Category Archives: Commerce

Txsgiving Turkey was a BIG Honking TURKEY for NC Furniture Workers

Winston-Salem NC-United Furniture Industries Inc. has stopped production abruptly at its five Triad facilities — where it was reported to have had between 530 and 600 employees — as part of what appears to be an overall shutdown of the business.

Multiple media reports say employees in Winston-Salem, Verona, Miss., and Victorville, Calif., as well as delivery drivers, received emails from United’s board of directors late Monday and early Tuesday.

Continue reading Txsgiving Turkey was a BIG Honking TURKEY for NC Furniture Workers

Gwynne Dyer on Elon Musk & His Twitter Mess

Gwynne Dyer:  Elon Musk — the benign sociopath who may have thrown a monkey wrench into his great plans for the world

Saltwire — Nov. 1, 2022

Elon Musk is that rarest of things — a benign sociopath — and, therefore, a person of considerable value to the world.

He has just made a mistake that could ruin his long-term plan, for his purchase of Twitter is almost bound to end in tears. The sharks are always circling the very rich and highly geared and I find myself worrying about him.

Musk sort of realized that buying Twitter was a mistake after his initial enthusiasm died down, for a $44-billion punt on an unprofitable social media platform is a risky move, even for the world’s richest man. But, by then, he was legally committed and, after thrashing on the hook for a bit, he decided to accept his fate and try to make it work for him. Continue reading Gwynne Dyer on Elon Musk & His Twitter Mess

Quote of the Week: What (& Who) Makes a Chair a “Chair”?

Tom Edsall writes data- and research-driven columns in the New York Times that frequently make my head spin and my heart sink. Today he did both by talking about a chair . . . .

Edsall: David Autor is an economist at M.I.T. who has written on the role of the trade shocks that have driven white working class voters into the arms of the Republican Party . . . .

In a July 2022 paper “The Labor Market Impacts of Technological Change: From Unbridled Enthusiasm to Qualified Optimism to Vast Uncertainty,” Autor describes how artificial intelligence radically enlarges the potential of robotics and automation to replace workers not only performing routine tasks but more complex procedures:

“What makes a task routine is that it follows an explicit, fully specified set of rules and procedures. Tasks fitting this description can in many cases be codified in computer software and executed by machines.”

Continue reading Quote of the Week: What (& Who) Makes a Chair a “Chair”?

Breaking! Texas Pete Hot Sauce Drenched by False Advertising Lawsuit

[NOTE: No! This post was not taken from The Onion.  Again NO! It was not written by the New Yorker’s brilliant Andy Borowitz. And honest, I can’t make this stuff up! It’s from today’s issue of the very staid & sober, thrice Pulitzer Prize-winning daily, the Raleigh News & Observer. That doesn’t make the subject any less ridiculous; but here it is:]

Texas Pete hot sauce is ‘deceptive’ because it’s made in North Carolina, lawsuit says

BY JULIA MARNIN — OCTOBER 10, 2022

The producers of Texas Pete hot sauce are facing a class-action lawsuit because the brand is from North Carolina, not Texas.

A man bought a bottle of Texas Pete original hot sauce for $3 before discovering it is from North Carolina and not Texas. If he knew the sauce was made in Winston-Salem before purchasing it, he says he never would have bought it, according to a class-action lawsuit filed against the company producing Texas Pete hot sauce.

However, Phillip White, of California, argues the bottle’s imagery — including a cartoon cowboy spinning a lasso underneath the state flag’s “famed white ‘lone’ star” — duped him into believing the sauce was from Texas, and is therefore “deceptive,” according to a complaint filed Sept. 12.

“There is nothing ‘Texas’ about Texas Pete,” the 49-page complaint states. White is suing T.W. Garner Food Co. over the brand’s “false marketing and labeling scheme,” accusing it of violating the nation’s consumer protection laws, on behalf of those who bought the sauce under similar impressions, according to the lawsuit.

A photo of Texas Pete’s Original Hot Sauce is included in White’s lawsuit. Phillip White v. T.W. Garner Food Co. Complaint

The company told McClatchy News that it is aware of the lawsuit in a statement on Oct. 10. “We are currently investigating these assertions with our legal counsel to find the clearest and most effective way to respond,” the statement said.

White’s lawsuit demands a trial by jury and seeks to have Texas Pete hot sauce rebranded by having the company change its “unlawful advertising and labeling practices,” the complaint says.

T.W. Garner Food Co. “knowingly and intentionally capitalizes on consumers’ desire to partake in the culture and authentic cuisine of one of the most prideful states in America,” the complaint states.

HISTORY OF TEXAS PETE HOT SAUCE Continue reading Breaking! Texas Pete Hot Sauce Drenched by False Advertising Lawsuit

Big Family wealth drop

Can you tell?
U.S. household wealth suffers record drop in second quarter

U.S. household wealth fell by a record $6.1 trillion in the second quarter to its lowest in a year as a bear market in stocks far outweighed further gains in real estate values, a Federal Reserve report showed on Friday.

Sept 9 (Reuters) – U.S. household wealth fell by a record $6.1 trillion in the second quarter to its lowest in a year as a bear market in stocks far outweighed further gains in real estate values, a Federal Reserve report showed on Friday.

Household net worth tumbled to $143.8 trillion at the end of June from $149.9 trillion at the end of March, its second consecutive quarterly decline, the Fed’s quarterly snapshot of the national balance sheet showed. Through June, Americans’ collective wealth had fallen by more than $6.2 trillion from a record $150 trillion at the end of 2021.

The net drop in wealth in the second quarter was about $30 billion larger than the previous record decline notched two years earlier, as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic upended financial markets.

That decline – in the second quarter of 2020 – still stands as the largest on a percentage basis at 5.2% versus 4.1% in the most recent report.

Total nonfinancial debt rose at a 6.5% annualized rate after rising at an 8.3% rate in the first quarter, the Fed data showed. Household debt growth also slowed to a 7.4% annual rate from 8.3% in the first three months of the year, while business, federal, state and local government debt levels all rose.

(Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Paul Simao and Bill Berkrot)