Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Workplace Safety and Economics

It is estimated that over 40 million workers in the United States had to receive emergency medical treatment for workplace-related injuries in the year 2003.  This is a staggering number when one considers the efforts most companies have put into maintaining a safe workplace.  In modern times, a number of companies have been found liable for injuries sustained in their places of business.  There is a relationship that exists between workplace safety and profitability.

Every company, especially those involved in industrial manufacturing, is constantly looking at ways to continuously improve their products and processes.  They realize that their profits are directly related to the ways and means by which they produce their products.  Unfortunately, too many companies get caught up in drive for higher profits and tend to allow workplace safety to become an afterthought.  

The costs associated with operating a large manufacturing facility in America are astounding.  Workplace injuries place a massive burden of expense and weakened productivity on a company.  These injuries can be reduced with proper planning and careful attention to detail.  Most workplace injuries are preventable.  There are a number of factors to consider, but maintaining a safe and tidy work area is one of the best ways to prevent injury.  Workers, too, have a responsibility in keeping themselves safe from harm.

Workplace injuries place a significant burden on health care providers and insurance companies.  As companies continue to pay higher premiums for employee health care, one of the only means available for cost recovery is to increase the prices of the goods they produce.  This places the burden of expense on the consumer, and allows companies to ignore the root cause of their workplace injuries.  The focus here seems to be on maintaining a healthy relationship with shareholders, and not necessarily on maintaining a healthy workforce.

It is interesting to note that there are record numbers of jobs, especially in the industrial sector, being sent overseas.  There are a number of reasons to account for this.  One of the most significant reasons is that American companies are able to shave their operating costs down to a fraction of their domestic costs, by capitalizing on cheaper labor in foreign markets.  Foreign governments, eager for investment, are all too willing to accommodate the interests of big western business.  Far too often, this comes at the expense of workplace safety.

If companies want to be profitable in the long term, they need to reexamine their approach to workplace safety and the health of their workers.  Many companies are sending jobs overseas, in order to take advantage of cheap labor and relaxed labor laws.  American companies can be both profitable and safety conscious.  Through directed education campaigns and preemptive planning, workplace injuries can be reduced in a significant way.  Remember: a safe worker is a happy worker, and a happy worker is a productive worker.

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The Economics of Spam

Tennessee resident K. C. "Khan" Smith owes the internet service provider EarthLink $24 million. According to the CNN, in August 2001 he was slapped with a lawsuit accusing him of violating federal and state Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984, the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and numerous other state laws. On July 19, 2002 - having failed to appear in court - the judge ruled against him. Mr. Smith is a spammer.

Brightmail, a vendor of e-mail filters and anti-spam applications warned that close to 5 million spam "attacks" or "bursts" occurred in June 2002 and that spam has mushroomed 450 percent since June 2001. This pace continued unabated well into the beginning of 2004 when the introduction of spam filters began to take effect. PC World concurs.

Between one half and three quarters of all e-mail messages are spam or UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) - unsolicited and intrusive commercial ads, mostly concerned with sex, scams, get rich quick schemes, financial services and products, and health articles of dubious provenance. The messages are sent from spoofed or fake e-mail addresses. Some spammers hack into unsecured servers - mainly in China and Korea - to relay their missives anonymously.

Starting in 2003, malicious hackers began using spam to install malware - such as viruses, adware, spyware, and Trojans - on the unprotected personal computers of less savvy users. They thus transform these computers into "zombies", organize them into spam-spewing "bots" (networks), and sell access to them to criminals on penumbral boards and forums all over the Net.

Spam is an industry. Mass e-mailers maintain lists of e-mail addresses, often "harvested" by spamware bots - specialized computer applications - from Web sites. These lists are rented out or sold to marketers who use bulk mail services. They come cheap - c. $100 for 10 million addresses. Bulk mailers provide servers and bandwidth, charging c. $300 per million messages sent.

As spam recipients become more inured, ISPs less tolerant, and both more litigious - spammers multiply their efforts in order to maintain the same response rate. Spam works. It is not universally unwanted - which makes it tricky to outlaw. It elicits between 0.1 and 1 percent in positive follow ups, depending on the message. Many messages now include HTML, JavaScript, and ActiveX coding and thus resemble (or actually contain) viruses and Trojans.

Jupiter Media Matrix predicted in 2001 that the number of spam messages annually received by a typical Internet user will double to 1400 and spending on legitimate e-mail marketing will reach $9.4 billion by 2006 - compared to $1 billion in 2001. Forrester Research pegs the number at $4.8 billion in 2003.

More than 2.3-5 billion spam messages are sent daily. eMarketer puts the figures a lot lower at 76 billion messages in 2002. By 2006, daily spam output will soar to c. 15 billion missives, says Radicati Group. Jupiter projects a more modest 268 billion annual messages this year (2005). An average communication costs the spammer 0.00032 cents.

PC World quotes the European Union as pegging the bandwidth costs of spam worldwide in 2002 at $8-10 billion annually. Other damages include server crashes, time spent purging unwanted messages, lower productivity, aggravation, and increased cost of Internet access.

Inevitably, the spam industry gave rise to an anti-spam industry. According to a Radicati Group report titled "Anti-virus, anti-spam, and content filtering market trends 2002-2006", anti-spam revenues were projected to exceed $88 million in 2002 - and more than double by 2006. List blockers, report and complaint generators, advocacy groups, registers of known spammers, and spam filters all proliferate. The Wall Street Journal reported in its June 25, 2002 issue about a resurgence of anti-spam startups financed by eager venture capital.

ISPs are bent on preventing abuse - reported by victims - by expunging the accounts of spammers. But the latter simply switch ISPs or sign on with free services like Hotmail and Yahoo! Barriers to entry are getting lower by the day as the costs of hardware, software, and communications plummet.

The use of e-mail and broadband connections by the general population is spreading. Hundreds of thousands of technologically-savvy operators have joined the market in the last five years, as the dotcom bubble burst. Still, Steve Linford of the UK-based insists that most spam emanates from c. 80 large operators.

Now, according to Jupiter Media, ISPs and portals are poised to begin to charge advertisers in a tier-based system, replete with premium services. Writing back in 1998, Bill Gates described a solution also espoused by Esther Dyson, chair of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

"As I first described in my book 'The Road Ahead' in 1995, I expect that eventually you'll be paid to read unsolicited e-mail. You'll tell your e-mail program to discard all unsolicited messages that don't offer an amount of money that you'll choose. If you open a paid message and discover it's from a long-lost friend or somebody else who has a legitimate reason to contact you, you'll be able to cancel the payment. Otherwise, you'll be paid for your time."

Subscribers may not be appreciative of the joint ventures between gatekeepers and inbox clutterers. Moreover, dominant ISPs, such as AT&T and PSINet have recurrently been accused of knowingly collaborating with spammers. ISPs rely on the data traffic that spam generates for their revenues in an ever-harsher business environment.

The Financial Times and others described how WorldCom refuses to ban the sale of spamware over its network, claiming that it does not regulate content. When "pink" (the color of canned spam) contracts came to light, the implicated ISPs blame the whole affair on rogue employees.

PC World begs to differ:

"Ronnie Scelson, a self-described spammer who signed such a contract with PSInet, (says) that backbone providers are more than happy to do business with bulk e-mailers. 'I've signed up with the biggest 50 carriers two or three times', says Scelson ... The Louisiana-based spammer claims to send 84 million commercial e-mail messages a day over his three 45-megabit-per-second DS3 circuits. 'If you were getting $40,000 a month for each circuit', Scelson asks, 'would you want to shut me down?'"

The line between permission-based or "opt-in" e-mail marketing and spam is getting thinner by the day. Some list resellers guarantee the consensual nature of their wares. According to the Direct Marketing Association's guidelines, quoted by PC World, not responding to an unsolicited e-mail amounts to "opting-in" - a marketing strategy known as "opting out". Most experts, though, strongly urge spam victims not to respond to spammers, lest their e-mail address is confirmed.

But spam is crossing technological boundaries. Japan has just legislated against wireless SMS spam targeted at hapless mobile phone users. Many states in the USA as well as the European parliament have followed suit. Ideas regarding a "do not spam" list akin to the "do not call" list in telemarketing have been floated. Mobile phone users will place their phone numbers on the list to avoid receiving UCE (spam). Email subscribers enjoy the benefits of a similar list under the CAN-Spam Act of 2003.

