Up for Debate: Return of large mergers

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 1:44am

Do you believe the recent announcements of two major corporate mergers, which could signal a trend back to such deals, are a good thing for business or a return to troublesome business practices?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

193 Comments on this post:

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 9:38

Loner again misquotes and goes for the absolutist straw man.

I said, " it puts a lot of society's economic energy into non-value-added compliance costs".

Not "compliance = no added value".

I was very careful in the way I worded it... and I knew you'd take the bait.

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 9:39

Ben, you are a sportsman...a shooter...don't you agree with me that compliance with Fish & Game Laws adds value to the fishery and game-lands? Over-hunting and over-fishing would soon wipe out some species....they almost wiped out the American bison....am I right on that, Ben? Compliance adds value in this example too.

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 9:42

I'm not sure if we leap-frogged messages but my point stands.

I never said what you said I said so torching that strawman does nothing to advance your argument.

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 9:43

OK Ben, if you were not stating an absolute position, then please distinguish between non-value-added compliance costs and value-added compliance costs.

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 9:45

It seems to me that Obama rammed through a bill while he had the votes to do it. Its not a well thought out plan, and he knows it.
This is going to be a very expensive experiment. A bill like this, introduced into a population as large as the U.S. is doomed to failure.

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 9:46

I will say that your ever-loving faith in the good intentions of a regulation don't avoid a negative unintended consequence as a result of the regulation.

In my world good intentions get you bunk. Results are what matter.

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 9:47

Oh yeah...well, I never said what you said I said I said....(juicy raspberry sound effect here)

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 9:48

Wait a minute.. I thought we were discussing catsup...

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 9:50

So, Ben, you agree with me that compliance with government regulations can add value to goods and services, am I correct on that?

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 9:54

Of course. I've never said otherwise. My point is that over-tightening the screws can be more harmful than not having the regulation in the first place though.

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 9:55

Rasputin72 said

"P.S. Today I go for my annual physical. Good health takes precedent over the almight dollar."

Unless you might need a little help to pay for that health care.... then screw you.

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 9:57

I'll give you a great example. Before the .08 dui law went into effect in TN (with the .06 limit if some old lady t-bones you on her way to a MADD meeting) I would often arrive at our local watering hole and after a few beers realize someone had indulged too much. Many times I would take him/her home rather than see them try to get themselves home.

I very seldom do that now because the huge potential cost of DUI for the minor impropriety of me driving them home is too much of a risk. (and If I'm driving them in their car they'll arrest them, too, for 'permitting dui' anyway).

You cannot simply measure a regulation by its intentions. Nor can you simply measure a politician or President by his intentions.

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 9:58

Try to ketch up, Slack....Heinz loses the race...Heinz always loses the ketchup race....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxQ2A9DHJgM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_vssdys8lk

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 10:00

Rasp's appointment is at 11am at General Hospital . Rasp. is to be examined by Dr. Ferdie Pacheco.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/13 at 10:01

I very seldom do that now because the huge potential cost of DUI for the minor impropriety of me driving them home is too much of a risk.

Way to think about the other people out there that you could kill, buddy. How do you get in your car with that ginormous head of yours?

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:01

Common ground achieved @ 9:54.

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 10:01

BenDover said

"Absolutely not. Romney wanted to simplify the tax code, eliminate Obamacare and roll back the regulatory strong-arm that kills small business; but these big companies just stroke a check to appease."

You know Ben, you're always going on about all these onerous regulations on small businesses.... just what specifically are you referring to? I have a little small business myself, granted very small, but I've seen nothing in the way of regulations that in anyway hurts me.... So please, expound....

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:03

Slack..Pacheco? He's the guy who lets his finger linger, right?

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:04

How many people do you employ brrrk?

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 10:06

slacker said

"Rasp's appointment is at 11am at General Hospital . Rasp. is to be examined by Dr. Ferdie Pacheco."

Let us all pray for a cure for ass-hattery and douche-nozzlery....

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 10:07

Loner, by 11am ..Ferdie's hands have stopped shaking.
Ferdie has both hands on Rasp's shoulders, during the exam. He tells Rasp. its only for balance.

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:11

Brrrrk wrote: "Let us all pray for a cure for ass-hattery and douche-nozzlery..."

Now that's a more creative use of the English language....I appreciate that....we all should try to maintain high standards in creative derogatory descriptors....let's be more original in our verbal sniping....thanks, Brrrrk for the inspiration....I did an LOL.

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 10:13

BenDover said

"How many people do you employ brrrk?"

I have a very small "manufacturing" business that is driven completely by demand... so the number varies. Generally less than 10.

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:15

Ferdie don't need no steenking guvmint regulations.

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 10:18

Ferdie's middle digit.. is regulated by the Humane Society.

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 10:18

Loner said

"Now that's a more creative use of the English language....I appreciate that....we all should try to maintain high standards in creative derogatory descriptors....let's be more original in our verbal sniping....thanks, Brrrrk for the inspiration....I did an LOL."

With all due respect Loner, ass-hattery and douche-nozzlery are nothing to laugh at..... while they aren't that serious for those people who have it, their affects are certainly a pain in the ass for anyone who has to put up with the victims of those heinous deceases. Please, think of the children!!!

