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The Quickest Way To Get Is To Give

(category: Ethics, Word count: 709)
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It's true. You can't really get what you want in life until you have given it to others. Doesn't sound like it makes much sense, does it? How can you give what you don't have? As you open your mind to the possibility and ask this question of yourself, you allow opportunity to come to you and knock at your door. Then you will find a way that it is possible to give to others what you want, before receiving it yourself.

It almost sounds like a chain letter and in a way it is. The chain letter is a facetious reference as so many of us have been exposed to them by now and know they are illegitimate scams. Yet the basic principles are: you give before you receive, and you give with the faith and expectation of receiving. A similar modern example can be seen in the film 'Pay It Forward'. By giving to others, you allow good things to happen to you. And this all boils down to the simple law of attraction.

The law of attraction is like any other law of nature, like gravity. And like gravity, it is not one that has been generally 'discovered' yet. As a result, most of us are walking around thinking in a completely disordered paradigm.

Disordered paradigms of thought are displayed over and over in history, and discoveries of natural laws and observations of reality have brought order to transform the mistaken beliefs that had been accepted for fact. You can think of many examples, such as the belief that the world is flat, or the belief that we are at the center of the universe. Or the great changes that resulted as a discovery of the force of electricity and harnessing its natural power.

In this same way, we are able to make a change in our own disordered thought patterns. Right now 99% of us are probably dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction means larger life is seeking to be expressed through us, and it is being blocked. Self-sabotage is a very real process working in the invisible realms of the unconscious mind.

The good news is there are a lot of simple, small but powerful techniques you can use to reprogram that all powerful unconscious mind of yours, to order your own life as you want it. Yes, there IS a way to eliminate the chaos in your life, and it starts within. It starts by eliminating the often unseen chaos in your own mind.

The technique in this article is only one of a vast array that you can use on a daily basis to improve your life dramatically. In this article you are learning how to use the law of attraction to attract to yourself what you want.

The law of attraction, like gravity, is undefiable. You will attract what you are sending out. Your thoughts are real in the world of attraction.

If your mind is resonating with patterns of anxiety, stress, anger, sadness, envy, grief, or any other negative emotion, you will be attracting more of the same in your life.

One step you can take to change this is to focus on giving to others before you receive yourself. In this way you are changing your vibration and your focus. And you open yourself to receive what you had been closing off before.

It is very simple to give. Give of what you have, and everyone has something to give. We all have innate value to offer the world. An abiding philosophy in the law of attraction is to always offer an increase in value, to give back more in value than you receive in money. In this way you continue to give more than you get and attract more and larger life back to yourself.

Take a moment to look within and find something, anything, no matter how small or simple, to give to anyone, friend or stranger. Start the practice of giving, and you will take one step towards raising your level of vibration and enhancing the value of what you attract in your own life. Give something selflessly today, knowing that you will receive it multiplied back in your life, tenfold.

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The Great Importance Of Doing Business With Ethics

(category: Ethics, Word count: 870)
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For most people, money makes the world go round and business bears that money. Businessmen will perhaps do anything just to achieve the ultimate goal of having a business, and that is to earn income. Net profit or income financially means a surplus of sales or revenues after deducting costs and expenses. Whether you are engage in profession, occupation, work or trade, you are in business and you speak income. When you earn an income you suffer taxes, the worst nightmare for every income earners. Income tax is your punishment of doing well in business. This sounds ridiculous but this is the reality, you pay when you earn. Because tax is legislative, noncompliance to this would results to crimes. This thing called income tax had already made billions of liars around the world. Some governments imposed taxes which are already too much to burden the flow of business. Others make tax laws that are already beyond the ability of taxpayers. However these facts must not result in the existence of enormous number of dishonest people in the world.

Ethics in business rarely exists nowadays. Perhaps it is because for most people, profit will come without the need of business ethics. This, I don't agree. The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos, which means "character," and from the Latin word mores, which means "customs." According to the encyclopedia ethics is the branch of philosophy that defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of obligations, or duties, that people owe themselves and one another. Maybe ethics is not needed to earn profit if you define profit or income as money. But deeply speaking, business is not just for money. Yes it is definitely for profit, but profit is not just financial profit. We need profit that will not just sustain our pocket or our stomach. Significantly, we also need profits that will feed our hearts and soul. Considering that we are great businessmen, we should extend our minds to this principle. We need business ethics to earn these high valued profits. We must be concerned to the virtue of our character and to the common good.

Your business is not just for the survival of your life on Earth but it can also be your road to the survival of your soul. If you're in business and had a company, you can help your employees by providing them enough salaries and other benefits that will make their lives better. You can be honest and pay your exact tax for the government who will eventually use it for your country's development. (Assuming your government is straight and not corrupt) But don't mind them, be honest even others are not. We are talking here your soul survival and not theirs. You can also serve your customers by providing them their needs and giving them convenience. Customer care is so important for your customers as also important for your business to earn public trust and loyalty. If you build infrastructures for your company you contribute to the development of your place in terms of buildings and infrastructures. When you got ethics in business you practice fair business competition. Fair business competition is a challenge for every business to improve the qualities of their products and services, and the end benefits are to the consumers.

