Independent analysis from FlockThink.
Independent analysis from FlockThink.
I have been asked to reflect on my experiences dealing with a young lady named Julia Rose, who first caught my attention on Facebook a couple years ago. She has a Facebook tribute page dedicated to preserving and distributing the works, and highlighting the memories, of Peter McWilliams.
The many uplifting stories of Peter, as well as his accompanying trials and tribulations, are too broad to relate here. I know I would feel blessed to have my own wikipedia page, let alone a youthful cheerleader like Julia, so long after my ashes are scattered. FWIW, I have chosen to honor my personal memories of Peter by ending all my correspondences with Enjoy. But I digress. Let us move on to my personal account of this energetic young lady.
Getting to Know Her
The first time I spoke with Juila was when she contacted me thru Facebook after seeing my New Year’s tribute to Peter here in this blog. She indicated that she was in contact with Peter’s mother who had inherited a great deal of Peter’s literary memorabilia, some of which she was letting Julia share on the web.
We chatted on Skype a couple times times after that. We communed over the ghost of Peter, his legacy and his works. She probed my calcifying neurons for first person recollections and stories from my calls and correspondence with Peter, the majority of which (sadly) came during the hectic months of his arrest and deprivations under the thumb of America’s fascist drug warriors.
Julia shared with me that Peter’s mom was reluctant to publicize the more risqué or controversial aspects of Peter’s political life. Julia’s main interest in honoring Peter was his poetry and self-help writings.
All that touchy-feely emotional hoodoo is just fine by me (and the 32.4% of me that is gay), but the rest of me negotiated stridently with Julia for a much more prominent emphasis on the politics of the subject that cost Peter his life. She agreed and promised to discuss the issue with Peter’s mom.
She seemed a rather shy and reluctant spokesperson at first, but as the last couple years have shown, her message and music have bounced to one event or the other all over the planet (or at least a tri-country area).
She’s some kind of a hippie-chick rock goddess guru within the medical marijuana community these days now that she’s embraced my early mentoring. I’m too old to even keep up with her frenetic pace on Facebook, but I proudly point her out as a protege and someone I knew before they got famous.
Walmart, the most successful retail operation in the US, failed to make even a dent in the largest and most vibrant European economy (Germany) after losing a billion dollars in the process of bungling their German market experiment with so much failure it is now the stuff of local urban legend.. Let’s examine the reasons.
“The problem was the company’s business philosophy, which had always worked so well,” wrote Frankfurt’s Börsenzeitung in what pretty much amounted to an obituary. “It’s people-centered – but that doesn’t actually work when the people aren’t American.
The company gave the job of masterminding Wal-Mart Germany to an American who didn’t speak a word of German.
The Germans weren’t fond of the Walmart practice of hiring old people to
accost greet them at the door, nor were the German workers impressed with morning warm-up sessions (“Higher Profits Uber Alles! — Can I get an Amen there Fritz!!”)
They have all kinds of laws over here against the kind of disruptive market “capitalism” that has decimated small towns across America, (and still threatens the world economy IMHO):
1. You can’t sell below cost in the Eurozone countries just to run your competition our of business, even if you have a billion dollars to give it a go. Helps to level the playing field. Gives the small guys half a chance to compete with the bigger players.
2. You can’t abuse the workforce with “falling wages” and expect the government to subsidize your slave-wage workforce with food stamps and healthcare just to make ONE corporation rich at the expense of the society at large. Something else the German workers were repulsed by? A ban on flirting in the workplace. Germans to Walmart: You Don’t Own Us.
Playing by the same rules as everybody else proved FATAL for Walmart here in Germany. This Atlantic Times summed up Walmart’s German problem nicely back in 2006,
One consequence was less competitive prices than those of their rivals.
I don’t think the American business community learned much though. The same US based recap of the Walmart fiasco quoted above, also said this:
The third problem was bad press. The media reported that shoppers were turned off by Wal-Mart staff hired to greet them at the door and bag their groceries. This sort of thing was and still is unusual practice in Germany, so it was done away with.
Dam you media. If only you hadn’t highlighted all of
Mitt Romney’s lies Walmart’s practices, we would have Seal Team Six deployed alongside the IDF right now Walmart in Germany!
There is a full thirty five pages of Walmart Schadenfreude, (apparently written as a German business college research paper) at the end of the abstract reprinted here from linked English language PDF following.
Clearly dominating the US retail market, Wal-Mart expanded into Germany (and Europe) in late 1997. Wal-Mart’s attempt to apply the company’s proven US success formula in an unmodified manner to the German market, however, turned out to be nothing short of a fiasco. Upon closer inspection, the circumstances of the company’s failure to establish itself in Germany give reason to believe that it pursued a fundamentally flawed internationalization strategy due to an incredible degree of ignorance of the specific features of the extremely competitive German retail market. Moreover, instead of attracting consumers with an innovative approach to retailing, as it has done in the USA, in Germany the company does not seem to be able to offer customers any compelling value proposition in comparison with its local competitors. Wal-Mart Germany’s future looks bleak indeed.
Keep Movin’ up, don’t you ever stop!
Whatever it is, take it to the top! You can do what you want to, In your heart it will come true! If you reach for the stars you can go that far! Stop hesitating and anticipating!
To the Top, that’s you mark. Get Ready. Set, Go!!
Can I get a big DAR-WIN! ?
Today’s prosperity gospel provided by a proud member of the American rationalist community (and jubilant Democrats all across the nation!) with, as the Beatles encouraged, a little help from my “friends“! Links provided below for both Red and Blue state residents so they can all play that funky music.
Spotify link, for the discerning class of people who are successful (and socially responsible) enough to pony up ten bucks a month for the ultimate groove machine AND continue subsidizing those impoverished citizens still living in “the breakaway states” of the country, (aka, parts of USA where sex with goats carries less of a social stigma than homosexuality.)
I survived an infancy bereft of childproof caps, a reckless adolescence filled with tree climbing, and an early adulthood that safely concluded without a newspaper article and a grainy (B/W) picture of me, dead and crushed inside a Fiat convertible. All together brethren!!
Can I get a big “Darwin” from the congregation?!?
h/t on the “Darwin” to Jerry Dewitt.