By: gdiafante on 2/15/13 at 10:21

Are you being oppressed, brrrrk?

http://tinyurl.com/b6nkbrp

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:23

So, has the big rock missed the earth yet?

I'm no astro-physicist, but the thing that exploded over Russia might have been a fragment of the big rock...if so, is it breaking up? Was the Russian meteorite a micro-moon orbiting the asteroid?

This near-miss must have altered the asteroid's trajectory, or so a layman might think.

Next question: When will that boulder, or its debris field return to our neighborhood?

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:24

I work as IT Director for a small company in Nashville.

We employ ~45 people 3 of which (executive - CPA controller, executive - personnel, assistant - admin) are almost entirely dedicated to payroll, compliance, health insurance, benefits, pension, workman's comp, unemployment ins, etc. + external CPA costs for tax accounting of $15K+ a year and a legal cost base at $15K and surging up to $50K+ in years when we screw up and hire a slip-and-fall.

On compliance we have to wing it because it's simply too much to absorb and depending on interpretation and contradictory guidelines so we just take out best guess and wing it from there hoping we don't tick off some mid-level bureaucrat with a hard-on to make someone pay.

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:31

Brrrrk, there is an institute devoted to the study of Ass-Hattery and Douche-Nozzlery, the AHDN Institute, in Washington, DC. A think tank. You are right, it is nothing to laugh at. AHDN strikes 1 in 10....and there is known cure....think I'll send the AHDN Institute a check...they mean well....and we do need federal regulation on this....for the sake of the children.

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 10:34

BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:24

"We employ ~45 people 3 of which (executive - CPA controller, executive - personnel, assistant - admin) are almost entirely dedicated to payroll, compliance, health insurance, benefits, pension, workman's comp, unemployment ins, etc. + external CPA costs for tax accounting of $15K+ a year and a legal cost base at $15K and surging up to $50K+ in years when we screw up and hire a slip-and-fall."

So essentially what you're complaining about are those laws and regulations that make sure you run an honest business and treat your people decently? Ever consider that if businesses did that in the first place, the regulations wouldn't be required? It seems to me that what you're arguing for is the right for businesses to cheat and treat their employees shabbily....

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 10:34

Russia always takes it on the chin regarding meteor strikes. One hit Siberia in 1908..
killed millions of trees. Al Gores grandfather wept.

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 10:36

Ben do you employ the ''cone of silence'' during staff meetings?

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:37

We would focus that energy on adding value to the business and not compliance brrrrk.

I don't have a dishonest bone in my body.

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:39

Huh... What Slacker?

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:40

Are you projecting your lack of values on everyone else, brrrrk?

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 10:41

Ben Dover staff meeting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcKHBgZ_QKU

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:42

when we screw up and hire a slip-and-fall

Hmmm...a Slip-And-Fall....a hyphenated insider term, for sure...an S & F....interesting.

I coined a term for those folks who jump out in front of your moving car..."Claim Jumpers"...they jump and roll across your car's hood, as they dial 1-444-4444....they jump then file a claim, hence the term: Claim Jumpers.

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:44

Oh... I got the reference, slack.

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 10:49

BenDover said

"I don't have a dishonest bone in my body."

Not implying that you do.... I'm just saying, regulations and laws don't just pop up out of nowhere. There has to be something that triggered them coming into existence. Rather than complain about the laws, maybe you should get involved in organizations that strive to police businesses in a way that would prevent those laws from coming into place.

By: bfra on 2/15/13 at 10:51

slacker - You got a winner at 10:41AM

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:53

This whole tendency toward control... this inclination to build systems and procedures that affect everyone -- every day -- to avoid a once in a million exception. Even in business I've fought this utopian neurosis more than anything else.

My biggest contribution in my career won't be all the systems I've built but all the systems I've talked people out of building and supporting; because the once every 10 year exception doesn't merit an otherwise costly and unnecessary day to day control.

The neurosis is compounded by the power of government.

"Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions — and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large." Thomas Sowell

By: brrrrk on 2/15/13 at 10:53

BenDover said

"Are you projecting your lack of values on everyone else, brrrrk?"

Nice try......

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 10:53

That portable cone of silence looks like a Siamese Bong....conjoined paraphernalia...very funny, Slack.

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 10:57

It's the ultimate 4/20 shotgun, Loner.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/13 at 10:57

"I don't have a dishonest bone in my body."

Sure. I suppose you've never lied, never surpasses the speed limit, etc.

Yeah, me neither (that's the ticket)

By: slacker on 2/15/13 at 11:00

I can't condemn BenDover.. I may be one of the drunks he drove home.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/13 at 11:00

Well, as we've seen with the recent bubbles/economic collapse, Ben, those violations may not happen often, but when they do, they can be catastrophic.

It seems that you can't see past your own little bubble.

By: BenDover on 2/15/13 at 11:01

How is surpassing the speed limit 'dishonest'? You are imputing a moral authority to your government.

I have lied... so the absolute "I do not have a dishonest bone in my body" is an exaggeration.

I will modify: "Relatively speaking, I am a very, very honest person".

By: Loner on 2/15/13 at 11:02

Indeed it is, Ben....4:20 with an intimate friend...after a few bags, the spheres would be opaque from the resin....a pair of internal black lights would then come on...like WOW, man...a might try this for Halloween this year....or not, how do you drink a brewski in that outfit?