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Hershey puts kibosh on Cadbury imports

You might not be able to find your favorite UK chocolate imports any more…

Hershey representative Jeff Beckman said these products were not intended for sale in the United States and companies importing the products were infringing on its trademark and trade dress licensing.

“It is important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress,” Beckman told the Times.

While they certainly have the right to protect their trademarks, nobody wanders into an import store and accidentally pays twice as much for a chocolate bar.  This has zero impact on their domestic sales, and only serves to irritate the public.

January 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm Comments (0)

No Yuengling for Wolf (Updated)

It was good enough for Obama…

Rep. Vereb’s response (Daily Caller):

“Yuengling employs Pennsylvanians. It’s America’s oldest brewery. It’s the economic driver in Pottsville, not to mention that whole region,” Vereb continued. “He takes care of his employees. He’s not unionized, and frankly, neither is Tom Wolf’s cabinet company.”

Update from Brad Bumsted (1-19-05):

“We reached a limit on what we can actually use weeks ago,” Wolf said. Asked if it was an anti-union decision, Wolf said, “I don’t know what it is.”

Wolf said he always buys Yuengling. But he did not indicate any intention to change the directive and allow Yuengling at his party.

January 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm Comments (0)

Altucher interviews Dick Yuengling

FYI, Dick Yuengling was featured on James Altucher’s podcast.

The James Altucher Show, Ep 79.

I’ve been reading Altucher’s stuff since he was writing financial columns, and am liking the podcast.  Neurotic, but thoughtful.

I’ve also done my part to help make Dick Yuengling a theoretical billionaire. (The brewery tour is a great day trip.)

January 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm Comments (0)

Say What?

New Corbett ad.

It is rather astonishing to me that Wolf is running on a platform of raising taxes.

September 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm Comments (0)

$2 Pack Tax Signed

Cigarette retailers in Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Cheltenham and Upper Darby thank you.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed a law on Wednesday imposing a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes and little cigars sold in Philadelphia to help fund the city’s cash-strapped schools.

This new levy, which takes effect Oct. 1, is anticipated will generate $70 million to $90 million per year of recurring revenue to support the district.

In his and others remarks about the legislation that allows Philadelphia to enact the tax, it was emphasized that it was a bi-partisan effort that got this bill across the finish line that Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, began pushing for two years and created a lot of legislative drama along the way.

“This was not a partisan issue. It was about the students of Philadelphia,” Corbett said. “House Bill 1177 is another step in our mission to provide great education for every student in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It provides a steady funding source for the School District of Philadelphia and will support a safe and secure learning environment for the students there.”

So next fall, when the cry once again goes out that the Philly school district is broke and needs money, expect the call to be “a statewide cigarette tax” to cover the gap.

September 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm Comment (1)

Government is not a business

Tom Wolf wants us to think that he’ll run the state government like a business. His business, specifically. Government is not a business. Government is more like a mafia.

Not quite, but not as far off as you might think. Try stiffing the government its protection… er… tax payments, and see how long it takes until the men with guns come to sell your house out from under you, or maybe even stick you in a cage.

Don’t get me wrong, businessmen can be good in public office. Many of them see the need to streamline operations and cut fat. Quite a few of them understand the need for modest rather than overbearing regulation, and tax regimes that are low and predictable. These do not seem to be the major points Mr. Wolf is selling.

The “business” lesson Wolf seems most eager to apply is the raising of revenue. (“Fiscally responsible” is the new “tax and spend”.) But government revenues are an altogether different animal from business revenues. Business revenues are obtained by providing a valuable good or service to a voluntary customer base. Government revenues are obtained through force (implied and first, then literal) of arms. The only way to avoid this is to leave the state for another hopefully less mafioso jurisdiction.

Given that some level of taxation is necessary for any government, the question of growing revenues –presuming such a thing should be deemed desirable– relies on one or both of the following: growing the economic base and raising rates.

The latter, though more easily accomplished, undermines the former. Guess which one Tom Wolf emphasizes.

With glee, Wolf also brags about his company’s employee profit-sharing model. I don’t want government to share profits with its employees. Neither should any sane taxpayer.

But if we’re going to use a business analogy, ethical businessmen don’t fudge figures, as with the supposed billion dollar education cuts that have somehow resulted in record state spending on education. Neither do sound businessmen ignore long-term obligations, as with our broken pension system, for which the Wolf pack has no apparent solution. And nobody walks in to the board of directors and asks to be CEO without putting out a detailed fiscal plan.

