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1.25.2008

MORE ON THE CAFE' WARS


I have previously written about profit (as a motivation to become efficient and its benefits to the consumers) and competition & price equilibrium in relation to the coffee shops industry. Taking competition a bit further, Starbucks is offering $1 coffee (still expensive, if you'll ask me) and free refills. This is in addition to earlier moves to install drive-thru counters and national advertisements.

This will probably be a long protracted "Cafe Wars" in an industry worth billions of dollars. I surmise that such move by Starbucks was in response to McDonald's move to compete in the industry. MacDonalds already serve cheaper coffee (with refills) and gives free WiFi services, something that Satrbucks is yet to do. I heard that WiFi in Starbucks outlets in the UK costs an arm and a leg. With probably more outlets worlwide (Starbucks has 15,000), McDonalds should never be taken lightly as a competitor.

My biggest pick as a future industry loser remains to be Nescafe' Cafe. For as long as it continues to overprice it's instant coffee, it shall remain lagging in the cafe business.

1.23.2008

GOVERNMENT HOPEs TO JUMPSTART THE US ECONOMY

When our automobile fails to start, we try to jump start it, by plugging the weak battery to a good one, with the use of jumper cables. The same is quite true for the US economy. The battery that provides power to it is perceived to be weak so the government is thinking of measures to jump start it to make the engine run.

For starts, President Bush wants to give tax rebates to low income households so they can use it to alleviate their lives. In so doing, the recipients of the rebates will use the money to pay for commodities and that will make the manufacturers, suppliers and the rest of the economy active. because of a multiplier effect, the rest of the economy is expected to positively react. The video provided will give us a better picture of the bigger plans.

1.22.2008

Trying to be helpful

I have a relative who makes it a point to bring his old cars to charities that accept his car donation. Those organizations mean well and should be supported wholeheartedly by everyone. In addition to being of help to a lot people, donations to certain charities are rewarded with tax deductions. Everybody hates paying excessive taxes and I agree that they shouldn’t. However, the best thing that can be done at this point is to maximize legal deductions and use the savings properly.

Greening the earth the way it was before

In a competitive market, Economics have a way of teaching man to live properly. With the realization that clean air has started to become a scare commodity, the market became increasingly filled with green products. What used to be regarded as nothing more than some weird people’s paranoia or publicity stunt have become necessary purchases. Among the companies leading the call is greenandmore.com, a firm specializing in eco friendly products. In addition, it has a green learning center with Class A information from sources like the EPA, the US Dept. of Energy and valuable materials taken by its own research facilities.

Other than that, they also live by example by making sure that their offices are 100% environmentally compliant. This means that they do not use plastic materials, recycle efficiently and support environmental charities, among other things.

However, what worries me is the fact that a perfectly competitive market where information freely flows is far from being attained. Therefore, the possibility that man realizes the extent of his excesses when it had already become too late, is not very farfetched.

Before that happens, I humbly suggest that aside from Das Kapital and the Wealth of nations, we should include the bible in our daily readings.

1.20.2008

Jump ship?

Had a talk with a former competitor, the owner of a big plumbing fixtures distributor. After finding out that I have left my boss, he wanted to get me to move to his firm but never had the chance to present his offer. On hindsight, the man is known for having a loud mouth. But one thing that I realized is that he was never accused of being unfair. In fact, he has the habit of showering with money; the employees that he always gets to have loud arguments with. Hmnn..

1.19.2008

Reminiscing a Vacation

Have you ever experienced bathing in freezing water? I have! I was in a mountain retreat and was in a hurry to leave. The problem is, my companions finished all the hot water in reserve and I cannot wait for the new batch to get warm. The next time I go on such kind of vacation, I will ask the cabin owner if the use tankless water heaters. Otherwise, I will have to look for another vacation house.

1.18.2008

Update your emergency numbers

At the rate problems with the use of illegal drugs are increasing, people should include the numbers and addresses of drug treatment centers in their list of emergency numbers. Neighbors, friends, relatives, office mates’ children or anyone at all can suddenly fall into a trap called addiction (alcohol or drugs) and we, as friends or loved ones have the responsibility to help. Let us keep ourselves informed.

THE TWO TENORS: BUSH and AHMADINEJAD

La Donna Mobile'

For a man who denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of another state (Israel), complaining that another is going around and rallying others to gang up on him is quite unfathomable. Let me remind everyone of the following,
"You reap what you sow"
and,
Do not do unto others, what you do not want others to do unto you!"
Iran's President Ahmadinejad is whining these days that US President Bush is very confrontational and is aiming at Iran,
"This message reflects his own conceptions and it is a message of rift, a message of sowing the seeds of division. It is a message of confrontation demeaning the dignity of mankind."
Dubya, on the other hand, seems to be spending so much time going around and creating enemies while the economy suffers back home. That certainly, is not an optimal use of a leader's time.

Economics is all about the proper allocation of resources to be able to satisfy human wants. Both Iran's and the US' resources are very finite and at this point lacking. Spending so much time bickering and calling for the destruction of each other is certainly not the best way to utilize the day.

