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January 30, 2012 04:36 PM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • 87 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.”

–Cicero

Comments

87 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

      1. that Bennet was a sponsor of the original legislation. So, while the question David asks is absurd in its details, it’s still legitimate regarding Bennet and other original sponsors.

        1. in hearing his verbal gymnastics explaining why he was before it now that he’s again it . . . (it’s not just Republicans that can be entertaining).

          Anschutz?!?  .  . Gesundheit!?!

    1. Dollar Store profits are zooming! So why are they still prosecuting shoplifters?!

      SOPA wasn’t the answer, but it’s astonishing that you think the owners of intellectual property should be happy if their wares are stolen.

        1. would kill your business?

          When does stealing become a bad idea?

          In for a penny, in for a pound.

          There are plenty of good arguments against SOPA and PIPA that don’t require using a “look, they’re rich, so it’s OK to steal” argument.

          1. the pragmatic thing is to accept that stealing and piracy will always occur, so the goal should be to minimize it. Measures to eliminate it will be overkill.

            1. We figure most stolen copies would never be sold. If ours is too hard to steal, they’ll steal someone else’s.

              In addition, we depend on the Internet to sell. So destroying the Internet to reduce piracy would leave us worse off.

    1. Not everyone has enough capital or credit to survive the start up phase or can afford adequate health coverage for their families independent of an employer. It’s a huge risk and the fact is, most new companies fail.  Not really a solution for the crisis facing the shrinking middle class. You recently asked what it is we find smug in your attitude. You were kidding, right?

          1. everybody can have their own business and be successful. How about your education, Dave? Or were you born into a poor family with barely literate parents who could barely keep you fed?  

          2. Do you seriously want everyone to choose their career path based on “This worked for Dave”?

            And the people I know personally who have run their own businesses were people who either spent several years working for someone else doing something similar (as you say you did), or had parents/spouses/family who would bail them out financially if things got rough. Usually both.

      1. First off, if you read the article they say recent research shows 80% of new companies are still in business 5 yeas later. So no, most do not fail.

        Second, many companies start with little or no capital. My present company I stared with no capital and never have had any investment. for the first 2 years I had another full time job and my company I handled nights and weekends until it was generating enough cash. But a lot of companies get started that way.

        This can be done by most people. I think you’re making incorrect assumptions that this route is only for a limited few.

        1. The study the article cites says that 56% of new companies are still around 6 years later, and that study doesn’t seem limited to startups. It seems to include e.g., companies that are spun off from other companies.

        2. David, in the article you linked they said, “almost 56% were still in business” after six years 2004-2010. There is a huge difference between 80% still in business and nearly half out of business.

        3. the article says almost 56% survived five years  with fewer  surviving longer intervals.  Other studies say almost half survived just two years. I think  you’ve confused those figures with  the 80%  failure claim cited by other sources that pieces like this refute. Other pieces have different figures with fewer companies surviving and various definitions of what they are referring to precisely and many cite the wide variations in success between new businesses in various sectors.    

          Second, if you seriously think that becoming independent business owners is a practical solution for the majority of American workers, I don’t even know where to start. Short version: No, Dave, the middle class jobs that are disappearing cannot be replaced by having the majority of Americans go into business for themselves. Look outside of the little Daveland bubble you live in once in a while.

          For one thing, it’s a good thing you had a well paying steady job while you were getting your business off the ground.  So at some point a decent job was a necessary ingredient for even super dooper Dave’s success, wasn’t it?

          Also many businesses, apparently unlike yours, do require lots of capital and a large number of business failures can be chalked up to under-capitalization. The restaurant business, for example, is notorious for a high rate of failure with under-capitalization playing a prominent role.  

          You wonder why some perceive you as incredibly smug? Seriously?  

            1. I would love to start a business, but my skill set requires brick and mortar. You can’t provide medical hands on care through the series of tubes.

              I actually have a business model and the outline for the business, but working as a nurse combined with activism leaves me no time to give 40+ hours a week that would be required to start my business.  

