Homeland security takes a bite

Homeland security takes a bite out of economic productivity. The two biggest issues on the domestic agenda right now are terrorism (and all that goes along with it, including Iraq) and the sagging economy. Either one has the potential to undo this administration. But the silliest of policies aimed at the former have the potential to do real damage to the latter. Real productivity growth was the engine of expansion in the 90s, through the widespread adoption of such inovations as electronic communications and just-in-time delivery. But new U.S. Customs rules may require giving the government as much as 3 days notice before shipping anything into the country. That means making decisions about what materials are needed in production earlier (possibly with less information, leading to bad decisions and waste). That means stockpiling inventories to…

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Novel concept. Air Canada

Novel concept. Air Canada boosts service to earn more revenue. Funny thing is that this is a novel concept in the airline industry. With so many airlines cutting back on their amenities, customers might just choose to fly one that isn’t. In contrast, United in recent years has eroded its premium cabins by: ending hot towel service domestically ending champagne service domestically cutting Godiva chocolates and hot chocolate chip cookies cutting the personal video library in 3-class First There are fewer passengers paying premium fares in the current environment. But those that are have no reason to choose United over a competitor flying a similar route. As other airlines introduce flat beds in business class, even United’s advantage of the best seat in the sky is gone. Delta and United are both following a low-cost…

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