19.8.03

HE WHO SELLS HIS PRODUCT FOR A LOWER PRICE KNOWS WHAT IT IS WORTH. Harley Sorensen must have had a bad weekend running errands: "The Curse of Bigness is what drives us nuts when we go shopping and can't find a salesperson. If we're lucky, we can find a cashier -- at the other end of a line of impatient customers. The stores are huge, but all the jobs have been dummied down so a few underpaid humanoids can handle them." Where to begin? Good, fast, cheap, pick any two? Stores deliberately keep the jobs simple so as to be able to hire anyone who walks in the door? Same stuff available at full-service stores with higher prices, or online, if you're willing to wait? Schools doing a lousy job with basic skills?

Ol' Harley is on a roll, though: "Last week, the Curse of Bigness struck big time when the power went out in huge chunks of the United States and Canada. Not only were citizens unable to do anything about it but their local power companies were impotent, too. Decisions -- and repairs -- were made God knows where by God knows whom." You mean it was a miracle that the power came back on? Or were the technicians and engineers so clueless that nobody turned in a time slip for a breaker re-set or a power routing established? Wasn't this guy a Presidential speechwriter once?

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