Imagine it:

CEO candidate: We need to spend more on R&D.
Board: How much more?
CEO candidate: No clue.
Board: Thank you for your time. Please leave.

September 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm Comments (0)

To those attending the PAGOP fall dinner

Please mention the Shaneen Allen case to Governor Christie, and implore him to take whatever action is necessary, up to and including a pardon.

Also, donate.

September 9, 2014 at 9:26 pm Comments (0)

Excellent ad from Corbett camp

It’s nice to be able to applaud a campaign ad for once.

Kudos to whoever made this ad. The campaign would be wise to give you all their money.

It’s about time our side started pointing out that all the “cuts” to education have resulted in record high funding.

There are so many brilliant aspects to this ad that I don’t want to jinx it by pointing them out.

April 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm Comments (0)

Garbage ads

It appears that Scott Wagner has won a special election for PA Senate as a write-in.

I’d like to preface the rest of this post by confessing that I did not follow this race at all and have spoken to nobody about it.  I couldn’t tell you whether Scott Wagner is the devil or the messiah.  Thankfully, that determination is irrelevant to my point.

The person or people who approved these attack ads (one ; two) need to seriously rethink how they want to run Republican campaigns.

Chiefly, I want to throw a serious red flag over the use of “millionaire” as a pejorative.  Our party ran Mitt frakking Romney for President a mere 16 months ago, and somebody with the memory of a horsefly thought it was a good idea to rag on a guy for being a millionaire?!? Do you think we’ll never run any more rich candidates?

These ads strike me as the type of feeble ads Democrats run against Republicans.  Running ads like these does nothing but reinforce clichéd Democratic themes about Republicans.  You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Look, you want to run ads against a guy, fine. Knock yourselves out.  Just have some self-awareness and perspective when you do so.

March 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm Comments (0)

A Lack of Nuance

Having recently railed against the “establishment”, it’s time for a crack at the base.

As I have previously asserted, the base is allergic to compromise.  While this idea is widely taken as a given among the establishment and the Left, few take the time to analyze the behavior.  The problem is actually a somewhat broader aversion to nuance.  Outrage fuels donations, and donations pay the bills, so there’s somewhat of a negative incentive for base-oriented groups to promote nuance.  But a lack of nuance can often inhibit constructive conservative policy movement.

A thought experiment: What if Democrats credibly and convincingly offered to cut Federal spending to such a degree that the budget would come into immediate balance, and also could somehow fix the Federal entitlement problem.  In exchange, Republicans would agree to a one percent increase in the personal income tax.  Do we take the deal?

True, the parameters of the thought experiment are absurd on their face, but for the sake of argument, take it for what it is.  We’d be fools not to take this deal, right?

Whoa, now!  Once you start to entertain this deal, you’re “for” raising income taxes.

Well, no, you weren’t really “for” it.  You were willing to make a concession in order to get a number of other things that you wanted and thought were more significant.

Take a more realistic issue, immigration.  The moment a Republican starts having any sort of conversation about immigration reform,  he is blasted as being “for” amnesty.  (The opponents of immigration reform use the term “amnesty” rather promiscuously, but for the sake of argument, I’ll use it here and not bother about details of what does or does not constitute “amnesty”.)

Understand that, to the Left, some form of amnesty is a sine qua non for any concessions on significant border security improvements, employment e-Verify, or – heaven forbid – voter ID.  You don’t even begin to have negotiations about how to deal with millions of illegal immigrants until you lay your amnesty bargaining chip down on the table.

But by reacting violently to this potential offer of amnesty as something we could consider giving up in order to get a better outcome, the base makes this a question of amnesty vs non-amnesty, not a question of what we could possibly get in exchange for amnesty.  When we put the focus on what we get in exchange for amnesty, we put the Democrats on the defensive.  When we focus on whether to offer amnesty at all, we make ourselves irrelevant, and the status quo reigns.

To be fair, Republican politicians have a history of being cheap dates.  I dare say though, it wouldn’t kill us to “show a little leg” on this issue.  I’m not “for” amnesty, I’m for using the offer of amnesty as a means of getting more significant concessions from the other side and for (hopefully) putting the issue behind us.  If we get a bad offer in return, we walk away and blame the Democrats for not being serious and for keeping people in the shadows unnecessarily.

Unfortunately, nuance requires trust, which is in short supply.

March 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm Comments (2)

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