Crony Capitalism – How Bad Has It Gotten In The US?

We all know the problem of the revolving-door in our political leadership and bureaucracy. Folks are in and out of government, keep their contacts and make a fortune from the known reality: it’s not what you know but whom you know. The problem with all this is exactly what Adam Smith warned us about; the incestuous relationship between government and business. Corporations in the US are large and powerful, and have and hire the best talent, retain and control endless resources – these corporations do not NEED government favors, nor does their executive leadership, they are doing fine.

To secure the most optimum efficiency in our economy, we must keep the free-market as free as possible, when we allow a skew due to political favors or inside information, or allow lobbyists to the run the table, often at the expense of the people all we do is prove the cynics correct that; the game is rigged. Perhaps this is why Donald Trump has promised to; Drain the Swamp. And, he’s human too, I have no doubt he will drain the left-side of the swamp first, but it’s still a good start. The trick is to set a new set of rules, lay down the letter of the law, and move forward.

In Harvard Business Review, December 2013 Issue, there was an interesting article titled; “Unwinding Inequality” and in that article was a quote by Angus Denton; “When people use their success to change the rules in their favor, that success is no longer to be celebrated.”

“Yes,” I say, “Indeed.” But let’s take this argument to a higher level shall we. First, I find it rather hypocritical to read of this in the Harvard Business Review, as most there believe in the concepts of Adam Bellow who wrote the book “In Praise of Nepotism” which might explain why all the Supreme Court Justices went to Ivy Leagues, Harvard or Yale, some both. Worse, look at the academic records of the last 5-presidents of the US, and a darn good many senators, and heads of major bureaucracies, corporations and NGOs.

Second, if we dissect that quote, it talks about “success” and the concept of changing the rules once one, a group or corporation gains in the synergy of their own success. Well, isn’t this really the same challenge with guerrillas or terrorists attacking the status quo, authority and government – if they succeed, they are then in control and then they inevitably seem to use the same so-called tyrannical methods of ruling that their predecessors had before they ousted them – thus, the word “revolution” as it just goes round and round as another group comes along to then unseat their new authority.

Now, one can see a similar process in business and industry. For instance, read;

1. “Rule Makers and Rule Breakers,” by David Garnder
2. “First Break All the Rules,” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
3. “The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business,” by Clayton M. Christensen

Once the company garners market share synergy, and industry status, it moves to change the sector’s associations to lobby to get the rules and regulations changed to its way of doing things blocking future disruptive competitors from coming along to change the industry just as they had to get to where they are today.

The easiest way to do that is through crony-capitalism, campaign contributions, public-private business partnerships, which also leads to selling goods and/or services to the government and secure a free flow of money to further continue their dominance by playing with the political elite – who all went to Ivy League schools. Thus, I find it so fascinating that HBR (Harvard Business Review) had the gall to even publish that article – due to the obvious hypocritical nature of the norm which comes from that elitist institution. Please consider all this and think on it.

7 Reasons How Goa Will Blow Away Your Winter Blues

According to experts, the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter blues affects millions of people around the globe. People of any age may get effected by it. If you have been suffering from winter blues, you are not alone. It’s said that traveling can help you deal with your SAD, and if you happen to be from India, you may get ready to leave for Goa. Here are 7 reasons how Goa will blow away your winter blues.

Amazing Natural Beauty

Goa has incredible natural beauty with a great deal of green forests and beautiful beaches. Some of the must-visit beaches include Baga beach, Anjuna beach, Calangute beach and Candolim beach, just to name a few.

In the majority of shacks, you can get umbrella and beds for free if you love to eat at beach shacks. Aside from this, most of these places offer different types of Indian, continental and seafood. You may also get to South Goa to take your time at the serene beaches.

Old Goa

Old Goa is a beautiful place to visit the popular places, such as churches of Francis of Assisi, St Augistine and Basilica of Bom Jesus, to name a few. In the evening, you have the option to visit Panjim. Old Goa also has some of the finest Casinos of the country. Just be careful, as you don’t want to spend all your money over there.

