Zhang Yin


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Below is an inspiring story of a truly extraordinary woman.I found the original post here : http://invincibleprobity.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/the-american-spirit-now-comes-from-china/ 

The story is a must read for entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs, women and anyone interested in a human interest story.

When I have some down time I usually hang out at my home in the Rocky Mountains of northwest Montana, USA.  This is a wonderful place of very few people and lots of big mountains and beautiful scenery.  It’s a special region of rivers and streams and lakes … and billions of trees.  As opposed to the eastern part of this huge state, where agriculture and cattle reign, northwest Montana has long depended on its biggest industry – timber and wood products.  But this industry, faced with steadily increasing restrictions on logging in our national forests and steadily rising competition from cheaper products from overseas, has been in slow decline for the past forty years.  It seems like another small lumber mill that had been around for a century is closed down every few months. 

In 2009 even big corporate mills started closing.  One of these was the Smerfit-Stone Container mill in Frenchtown near Missoula.  A second Smerfit-Stone container mill also filed for bankruptcy in Canada at the same time, and Smerfit-Stone mills in Arizona and Quebec had closed earlier.  The company naturally cited “the unprecedented global economic recession [which] has weakened demand for packaging”, but a major portion of the truth has been left out of the Smerfit-Stone rationalizing, including the fact that it had failed to upgrade its equipment to meet modern advanced capabilities and had retained its dependence on expensive freshly logged timber to manufacture its cardboard containers.  This is another American industry that has long been locked in the past while taking profits for today and failing to improve its competitiveness in the arena for tomorrow.

Like so many American industries that were forged by great visionaries of the past, the American wood products industry is a microcosm of the nation as a whole over the past forty years.  It all seems like an ingrained resistance by today’s Americans to learn the lessons of generations that went before.  If perhaps not for Americans, however, the Greatest Generation definitely did set an indelible example for others. Read more of this post

A Critique of the Giving Pledge


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Following is a very nice critique of the Giving Pledge and the Buffett-Gates style of philanthropy.I found it a couple of days ago at http://heybrowncow.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/are-gates-and-buffet-teaching-the-world-how-to-live-the-american-way/ . It points out the good and the bad in the effort.The red text are points I find particularly interesting.How do you feel about the Giving Pledge? On what points do you agree/disagree with the author below?

Are Gates and Buffet teaching the world how to live (or give), the American way?

By Dingzi

AMERICAN billionaires and founders of The Giving Pledge Bill Gates and Warren Buffet may be heading next for the Nobel Peace Prize. Imagine what a heap of good the billions that have been pledged can do to make a better world.

Having persuaded 40 fellow American super-rich to pledge at least 50 per cent of their wealth to charity by the time they die – the collective pledge has reached US$1.25 billion – the two philanthropists are taking the campaign international. Read more of this post

Chinese Wealth Symbols


 Chinese business people surround themselves with objects that are symbols of wealth. They hope these auspicious objects will “help” their businesses run smoothly and make good profits.Whether you believe in them or not , they are really pretty and are nice things to keep around you and to give as gifts and souvenirs.They do indeed make people feel good!Here is a list of Chinese Wealth Symbols I could find.Tell me if you know of more.

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The Chinese wealth symbol cai ,on the left ,means get rich and accumulate material things.The Chinese view cai as necessary for happiness.Cai comes from a thriving business, trade or good harvest.

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To The Chinese  ‘jing yu” gold fish is the ultimate symbol of wealth and abundance, as jing literally means “gold” and yu sounds like abundance.As such, business people love to place a bowl of gold fish or art works of the fish in their offices or homes as a wealth symbol.

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This is a picture , on the left,of a child holding an oversized gold fish and a lotus leaf. It’s a common Chinese New Year motif that means successive years of abundance This is because the word for lotus ‘lian’ is pronounced the same as the word for continuous.

Since ancient times the expression ‘zhao cai jing bao’ – bring wealth and treasures -is displayed as panels and motifs on walls to attract good business. Bao refers to yuan bao, the shoe shaped ingot made of gold or silver,on the right, that was used as money in old China.

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This picture on the left is call ‘da fu da li’ which means big fortune and big profits.The oversized boy in the picture is the famous mud boy from Hui Shan, Wu Xi, called Da (Big) Ah Fu (Good Fortune). In Chinese folk legends this cheeky and smiling boy wearing a belly band brings peace and luck.Notice the gold ingots in his lap radiating with golden light. An auspicious sign indeed! Read more of this post

The Chinese God of Wealth


I’ve started using Bing today and the image search feature threw up these pretty pictures.They were the beginning of a very interesting find:The Chinese God of Wealth-Cai Shen/Zhao Gongming.Till today I didn’t know that the Chinese even had a special God of Wealth.The fifth day of the Spring Festival is observed as his birthday.The pictures are from a folk perfomance where the actor plays the God of Wealth.

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