Doing business with clean conscience is doing business with good night sleeps. It is also doing business with gladness of your heart and soul. Gratitude will come to you and you will become a stress free businessman if you do business with ethics. These and other spiritual profits will straightly come to you and the good thing on this is you are not taxed on this kind of profits. As an extraordinary businessman, you do not only set your long-term goals for 10 years or for a life time. You must also consider eternity and set goals to achieve profits that will benefit your soul. You need profits that last forever, profits that will give us everlasting life and happiness, and profits that will earn us the key to heaven. These profits will benefits us in the short run, midterm run, long run and eternal run, as God is great from the beginning and unto the never-ending.

Do business and believe in God. Building our business in God's place is like building it in rocks which are in great foundations. Let us be kind and grateful to our employees as they are our best assets. Let's give them bread and they will give us a ham sandwich. Let us have huge care to our customers as they are our best revenue generators. Let's give them good price, high quality products and best services and they will give us their respect and loyalty. Let us be fair to our competitors as they are our great motivators. Let us give them fair game and they will give us the true meaning of winning. Let us be thankful to our Father Almighty God as He is our greatest business partner. Let's serve Him and He will give us joy and peace of mind.

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Giveaways By Web Site Draw In Consumers

(category: Ethics, Word count: 235)
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Toy surprises buried in cereal boxes or in bags of popular snacks have been a marketing tactic for as long as package goods have been sold in supermarkets. Most people probably can't even imagine a Cracker Jack box without a prize inside.

Giveaways are not just for kids; adults have long participated in incentive giveaways ranging from a free tote with the purchase of makeup or perfume at a department store, to $500 gift cards with a new account at the local bank. All of these giveaways are designed to entice the consumer to try particular brands and services.

Recognizing the power of free offers to drive consumer purchases, NetFree Direct LLC, a leading Internet marketing company, has taken the concept to the next level. Through the company's Web site, consumers can obtain a variety of rewards including mobile phones, flat-screen TVs, laptops, PlayStations and other game consoles, digital cameras, gift cards and more, simply by completing advertisers' surveys and signing up for subscriptions and free trial offers.

The Web site is sponsored by well-known advertisers such as BMG, Blockbuster, Netflix, Discover Card, USA Today, Disney and hundreds of others. Upon registration, consumers are directed to a special area of the site where they can complete advertisers' surveys and sign up for subscriptions or free trials and redeem their rewards. Trials or subscriptions can be canceled without obligation.

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Ethically Sourced Flowers

(category: Ethics, Word count: 101)
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Flowers epitomise emotion and can have a very beneficial impact on people. They are sent to communicate their feelings to their nearest and dearest. Wouldn't it be even better if people were able to confidently buy sustainable, ethically-sourced flowers to communicate their feelings? After all, ethical commitment is an emotion as well! However, buying sustainable, ethical flowers is a niche activity in the UK, with only a handful of florists offering produce which is truly ethically sourced.

First of all, some numbers:

The total market for cut flowers and house plants in the UK is estimated to be

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The Business Of Torture

(category: Ethics, Word count: 1083)
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On January 16, 2003, the European Court of Human Rights agreed - more than two years after the applications have been filed - to hear six cases filed by Chechens against Russia. The claimants accuse the Russian military of torture and indiscriminate killings. The Court has ruled in the past against the Russian Federation and awarded assorted plaintiffs thousands of euros per case in compensation.

As awareness of human rights increased, as their definition expanded and as new, often authoritarian polities, resorted to torture and repression - human rights advocates and non-governmental organizations proliferated. It has become a business in its own right: lawyers, consultants, psychologists, therapists, law enforcement agencies, scholars and pundits tirelessly peddle books, seminars, conferences, therapy sessions for victims, court appearances and other services.

Human rights activists target mainly countries and multinationals.

In June 2001, the International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of 11 villagers against the American oil behemoth, ExxonMobile, for "abetting" abuses in Aceh, Indonesia. They alleged that the company provided the army with equipment for digging mass graves and helped in the construction of interrogation and torture centers.

In November 2002, the law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll joined other American and South African law firms in filing a complaint that "seeks to hold businesses responsible for aiding and abetting the apartheid regime in South Africa ... forced labor, genocide, extrajudicial killing, torture, sexual assault, and unlawful detention".

Among the accused: "IBM and ICL which provided the computers that enabled South Africa to ... control the black South African population. Car manufacturers provided the armored vehicles that were used to patrol the townships. Arms manufacturers violated the embargoes on sales to South Africa, as did the oil companies. The banks provided the funding that enabled South Africa to expand its police and security apparatus."

Charges were leveled against Unocal in Myanmar and dozens of other multinationals. In September 2002, Berger & Montague filed a class action complaint against Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell Transport. The oil giants are charged with "purchasing ammunition and using ... helicopters and boats and providing logistical support for 'Operation Restore Order in Ogoniland'" which was designed, according to the law firm, to "terrorize the civilian population into ending peaceful protests against Shell's environmentally unsound oil exploration and extraction activities".

