business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday’s story about how Edward Lampert seems to have converted Sears from being a retailer to being a hedge fund, MNB user Jeff Folloder wrote:

Perhaps Fast Eddie really is the smartest guy in the room? I really don't think that any amount of capital infusion can really rescue the brand image of Kmart and Sears.

Most folks I know consider the stores to be second or third tier choices, stores that are in disrepair, with disgruntled associates, poor pricing, and miserable shopping experiences. It's been that way for a long time and I'm just not convinced that there really is anything to be done. I think Eddie knows this. He's making money where there's money to be made and letting the brands of Kmart and Sears live out their days in the poorly run nursing home of retailing.

And, yet another email about the position retailers ought to take on dispensing the Plan B birth control pill:

My stance on abortion is simple... It's NOT an Option. We haven't the right to destroy, that which we cannot create. (cloning opinion to follow later 😉

My opinion not withstanding, I have to ask - What's next? Besides the guns/bullets example, what about cashiers that refuse to dispense tobacco?

I think this is just a cheap way to get onto a Dateline special report segment. In our "reality check" society today, it's NOT a pill issue, it's a common sense issue. Would a pharmacist move to a different country because the US developed this pill? Would they quit taking their blood pressure medicine because it was developed by the same company. Would they give up their attorney/client privilege based on the information?

These answers are obvious, but for some reason we like to isolate pieces of high-profile issues that suit our opinions & run with them. It makes for great copy, but nothing is ever "solved". We (those of us on EITHER side) are NEVER going to settle the abortion issue. Passionate mindsets simply will not change, nor will they agree to compromise. In fact the ONLY thing these two side DO agree on is there is no compromise.

Does the pharmacist really think the customer won't get the pill somewhere else? Nonsense, of course they will…

So, Mr. or Ms. Pharmacist - just do your job. You can be passionate about a topic & still live in this nasty world we've created. Indeed, YOU were a part of creating this world we know today. Realistically, even if ALL in your profession refused to dispense the pill, it would STILL find it's way to the you haven't gained a thing - except your 15 minutes.

It's an employee/employer issue. Employee - Do your job, or leave. Employer - Accommodate your employee, or they'll leave. The "Good" employees/employers will find a way to "be reasonable", they will sit down & discuss/develop a workable solution. The other 95%, well…

Not to sound to hypocritical, but....judging from those I know well (on BOTH sides), I believe that if the EITHER of these folks took their topic seriously, there are a lot of other "commandments" that they should ALSO be championing.

Another MNB user wrote:

Here’s my question: What would happen to a cashier in Kroger who chose to refuse to sell alcohol or cigarettes to a woman clearly 7-8 months pregnant? Would the store fire the cashier or find another cashier willing to sell these items to the woman? And if the woman is newly pregnant—not easily detectable?

And, yet another MNB user wrote:

I think I am more disturbed that the pharmacist doesn't know exactly how the Plan B pill works than the fact that they won't dispense it. If we are going to empower our pharmacists with the ability to hand out this pill, should we not assume that they are educated enough to know how it works and what it does? If we believe that using the Plan B pill is akin to murder, do these same pharmacists refuse to hand out birth control pills as well? How about condoms? From what I have read, the Plan B pill ensures that an unfertilized egg remains unfertilized, the same as the other forms as well. I am not saying women should get in the habit of using the Plan B pill over birth control, condoms or abstinence, but let's use the same moral vigor with all forms then.

We wrote yesterday that “the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that meat and milk from cloned animals is safe to consume, and that they need not be labeled."

But one MNB user corrected us:

It was my understanding that the FDA had proposed it's ruling and it is now in the "Public Comment Period" to gather input to determine their next step. A number of individuals and companies have registered their position with the FDA regarding this and it is important for others to do so too, if the timeframe has yet to expire.

True. The general feeling seems to be that the FDA will rule the way we indicated, but we got a little ahead of ourselves.
KC's View: