Archive | August, 2012

Home of the brave, land of the free?

30 Aug

America, my heart goes out to you. Just after the second world war you showed the world how to celebrate, how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. While the allies were suffering under rations, you created a paradise.

Then, you stalled. You got so involved in rights, rule of law, political correctness, health and safety and all the litigation that came with it. Your constitution got in the way of common sense, because you allowed the legal fraternity to interpret it to suit their own greedy intentions. You need to overhaul the entire system and allow common, decent people to restructure it to bring it back to mean what the original authors intended. You use modern language to corrupt one of the most honest documents ever created.

You have created a nation of money grubbers, snake oil salesmen. How many Americans actually create goods, consumer items (you invented them) and sweat of the brow craftsmanship. You have sold your birthright for a mess of beans. Even your iconic tradenames are being outsourced to other countries. You should be proud of your achievements. Inventors of heavier than air flight (thank God Boeing is still made in America), the assembly line, the first affordable motor car, the personal computer. But you don’t employ Americans to produce the goods, you allow your goods to be made elsewhere.

How many engineers are produced by your universities? How many lawyers (shame!)? How many bankers and stock traders (again – shame!)? How many doctors and scientists?

How many tradesmen actually create your great heritage – and how many just repair the (American branded) goods that are produced by other countries?

You have also allowed the patent laws to become ridiculous – patenting computer code is like patenting language. This has resulted in Apple fighting about patents that they stole from Xerox in the first place. Why does Austin not demand royalties for the positioning of the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals? (Oh, damn, they went out of business in the UK because of poor management.) They did not because it resulted in standardisation of motor vehicle controls. Apple are complaining that Samsung looks like their “invention”. Can shapes now be patented? (I think I will patent a triangle – then every time it is used, I get some money.)

Copyright I understand, but patenting was introduced to allow an inventor to protect his INVENTION, not some obtuse use of already existing technology.

You can reduce your unemployment figure overnight by bringing back at least some of the manufacturing of AMERICAN goods to your own country.

The most revered technology institute in the world is MIT. Who is the head of engineering? Is he/she a native-born American?

Yale, Harvard and Princeton are known throughout the world as centres of excellence. How many Americans have tenure? How many of the lecturers are American?

It’s time you restored your faith in Old Glory and induced your population to “BUY AMERICAN” and with that I mean buy goods actually made in America, by Americans, not some slave working in the east.

You have ostracised a democratic nation to please a communist nation (who have more American dollars in their banks than you do.) It is so sad that self-serving politicians will bend over backwards for a few dollars.

Americans, it’s time to take your country back!

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You have no friends in business

29 Aug

If you decide to start a business with a partner, then here are a few caveats.
1. Get a contract signed between you and your partner. Do NOT use a copperplate from the internet, get a lawyer to produce the contract!
2. When you open a company bank account, make sure that you are both aware of how the account will be managed. Do not allow either partner to have access to the account without the consent of the other. Banks nowadays have systems where no transactions can be made without the consent of both partners.
3. Don’t think that because your partner is a “nice person” that you can necessarily trust him/her. Even if the partner is family or an old school friend, put proper management into place to control how the business is run.

I made the classic mistake of trusting my partner, thinking that he was an honourable man. We took a bank loan of R200000, which was removed from the bank, into his own personal account within minutes of the bank depositing the money. He then paid the money to a third party the same day. When I contacted him about this, he lost his temper and said that the money was his.
He than had the audacity of blaming me for “misusing” R40000 and had his lawyer send me a letter to express his anger.
(My partner is, sadly, not the sharpest knife in the drawer and is completely under the control of his wife, who also works for the bank where our company account is kept – I didn’t stand a chance.)
Obviously, I now have to resort to legal action to get everything sorted out.

If possible, start the business on your own. Prospective partners will try to persuade you with all sorts of promises and altruisms.