              1. I’m hoping my part-time business that sucks up all my free time around my full-time job will succeed and give me the time needed to become more involved with activism.

                You seem to be going at things from the other direction. I hope we meet at the same place in our lives someday with successful businesses that allow us both to be involved in our communities.

                Slainte!

            2. and helped him start the company, and Zuckerberg got $500,000 from Peter Thiel.

              Aside from that, the idea that lots of people should start software companies because Polis and Zuckerberg are rich sounds rather like saying lots of people should invest in lottery tickets because hey somebody’s gotta win. This is why actual statistics matter.

              1. And Facebook was a going concern whenThiel invested. Most can, and many do, start a company with little to no capital. And many who do find it profitable.

                It’s clearly not for you, but it is a great option for many.

                1. Everybody isn’t going to be in the software business, everybody isn’t going to be as successful as Zuckerberg. Everybody isn’t going to  be a successful entrepreneur. Also, none of the people you cite, including, I’m sure, yourself, exactly came from nothing and most important everything doesn’t come back to your personal experience in your particular niche in your particular sector.

                  Bottom line. One more time.  If you honestly believe we can solve the problem of the shrinking middle class by having everybody go into some software related business for themselves, you have no clue how the world outside of your tiny little bubble works.  None.  

                  I suspect the reason may be that you apparently have zero imagination about anything that doesn’t relate directly to you and your experience. It’s beyond smugness.  It’s more like an almost pathological degree of egocentricity.  

                  1. And it’s not for everyone. It requires a certain mindset as well as the skills to take advantage of a market opportunity.

                    There are people who start their own construction company, first doing small remodel jobs by themselves and hiring people as they get more and larger jobs.

                    There are people who start of selling food they deliver to businesses who build up enough happy customers to open a small restaurant.

                    There are people who buy low and sell high on Craigslist and make a living from it.

                    The list goes on. Please consider the possibility that you may not be seeing that a lot of people across a lot of types of business do find a way to create their own company, and over time, hire additional people. And the “egocentricity” may be that you don’t see all these opportunities because they are outside your experience.

    2. I posted a suggestion that for people looking to better their financial situation, starting their own company is an option they should consider. And the response is to denigrate the idea. I understand being uncomfortable going outside your comfort zone – but to say that this option is off the table for most – don’t impose your fears on others.

      For thos that are looking for an alternative and are considering this. Approach it with a critical eye. Make sure the approach you take has a reasonable chance of succes. But if so, try it.

      And keep in mind that there are many job areas that do not require much capitalization to get started. Software is one. But there are many others.

      1. You misrepresented and misquoted the article, while ignoring many substantive responses and ultimately lying about everyone who responded. This is why hardly anybody takes you seriously anymore.

        Also, you didn’t say “an option they should consider,” you said it’s what they should do. You think people can’t scroll up and read what was actually written?

        1. I put it out there as something to consider. Anyone not looking for any reason to shoot it down realizes that.

          I did misquote the percentage and I apologize for that. But everything else I put up was correct, unlike your statement that I was funded by my parents which is not true.

          Look, I know you hate me. But is that a reason to shoot down a suggestion that could help some people improve their financial situation?

          1. I don’t know anything about your parents except that your mom is a legislator. I said most people I know had some kind of chunk of money, which makes it easier to take risks like this.

            Risks are fine for some people, but someone with a crappy job in a two-income family with children doesn’t have nights and weekends to devote to the business, doesn’t have leeway to not make any money one year, etc. It’s not a smart option for lots of people, and you did NOT make any such allowance in your post. Sure, anyone can start a business and maybe it’ll do OK and perhaps it’ll even do great. Just like anyone can start a band, and I wouldn’t discourage that either. But it’s not financial planning.

            And I don’t hate you. Just because I disagree with you a lot doesn’t mean I hate you. Chill out.

