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Opinion – Daddy Warbucks

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Accelerate Arkansas

Folks this ‘Accelerate Arkansas’ is serious stuff. A group of select businessmen – known as the serious 60 – kicked off the ‘Accelerate Arkansas’ campaign last week at various locations in the Natural State. Daddy W. was given a heads up on this event by a close examiner of these weekly business wanderings. And as Dave Barry often writes: This is serious stuff folks, I am not making this up.

The ‘Accelerate Arkansas’ campaign is hoping to raise the state’s per capita income up, up, up. And that’s a good thing. For instance: Arkansas is currently 47th in per capita income – that translates into only $27,000 per individual at present—and that includes the impact of the Waltons, their heirs and hangers-on that cling to the billion dollar empire.

So we really do need to be focused, as a state, on making livable wages not only available – but better for ALL Arkansans. With the state 47th in the nation in per capita income – that means that 77 percent of the total population of the United States has a better standard of living then we do. And that, even to a
Daddy Warbucks, is troubling. Arkansas needs to and will tackle five areas to make headway in the per capita income area, spokesmen for
‘Accelerate Arkansas’s’ say.  A short verson looks like this: 1. Arkansas must support job creating research. 2. Arkansas must develop ‘risk capital’ available in all stages of the business cycle. 3. Arkansas must encourage entrepreneurship and new enterprise development. 4. Arkansas must increase all educational levels of the state in science, technology and math.
5. Arkansas must sustain existing industry through advancing technology and competitiveness.

SUPER CHICKEN
Well almost! Cobb Vantress that little NW Arkansas company that is a giant in poultry breeding has come up with a fast-growing giant of the bird – the Cobb 700. The Japanese and other Asian nations growers love this big bird. It gets to almost seven pounds in six weeks. U.S. markets may be a little slow to warm the  Cobb 700.

OIL & GAS
The once mundane 6-to-12 inches of minute statistics – the weekly oil and gas report – has undergone a transformation – like just exploded in the
pencil press. This past week, the listings went a full one-half page. Most of the action is not in the oil fields of Southern Arkansas, but in the Fayetteville
shale areas of North Central and Northeast Arkansas.

ESSAY FOR VISION
Dr. Jay McDonald and the folks at McDonald Eye Center have begun their annual essay for better sight contest. Write an essay and send in a photo on why you need a free lasik operation. After careful scrutiny (and your  promise to be a commercial spokesman) you can win a free lasik.

NOW IT’S 2009
John Nock, never at a loss to promise good things, now says the Downtown
Fayetteville 18-story, Renaissance Tower (maybe it needs another name) will be open for the Hog’s 2009 football season. We will see. Promises, promises.

BUT THEY DID PAY
At least one check for being late on the promised Renaissance Tower has been paid to the City of Fayetteville. But isn’t another one due soon?
Everyone please keep asking the City Administration about these checks!

SPOKESMAN DWI
Will the recent DWI arrest keep a former Hog QB off his gig promoting a local automobile dealership? Daddy W. didn’t see any of the Hog Wild commercials with him and the lovely spokeswoman on the TV this week. But wait and see.

FOR THE RECORD
The state revenue collections beat the forecast by a whopping 7.3 percent last month. Let’s all hope that trend holds. Full purses make being governor much easier. That’s a fact Gov. Mike Beebe sure knows.

HOTEL BEER
The Courtyard by Marriott at 600 East Van Asche Drive in Fayetteville wants a beer and wine permit. There is nothing like a good nightcap, now, is there.

MORE BULBS
Wal-Mart beat its sales projections for the new, improved, environmentally
friendly light bulbs. Did anyone doubt this? Not me, Always, Wal-Mart, Always Right, Always.

MO $$ TO RIDE
Those who ride Ozark Transit buses will see a little rate hike. The fares will
go up about 25 cents across the board for the various types of tickets. The increase will net only $20,000 to the bottom line, but that’s a help,

BOXIER BUSES
Have you seen the new UA Transit Buses? They are sure boxy looking – even more boxier than their previous red and white units. Sleeker, sexier?
Who cares? They get you up and down and around the campus.

VISIONARY
A tip of the hat goes out to the late Lloyd Peterson of Decatur, an icon in the NWA poultry breeding business. He was a visionary. His help in developing the Peterson male in the mid-1950s helped propel firms like George’s and Tyson Foods to what they are today.

NAME TO WATCH
Sunil Bharti Mittal, an Indian businessman who is hooking up with Wal-Mart, may lead the world’s largest retailer to greater heights in Asia. Just watch as they grow the business in India.

STEPS DOWN
John Tyson, grandson of the founder of Tyson Foods, stepped down as CEO, and did so as an early exit from his executive contract with the
world’s largest protein company recently. Tyson, since the acquisition with IBP, is a changed company. He walked away from an awful lot of stock and cash. But he did it under his own time frame and in his typical quiet, very private way. Tyson has always been his own man – and a good man. Look for John Tyson to find a second and more satisfying career for himself. He is, and has always been, a stand out guy in Daddy W’s eyes.

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