Grob1o61's Blog

October 28, 2009

DumpDiving vs SweatShops

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 12:28 am

Hello one and all.  Papa Dondervogel here. Todays topic? DumpsterDiving, Cambodian style.

Mine 34In January of this year, Nicholas Kristoff of Newsweek published a story about the people who live on and from the garbage dumps of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Children wandering barefoot over mountains of garbage searching for plastic cups which they can sell for five cents american per pound.  Families live in shacks, on top of, these mountains of garbage. Talk to these people and , to them, a job in a sweatshop is a cherished dream.  A 19 year old woman says that she would love to get a job, in what to them is just a factory, “At least that work is in the shade. Here is where it’s hot.”   Another woman dreams that her 10 year old son may get such a job.  He has never seen a dentist or a doctor and has not bathed since he was two.  A factory job is far more peasant and safer than living here and searching garbage for a living.  She has seen children run over by the dump trucks.

     It’s good that americans are repulsed by people working under sweat shop conditions, but sweat shops don’t cause poverty.  They are a symptom of poverty.  The best way to help the poor in third world countries isn’t to campaign against sweat shops.  Manufacturing needs to be promoted in these countries to raise their standard of living, thereby raising their views of themselves.

     Would I like to work in one of those factories?  Heck no.   I also wouldn’t want to make a living as a rickshaw driver or a garbage dump scavenger either.  But, if that is what was necessary to keep my family alive, you know I would do it and so would most parents.  Ask 13 year old Neuo Chanthou. She earns less than $1 per day scavenging in the dump.  She worries about her sister, who lost part of her hand when she was run over by a garbage truck.  Neuo wears a ‘playboy’ shirt and hat that she scavenged out of the garbage.

     I hope I’ve given you all a little to think about.  Why do you think that Walmart gets away with how they treat their employees in the U.S.?  Besides a little money slid here and there, and the fact that most people don’t care, those employees are doing what they have to, to feed themselves and their families as best as they can. If that means working two or three rotten jobs and getting no sleep, that’s what it takes.  If you’re concerned about worker treatment, look in your own back yard.  You don’t know enough about the world yet to judge anywhere else.

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October 20, 2009

CottageWorks

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 10:39 pm

BlogPurpGoldHello Kiddies,

Papa DonderVogel here again with something new. Jullie asked us about a business we’ld like to start someday.

What Iwould like to do, and have started doing alittle bit, is provide internet services to artists and other home based entrepreneurs in my area. These people are busy enough producing valuable services and some of the most beautiful photagraphy and artwork in the world.

These people deserve world wide exposure and some world wide customers wouldn’t hurt either. They don’t have time to learn all this themselves and they don’t need the $1,000 a page services either. What they need and deserve is some simple excellence and I  hope to provide it for them. For those of you who are interested, go to http://www.cottageworks.com  and click on the buttons for Robin’s Nest or Anderson Art. While I’m in school, things have been a bit hectic. Robin’s Nest is a bit dated and Sharon Anderson’s Art site is incomplete (she’s been a little busy too and hasn’t gotten me the final information yet) but it’s a small start and with luck will grow from there.

Don’t bother clicking on the DonderVogel button, it will just bring you back here. Until next week, this is Papa Dondervogel signing off.

October 14, 2009

Entrepreneurship from Ben Franklin

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 1:12 am

Hello everybody, it’s that time. Papa DonderVogel is going to chat about business again. Today, the Great American Businessman, Benjamin Franklin. That’s right, not Billy Gates.    BlogGold

     Ben Franklin was the youngest son of fifteenth children. He had a working-class father and only attended school for two years. While educating himself, he was able to make enough money as a printer, to retire by the age of 42.This is the epitome of the American entrepreneur.

       So how did he do it? Everyone knows that Ben was a scientist and inventor. He must have patented an invention and grown rich off of the profits, right? Well, you know how I work, so no that’s probably wrong. Ben Franklin never patented anything. He didn’t believe in it. Old Ben felt that everyone should be able to freely profit from scientific advances. Wow, that sounds a little like Linux and the opensource movement. Sorry, but the geek is going to keep sneaking in here every once in a while.

     Ben started a printing business. In colonial times, as now, printing was a business with high capital startup costs and cut throat competitiveness. One of Ben’s greatest accomplishments was a book called “The Way to Wealth”. Amazingly, this book is still in print. It is basically a book of ‘wise sayings’, such as “A penny saved is a penny earned”. No, that isn’t Ben’s secret to getting rich. He was humble enough to admit that he was never able to cultivate a habit of thriftiness. However, he was wise enough to surround himself, in the persons of his friends, family and business contacts, with people who did have the habits he admired. He also knew the importance of not only working hard and doing things for yourself to cut corners, but making sure that others knew you were working hard and willing to do things for yourself to save costs and make sure that everything is done right.  By doing this, he put the existing competition out of business and started cleaning up.

   In other words, it may not be enough to know your business, work hard and long hours, be certain that everything your customer wants is exactly so and then some, cut costs and beat the competition’s prices. It is at least as important to promote yourself, make sure that everyone, your customers, suppliers, and anybody else you can reach knows that you are willing and able to do whatever it takes. Old Ben’s wisest moves were in promoting himself. One of his best tactics was to do something that people may admire him for, and then not ever admit that he had done so. Instead, the information just sort of leaked out until everyone knew that Ben was the good guy, and also that he was too humble ever to come out and say so. Very smart marketing indeed.

     So, in conclusion for this week, if you are thinking of starting your own business, take a few tips from Ben Franklin. It would be worth your while to read a few of the biographies out on Ben. He was a wily old dog and there’s a lot there that modern entrepreneurs can learn from. Come up with some ideas on marketing yourself without appearing to do so. Nobody seems to like the good guy who is always telling what a good guy he is. Learn to be subtle. That’s it, the whole secret. Say ‘Thank you Papa DonderVogel’ and I will try to find some more business wisdom for next week. So, until then, Dag!!

October 6, 2009

Limited Liability Corporations

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 1:08 am

BlogPurpleHello Blogoholics, it’s that time again. Papa DonderVogel here to discuss business.

     Thinking of starting your own business? Have you heard of Limited Liability Corporations? You have? Well, like Purple People Eaters, they don’t exist. But, there are LLC’s or Limited Liability Companies. The reason for the confusion is the description of LLCs as the best qualities of a corporation without the cost and complexity.  A LLC, defined in each state by state law, is a legal form of business company that provides limited liability to its owners. It is a hybrid business entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietership (depending on how many owners there are). An LLC, although a business entity, is a type of unincorporated association and is not a corporation. The major advantage here is limiting the liability of the owner(s). How limited depends on the laws of each state and what kind of liabilities you want to be protected from. Fraud or other kinds of illegal activity? Not protected. For other details check with your state.

     The Federal government does not recognize a LLC as a classification for federal tax purposes. This allows check-the-box taxation. A LLC can elect to be taxed by the federal government as a sole proprietor, partnership, S corporation or C corporation (as long as they would otherwise qualify for such tax treatment), providing much flexibility. For further, and best, information take a click over to your Secretary of State’s homepage. That is where you’ll be most likely to find information for your area.

Until next week,

This is Papa DonderVogel signing off.

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