Monday, September 24, 2007

Business Snippets

Rewrites of Jottings: Business Snippets

Published Mindanao Post 30 Dec 1998
The Japanese work ethic includes some calisthenics (mild physical exercise) during the workday. They believe the workout helps promote productivity. Some American companies are studying the validity of the relationship, but a few firms are not exactly convinced. This sign was posted on a company bulletin board: “This firm requires no physical fitness program. Everyone gets enough exercise jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, running down the boss, flogging dead horses, knifing friends in the back, dodging responsibility, and pushing their luck.”


“The art of taxation consists in so plucking the geese as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”
– Jean Baptiste Colbert, French statesman, 17th century
A Filipino individual-income taxpayer works for periods ranging from one month to four long months each year for government and for himself the balance of the year. Furthermore, a large portion of government’s tax intake comes from taxes paid by businesses. But because these assessments are a cost of doing business, they are passed on to the consumer as higher prices for products. So the consumer (you) ends up paying for the total tax burden. Time to start hissing?


Now hear this. Neighboring countries are selling sugar at enviable prices: Indonesia at Php10 and Thailand at Php13 per kilo, Malaysia at Php15, Singapore at Php20. The U.S.A., a major importer of our sugar, sells at Php24. This is according to Philfoodex based on reports they obtained from international traders in major regional and American markets.
How much are you paying for your sugar? If you now feel like a sucker, be consoled by the knowledge that your own patriotic countrymen in the sugar business are enjoying the full benefits (and laughing all the way to the bank) of your timidity and largesse.


Thank Heavens for small blessings. A few days after the Barangay Puno of Tablon was notified of a busted streetlight, the repair crew arrived to justify the problem.
The speedy work done was no surprise, the barangay electrician having already earned a reputation for expeditious work. What was amazing was the unprecedented speed of materials delivery, a business-like feature and a minor miracle.


The state encourages competition in business but sets rules and guidelines to suppress cutthroat competition and predatory practices such as disallowing undercutting or overcharging of established fare rates. Regulations on public safety and protection against terrorist acts, bombing, and other violent methods of rivalry should be explicit on all three modes – land, sea, and air transportation. But somewhat hazy is the attention given to the safe carriage and transportation of pyrotechnics and firecrackers. And it is now firecracker season.


An industry is concentrated, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission standards, if four or fewer firms control 40% of the market. By 1982 the U.S. photovoltaic industry (solar collectors) was controlled by three firms holding 79% of the market. All are oil companies (enhancing the suspicion that they might threaten the oil business).
In comparison, the Philippine oil industry is under 99% control and dominance of 3 companies. Superconcentration occurred two decades back when a fourth oil firm pulled out of the country. Deregulation has so far not effected the dilution expected. The entry of British Petroleum may break the lull with its plan to build a naphtha cracker plant by 2003.
But in a related development, a proposal to pass an antitrust law to prevent monopoly in telecommunications was made by DOTC undersecretary Lichauco. Should the antitrust move catch on and business become anti-cartel forever, consumers may yet get relief in the rice, sugar, and coconut industries.


Being of a minority ethnic group makes one more vulnerable than the average citizen as a target of undesired predicaments. More so if filthy rich from business. It should not be surprising, therefore, if he shuns controversy (such as lotto), a depressant for business. And if the adversary has putative alliances with moiling elements that tend to spill into the streets thumping tambourines and kettles, waving placards with vulgar expressions, amplifying boisterousness with bullhorns, barricading thoroughfares, burning tires or flags, and intimidating the general public (his customers), good sense dictates a retreat.
Tangling with the Catholic Church would not be a sensible option for astute business.


Anonymous said...

"But somewhat hazy is the attention given to the safe carriage and transportation of pyrotechnics and firecrackers. And it is now firecracker season."

Is that so?

Must inform my sister who likes travelling by boat...

By the way, per EU experience, anti-trust law is useful if it's enforced strictly.

Anna (Manila Bay Watch)

PS takes ages to log into my blog ID hence the posting "annonymously."

Tongue's Wrath said...

Such wisdom! Am totally impressed. Good thing you decided to reveal this blog at over at Ellen's.

Way to go, neonate, sir!


orly_habari said...

The feeling is mutual, sir.

orly_habari said...

annanymously is perfectly ok.