"Art Pope’s Variety Wholesalers comes up Roses amid recent retail tumult"

A very nice story of a guy making an honest buck. A whole lot of bucks, actually. (Any resemblance to Amazon's strategy is purely coincidental, I'm sure.)

What’s noticeable about Roses, though, is how little it is changing. There is no e-commerce. No acquisitions since 2003. No newly constructed stores, only rehabs. No customer-loyalty program. Same CEO and same chief operating officer since 2006. The company headquarters is in the same downtown Henderson space where P.H. Rose opened his third store.

Moreover, the company’s strategy hasn’t changed (cheap, cheap, cheap!) enabling customers to “improve their lifestyles at a price they can afford,” Sawyer says. “If you focus on buying at the right price, controlling your costs and giving great value to your customer, you can be successful.”

UPDATE: Link added now.

"The Lies We Live By"

A fine column by Kevin Williamson explaining and illustrating one of the fundamental truths of economics. (But one which they, and almost everybody, didn't like. The vast majority of people are hoping for a free lunch.)

We do not have very many adults in government, but if we did, those adults would understand — and make a point of dwelling on the fact — that every decision of any consequence in public policy involves tradeoffs. . . . 

Pretending that there is no choice and no tradeoffs does not liberate us from choosing. Mostly, it ensures that we choose poorly and that the choosing is left to ignorant and irresponsible demagogues.

Two outlooks for the future

I haven't linked to any of "this is what the future will now be like" pieces because I think they tend to be wild guesses that will merely look funny five or ten years from now. But here are two I found interesting. The first, by Paul Kedrosky, I like because he expects that in the short run not much will change. That comports with my understanding of history: even for the occasional "revolution" in human affairs there is a lot more continuity than is usually discussed.

The other, by "Epsilon Theory," has a grim warning which I feel is entirely appropriate, but holds out a hope of a good outcome, which I also feel is appropriate.

"Highlights of the News"

A fine collection of pointed comments from Don Surber. Example:

$6 billion unreported?

This smacks of money laundering, and I wonder how much of the money went to buy Democrat congressmen and presidents.

Lori Loughlin went to prison for a half-million bribe.

At that half-million bribe rate, 12,000 administrators, professors, and bribers ought to be in prison. We are going to need a bigger Super-Max.

Oh, and now you know why Democrats were so adamantly opposed to Betsy DeVos heading the education bureaucracy. Their gravy train is being stopped.

"Life’s Work: An Interview with Jerry Seinfeld"

Interesting short Harvard Business Review interview of Jerry Seinfeld. This is especially good:

You and Larry David wrote Seinfeld together, without a traditional writers’ room, and burnout was one reason you stopped. Was there a more sustainable way to do it? Could McKinsey or someone have helped you find a better model?

Who’s McKinsey?

It’s a consulting firm.

Are they funny?


Then I don’t need them. If you’re efficient, you’re doing it the wrong way.