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Event # 239: THE BOAT ROCKERS' EDITION
The Barnes & Noble Search Engine
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LAST WEEK's EDITION
MEET THE G-CREW! These are the people behind this jam-band every week. AND there are GUIDELINES FOR YOU TO JOIN THE BAND...
Ed Cantarella "I'm your top prime cut of meat, I'm your choice,
I wanna be elected!
I'm your yankee doodle dandy in a gold Rolls Royce,
I wanna be elected!
Kids want a saviour, don't need a fake,
I wanna be elected!
We're all gonna rock, to the rules that I make'
I wanna be elected!" "Elected"(1973) - shock rocker, Alice Cooper.
I was asked to check out and review the web site Politistock.com. I thought, "Gee, neat name, maybe it'll be full of links to all the political parties, political news stories, surveys and stuff; kind of like a Woodstock (famous impromptu rock concert that drew over 500,000 spectators) for politics.
No dice, www.Politistock.com is a site that proposes to let you buy and sell shares of stock in U.S.A. politicians; specifically, presidential and gubernatorial (state governor) candidates.
NO, OF COURSE NOT FOR REAL!! It's just a silly game site.
The premise is that you start out with some free "funny money", buy stock in candidates, and then see if the price other players are willing to pay is more or less than what you paid, presumably following the actual value of these political chess pieces. Accordingly, a candidate can be "bought" for less, when their popularity is down, and vise-versa.
Your sole motivation comes down to a chance at a blind drawing for a $89 PDA(personal digital assistant) or a Politistock.com t-shirt. To enter in the drawing for these awesome prizes, you would have to visit this site for weeks, AND be one of the top "traders". My guestimate is that it would take upwards of 10,000 clicks of your mouse to even get into the running. Can you say "carpal tunnel"?
Time to move on, kids. Let's visit the "crew" that brought this fine piece of Americana to a portal near you...
Michael Harris: President and Chief Executive Officer of Political Stock, Inc., of which he is also a co-founder. Reuven Goren: co-founder and the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Political Stock, Inc. Paul Karlin: Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of Political Stock, Inc. Tidbits from their bios --- which certainly helped me get warmed up for this review --- include:"Michael has seen politics in action on the local, state, federal, and even international level. As a result, no one has a firmer grasp on the intricacies of buying and selling politicians than he does." .... " Paul has no formal political background, he has plenty of experience dealing with people who are full of hot air. Paul has been a balloon handler in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade." --- and --- "Prior to co-founding Political Stock, Inc., Reuven contributed his writing, research, and editing skills to various business and investing publications including....'Investing Online for Dummies.'"Ok. I think we've grilled them enough on this side, let's turn them over and get to the bottom of things.
According to PC DATA (www.pcdataonline), an online ratings company, less than ‡ of 1 percent of the total Web audience uses political sites. In a recent article on political websites in Inter@ctiveweek.com, Allen Weiner of NetRatings (www.netratings.com) - another online audience measurement firm - stated, " It's not a business....Business is based on sustainable traffic".
"Sustainable traffic"? The elections are November 7th and, even during the political conventions of August, the combined monthly total of unique visitors to USA-related political sites remained below 110,000 (Netratings.com). As part of my journalistic duties, I requested some statistics from the good folks of Politicstock, to-wit: (1) Most unique visitors in a month: 6000 and; (2) Number of current members - limited to those who have traded in the last 30 days (for relevancy): 350. Besides the numbers being suspiciously round, I have to wonder about their claim that,"Politistock has a very loyal user community."
Bad Analogy, Bad LessonsIt's not like I am a professional stock advisor ( but I have done pretty good in the stock market.) It's the bad analogy to "real world"politics and investing, that grates my @ss about this site; that, and the contention that their site would be a good educational tool for students.
From Politistock's FAQ page: "The game will not only teach them about politics, but also about the stock market. The terms 'buying' and 'selling' will take on a new meaning..."
Yes, and this will also help encourage mentalities for day trading, fear/hype driven investing, winning by "luck" and whim-driven behavior in our young people, IMHO. BAH!
Buying stock (for all but very experienced players) should be a long term commitment, anticipating some ups and downs along the way.
We know that the political stock market is going to "crash" for the majority of the political players on November 7th. The stock market isn't driven by the whimsical buying and selling of "common stock" any more than the political scene is driven by "common opinion"; "big league" stock players take Stock Options. "Big league" political contributors are basically doing the same. Stock options are purchases of the right to buy or sell stock at a particular price, regardless of the current market price, without actually purchasing - you merely buy the option of trading the stock. Obviously, you are not going "exercise" (put in action) your stock option, if that would be financially negative.
"Soft money" contributions (options) give corporations and wealthy individuals the right to be "remembered" for a future legislation that would favor their interests. And, like with stock options, there is nothing to "exercise" after a "soft money" contribution, if your candidate isn't elected. For a nice satirical look at the concept of "soft money", check out this article: http://www.maxfunds.com/MF2000.nsf/DisplayContent/1950. This article is at a site called MaxFunds.com, which has committed itself to tracking "whether a company's economic future moves with the political success or failure of its candidate" - candidates that have received "soft money" contributions from said company. Maxfunds.com might be interesting to watch after the elections, and for months (years?) afterwards. Politistock.com? After November 7th, anywhere from 50-80% (depends on # of candidates in particular race) of the candidates will have lost and their stock will be worth zero, much like Politistock.com.
Save your strength for a game that makes sense physically and politically; go, join Doug McDaniel for some "Age of the Empires.""And if I am elected,
I promise the formation of a new party,
A third party, the Wild Party!
I know we have problems right here in Central City, We have problems on the North, South, East and West.
New York City, Saint Louis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago.
Everybody has problems,
And personally, I don't care...." -- Alice Cooper
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