        2. He got a fact wrong from the article he posted, yes. But entrepreneurship is a valid choice even for those who aren’t sitting on a pile of money. A sole proprietorship is still a business. I was sole proprietor of a social media and digital communications business for a while, and although my main gig eventually ended up taking over to the point that I had to give my business up, the extra income was enough for me to save up for a home down payment.

          Seed money? A whopping $0.00 — I sent emails, which are still free, to my contacts, most of which were made while working at an entry-level job I started at age 19 for a rock bottom salary in my industry.

          Yes, I started with quite a bit of privilege. I’m lucky to have been raised middle class, educated well by both my parents and the school system, and I have a marketable skill. But that’s all also true of a great many people who have never worked for themselves in any capacity, and perhaps a little encouragement is all they need to market a skill they already have.

          I’ll probably never start a business in David’s fashion — I want to run one that’s already making money, thanks. I like having groceries today, not groceries in five years when our product launches and we IPO and yadda yadda. Startups rock my world, but being the founder is probably not for me. But entrepreneurship is a fundamental American value, and David’s choice to encourage that is not worthy of the level of cynicism, anger, bitterness, and personal accusation that it has provoked here.

          1. but there are a variety of reasons why it doesn’t make sense for some people. If someone wants to start a business, who am I to stop them? But to misrepresent the prospects for success is unfair to people who have a lot more to lose than any of us posting here.

            My father spent his life trying to start and run his own businesses. Many years he made less than minimum wage. In the end the high blood pressure literally killed him at a fairly young age. But he had a dream and pursued it, and that’s great. But I resent a bit this notion that “I’ve been successful doing this, so everyone will be if they’re just smart like me.” It’s unfair to present the risks dishonestly to the majority of people who won’t make any money doing it.

              1. my partners and I plan to deliver gasoline via USB from the cloud.  No more filling stations, . . . fill your car from your laptop while it’s moving, . . ., save money by filling your vehicle at off-peak times when internet rates are lowest . . . really the possibilities are limitless.  

                We have an awesome prospectus and we’re on the lookout for a few good investors with IRAs.  Candle stores are really so 19th century.  

                Sure, there’s a couple of small technical bugs and licensing issues that still have to be worked out.  But, what’s the worst that could happen?? — an IRA that’s being whittled away and was going to be lost to some Wall Streeter goes to some good-hearted, entrepreneurial, Coloradan job creators instead.

                Think about it?   We can’t guarantee you a 1,000% return, but I didn’t say we couldn’t promise a 543% return.  If your IRA is large enough, we might even have an opening for a (temporary part-time) CFO.

                1. Why? People get to disagree here, all the time. As a matter of fact, I believe that is the function of the blog.

                  Most of us strive to mask our bitterness and our disappointment with our common man in order to write pointed, witty, at times brilliant rebuttals.  You, however, seem to glory in attacking personally those who dare to disagree with you.

                  I don’t understand why.  

                    1. You call it mean streak.  I call it not suffering fools gladly. Draw your own conclusions.

                2. My comment was a reply to RG’s Candle shop comment, that was the reply button I hit, not to the the one directly above about an internet start up from Dio.  I have often puzzled over the fact that few ever light decorative candles deemed too pretty to use so how do these shops stay in business? Trust fund babies and wives of the affluent who need a hobby present themselves as likely explanations.  

      2. There’s absolutely no reason to jump all over David for this.

        I started my own service-based business part-time. It’s not an internet-based business. I’m scared that it’ll fail and I’ll lose the money I took out from my retirement to run the business. I’m scared that it’ll succeed faster than I can manage and that I’ll lose everything.

        I think everyone should attempt to start a business to see what it’s like to actually participate in capitalism. Most people are “human resources” and consumers and participate in a very small part of our economy. Our economy suffers from the same plight our democracy does: Not enough participation.

        Suggesting that entrepreneurship is only for people with rich parents or friends is stupid and short-sighted.

        1. Another guy who thinks his personal experience is the lesson for everyone! We were running low on myopia around here, David can only post so much.

