Archive | August, 2011

Poor Coffee Retailers

29 Aug

Why does every charity, pay TV provider, insurance company (and many, many others) choose to quantify how much their product is by equating it in coffee terms? How many times have we heard that by giving up a coffee a day, we can do something?

If we give up our daily coffee (which I consider an absolute daily must, not a luxury!) the first time, we can only give it up once. I can only give it up once to sponsor a child, get funeral insurance or buy a coffee – oh wait, not that last one.

A daily coffee is obviously a luxury that advertisers think we can do without. Do they dislike the poor coffee farmers the world over, not to mention our dairy farmers? Come to think of it, the cups are made in Australia, too.

Matching Output With Demand

28 Aug

Significant Australian steel manufacturer (and All Torque Transmissions customer), Bluescope, has recently announced 1000 job losses across its Australian manufacturing operations. As usual, the strength of the Australian dollar has made the price of exported product prohibitive.

This news comes fresh on the heels of manufacturing job losses at Heinz, SPC and Ford, where reaching a shutdown decision was made easier by the lack of international demand. All three are also All Torque customers.

Economists the world over sing the praises of an economy that expolits what it is good at, whilst less efficient industries shrivel up and die. In this sense, comparative advantage is a relative term, as Australia enjoys a virtual resource monopoly on much of what it has.

Economists are also quick to point out that consumers value variety and are willing to pay for it. As each Australian manufacturer becomes a ‘former Australian manufacturer’, that variety is being continually and quickly eroded.

Luckily, Australia’s poor mining fraternity lobbied the Australian government for a lesser mining super profits tax, so the sharholders can sleep well at night.