Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pissing Away Resources

President Trump recently showed what was necessary, paperwork wise, to build 18 miles of new road in Maryland and the associated costs.


Seems they have been dicking around with this for nearly twenty years. So what have the Maryland taxpayers received? Nada, except for full employment of the report writers.

Close to my home is another bloated project going nowhere, a rail link to Denver International Airport.


My personal experience, albeit on a small scale, is extensive. From 2003 to 2006 my employer, Steve Lance’s Cowboy Corral Kia, held 60 car sales in twenty six different Colorado towns and opened six used car lots. Making this happen was my job. I answered to only the owner and the general manager. Twenty six different towns, twenty six different sets of ordinances and procedures, city codes, county codes, state requirements, ad nasium.  There was no blueprint for nobody had ever attempted what we did. One of our financial managers remarked it was like opening a new business, from scratch, at each new town. In Burlington, CO I was fingerprinted and we put up a $10,000 cash bond. Boulder, CO tossed every conceivable obstacle in our way. Seem to remember ten different permits were required. Five different permits in Glenwood Springs. Other places, like Trinidad and Canon City made it easy.

This is all to establish I might know what I’m talking about. Think we didn’t make our money back on the sales to the residents of these towns? Think again. You can call this a hidden tax, no?

Any regulation is double taxation. First the general tax used to fund the organs of government. Second, the cost passed through to the consumer by business.

So, WSF, you prefer anarchy. No, some regulation is needed for our general welfare.

To digress a bit, a look at why we were able to pull this off. The owner, general manager and I trusted each other. They knew I would never steal, skim, seek kickbacks, etc. I knew they wouldn’t shaft me financially. When we were moving fast, often I would use my personal credit cards and checking account. It wasn’t unusual for me to have eight grand of my money floating around.

Peter Butterfield, then President of Kia, put a lot of money on the line to promote the Kia brand. This was available to all dealers. Few had Steve Lance’s guts. Steve, a professional bullrider from Medicine Lodge, KS, had guts, vision, and drive. His assignments to me were in the following form.

This is what I want done. This is when I want it done. This is where I want it done. Do it right, and don’t cut corners. After that all he wanted from me, “It is done” or “It isn’t done because….”

 Not many people have the luxury of working in that atmosphere. Who else would have let me spend $2,000,000 of their money? A long conversation for us was ten minutes.

I relished the challenge (and the rewards). What we accomplished had never been done to our knowledge.
Another factor was Steve and the General Manager, Greg Miller,  rode my heat. I pissed off nearly everyone in the company at one time or another. The one thing I couldn’t control was time. Fuck with my time and I would steamroller you. Want to get physical? OK, out back and I’ll fill your dance card.

In addition to setting all this up, I managed the sales crew. That was why my title on my business card was, "Senior Cat Herder".

What soothed the hurt feelings and was balm to wounds was we made a shit load of money.

Getting back on track, perhaps the best business model is critical path analysis, critical path management. An outstanding example of this method was the Polaris Missile Program.


This kind of planning was part of the United States being the arsenal of democracy in WWII, IMO.

Over regulation kills CPA/CPM because you lose control of time. Government functionaries, under little or no accountability, consume your project time, and your personal time dealing with them. I won’t go further. Several regular readers of this blog (and I appreciate each and everyone of you) can write books on the subject.


So bravo for a businessman President who has lived the problem his whole business life. There is hope.

12 comments:

  1. Yep, that was ballsy... :-D And I used CPA/CPM routinely to manage our projects in my last job. Usually to the dismay of the project managers... :-)

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    1. CPA/CPM was the best skill learned in higher education for me. Used it my entire working life. Of course, others accuse you of "overthinking".

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  2. Oh, boy....the stories I could tell about "$900 Toilet Seats" and "$1500 Hammers".....

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    1. Isn't some of that skim for black budgets?

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  3. Sadly, since you got something done, you're really not qualified to work in government. Or if you apply, don't list your successes and how you cut through the bureaucracy. President Trump does that and look at the massive attack that the deep state levels against him. There is a lesson in this about the nation and it's not a pretty lesson.

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    1. That is so sad. Wish you weren't correct.

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  4. I don't think it is. At least I've never heard that until just now. The cost is driven by the quality control of the parts, the sometimes bizarre requirements to document everything about the part, and the sometimes low quantities of the part ordered.

    For example, a 4-40 stainless (or "CRES") machine screw that would cost 15 cents winds up costing $1 because you could literally find out what mine the iron ore for the batch of steel that made that screw came from. Things like that that drive up the cost.

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    1. Understand. Years ago I was told of the funding black operations. May be an urban myth.

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  5. Yep. He was all gangster with the throwing of the books. LMAO. It doesn't matter what he does, all Dems see it as wrong. I think the true telling has been in Sessions and Comey testimony. Truly telling of what is going on out there. I'm glad Trump keeps going. I do wish he would stop tweeting, however.

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    1. Don't know about Twitter. Don't have an account.

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  6. I could never run for office of any kind. My mother and farther were married to each other when I was born. That disqualifies on both sides of the isle.

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    1. What a terrible lifelong burden to impose on a helpless baby.

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