          Entrepreneurship is for people with few responsibilities or a reliable source of backup income. Maybe nobody should have kids, maybe nobody should have poor parents, maybe nobody should have low-paying strenuous jobs that require lots of overtime and leave you no energy to run your business on the side.

          Or everyone should just teach math, because it works for me, and it must be that everyone who doesn’t teach math is too stupid or lazy to do it.

          1. Since when does bitterness and apathy beat encouragement and optimism?

            If you don’t want to start your own business then don’t start your own business. There’s no reason to get your panties in a bunch just because someone recommends it.

            Entrepreneurship is for people who are tired of working their asses off so that someone else can make a bigger profit.

            I’m starting my own business BECAUSE of my responsibilities. I want better things for my 8 year old daughter. I want to be able to get out from under my mortgage, my car payments and my credit cards. I want to be able to help my mom who has no savings and was released from her job of 20+ years because of health issues. I want my wife to be able to quit that low-paying strenuous job that requires lots of overtime.

            Yeah, it requires risk and hard work and it might not work, but I have to try something. So go teach your math and STFU.

            1. should do what he does. Failing to agree that “everyone” should do what you have found successful for yourself is not invalidating your experience or calling it crap. Although I would call anyone who thinks “everyone” should do any particular thing, how shall I put it politely? I can’t. That’s just idiotic.

              1. Let’s go with “more people”.

                I think more people should attempt to start a business to see what it’s like to actually participate in capitalism. Not everyone.

                I don’t have any problem at all with sxp disagreeing with me. I have a problem with him calling me shortsighted and suggesting that entrepreneurship is unattainable for anyone who has kids, poor parents or full-time jobs they hate.

                1. because I didn’t say “no one” and neither did sxp.  

                  One thing, though. In spite of your’s and ScottP’s contentions about the fact that people can start their own businesses with no advantages, a contention I concede is not a false one, the fact is that, so far, neither of you has come up with an example, including yourselves, that quite fits that profile.  That, no doubt, speaks to the relative rarity of such an occurrence.

                  Safe to say that among Americans who achieve and maintain middle class status, a minority will be able to do so through entrepreneurship. The rest will need decent jobs with decent pay.

                  In spite of what those educated during the height of the self esteem nonsense were taught in our public schools, everybody isn’t “special” except in the sense that special has no useful meaning. The majority will never be uncommonly talented, fearless, creative or fortunate. That’s why the American middle class reached an apex of prosperity and upward mobility when there were plenty of average, ordinary but well paying jobs for the average, ordinary people who are the majority and is shrinking now that that is less and less the case.

                  1. You think most people are average and ordinary. I think a very large percentage have the ability to succeed at something of value.

                    I know a lot of people who are better programmers than me, better managers than me, and better designers than me. Yet I’ve been successful more often than not.

                    This route is available to more than just a few who have everything in their favor.

                    1. and ordinary to succeed at something of value. Likewise, I also consider it succeeding at something of some value just to be average and ordinary.  But, then, I’m an admitted elitist in many of my views of things . . .

                    2. Does it count if I very politely point out that only in Lake Wobegon can the majority be above average?  Because of, you know, math?

                      Have a great Tuesday, Dave.  All the best.  Really. We seem to be talking past each other so I think Ari’s right.

                    3. Up With People, Dave. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I envy you your blissful refusal to accept inconvenient reality. Yes, we’re all special in our own unique way because we are individuals and, gosh darn it, we’re all wonderful, rendering that little truism perfectly meaningful content free. Don’t think it will rescue the fading American middle class, though.

                      But it sure makes you happy so more power to you. I’d wish you a super day but that seems like a given for you. Once again, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Smiley face, exclamation point. Is Kenneth on 30 Rock a relative? He’s adorable, too.

