Category: Business

Looking Back on 2012: An Oral History of American Values

I was young like you once. Don’t laugh. It seems impossible, I know. An old codger like me of 77! You probably can’t picture when I was only 47 and healthy, with all my own teeth and a libido that didn’t yet require boner pills. Sure, that was three decades ago, and I look a...

Pointing Fingers

Whether or not you subscribe to the curious concept of “American exceptionalism,” you probably sense that America is exceptionally nervous about its future, long-term and short. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the old Soviet Union (1991), the United States of America has rapidly fallen from uncontested #1 global leader to our...

Living Large

Prior to the dynasty of Bush the Younger, my chief embarrassment about being an American abroad wasn’t that we were a nation of belligerent, imperialist, arrogant bullies. It was that we were fatties. Among the French and Finnish, Dutch and Danish, American tourists were easy to identify, whether or not they wore fanny packs. The...

To Our Investors

Dear Inverstors in MichaelKonik.com, We’re really sorry about our most recent trading loss. People will say we require more oversight, and, in this case, maybe they’re right. It shouldn’t have happened, and we’ll take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen for a third time. The $4,000 or so ($4,882) of your money that we...

What the Frack!?

In 1969, the Cayahoga River, one of Lake Erie’s major tributaries, caught fire. This provided the kind of visual evidence boring old science never could. Folks got hip: Industry, they realized, was using American waterways as a massive free sewage system for their most noxious waste. Americans got serious about pollution in our water for...

Selective Smelling

Women, those creatures from Venus, assume that most men, particularly boyfriends and husbands, suffer from a malady known as “selective hearing.” Other forms of this pervasive syndrome include “selective memory” and “selective comprehension.” A rough description: When the Lakers score is coming over the radio, a man hears like a bat; when the wife is...

Shopping Our Way to Happiness

Friends are fickle. Family is unreliable. But shopping – now that’s something we can all count on to raise our collective Holiday Spirit. This was the primary message of hope we heard during Thanksgiving, which has gradually morphed into a two-day bacchanal. (Day One, Thanksgiving Thursday, features food and football. Day Two, Black Friday, features...

Acceptable Collateral Damage

Every time we get into our car, we die a little. Every time we return safely home, someone else hasn’t. That driving an automobile is a dangerous activity is not open to dispute. We all understand the frequency of accidents, and what happens when cars crash: terrible collisions that ruin (or end) lives.  This specter of...

Blame the Poor

COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of “THE WAR ON POVERTY.” At 25 of the 100 largest U.S. Corporations, at places like Ebay, Boeing, and Verizon, the chief executive earns more than the entire company pays in federal income taxes. These patriotic chaps, who, in their defense, are merely competing in the Financial Olympics according to the...

Educating Everyone Excellently

My dear mother is a knee-jerk liberal hippie Democrat progressive pro-labor vegetarian yoga-doing leftie. For most of her adult life she’s served as one of the most beloved and revered elementary school educators in her community. She’s taught across the spectrum of scenarios: inner-city public school with “at risk” students; suburban public school with “smart...