Electronic Music

If you love Electronic Music, Candolim and Vagator are your places. During the last 7 days of December, you can attend the popular Sunburn and Supersonic events. Usually, visiting Goa will cost you more money during New Year, but it will be worth the money. The crowd during the New Year makes an incredible atmosphere.

North Goa clubs

If you love to party, you may head to the dance clubs of the North Goa. The majority of the clubs are not that expensive. There you can enjoy music late at night. Clubs that are the most popular include Sinq, LPK, Club Cabana and Curlies.

Food Lovers

If you love to eat seafood, Goa is the best place. Throughout the state, you can find a variety of sea food as well as cheap alcohol. You can also eat alcohol Fenny, which is made from coconuts and Kaju.

Adventures

For adventure lovers, Baga beach, Calangute beach and Sequirem beach are your places. On these beaches, you can play a variety of sports, such as water scooters, Para sailing and scuba diving.

Biking and cycling

Throughout Goa, you can hire bikes or cycles at many of the rent shops. If you want, you can hire cheap Royal enfields and 4 wheelers for a couple of days to have fun. You can cruise along the streets of Goa and drink roadside tea or coconut water.

So, if you are having winter blues and would like to go somewhere for a few days, we suggest that you give a go to Goa. This beautiful state has a lot to offer. Hopefully, you will have a great time over there.

3D Scanning – What You Need To Know

3D scanning is a process of capturing digital information of object shape using equipment that has light or laser to measure distance between the object and the scanner. The non-destructive and non-contact scanning technology uses lines of laser light capturing the exact shape and size of the object. The fine details of even the smallest objects are captured and the process comes in handy in so many industries and fields. Some the areas that 3D scans are commonly used include automotive, manufacturing, medical and aerospace.

3D laser scanners capture thousands of points per second, allowing quick inspection of parts. It is a process that is ideally suited for measuring and inspecting contoured surfaces and also complex geometries that require lots of data for accurate description and where traditional measurement methods are impractical.

What are the advantages?

3D scanning has become very popular among business people in different fields. You can now easily find 3D scanning services for all needs you might have especially as far as accuracy and high quality productions are concerned. The popularity of the process is as a result of the many advantages it has over other traditional options. Some of the advantages that come with the process include:

1. Quick capture of all physical measurements of any given physical object; with 3D scanning, the size of the object does not matter.

2. Saves time when designing. The high definition details of objects make it possible for designers get it right with the first trail, hence saving time, even with productions that would have otherwise proved to be complex and time consuming.

3. Ensures perfect fit of parts with the first try. 3D has literally taken the guess work of production processes, especially for those dealing with prototypes and creating parts. The detailed information collected from an object is accurate and hence it is very rare to have parts that have any functional defects.

4. It captures engineering optimization that is necessary in manufactured parts. The process offers more confident to manufacturers in terms of meeting standards and any set objectives in the manufacturing process of parts. Using the scans, it has become even possible for manufacturers and designed to compare between designed and built models conditions so manufactured parts are top quality.

How does it help the design process?

3D scans are largely used in the design process of various products. Model scanning proves beneficial in the design process because:

· It increases effectiveness when working with shapes and parts that are complex

· It provides updated versions of CAD models that are outdated

· It makes it possible to replace missing parts or older parts

· It helps product designing so that someone else’s part can be accommodated

Which areas can in be used in?

3D scanning is very effective and has become a popular option in various fields including:

· Historical artifacts

· Prototyping or reverse engineering

· Entertainment industry for games, TV and movie productions

· Medical and dental

· Inspection

· Marine

· Construction and architecture

A 3D scan can prove highly beneficial in different sectors. If you do not have what it takes to enjoy the accuracy of 3D scans, you can get help from service providers who offer all kinds of scanning services.

Are Travel Agents Old School?

It appears you can’t stare at the TV for 60 minutes without seeing a notice with William Shatner discussing Travelocity or that senseless dwarf discussing Orbitz. These travel sites have been extremely effective at encouraging voyagers to book their own particular carrier and lodging reservations on the web. So with this colossal push from the web to assume control over the travel business, one needs to ask, “Are travel agents old school?”

