3p Contributor: Sam

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Everyday Low Whole Paycheck, $46.00

| Tuesday November 13th, 2007 | 2 Comments

Amid the stock market turmoil last week, an interesting event took place in the market’s valuation of sustainability. If I were shopping for corporations, on Friday, I could have purchased one share of either Whole Foods Market or Walmart for $43.40. and today, I could have purchased either for $46.00. And if I had wanted to put a little hard-earned cash into owning a company in the crossfire of the green debate, what exactly would I have received for a little less than the cost of filling up a twenty-gallon tank of gas, or a reasonably priced dinner for two?
With Whole Foods, $46 could have bought me 1/140,000,000th of a growing organic grocer run by a libertarian vegan, bringing healthy food to people all over the country, and soon, perhaps, the world, while providing a delightful culinary shopping experience for soccer moms everywhere, spreading the good word on how to eat, and quite possibly reshaping commercial agriculture as it grows.
My $46 in Whole Foods could have bought just about $43 dollars in sales, and $1.32

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Free Beer? Miller/Coors’ Sowed Wild Oats is less threatening as Whole Duopoly

| Friday October 26th, 2007 | 2 Comments

beer032.jpgSeems like Miller and Coors have spent enough time together in line at the keg, that they are threatening to tie the knot.
Will The FTC sue to prevent a Miller/Coors wedding? It would seem ridiculous to leave an emerging beer duopoly with 80% of the U.S. market unchallenged in light of the recent challenge to Whole Foods buying Wild Oats. Yet for some reason, the FTC wants to re-open the Wild Oats/Whole Foods case.
On the one hand, we have two relatively small grocers whose brand is built with a healthy/organic slant, together controlling less than 10% of the U.S. grocery business; on the other hand, the number two and three brewing giants, controlling 29% of the U.S. beer market between them. Hmm, which is more threatening to the American consumer – actually being able to buy decent healthy food in most population centers from a well-run company, or 79% of the beer market being controlled by two companies?
I suspect the merger will go through with much less fanfare than the Whole Foods/Wild Oats Combo, and SAB Miller-Molson-Coors will join Anheuser-Busch in an industry with more hyphens than competitors.
Certain pundits will no doubt tell us that the average beer consumer will probably benefit from the duopoly, as the FTC regulators will probably benefit from the brewing lobbyists’ free beer.
Why? Perhaps because Miller and Coors pack two powerful weapons: top notch lobbyists and a bottomless keg.
Maybe this type of discrimination is prompting Whole Foods to join an organic lobby.

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Et tu Thomas?

| Wednesday October 3rd, 2007 | 6 Comments

trans-am.jpgA response to Thomas Friedman
I wonder sometimes why people seem shocked that automakers don’t want higher fleet standards.
Mr. Friedman should do a little more study in economics, because even if the world is flat, there are still demand curves.
Americans themselves don’t want higher fleet standards for mileage unless they can still accelerate like Burt Reynolds in a black Trans Am with a golden eagle on the hood. So, automakers don’t want higher fleet standards, because their fleet will sit on the American Car lots for longer than it does already.
High mileage, room for seven and rapid acceleration are conflicting realities.
CAFÉ standards are a backwards attempt at solving an efficiency problem that could only come out of American politics.
We can’t legislate higher mileage for a fleet of hundreds of millions of cars. We tried before, and that gave birth to the 8500+ lb SUV, because it isn’t technically a car, and thus doesn’t fall under the CAFE standards. (It still accelerates like a Black 1981 Trans AM when you put the pedal to the metal though.)
If Cafe standards start to include “cars” up to 10,000 lbs, guess how much the new Hummer H5 and the 2009 Toyota Sequoia will weigh?

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