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Saturday, August 04, 2007

I Give Up!

Just in case any of you missed it, I spent the better part of last week trying to teach some science geeks about how business works. Turns out they don’t care. Perhaps their youthful forays into Dungeons and Dragons have reinforced their confidence at role playing, and they now believe they can do anything. Whatever. Here’s my last post I left there before I trot off to the wilderness for a week:
Orac writes: " his lame comparisons to Hitler and Mao"
Perhaps I'm just not making myself clear on those comparisons. I never meant to compare the horrific actions of Hitler, Mao, (and Stalin) to the anti smokers. As I said before, it's silly to compare a smoking ban, to the horrors of those dictatorships. My comparison was meant to be a critique on the planned economies of the last century, which all failed miserably. And it wasn't just because they they lost the wars.
Planned economies always fail, because the intelligentsia of those nations, try to run things they know nothing about. They take over the factories, the farms and the mines, and assume that their advanced intellects and educations could run those things more efficiently than the original owners. It inevitably devolves into micromanagement, resulting in shortages, lines, and poverty.
The success of capitalism is based on letting individuals with experience, make the important decisions, free from a micro managing authoritarian bureaucracy. We suppose in this country, that a guy who has worked up enough scratch to open a business, knows how to run that business best.
I can tell that very few of my rivals here, have ever worked in a bar. LCR compared Q2 revenue to Q3 revenue, and claimed there was an indication of a downturn. Anybody who has ever worked in a Northern bar knows that April May and June are always going to be busier than July, August, and September. Comparing Q2 to Q3 is as specious as comparing November and December retail numbers to February and March.
And he continues to insist, that because other bars are still open, it proves that smoking isn't part of the bar business. I don't know if he's really that ignorant or just obstinate, but for the last time: all bars are not the same. Some offer food and drink, some offer entertainment, some have dancing, some have nekid girls, and some are just a place you can go to have a smoke with your beer, where your wife won't complain about the smell. (What's wrong with letting a few bars get smoking licenses?)

And Orac was right. Two years revenue is not a scientifically large enough data sample to establish a trend (I repeat here, he didn't seem to mind the limited data set, when he used the same numbers to support HIS argument). But in the Bar business, sometimes two years is all you've got. And I know the bar business in Minneapolis is hurting. I have enough friends in the industry there, and I trust their opinions. Perhaps I can't write a convincing enough report for the politburo, but it is real.
Here's a question: If there is no negative economic impact from a smoking ban, why would bar owners say there was? How does it serve bar owners to make up such a lie? I guarantee that a lot of owners would like it if they didn't have to come home smelling like stale smoke every morning. And the reductions on their fire insurance premiums should be more than enough incentive to go smoke free.
The reason is, they KNOW it's more profitable for a bar to be a smoking establishment. (And the way many of you are fighting it so fiercely, indicates that you probably know it as well.) But you don't care. You pretend to know more than the individual bar owners. How many times has someone here repeated, that there is absolutely no reason for people to smoke inside of a bar? Well maybe the people who invested their time and money, know just a little more about it than you. Customers don't want to go outside for a smoke. Once they're out there, a lot of times they just go home. I've SEEN it. People used to hang at the bar in Minnesota after a show. Now they all leave.
You might think my argument about power hungry science geeks is out of line, but I think most of the responses I've been getting more than proves my point. Look in the post above, how David G. feels he has a right to go into any bar without having to smell smoke. That somehow, every establishment should cater to HIS personal preferences. Would David be so quick to say, "I should be able to go into a Gay bar and enjoy a meal without having to worry about guys hitting on me?"
Look how he doesn't care about minor "economic fallout." (At least he admits there will be some.) And the remark, " They may lose some smoking patrons, but they surely stand to gain some nonsmoker patrons." presupposes that David knows more about the bottom line than the bar owner. (I defy him to back up that point with any hard evidence.)
I'm sorry, but this is the same kind of confidence that the dictators of the previous century had, when they nationalized the Auto plants.
Remember the Yugo?

3 Comments:

  • A debate with Stephen Metcalf on what part of the political spectrum has the geeks might be called for.

    By Blogger Joseph, at 9:17 PM, August 11, 2007  

  • Joseph,

    I don't think I ever claimed that the power hungry geeks were all Leftists. I do think most of them end up there, since the Left passionately embraces the model of a top down nation, being run by the intellectual elite.

    The American Right usually prefers individual choices, over government mandates; although there are exceptions. Some within that side, believe vices hold temptation too great, for mortal men to resist, without severely punitive legislation.

    In fact, I believe Orac himself, claims to be a conservative.

    By Blogger Tim Slagle, at 7:24 AM, August 12, 2007  

  • Wouldn't the geek platform include planks to ensure the mundanes have as little power as possible? That would clearly imply libertarianism.

    By Blogger Joseph, at 11:05 PM, August 14, 2007  

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