In the event that you have searched for some of these travel web sites, you have watched that they are stunning in the assorted qualities of travel choices that they make accessible. As a business traveler, be that as it may, your requirements are fairly unique in relation to the run of the mill aircraft traveler.

There are some certain administrations and genuine help that a living and breathing travel agent can give that basically can’t be duplicated by a computerized site like Travelocity or Orbitz. Some of those administrations that a prepared business traveler would be unable to live without having…

A Travel Agent will give you…

– Focus. You as a business traveler are not orchestrating this excursion for excitement. You have particular business goals as a main priority. So on the off chance that you should remove time from planning for your business assignment to stress over travel agendas, lodging and rental auto reservations and so forth, that is time that you are not being beneficial for your business.

When you get the chance that you can call a skilled travel agent who knows your travel profile well and delegate those courses of action to that agent, they carry out their occupation in finding only the right facilities for you and you are liberated to do what you excel at, spotlight on your business and the up and coming business trip.

– Economy. It is hard to find that harmony between finding the housing that fit the requesting timetable of a businessman out and about and is conscious of the organizations travel spending plan too.

On the off chance that you utilize a computerized online travel administration, you may need to relinquish accommodation, timetable or area for economy.

A decent travel agent will endeavor to get you the right schedule while getting as close the corporate travel cost confinements as would be prudent. Furthermore, they will do it without taking up a considerable measure of your time.

– Back up. You needn’t bother with help if your excursion goes totally as arranged. Be that as it may, in the event that you experience issues out and about, you can wind up in need or rescheduling flights and finding new lodging to work around scratched off flights, climate issues or other surprising intrusions to your arrangements.

These travel debacles are not aware of your tight due dates to meet your business objectives. In any case, you have a travel agent who is committed to giving you administration, he or she can locate those option courses and assets to do whatever they can to get you to your destination so you can direct your business on time.

– That individual touch. You may have travel inclinations that you need to accomplish with every outing you take. A travel agent has your profile and your travel history so they can do what they can to suit your inclinations.

Yet, in addition, when you have particular unique needs, for example, an eating regimen constraint or a requirement for convenience because of an inability, it will be a travel agent that sees to it that your needs are accommodated and you are well dealt with out and about.

– No Complications. In the event that your travel agenda includes making associations with different business accomplices who are going from various workplaces, complex travel calendars and schedule challenges that just can’t be depicted to the nonexclusive screens of an online travel administration, you can disclose these inconveniences to your travel agent and they can work with other travel agents attempting to arrange the meeting and see to it that your agenda meets your prerequisites.

While the online travel administrations do give a profitable and moderate other option to the general voyaging open, it is anything but difficult to see their confinements on the off chance that you are attempting to book a trek that is dubious or in the event that you have particular needs that the screens don’t suspect.

That is the reason working with a human travel agent ensures that this travel proficient person will devote themselves to the assignment of ensuring your excursion attempts to your details and that you get to your destination prepared to lead in business and be fruitful in your accomplishing your objectives.

Incredible Business Growth With Custom Boxes

Some people are unaware of the little things that make a business move from a small business to a well-recognized business. One of such little, forgettable things is having custom boxes for every business. To confirm the truth about the importance of custom boxes, look around you, and list any five businesses or well-recognised servicing company you know, and you will immediately realize they all have their custom packages which stand as their branding.

For those people who are not conversant with custom boxes, here it is. These boxes in simple words; is your label, your brand, your name, your touch, being handed over to your customers in the form of the packaging used when delivering the goods to your clients. It is actually a box, or package bearing the seal of the company or business.

You might think this will cost so much for your small business, but no it is far cheaper than you thought and the effect it leaves for you is far more valuable. These have lots of benefits, but you will see a few of them listed here.

Benefits of Custom Boxes

1. These boxes give your Customers and excitement: your business can stand out with a unique box or bag the customers receive their goods in. It will amaze you to know that just a beautiful bag or box can make a customer repeat purchase. This little effect speaks volumes, of who you are, and how you value your customers. Everyone wants to be appreciated.

