Gongol.com Archives: January 2012
Brian Gongol

January 20, 2012

Business and Finance GM is once again the world's largest automaker
But at what cost? Some will argue that the Federal government has actually earned (or will earn) a profit on its "investment" in the company. But that means that there was, presumably, a profit to have been made by the private sector instead -- by people who specialize in capital allocation. The government doesn't specialize in that. Nor should it specialize in bailing out companies just because those companies happen to be major employers. Government's proper role is to establish a fair playing field for the private sector, and to ensure that the things society needs that are difficult or impossible to self-fund are provided. (The private sector tends to do a bad job of providing an Air Force, for instance.) When government turns its attention and resources to "rescuing" companies in the private sector just because those companies are big, then we march directly into dangerous territory.

Business and Finance Municipal debts are growing
Part of the problem: Incentive packages for businesses. Economic-development incentives seem rational on a case-by-case basis, but when taken as a whole, they're insanity. Cities do it, and so do states.

Iowa 29-year-old charged with identity theft...against the Iowa Secretary of State
One has to imagine it wasn't just a random pick, but rather a deliberately political attack

Computers and the Internet "Anonymous" movement crashes US government websites
Like the Occupy movement, the people at "Anonymous" may have reasonable grievances. But their means (vandalism, particularly) are unacceptable in a civilized society.

Computers and the Internet Sales of Microsoft Windows products drop by 6%
That's far from being a catastrophe, but it probably indicates that people are turning to alternatives like tablet computers and smartphones to do the things they may have done in the past with conventional desktop and laptop computers. Purchases of new tablets and smartphones are probably just offsetting the replacement of old laptops and desktops -- the kinds of machines that run Windows. Companies have probably slowed their replacement cycles for computers, too.

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