Saturday, January 23, 2021

BUSINESS - Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot Merged Company

Combine Chrysler, Fiat, Peugeot and You Get Stellantis. Stella-What? Three storied auto makers start trading with a new name. It’ll probably grow on you. Like the WSJ article says, the ending -tis has a nice medical sound. This page on words ending with Tis lists mostly names of diseases. Expect social network to explode with memes of Stellantis combined with another Tis disease on the first issue with the cars. However, by picking this name, the high-priced naming consultants and the highly paid O-level staff of the two merging companies must know something that DocNgu does not know - perhaps the money has protected them from getting sick. Or perhaps smart marketing people know more about people than people like DocNgu, since the experts in AdAge magazine also approve the name with "Why the weird-sounding ‘Stellantis’ name for the Fiat-Chrysler Peugeot merger actually works". DocNgu doodles that the Tis be dropped, and the combined company be named either Stellan (which rhymes with elan associating with "energy, style and enthusiasm"- all terms good for a car, or which has a Scandivian meaning of "calm" associating with relaxing luxury), or simply Stella (which associates with stellar and is as short as Tesla).

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

POLITICS - Tariffs Based On Labor Input (BOLI)

The 1/11/21 WSJ articles Trade Chief Lighthizer Urges Biden to Keep Tariffs on China talks about his push for tariffs to punish China, with a side mention about protecting the American workers. The Chinese workers are definitely cheaper than the American workers. However a general blanket tariff hurts the American consumers and protects the bad American manufacturers. The DocNgu doodle is whether we can have a tariff based on the labor input. If an imported item is deemed to have say 20% of its value due to labor input, then let's put a tariff on that 20% instead of the full product. The goal is to level out the discrepant labor cost. Of the other 80% of the cost, if the Chinese can be more efficient, then good for them; the American companies have to compete better or the US government has to compete better by lowering the cost of doing business here.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

BUSINESS - Car Combo

In the WSJ article Forget Uber, Zoom Might Be the Long-Term Threat to Car Sales, there is this paragraph:

KPMG said more U.S. families might get by with one car in the future, potentially reducing the average number of vehicles per household to 1.87, from the pre-Covid level of 1.97.

The DocNgu Doodle is that car manufacturers should sell a 2-car combo. The first car is the "high end" car (an SUV, pickup, or luxury car). The second car is the "low end" car that will be sold cheaply if bought as a combo. The second car is used for short commute to the transportation line, and for local errands. This car will have 2 seats at most (even 1 seat), 3 wheels, good safety but not a lot of amenities. It will be sold as less than $5000 if bought along with the "high end" car. The combo will be sold without big monetary incentives (the "low end" car is the incentive already). Since incentives are already in the thousands of dollars, the "low end" car will not cost the manufacturer a lot, but will capture lots of young families who do need more than 1 car but less than 2 cars. The spouse that only needs a car to drive to the train station can use the "low end" car, leaving the "high end" car to the other spouse who needs it for longer commute or to drive to local events with a decent car. In the 1980s, word processing programs and spreadsheet programs were sold separately. Then Microsoft created the Office bundle and the rest was history.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021


"President-elect Joe Biden is pledging to use the power of the federal government to buy American goods and jump-start domestic manufacturing. Some companies say rules that are too restrictive could raise their costs and complicate supply chains for items not made in the U.S.", says a January 4th Wall Street Journal article. Having the U.S. government buying American goods is not enough. We must have the whole country buy American. The government cannot force Americans to buy American, but they can make Americans buy American in their own free will. On Madison Street, they call it marketing.

The U.S. government will certify two labels - the gold label "Manufactured By Us. Buy U.S." and the silver label "Assembled By Us. Buy U.S.". The manufacturers can only put those labels only in products that are either manufactured or assembled in the U.S., using American labor force. These products can cost more than say, made-in-China products. Some manufacturers will make only "By Us. Buy U.S." products to distinguish theirs from the low-cost importing competitors. Some manufacturers will straddle, and have made-in-China products at a lower price for the general population, and have limited quantities of "By Us. Buy U.S." of the same product at a higher price. For example, Apple can have most of their iPhone made in Asia, and builds a smaller manufacturing factory in the U.S. that makes the same iPhones. The "By Us. Buy U.S." phones will have a distinctive color that the regular iPhones do not have, thus giving their owners a special status of either a patriot, or one that supports the American workers, or one who has money. If you are a celebrity, which iPhone will you use?

Besides the certification, the U.S. government will need to have programs to counter counterfeits.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

HEALTH - Healthcare Rights

While reading on The Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-JP Morgan healthcare joint venture ending, I wonder if healthcare can be a right to be guaranteed by the government, like defense. If defense means the right for the citizens to be safe from external threats, then healthcare is the right for citizens to be defended against illness. Healthcare can be a right but not a limitless right. This is a DocNgu doodle, so what comes next is what crosses my mind while reading the article. I did not do any deep research to see if this is a viable idea, or if somebody has proposed it already. From general revenues, the government can give everybody say $5000 a year. Whatever the money is, it will cover basic health insurance. However there is still a big private insurance market. Anybody who wants "better" treatment will buy the supplemental insurance. Companies can still offer insurance benefits, but the benefits are only for the supplemental insurance. Rich people can also buy the supplemental insurance on the market to get into posher hospitals or be treated by more renowed physicians. As the country gets richer, the base money increases to cover more procedures.

SOCIAL - Gun Rights and Gun Responsibilities

The Ohio governor just signed a gun bill and declared that "he was disappointed lawmakers didn't add the measures he sought for more than a year that would toughen background checks and boost penalties for felons committing new crimes with guns". Now there are two measures. The first one, on background check, is about the right to own guns. The second one, on crimes with guns, is about the responsibility of owning guns. The gun control side is currently too focused on limiting the gun rights. Obviously the gun rights side has to push back. To limit the harm of gun usage, the gun control side should be totally focused on gun responsibilities. For example, if you use guns to commit crimes, more penalty (like the Ohio governor proposed). If you let somebody borrows your guns to commit crime, also penalty to you. If you own a gun and does not lock it and an accident happens, also penalty to you. If your gun is stolen, you are responsible to report it. If you don't, and later a recovered gun is traced back to you, penalty to you. Basically the idea is that you can own as many guns as you like, but you are responsible about your ownership. This message is a law-and-order message since you are responsible to prevent your guns to be misused. Who does not agree to that?