Expensive and slow connections make mobile phone spam and spim (instant messaging spam) particularly resented. Still, according to Britain's Mobile Channel, a mobile advertising company quoted by "The Economist", SMS advertising - a novelty - attracts a 10-20 percent response rate - compared to direct mail's 1-3 percent.

Net identification systems - like Microsoft's Passport and the one proposed by Liberty Alliance - will make it even easier for marketers to target prospects.

The reaction to spam can be described only as mass hysteria. Reporting someone as a spammer - even when he is not - has become a favorite pastime of vengeful, self-appointed, vigilante "cyber-cops". Perfectly legitimate, opt-in, email marketing businesses and discussion forums often find themselves in one or more black lists - their reputation and business ruined.

In January 2002, CMGI-owned Yesmail was awarded a temporary restraining order against MAPS - Mail Abuse Prevention System - forbidding it to place the reputable e-mail marketer on its Real-time Blackhole list. The case was settled out of court.

Harris Interactive, a large online opinion polling company, sued not only MAPS, but ISPs who blocked its email messages when it found itself included in MAPS' Blackhole. Their CEO accused one of their competitors for the allegations that led to Harris' inclusion in the list.

Coupled with other pernicious phenomena - such as viruses, Trojans, and spyware - the very foundation of the Internet as a fun, relatively safe, mode of communication and data acquisition is at stake.

Spammers, it emerges, have their own organizations. NOIC - the National Organization of Internet Commerce threatened to post to its Web site the e-mail addresses of millions of AOL members. AOL has aggressive anti-spamming policies. "AOL is blocking bulk email because it wants the advertising revenues for itself (by selling pop-up ads)" the president of NOIC, Damien Melle, complained to CNET.

Spam is a classic "free rider" problem. For any given individual, the cost of blocking a spammer far outweighs the benefits. It is cheaper and easier to hit the "delete" key. Individuals, therefore, prefer to let others do the job and enjoy the outcome - the public good of a spam-free Internet. They cannot be left out of the benefits of such an aftermath - public goods are, by definition, "non-excludable". Nor is a public good diminished by a growing number of "non-rival" users.

Such a situation resembles a market failure and requires government intervention through legislation and enforcement. The FTC - the US Federal Trade Commission - has taken legal action against more than 100 spammers for promoting scams and fraudulent goods and services.

"Project Mailbox" is an anti-spam collaboration between American law enforcement agencies and the private sector. Non government organizations have entered the fray, as have lobbying groups, such as CAUCE - the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail.

But, a few recent anti-spam and anti-spyware Acts notwithstanding, Congress is curiously reluctant to enact stringent laws against spam. Reasons cited are free speech, limits on state powers to regulate commerce, avoiding unfair restrictions on trade, and the interests of small business. The courts equivocate as well. In some cases - e.g., Missouri vs. American Blast Fax - US courts found "that the provision prohibiting the sending of unsolicited advertisements is unconstitutional".

According to,  the 107th Congress, for instance, discussed these laws but never enacted them:

Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2001 (H.R. 95), Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act (H.R. 113), Anti-Spamming Act of 2001 (H.R. 718), Anti-Spamming Act of 2001 (H.R. 1017), Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act (H.R. 1846), Protect Children From E-Mail Smut Act of 2001 (H.R.  2472), Netizens Protection Act of 2001 (H.R. 3146), "CAN SPAM" Act of 2001 (S. 630).

Anti-spam laws fared no better in the 106th Congress. Some of the states have picked up the slack. Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The situation is no better across the pond. The European parliament decided in 2001 to allow each member country to enact its own spam laws, thus avoiding a continent-wide directive and directly confronting the communications ministers of the union. Paradoxically, it also decided, in March 2002, to restrict SMS spam. Confusion clearly reigns. Finally, in May 2002, it adopted strong anti-spam provisions as part of a Directive on Data Protection.

