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Modifying the saving model


It’s Jack’s Place. It’s Steve’s Diner. Whatever or whoever’s place it is, it’s better than Food Incorporated’s place, and that makes all the difference.
We were upstate for a wedding, staying in Glens Falls, N.Y., last week. After a wonderful dinner at Jack’s, a small family restaurant, we asked the concierge for a recommendation for an all-day breakfast place. She referred us to what she said was a good diner. She was wrong; it was a great diner. Perfection in almost every way, it showed what the difference between “making a living” and “making a killing” is all about.
There was no loud music to drive diners out of the place. The old-fashioned, wall mounted, booth juke boxes were pleasingly playing everything from AC/DC to ZZ Top and even included some oldies and standards from crooners like Frank Sinatra. This family owned and operated spot was in top notch condition and shining like a new set of hubcaps. Steve’s sisters were running it and it meant the world to them, but everyone there was involved. Run by a predominantly female staff with homemade desserts by the owners, no one was cramped for space, but the menu was crowded with food for all reasons. It was a veritable beehive. “We’re a family,” one of the owners said about the employees as she took time from her busy business to meet and greet.
Chatterbox Feb. 19, 2004, “Singing the tea-drinkers’ blues,” talked about tea drinkers at a lovely B&B being fanned off to a self-serve table. No such thing at this gem; thermal pitchers of hot water, tea bags, refills, and honey were all served as smooth as glass. Oh, and there were no prisoners to maple flavored topping. A generous portion of genuine maple syrup was available for a very nominal charge. We were allowed to seat ourselves but there was no putting the customer to work here. It was the royal treatment.
As we allow more to be handled for profit only, we lose the personal touch and negotiating power of the owner. With businesses of personal interest, such is the stellar experience clients get when passion, and not the bottom line, is the name of the game.
Here at Chatterbox we’ve talked about “Made in America” before. It’s an evaporating way of life and the reason is money … what else? America is on a crash course as a growing portion of her population seeks ridiculous wealth. As we reached for the stars, our guidance system went down in flames, and we lost the greatness of small things accumulating into all that is important and enough. We’ve become a nation wherein great personal wealth has become the drive of the business model.

I had a brief chat with one of my family members just this morning. He talked about a relative in business in America. Recently a competitor outsourced, and this relative is being undersold to a point at which he’ll be out of business, permanently. This kind of outsourcing of jobs for the best bottom line is what’s killing America as a nation and a world power.
There are always those who regurgitate it as “just business.” Well, business has always been about profit. The difference is that American business owners are no longer our foundation because business profits aren’t filtering into the mainstream anymore. Business in America has almost exclusively become about sending most of the profit up to the lettered officers and out to the stockholders. As more rises to the top, less trickles down. Obviously this dries up our general wealth, and America is tanking.
Great little places like Jack’s, Steve’s, and all other successful private businesses are the example of solubility in American business. So, we shouldn’t even need to be talking about multibillion dollar corporations not being able to compete on a national/international level without outsourcing. We’ve said it here before … the name of this game is greed, and it’s going to kill the United States of America from within, where our enemies have failed.
Perhaps Khrushchev was right. We may, yet, bury ourselves. It won’t be with freedom but it will happen just the same because business regulations were bought off by corporate corruption to serve the many who seek the world of excessive wealth and self-indulgence.
I don’t know at what point, if ever, it will be too late. I prefer to believe in the Jack and Steve model, and in the American people, but we can’t do it without objective legislation.