2. Serve as your marketer: Are you having trouble marketing your business without spending so much? Oh, this incredible little move of custom boxes is a marketer, spreads thick of how many people will see your brand name, as customers walk away with your name on them, by holding your bag.

3. Custom boxes spread your brand like a virus. Your business will be in one city, but the custom bag is in another. Don’t worry this means your business is spreading like a virus, and your Company will soon be visited by new customers.

4. These boxes are cheap to get: You don’t need a big business to use these custom boxes. You can use them for every business with customer packages, by hand or shipping. These boxes are cheap to get and won’t bite your business in any way. You can get the right information and do it with the most competitive producers available. This makes you get it, at almost no cost.

5. These create a rewarding excitement: you can’t take the joy and excitement you get when your customers appreciate your custom boxes, you know what they are actually appreciating? Your business. This will overall give your business the needed lift.

Little things are most times the hardest things to do, but now you know better. You can give your business the little push it needs to thrive. Get your custom boxes and let your business go viral.

The Secret My Lawyers & Accountants Didn’t Even Know About – How to Get a Business Loan

Stop! Turn off your cell phone.

Quit tweeting and texting for the next 4 minutes. Grab a cup of coffee.

Shut the door so there are no distractions. This is that important!

Because I’m about to reveal to you the greatest secret to getting a business loan for as much as $25,000, $50,000 or even $250,000 – even when the bank says “NO!” and even if you don’t have perfect credit.

I have to warn you though… Don’t pay attention to the credit card companies. Forget everything you’ve heard. You can actually hurt your chances of getting the small business loan you need if you follow their advice.

It’s true. Why? Because they’re more concerned about raking in record profit margins and reaping huge bonuses! They don’t care about your business or if you get a business loan.

Credit cards companies want you to keep piling up debt on your high-interest personal credit and hold you personally liable for your expenses.

Do you think they really care if it takes you 10, 20 or 30 years to pay it back? Or if lowering your spending limit for no good reason has affected your business? Or if your personal credit is destroyed while you try to build the business of your dreams?

Of course not. Not when it means more money for them! And let’s not leave out the banks. Business lending is at all-time lows. Think they’re interested in taking a risk, however small it may be?

The secret… How to get a Business Loan

But there’s a little known secret that most small and mid-size business owners don’t know about. Heck, even most credit card companies don’t advertise it. I didn’t even know about it and I’d been running businesses for years!

Accountants I’ve used for years weren’t aware of it. Lawyers who I’ve paid up to $700 an hour didn’t know about it. But I’m about to reveal it to you right now and it won’t cost you a penny…

I’m not going to make you read every word of this or make you jump through hoops to get the secret. I know you’re busy so I’m going to give it to you right now and then explain how to make this secret work for you.

Here it is: You can get a small business loan. Usually reserved for large corporations, there’s a 7-step process for small and mid-size business owners to get the business loan they need without a traditional personal guarantee.

Mystery solved! More about that in a moment…

Whether you’re looking for a start up business loan, have an existing business or if you’re buying a business or franchise, you can now access working capital.

Don’t have perfect personal credit? No problem.

It doesn’t even matter if you have less than perfect personal credit. You can still get business financing, whether that’s a merchant cash advance, or business loans with bad credit.

That’s right. You no longer have to rely on your personal credit to finance your business. You can rebuild your personal credit and create a business credit profile to get the business loan you need to grow your business.

Imagine not relying on just personal credit cards to finance your marketing, purchase inventory or pay for expenses… sleep easier every night knowing one misstep won’t cost you your family’s home… and get access to much needed working capital so you can expand. That’s a dream come true for many business owners I work with, especially right now.

Does this sound familiar?

“We’re very sorry to inform you that your credit limit has been reduced due to current economic conditions… “blah, blah, blah!

Take one client we’re working with right now. Mike owns a dozen wireless phone stores. This is his most recent venture after successfully running other small businesses for more than 30 years. And just like he’s always done, he financed his inventory with his American Express card.