Responding to this unfavorable legal environment, spam is relocating to developing countries, such as Malaysia, Nepal, and Nigeria. In a May 2005 report, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) warned that these countries lack the technical know-how and financial resources (let alone the will) to combat spam. Their users, anyhow deprived of bandwidth, endure, as a result, a less reliable service and an intermittent access to the Internet;

"Spam is a much more serious issue in developing it is a heavy drain on resources that are scarcer and costlier in developing countries than elsewhere" - writes the report's author, Suresh Ramasubramanian, an OECD advisor and postmaster for

ISPs, spam monitoring services, and governments in the rich industrialized world react by placing entire countries - such as Macedonia and Costa Rica - on black lists and, thus denying access to their users en bloc.

International collaboration against the looming destruction of the Internet by crime organizations is budding. The FTC had just announced that it will work with its counterparts abroad to cut zombie computers off the network. A welcome step - but about three years late. Spammers the world over are still six steps ahead and are having the upper hand.

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Innovative Advertising Places For New Economy

Advertising is becoming more and more innovating in todays knowledge driven new Business world. Advertising companies finding new locations, new innovative Ideas to sell their customers products and Services through Advertising. Here we will discuss some more Places to Advertising your products and services.

Online Internet Advertising Market Places

1. Internet is the best market place to advertise your products in more than 200 countries targeted buyers or customers orldwide community.

2. Make your website for mobile users so that mobile users can access your products catalog on mobile or other PDA devices.

3. Translet your website into various Internatonal Languages so that your products and services can be reach world's local


4. Submit your website into various Business to business (b2b) trade directories so that your customers can buy your products

through b2b exchange.

5. Make a blog or forums for your customers feedback.

6. Submit your website in various search engines to improve your backlinks so that your webrank or pagerank will increase and

your website can be come into first ranking in various search engines and your customers, buyers list will increase.

Offline Advertisning Market Places

Offline advertising is becoming more competitive in todays new knowledge economy. Companies doing advertising in TV channels, in newspapers, Hordings and many many new other advertising marketplaces. here we will discuss about Apparel advertsing


Advertising companies having huge opportunity in T-shirt, Shirts, and many other Apparels. These Apparels are good marketplace to advertise your products and services in more than 200 countries worldwide.

How T-shirts can do advertising?

Apparel companies always finding new designs for apparel Manufacturing Business. Advertising companies can provide huge Royalty free Designs to these Apparel companies so that fashion designers can choose these designs to manufacture their T-shirts apparels.

T-shirts are always popular in all types of peoples in more than 200 countries so that companies provide good designs with their small logo then various companies can choose these designs from various countries and companies will get benefits to do advertising in various locations.

Advertisinig Companies needs to offer Royalty free attractive designs only, because various companies already distributing T-shirts and many types of apparels as a advertising promotions.

Shweta Mehta is e-Marketing Consultant from MUmbai working Davabazaar


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2006 Economy: How to Avoid Overextending Yourself

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy and is moving into its fifth year of expansion. The biggest risk is the housing market which is expected to slow this year and potentially drag the economy down with it. Many people are betting that the housing market will avoid a major crash but instead will plateau leaving prices stagnant. The resulting rise in interest rates could put a lot of families under financial stress.

A housing market that is not growing quickly turns into a buyer’s market. People will have a number of houses to choose from which will block any increasing value for current home owners. To most home owners this will not be a problem because they have conventional fixed-rate mortgages and only need to wait until the market improves. People who have unconventional 5-year arms and interest only loans may be seriously hurt; especially if interest rates rise. 

“I think one of the principal risks is whether or not home prices decline and the impact that that will have in terms of influencing the savings rate and personal consumption growth  as we have already seen in the U.K. and Australia” said David Rosenberg a U.S. economist at Merrill Lynch (Wolk, 2005). 

A bigger problem is people’s personal savings rates. Because debt is so easy today and most families are at a maximum borrowing limit many people who will see a jump in their interest payments may begin to default. This default raises the interest rate even further due to increased risks associated with lending money. In the end many people will not have money to spend or save which could have serious consequences for the economy as a whole. 

The best measure to avoid such pit falls is to put a larger sum down on your house during purchase which gives you a cushion to work with incase you need to sell your house quickly. The second measure is to avoid all credit card balances, home equity loans and charge cards. Finally, only engage in fixed-rate mortgages.