1.17.2008

THE STRUGGLE FOR PAKISTAN

Shakespeare once wrote,

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances"

If that is the case, I pity the people of India and Pakistan, most specially. All their big names have fallen victims to violent assassinations. In Pakistan, the latest to fall is former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who met her creator only a few weeks ago. In the quest for a better Pakistan, Bhutto and most of the counry's political leaders are in a tight race. However, little did the first lady Prime Minister know that her frole in Pakistan's political stage is set to be shorter than she thought it is.

Here's a compliation of clips showing a stage play called "Pakistan".


1.16.2008

Babies are always wonderful

As a young kid, I remember spending hours staring at my little siblings with my chin rested in their baby cribs. It felt so amazing to look at those little creatures as they quietly sleep or drink their mils while looking back at you. Now, they have all grown so big and somehow, looking at them is not quite as cool as it used to. However, the soothing feeling that I got when I stared at them while they quietly slept, finished their drinks, smiled back at you while lying down, sitting or bouncing in their baby furniture was priceless. That my friends, I will never forget.

1.15.2008

Taking care of the elderly

One of the most pressing issues of our time includes the best ways of taking care of our elderly. They worked all their lives and built our country to what it is now and yet, the society seems to be not so kind to them. Good health care which is most needed by them is difficult to obtain. It’s a good thing the market has now provided great packages such as medicare insurance that somehow provides for their health care needs.

Landmarks

Psychologists say that people’s lives are defined by landmarks that end one period and ushers the start of another. To make these landmarks more memorable, people come up with things such as first communion invitations, birthday parties, etc. To elaborate on these landmarks, birthdays for instance, marks the end of one year and the start of another step towards getting old. Another example is circumcision which marks the end of one religion and the start of another for male Jewish converts. Other landmarks common to most people are the first communion, reaching the age of eighteen, wedding, kid baptism, etc.

Mesothelioma

The word for today is mesothelioma. It is a type of cancer that is commonly associated with people who were exposed to asbestos. The incidence of this type of cancer is supposed to be rare but the number of people affected by it is increasing because of the widespread use of asbestos as in insulation material in the late 70’s. However, because people have almost stopped using asbestos, the incidence of Mesothelomia is expected to decline after it peaks on the year 2020. If you know of anybody who has been exposed to asbestos at any time, I would strongly advice that you suggest some online reading materials on this type of cancer as well as Asbestosis, just to be sure that he/she is safe from the dreaded consequences.

1.10.2008

Nescafe Cafe: One Overpriced Instant Coffee

One of the beauties of competition is that the equilibrium price speaks well of the products being sold. Demand for the particular product goes up or down depending on the supply of its competitors brand. At this point, the demand for coffee shops is on the rise and many brands have joined the fray. Starbucks dominate the market but other companies are moving heaven and earth to get bigger slices. This led to good services from everyone in the industry and to mention one improvement, WIFI services are now available in most stores, some of it are even free.

Further to my previous post, I visited a another coffee shop and found it worth some space in this blog. Nescafe Cafe' been around for some years and searching the web, you'll find lots outlets in South Africa, Poland and other countries.

Well, I went to one in Manila and to my horror, the price is so obscenely high! Common, Starbucks imports coffee beans, other shops also do and, they brew their coffee beans right under your nose. Nescafe, on the other hand uses local beans and oh my...

I asked, "The price is comparable to Starbucks, Seattle's Best, Coffee Barn and Tea Leaf, Figaro, etc.. Do you use freshly roasted and brewed coffee beans?

"Errr, sir, it's water soluble coffee!"

!#$%^^@ .... They ask more than 10 times the retail price of one sachet of instant coffee and yet, they are serving us the same product. Is the price of boiling water that high in the malls?

@#$%^&&, Nescafe Cafe', you're pricing yourself like a monopoly. Wait til the market finds you out. If there's one thing different now, information is much much more efficient.

The market will drive you out... take note

Secure Thyself...

In my experience, there are companies that provide lots of benefits with the honest to goodness intention of caring for their employees. However, there are a lot of firms that provide benefits simply to comply with agreements with labor unions or to be able to claim that they are doing something for their people. Should that be the case, I recommend that employees secure their own individual health insurance policies. Experience thought me that there can be no substitute to a good health insurance. At certain points, we may feel too young to die but certainly, sickness respects no age bracket.

1.08.2008

MC DONALDS TO COMPETE HEAD ON AGAINST STARBUCKS IN THE COFFEE MARKET


Free market economists contend that profit is the main motivation why man becomes efficient. When he sees an opportunity to make money, he takes it and in the process makes the community a better place.

Well, they started by serving free WiFi and now, they have added a Barista position in their restaurant crews. By adding more products and services on their repertoire, the world's number one restaurant chain hope to gain US$ 1 billion in their annual profits.

It's all about profit for McDonalds but for us lowly humans, its better service that we get for our money.

1.06.2008

BLOG DIRECTORY SUBMISSION

This is a part of a blog directory submission. I noticed that when I add the link on my main page, their site doesn't detect the script so I am adding this link in a post.



I hope to get additional traffic from this site.