Gongol.com Archives: November 2016

Brian Gongol

November 21, 2016

Threats and Hazards ISIS/ISIL destroys historical artifacts in its wake

Terrible, but still not as terrible as what they and Syria's Assad regime are doing to living people

Threats and Hazards The President's business should be conducted at more than arm's length from his public role

Specific criticism: The President-elect needs to decide now which individuals are responsible for his business interests, and which are responsible for helping him in government. The time for intermingling of the two has passed. The public is paying for an executive branch run with a full-time commitment, and one that is clear of conflicts of interest. If everyone in the private sector is subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, then President-elect Trump must similarly be beyond even the hint of engaging in behavior that might appear to involve conflicts of interest between his public duties and his private money-making.

Computers and the Internet McDonald's will add self-service kiosks in all outlets

The cost of technology is falling fast, and the cost of labor could easily rise dramatically (due to movements like the one for a $15 minimum wage). And customers both spend more and show greater satisfaction with self-service. So anyone who is surprised by this development simply hasn't thought enough about the situation.

Business and Finance Small business formation is at a very low rate

America has historically been a very active generator of new businesses...and if the rate of new-firm formation is down by a lot, that's a symptom of trouble that we need to understand better. Are regulations deterring entrepreneurship? Have we somehow run out of new ideas? Are markets saturated? Is capital too hard to obtain? Are investors too risk-averse?

News Why hotels almost never have "Vacancy" signs anymore

Plenty of obvious reasons, of course -- but also the not-so-obvious, like innkeepers' interests in discouraging bad clientele