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The U.S. Economy Helps Sink The Middle Class

The glowing economic reports are blowing away the middle class. Amid rough retail reports you can still find some gems. Tiffany the luxury jeweler profit rose as sales went up 20% to $ 662.6 million. Other lower end retailer’s sales fell across the board. The struggling middle class are feeling the pinch. The uncertain housing market is causing a lot of the financial woes. A snapshot of the landscape, with the entire home for sale signs would give you a picture of the slowdown.

The middle class is surely being kicked while down. The alluring home market has fallen flat for the struggling middle class. The number of Americans without health insurance has risen by 2.2 million. There are a total of 47 million people without this insurance. The poor are still poor and the middle class is struggling to stay middle class. The claim is other sections of the economy are healthy.

Then who and what are the reports referring to? Before 1990 the Forbes 400 had a combined worth of $221 billion combined. By June 2006 they were worth 1.3 trillion. The median household income has held at about $ 44,000. What this means is if the lower to middle class incomes are stagnate while inflation is rising, the healthy economy exists for the rich. There are many ways to make the national economy appear healthy than it is for the average working class family.

Adjusted for inflation the federal minimum wage has fallen 42% in June 2006 since its peak. It is said that 80% of American spend more on health care than entertainment. Partly this is due to the high cost of prescription drugs. The second part is that the number of prescriptions written is higher than ever. The U.S. economy is partly built on the pharmaceutical and food conglomerates. Think about it you have to eat so there is always a market for what the food industry produces. Than again after you indulge in the processed faux food you wind up in the arms of the pharmaceutical giants.

In other words the big players on the top rungs are where we find the health economy. The U.S. economy is supported by the working class. From taxes to buying habits the happy reports about the U.S. economy are fueled by the feeding of the corporate giants. The top is getting heavy and the bottom half is loosing its footing. If the U.S. economy sinks the middle class, it will echo thought the whole economy.

The opportunities for wealth still exist in this economy. The problem is that the industrial giants are in the position of expanding their reach at the cost of the general population. Basically, what the prevailing thought is that the rich spend and keep the money in circulation. Their buying power and consumer spending feed the economy. The question is whose economy. Sure Tiffany is enjoying good sales growth, but what about the mom and pop stores selling lower end merchandise.

When doing an overview of the economy you have to look at the landscape. When listening to the reports on the economy you have to ask where Middle America is. Then you can get an idea if the ship will stay afloat, and I think the answer will not surprise you. Middle America is not being buffered by the high rollers. If anything it is being sunk by the people who claim to be holding the economy together.

Outsourcing Projects In Today's Global Economy

One of the hot political topics facing the United States political establishment today is the tendency of businesses to practice the philosophy of outsourcing projects. Many people have an opinion that nothing should be outsourced, but the ability that companies have to outsource projects keeps domestic costs down.

Skilled labor in the United States is expensive. In addition to health insurance, employers need to set up office space and pay into retirement plans. Outsourcing projects and creating a network of freelancers is a great way to reduce the overhead costs of running a business.

The Internet has become the most powerful marketing tool on the planet. Take a step back and put it into perspective. At any given moment, hundreds of millions of people are linked to the Internet. The possibilities for reaching large groups of people are greater now than at any other time in history. Plus, Internet connection speeds are so rapid now that the flow of information is nearly instantaneous. When the term ‘Information Super-Highway’ was coined – broadband was in its infancy. Today it seems like the world is connected and this reinforces the need for virtual marketplaces.

If you conduct some research on the web, you can find that there are a variety of websites dedicated to outsourcing projects. One such website is This well-designed website is a virtual marketplace accessible from anywhere in the world. In addition to the snappy design, has over a dozen categories of freelance projects for freelancers and employers to find and post projects in respectively.

If you log onto, you can also find a virtual market where outsourcing projects has become en vogue. The professionals on elance are top-notch and cover many different areas: writing, logo and graphic design, software, and website design, to name a few.

Another entry into the growing coliseum of virtual employment is This website specializes in software and computer professionals. Not only are there a great deal of competent computer professionals in the United States – they are all over the world. India, for instance has been receiving jobs that companies in the U.S. have been outsourcing.

There is no way to stop outsourcing projects. It is just the way business is headed. If you found one store with an item at a great discount, wouldn’t you go check it out?