The Price of Freedom (part 2 of 2)
We as Americans spend more money than any other nation, hands down, when it comes to national defense.In fiscal year 2008, the United States spent 941.4 billion dollars on national defense (Takahashi, 2008). As someone who served in our nation’s military and used NALCOMIS (Naval Aviation Logistics Command Managed Information System) on a daily basis for four years, let me assure you that your tax dollars spent on defense are not being spent responsibly. Aircraft squadrons would routinely have M9 status, which meant that they were out of money. This usually happened a month before the new fiscal year in October. You see, a squadron is allocated a budget, and if you’re a savvy commanding officer, you will use your budget in its entirety. If you fail to do so, your budget is forever reduced to the amount you used that year and the remaining amount is reclaimed by the government to reallocate. Therefore, you have CO’s squandering money at every turn; buying personnel new flight jackets, washing jets more frequently, extra fuel for training maneuvers, new computers. While I’m on the subject of new computers, did I mention that the military gets new Dell computers every two years? After mentioning all that, I cannot fail to mention the largest, glaring money pit that the military has, and I’m sad to say, it’s labor costs. You see, there’s a great deal of job security for people who work in the military, you can make mistakes and screw up your whole career, and you don’t get fired, you get reprimanded. The US military is a great place for young, unskilled people to learn a trade and better themselves, and some do, but some don’t. For every hard working, dedicated, patriotic, service member, you have a dozen people in there, just playing on the computer, avoiding work, collecting a paycheck. If you’re well-connected and easy to get along with, you can even get promoted following that model.
I know there is some shock value to what I said. America’s military and its personnel has often been an off-limits, taboo thing to discuss. Rest assured, steps are being taken to further the training in economic responsibility throughout the military. A great deal of money has been spent to ensure that programs like Lean Logic, Six Sigma, and Airspeed are incorporated into training. However, that’s also the problem. You can’t afford to send every service member to a class; usually the mandatory number is 10 percent of a given command. I was one of those people that were sent to these classes (because I reflected well upon the command). Instead of sending them all to class, material is printed off of the computer and disseminated. Everyone gathers in their chairs and spends one hour reading aloud to one another, pretending to be interested in the material. It’s one of the great fallacies that America’s military receives some kind of world-class training because I’ve been in multiple commands and it’s all handled in this fashion. Again, this is a prime example of wasted labor and wasted time. People don’t understand that in the military, it’s very similar to a regular 9 to 5 job. It’s a very good living. I wish I still got paid so well. For an 18 year old with no discernible skill set, it’s a fantastic opportunity to make 18,000 to 42,000 dollars per year depending on whether or not you qualify for BAH. What does one have to do to make such an impressive leap in pay? Simply get married or have a child, and a lot of them do just that. It’s a flaw in the system and it’s often exploited.
Efficiency is Key
The message I really want to convey in this blog, is KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT and CAPITALIZE on it. Typically what we enjoy doing is something we excel in doing. America, for instance has long been trending toward a service economy from a manufacturing economy. Some people get a little disheartened that nothing is made in the USA anymore, but I'm here to tell you, FEAR NOT. If you're not outsourcing your manufacturing, you may not be taking full advantage of this highly competitive global market. First, consider the success of your business. If your business thrives, you can employ more people, thus creating jobs for Americans. These employees of yours will not be manufacturing anymore like the days of old, BUT you can focus on web development, marketing, logistics, etc… The USA no longer enjoys a comparative advantage in manufacturing (largely due to high labor costs and high overhead costs). This doesn't mean, you can't take full advantage of the global market.
Let us assume that you're an aspiring clothing designer. It would be in your best interest to design locally, while manufacturing your garments in a poorer country where they will be happy to receive the work, and have the skilled labor to carry out your order. These less developed nations have a comparative advantage in the manufacture of textiles. Once you receive your high quality shipment of fashionable clothing, you can market your product, set up a distribution center, and sell your product. As you can see, the goal doesn't need to be made in America, it needs to be SOLD in America.
Prophetic Presumptions As It Pertains To Paradigm Shifts
Imagine, if you will, that all the TV shows (past and present), sitcoms, Super Bowls, etc…were all available to you simply by searching for it and pushing play. Now imagine that what I just said is happening on a 60″ flat screen, high-definition TV. Television is going to be dramatically changed forever and in the near future. Internet capable TV's will go from being gimmicky to becoming the norm and exploiting that connectivity to its fullest potential. A prospective service could even charge a monthly fee to use this service, replacing companies like Comcast, unless they too jump aboard.
Do you think it's out of the realm of possibility to eventually have integrated DVR's in your iPhone that would allow you to pause a TV show that you were watching at home and take it with you on the go? Do you remember when all a phone could do was make a phone call? All digital devices are headed toward multi-functionality.
This is a GOOD THING! Consumption of media on the go and on-demand will not only revolutionize the industry from an entertainment standpoint, but it will change the way that companies sell their goods, market their goods, and advertise. With this type of epic paradigm shift on the horizon, your business needs someone that understands all of the facets of digital media and its potential application. Mad Men Marketing has extensive experience with digital media and a comprehensive understanding of e-commerce. Let us MAKE THE FUTURE WORK FOR YOU and keep your business on the cutting edge of digital creativity.
Truth in Data
Epistemology, like so many other things in the natural world, is divided into two classifications…hard and soft.This can be easily displayed using a spatial model, like this: S———–H. On the left you have what we call knowledge by revelation, implying divine intervention, which has no tangible evidence that can back up this new knowledge that you've acquired. In the middle of the spatial model is what is called intuition, popularized by early transcendentalists like Thoreau. Think of this as a hunch or thinking with your heart. Scientists call it emotivism. Finally, at the far right of our spatial model, we have REASON. This is where logic, physics, and mathematics reside. This is knowledge that can be proven by sets of data, or numbers.
You may wonder, “Why did you just read a comprehensive, albeit brief, explanation of epistemology?”. At Mad Men Marketing, we believe that data and research are instrumental in isolating your target demographic. Beware of other firms who may use telltale words such as: I feel, I think, and I believe. Your business is important to us, and we won't leave anything to chance. When we present our carefully researched findings to you, we will do so with confidence because at Mad Men Marketing we understand that KNOWING is better than biased opinion.