Every month he bought $50,000 worth of inventory, sold it and paid it off before the end of the month. But just a few months ago, his purchase was declined. American Express reduced his credit limit from $50,000 to $30,000 without any notice – not because of anything he had done.

The only response he got went something like this: “We’re very sorry to inform you that your credit limit has been reduced due to current economic conditions… ” blah, blah, blah! So he had to scramble to find other ways to finance his inventory. A short while later his $30,000 inventory purchase declined. Why? Because his credit limit was reduced to $20,000. Then his credit was squeezed again to $10,000.

It gets worse. As his credit is getting squeezed American Express is reporting to the other credit bureaus that his credit is being reduced so they also follow suit.

Meanwhile, the amount of debt as a percentage of his total available credit or what’s called his debt utilization rate increases. This is one of the most important indicators creditors look at when evaluating a credit score – and Mike’s personal score was dropping like a brick.

When he came to us, we immediately showed him how he could separate his business credit from his personal credit and his first reaction was, “I didn’t know I could do this. Are you telling me that I could have been building business credit and may still be able to get a small business loan?”

The answer is, “Yes!”

We’re working with him to help him and he’s borrowed $100,000 that does not have a traditional personal guarantee.

You really can get the funding you need without putting your personal credit at risk.

I’ll show you how in just a moment. But first I think it’s important that you know a bit more about me.

I own a firm that specializes in helping business owners get the business loans they need to finance their businesses without sacrificing their personal credit.

If you’re like me you probably thought business funding wasn’t even an option.

As a small business owner (prior to starting my own financing company), I personally guaranteed everything because I thought that’s the way it was done. I even prided myself on how well I did it while growing my Internet marketing business. I started with a $5,000 line of credit on my American Express and I played the 30-day float. Over time, I was regularly spending $300,000 on my card – every month!

If anything went wrong the expenses would have crushed me. I didn’t have that kind of money to cover the costs! Fortunately, I was lucky enough to avoid disaster.

Best Tips to Avoid Squandering Your Inheritance

When you receive an inheritance, it is important to figure out what will you do with that money. If you do not plan properly on how to spend that money, it will slip out of your hand within no time. If you have already got the cash, or you are about to inherit the money, here are some five tips for using it properly.

Don’t Rush Your Decision

People generally do not allow the money for a cooling-off period, after receiving the cash. This is one of the worst mistakes that people usually do. They are always in a hurry of spending the money without thinking twice. You can save the money either in a money market account or savings for at least two months in order to plan your options. You can also put the money into a short-term deposit for saving it, because you have to pay penalty if you withdraw it before time.

Assess Where You Are

If you analyse your present financial situation, you can get an idea about your future move. You can plan to start a college fund for your children, add the money to your retirement savings or keep it as an emergency fund. Make a goal in life, so that you can achieve it with the help of your inheritance.

Be Realistic About Your Inheritance

A sudden chunk of money will you lead to towards a changed lifestyle. The things like a new car or a luxury vacation that you could not afford before will now seem to be very tempting. You have to be careful to control your temptation and save your money for future needs.

Establish Boundaries

It is evident that when you receive an inheritance, many people come with a try to have a share in the money. Bank or financial sales people may call you so that you invest your money in their products. You may also be asked to make a huge donation by any charitable organisation. So, it is very important to set boundaries and prepare yourself for saying no to the people.

Be Proactive

You may need some professional help to figure out how to save your inheritance. It is absolutely fine to hire a financial advisor, but do not make your decision solely as per his guidance. In the end, it will be you who will take the final decision. Do some research and set your goals before taking professional’s help.

Thus, though an inheritance is like a blessing to you, but along with it comes responsibility. Plan properly to make sure that your money lasts for a longer time.

Useful Travel Tips About Seasons And Weather in Langkawi

Langkawi has the same type of climate as Thailand. It is known as a tropical monsoon climate. It can sometimes also be labeled as a “tropical wet climate” although that’s not always the case year round. It’s paradise climate makes Langkawi a great place to visit, but it’s wise to learn about the different types of weather before booking that perfect vacation.