      3. I am a believer in evidence. What evidence is there that starting a business is an opinion “on the table” for most? It certainly is not in the converse statistic that almost 45% of new businesses surveyed fail in the first 6 years. Looking at the Kauffman Firm Survey linked to by the article I find that the average start up capital invested in these 5000 new firms was $80,000 (Pdf doc). I think that is an amount of capital out of the reach of average Americans given that half of Americans have under $25,000 in savings (CNN, March 2011).

        Who do you think that starting a new business is an option for?

        1. 56% were “still in business.” That doesn’t mean almost 45% failed. That means almost 45% were no longer in business. My “business” is no longer in business — because I needed to do other things with my time.

          Of the jobs that workers began when they were 18 to 22 years of age, 72 percent of those jobs ended in less than a year and 94 percent ended in fewer than 5 years. Among jobs started by 39- to 44-year-olds, 33 percent ended in less than a year and 68 percent ended in fewer than 5 years.

          Bureau of Labor Statistics

          So more jobs working for other people ended in five years or fewer than jobs working for oneself. I don’t have a strong sense of, nor can I find a statistic explicitly measuring, how many businesses actually fail, vs. those that become profitable but don’t continue for more than five years for one or another reason. I found statistics indicating that anywhere from 72 to 84 percent of US businesses are sole proprietorships, which seem to me to be more likely to evaporate because the proprietor found a full time job that paid well or went into another industry, vs. businesses where the owner can’t just shut down without laying off employees.

        2. What are you really good at? What really excites you? Let’s take IrishPatti as an example since she posted above. Step one is she has to drop political activism because there’s only so many hours in a day if she wants to start a company. But if she does, and grows it to hire people, then she’s making life better for those she hires.

          Step two is find some need in the industry that can be filled with little or no capital. The best is if you find some need due to recent fundamental changes in the industry because the established playes are slow to react to change.

          I would look for some new service doctors offices need filled due to the new Obamacare changes. There have to be opportunities there.

    1. it was 10 pm on a Wed night after the Leg had suspended business for the day and a beer-breathed Ms. Tipple got noticed for a little woozy lane change & turn.  When the kind officer started the requisite small talk Ms. Tipple made sure to state she was coming from a Leg function that evening and had to be back at the Leg the next day.  

      So was that evening’s Leg function gaveled in & did they all got up off their fat asses to pledge? Is it common for official Leg functions to have an open bar or a champagne fountain?  

      I don’t know Bradford from near-beer so is she smart enough to know this arcane rule & have it ready to whip out when she’s a few sheets rumpled?  Or do you think her “innocence” in mentioning Leg business left her pleasantly surprised with a kind officers wave g-bye wave and a little drunk chat with the cabbie on her way home?

      And really? there’s been an “outpouring” of support …? Guess a bunch of other DUI suspects giving her a way-to-go for pulling a fast one like that but really who else would see this as an act to support?  

  1. of anything other than the GOP base falling in line, as usual, is pretty much over. Romney’s miles ahead in polls in the last 24 hours going into Florida’s Tues. primary and one poll even shows a plurality of self identified TPers (40%) going for him.

    I just hope Newt’s mean enough and well funded enough by that crazy rich lady to keep doing Dems work for them against Mittens for a lot longer.

    I think it may be time to retire the T from GOTP. It’s no more a new revolutionary Tea Party controlled GOP than it was back when they fell in line behind the no longer mavericky (he always lost as the maverick) McCain like good little boys and girls.

    Bet they’re printing up the “Vote Romney. Let the 99% eat cake” bumper stickers as we speak. Instead of dressing up as the American revolutionaries and founding fathers about whom the TPers are so profoundly ignorant, they should probably all go out an buy tail coats, monocles, top hats and spats for those pro-Romney rallies.

    Hey, there’s an idea for a new company. Just program the 3D printers and you’re good to go.

     

    1. spit out German Chocolate cake and I just might never leave the house .  .  . wait, aren’t these startups supposed to produce jobs?

      What we need is a company that uses 3-D printers to print us 99%ers a bunch of high-paying jobs . . . I think I’ll have the CEO position . . .  

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