Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Observations From the Back Row- 4/13/11

By Rich Kozlovich

Ford unhappy with outcome of climate alarmism Bill Ford has spent much of the past 11 years agitating for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions limits. Now Ford is unhappy that his company is reaping what he sowed. In a January 12 letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Ford Motor Co. complained that California and 13 other states adopted stringent CO2 tailpipe emissions standards.

Wal-Mart goes back to basics. After suffering seven straight quarters of losses, today the merchandise giant Wal-Mart will announce that it is “going back to basics,” ending its era of high-end organic foods, going “green,” and the remainder of its appeal to the upscale market. Next month the company will launch an “It’s Back” campaign to woo the millions of customers who have fled the store. They will be bringing back “heritage” products, like inexpensive jeans and sweatpants.

Few may recognize it as such, but this episode should be seen as a cautionary tale about “progressives” and social engineering experiments on low-income Americans. This morning’s Wall Street Journal article is blunt: That strategy failed, and the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant now is pursuing a back-to-basics strategy to reverse the company’s fortunes.

My Take - I have never understood these people at Ford. Apparently they have been listening to the whacky ideas promoted by the activists who have taken over the Ford Foundation. When business people get to that level you have to think they are pretty smart. I wonder! Somehow they think they are making points with the greenies and their lackeys in government, and they believe that is some way they will get a leg up on their competitors. In reality they are undermining everything they are and everything they do.

No agreement with the greenies will ever be honored because they have no command and control system. Just as soon as one group makes a deal with industry the others will attack both. And there will never be an end of their demands. This Neville Chamberlain approach is madness.

I remember when Wal-Mart made the decision to go down this road. The pundits all predicted that they were so big that this would alter the merchandising landscape in favor or “organic” and “all natural” forever. Wal-Mart was going to turn the world green. I said then and I say it now; Wal-Mart is today what Sears was fifty years ago and fifty years from now someone else will be what Wal-Mart is today. Get over it! They did not and will not turn the world green and the CEO who took them down this road should be fired and anyone on the board of directors who supported him should be escorted right out the door with him. The other officers of the corporation should be looked at very seriously also. Unfortunately they guy who pushed this is a greenie who was awarded an obscene amount of money for promoting failure.

I do so hope that those who used to receive Green Notes will remember that I had said when they went down the “green brick road” that if Sam Walton was alive he would roll over in his grave….so to speak.

It is impossible for “green” to be a good business proposition. Those who promote green and those who promote capitalism are fundamentally at odds. Greenies want to destroy capitalism and capitalists wish to expand capitalism. How can there possibly be any common ground? The more you give in to the greenies the more they will demand. We shouldn’t be trying to cooperate with ‘green’, nor should we be trying to define or redefine ‘green’. We should be defeating it. Thinking that we need to be at the table in order to help define “green”, or believing that we will enhance our business image by going green is delusional.

Green is their issue and they will define it the way they choose to define it and your being at the table will be meaningless in the long run. Green ideas have consistently shown that they are bad business because greenies don't have a clue as to what works and what doesn't.  Because everything they promote.....doesn't . 


In the retail market it is clear much of society is suffering from “green fatigue”; people just can't stand it anymore and don't care because they have come to the correct conclusion that 'green' is a load of horsepucky. I do believe that 'green fatigue' is a phrase I coined and I give everyone permission to use it…..often.

It is also bad social policy because history has spoken! To be green is to be irrational and misanthropic.


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