Little Gems

Printing your way right into the poor house (with a lot of help).
James Imaging, out of Waukesha, with offices in Elkhorn:
How is this operation endemic of what’s going on in the strange world of high capacity printing machines and the servicing of those machines?
A lot of businesses need high volume printing. Those needs used to be met by centralized printing organizations that purchased huge printing presses and then sold contracts to businesses to fulfill the printing needs of those businesses. Times have changed. Printers have gotten much, much smaller and they can produce fine detailed images in both color, and black and white. And they are fast. How convenient is it to have a printer, smaller than a business desk, that belts out twenty-five to fifty thousand printed pages a month, and just keeps on trucking as long as it is loaded up with new toner cartridges and drums.

What’s the problem? These new machines must be serviced on a regular basis, not to mention loaded with toner and other junk. The servicing companies have gotten together and offered contracts and the machines themselves. It’s exactly the same price to lease the machines as it is to purchase them. Warning alert number one. Everyone is encouraged to lease the equipment in that kind of a deal. Then you have the leasing company’s machine in your office (the servicing company will not reveal who the leasing company is, by the way). Then there’s the servicing contract you must sign for a minimum of five years. These new predatory companies have to have your credit. For what? Not the lease signing. Nope. They have to have your credit because they are using contracts wherein they are loaning you the five year payments over the time of the contract in lump sum and then allowing you to “pay the money back” that you didn’t get over time. The giant added benefit to these companies (certainly not you), that you don’t figure out until you discover you want to leave them, or change servicing entities because of lousy service, is a bill for the remaining five years of service you are not going to get. James Imaging is also the preferred provider of print services for the City of Lake Geneva. Go figure.


Mileage. Mileage. Mileage.
United Airlines figures out how to reduce the definition of what a mile is to only allow for a half-mile of credit for every mile traveled. Amazing magical trick? Not really, just the usual authoritarian and monopolistic power being exercised by another out of control American company. For the purposes of ‘frequent flyer miles’ flown on United there is now a fifty percent reduction in mile size. A mile has become two miles. So, if you buy a ticket round trip from Chicago to Hawaii you will not get nearly eight thousand miles for the distance you will have flown. Nope. You will get four thousand because frequent flyer miles are no longer the miles you recall from your childhood.
What is this new move a result of?
Cutting expenses?
Bait and switch?
Most assuredly.
But the real result is a graphic display of what happens when large American corporations get together and form monopolies. The gasoline stations across the country did this in the fifties. The oil companies in the seventies. Printing companies, utilities, cable services and cell phone companies are constantly striving to do the same thing today. ATM fees and bank overdraft fees are the result of nothing more or less than monopolistic activity. Credit card interest rates that run ten to twenty times the amount of current interest rates are more of this, along with the creation and survival of Payday loan centers and Payday loans generated by some supposedly reputable banks. The first step in stopping this kind of legalized theft is recognition that money is being stolen from you and how it is being done. Much of the anger that has resulted in the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump success has been caused by the frustration and anger of the American public at being lied to and stolen from across the board.

Grandest Little Gem around Lake Geneva

Historical Lake Geneva Horticultural Center

The Historical Horticultural Hall was built in 1911 as a location for Lake Geneva’s Horticultural Society of professional gardeners. It was built to meet and discuss the work being done for the local estates. Currently, the Horticultural Hall, with it’s old time charm and beautiful court yard is used for weddings, conferences and the farmers market.

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