For those that are accustomed to the usual four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, Thailand may seem like a different planet! Its summers and winters may seem backward although It is usually warm all year round with temperatures ranging from an average of 27 degrees Celsius (81°F) during the coldest month of July to about 29 (81°F) during the hottest month of February.

With that said, rather than traditional seasons, Langkawi experiences only a wet season and a dry season. In terms of traveling, these are known as the low season and the high season respectively. This is because many tourists only prefer to visit during the dry season as to avoid the rain and possible monsoons.

Dry Season (high season):

November through March is the busiest time. During this time, Langkawi experiences the most traffic.

Following the heavy rains of the wet season, the plant life thrives creating beautiful sights.

Due to the high influx of visitors, many of the prices are raised to compete with demand.

Wet Season (low season):

July to October is when the Langkawi tourism business slows

The rain varies in levels of intensity. Sometimes intense flooding is possible.

On many occasions, the rain doesn’t last long but is very strong

During this time, boat travel is not always available

For those looking to hire a Koh Lipe ferry to Langkawi, it may still be possible to do during the wet season as long as the travel plans are made to be flexible. However, traveling by ferry from Langkawi to Phuket or even hiring a Langkawi to Krabi ferry is not recommended during the wet season.

During the dry season, it’s extremely common to find a ferry between these popular travel destinations. In fact, it is the preferred way to travel as many places in and around Thailand are too small to have their own airport.

In either season, wet or dry, it is usually possible to hire a ferry to KohLipe to Langkawi and vice versa without any problem. They offer very competitive pricing and have experience in transporting tourists and locals alike from island to island. There are also speed boats available as well for those looking for a faster ride.

It is important to choose the time of year carefully to get the best experience in Langkawi. Of course it all depends on of the preferences of each and every traveler, but usually, a vacationer wouldn’t want to spend their getaway avoiding a flood! On the other hand, some may be adventurous and find exactly what they’re looking for no matter the weather!

The Best Places For Destination Weddings

Wedding bells are ringing everywhere! If you’re someone who is planning to get married on the coming year then you need to read what we have to say before you make any further wedding plans. For all us, the day we get married is probably the most important day of our lives and we want to make sure it is arranged that way as well. To do that, you don’t necessarily have to throw a grand wedding at the most expensive place around. A simple and much cheaper alternative is to get married at one of the following locations which are known for their exotic beauty and their services all of which are at your beck and call for very economical prices. And before you move on, here’s a tip – if you’re planning a destination wedding make sure you book flight tickets well in advance!

1. Belize:
This place is on top of our list of wedding destinations and the reason for that is because it offers so much for so little. The place has some extremely beautiful destinations and rainforests as well as old Mayan ruins. Oh and let’s not forget that this place is also home to the second largest barrier reef in the world. The best thing about this place is that instead of being filled with expensive resorts like most of the other exotic travel locations, it has a lot of economical lodges and the sea food here is divine yet cheap too. So you can even host a wedding feast filled with exotic sea food but still save a lot in your pocket.

2. Jamaica:
The best thing about Jamaica is that it provides you with a choice of two very different and equally beautiful locations. You can choose to get married on the white sandy beaches or near the Rocky Mountains depending on what you like. Or maybe you could get married on the beach and throw the dinner or reception in the mountains to get the best of both worlds. And on top of that, the arrangements here are really cheap as compared to other travel destinations.

3. Vermont:
This small collection of beautiful landscapes and homey villages is probably the best travel destination to get married in. The scenic beauty here gives you the perfect backdrop to take your wedding vows and have a fun pre or post wedding shoot too. There are a lot of cozy and warm bed and baths here as well as halls where you can hold your wedding party. And the best part of this is that you can get all of this at very very economical prices.

Now that you know the best places to get married in, we suggest that you start planning for your perfect destination wedding and make sure you book flight tickets well before time so as to avoid any unnecessary delays and problems in your plans! All the best! Cheers to new beginnings!