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Con #5, Part 2: The Cost to NOT See A Doctor? $200!

December 14, 2012

The Billing Department at the emergency room I went to last week is apparently much faster than the emergency room staff.

On Monday, I wrote about my emergency room experience, in which I waited four-and-a-half hours before leaving without seeing a doctor.  Six days after my visit, I received the bill -- $200!

Anyone Can Write – Just Like Anyone Can Sing

December 12, 2012

It’s true that anyone can write – in the same sense that anyone can sing. Writing well, like singing well, takes practice, skill and a discerning ear.

Unfortunately, many people in the business world write off key without realizing it. They produce a cacophony of overused words like “quality,” “solution” and “service,” and mistake it for a concerto. Like the tone-deaf singer at church, they attempt to make up in volume what they lack in skill.

Con #6: The SEC’s Trivial Pursuits

December 11, 2012

Imagine the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) going after MacDonalds for its landmark signage, which informs customers of the number of hamburgers it has sold.  The number incredibly is now 247 billion!

Con #5: What Emergency?

December 10, 2012

Anyone wondering why our healthcare costs are so high should spend a day in a hospital emergency room.

I went in last Friday as a participant, but ended up instead being an observer.  I left after a four-and-a-half hour wait – without being seen by a doctor.  What appeared to be a medical emergency led my physician’s nurse to send me to the emergency room.  Fortunately, my symptoms quickly abated and by the time my vital signs were checked, they were normal.

Pro #3: Thank the Rich

December 6, 2012

According to the National Taxpayers Union, the wealthiest 1% of U.S. taxpayers pays 36.73% of all income taxes, while the bottom 50% pays 2.25%.  In other words, 1% of the country shoulders a tax burden that’s more than 16 times as large as the taxes collected from half of the country.

Con #2: The Miranda Rights of Financial Services – Compliance, Part 2

November 26, 2012

“Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”  Well, no kidding.  If you don’t know that, should you be investing in equities?

Those are only eight of the 507 words of compliance language I was required to include in a recent press release.  It’s not the compliance officer’s fault.  Leaving those words out would be an invitation to a lawsuit.

Con #1: The Sun MAY Come Up Tomorrow

November 21, 2012

The Great Recession, the weak recovery, 9/11, the weak state of print media, and other economic and world events have had an impact on my business, as they have on other businesses.

But the greatest threat to my business is government regulation – even though my industry is virtually unregulated.

Con #3: SNAP Judgment

December 3, 2012

Beware of movements with “Justice” in their title.  The cost of food is skyrocketing for many reasons, including Fed policy and the growth of the ethanol industry.  Yet the Food Justice Movement wants to, among other things, create “sustainable” food production (i.e., no fertilizer, no use of fossil fuels), provide better pay for those in the industry and end poverty as we know it.

Con #4: Snow JOBS

December 4, 2012

In a rare example of bipartisanship and common sense, the U.S. Congress last April approved the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (aka JOBS). 

In the real world, a “jumpstart” would require quick action.  Congress and federal regulators, unfortunately, don’t act in the real world.  And so we have a key provision of JOBS – an end to the “general solicitation ban” – in limbo.

PR Peeve #3: LET’S CAPITALIZE EVERYTHING!!! The Case Against Upper Case.

December 2, 2012

Too many people are screaming to be heard. In an effort to stand out, they Capitalize Words that should be lower case. Or, worse still, they use ALL CAPS! (the exclamation point is also common, and some even use multiple exclamation points.

The worst offenders though are the associations that try to make certain terms special by not only capitalizing every letter, but registering the name as a trademark. For example, a real estate agent affiliated with the National Real Estate Association is called REALTOR®. This, no doubt, enables the association to charge higher dues than if its members were called realtors.