make us (Americans) more productive and cost competetive. And by the way, you have a pretty cool grandson. He’s the drummer right? JR

  2. Lyle R. Hill

    Nice to hear from you again JR and hope you are doing well. Hard to argue with your position and for now I am not going to do so. I appreciate your view and thanks for the comment about my grandson. He’s the oldest of nine grandchildren and is a wonderful kid … as they all are. Lyle

  3. Bill Lins

    Lyle- you posted “the USPS has lost 2 billion dollars in the three month period of May-June”. Apparently, it is the math skills of the USPS that have landed them in such a predicament. 😉



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