The defendants in all these court cases strongly deny any wrongdoing.

But this is merely one facet of the torture business.

Torture implements are produced - mostly in the West - and sold openly, frequently to nasty regimes in developing countries and even through the Internet. Hi-tech devices abound: sophisticated electroconvulsive stun guns, painful restraints, truth serums, chemicals such as pepper gas. Export licensing is universally minimal and non-intrusive and completely ignores the technical specifications of the goods (for instance, whether they could be lethal, or merely inflict pain).

Amnesty International and the UK-based Omega Foundation, found more than 150 manufacturers of stun guns in the USA alone. They face tough competition from Germany (30 companies), Taiwan (19), France (14), South Korea (13), China (12), South Africa (nine), Israel (eight), Mexico (six), Poland (four), Russia (four), Brazil (three), Spain (three) and the Czech Republic (two).

Many torture implements pass through "off-shore" supply networks in Austria, Canada, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Albania, Russia, Israel, the Philippines, Romania and Turkey. This helps European Union based companies circumvent legal bans at home. The US government has traditionally turned a blind eye to the international trading of such gadgets.

American high-voltage electro-shock stun shields turned up in Turkey, stun guns in Indonesia, and electro-shock batons and shields, and dart-firing taser guns in torture-prone Saudi Arabia. American firms are the dominant manufacturers of stun belts. Explains Dennis Kaufman, President of Stun Tech Inc, a US manufacturer of this innovation: "Electricity speaks every language known to man. No translation necessary. Everybody is afraid of electricity, and rightfully so." (Quoted by Amnesty International).

The Omega Foundation and Amnesty claim that 49 US companies are also major suppliers of mechanical restraints, including leg-irons and thumbcuffs. But they are not alone. Other suppliers are found in Germany (8), France (5), China (3), Taiwan (3), South Africa (2), Spain (2), the UK (2) and South Korea (1).

Not surprisingly, the Commerce Department doesn't keep tab on this category of exports.

Nor is the money sloshing around negligible. Records kept under the export control commodity number A985 show that Saudi Arabia alone spent in the United States more than $1 million a year between 1997-2000 merely on stun guns. Venezuela's bill for shock batons and such reached $3.7 million in the same period. Other clients included Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico and - surprisingly - Bulgaria. Egypt's notoriously brutal services - already well-equipped - spent a mere $40,000.

The United States is not the only culprit. The European Commission, according to an Amnesty International report titled "Stopping the Torture Trade" and published in 2001:

"Gave a quality award to a Taiwanese electro-shock baton, but when challenged could not cite evidence as to independent safety tests for such a baton or whether member states of the European Union (EU) had been consulted. Most EU states have banned the use of such weapons at home, but French and German companies are still allowed to supply them to other countries."

Torture expertise is widely proffered by former soldiers, agents of the security services made redundant, retired policemen and even rogue medical doctors. China, Israel, South Africa, France, Russia, the United kingdom and the United States are founts of such useful knowledge and its propagators.

How rooted torture is was revealed in September 1996 when the US Department of Defense admitted that "intelligence training manuals" were used in the Federally sponsored School of the Americas - one of 150 such facilities - between 1982 and 1991.The manuals, written in Spanish and used to train thousands of Latin American security agents, "advocated execution, torture, beatings and blackmail", says Amnesty International.

Where there is demand there is supply. Rather than ignore the discomfiting subject, governments would do well to legalize and supervise it. Alan Dershowitz, a prominent American criminal defense attorney, proposed, in an op-ed article in the Los Angeles Times, published November 8, 2001, to legalize torture in extreme cases and to have judges issue "torture warrants". This may be a radical departure from the human rights tradition of the civilized world. But dispensing export carefully reviewed licenses for dual-use implements is a different matter altogether - and long overdue.

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Titanic Precautions

(category: Ethics, Word count: 1168)
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Many movies have been made about the tragic story of the Titanic. Arrogance and ignorance was definitely present during its maiden voyage, which was Titanic's last voyage.

Many warnings were given, but unfortunately, the warnings were not taken seriously. On April 14th, 1912 Titanic received six warnings that icebergs were present in their perimeter. On the night of April 14th, Titanic struck an iceberg and ultimately sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

For other entities, what happened to the Titanic does NOT have to happen to them. Many have learned from the mistakes that Titanic had made.

There are several examples that follow and form a parallel to what happened to Titanic and how an entity can learn from Titanic's mistakes.

1. The Titanic only had 16 lifeboats, which was not nearly enough to save everyone on the ship.

Only about 60% of the entire lifeboats' capacity was utilized! Does your company have a disaster plan in place? Are your computers, especially your servers, being backed up on a regular basis? Many servers are now being backed up on a daily basis and sometimes on an hourly basis.

When I was working at a Helpdesk, one of our afternoon gals was named the "Backup Queen" because she took EVERY major server backup VERY seriously. The company was very lucky to have the "Backup Queen" because there were several instances where our most critical server had crashed and lost information. Fortunately, information restoration was quick and painless due to the machine being backed up on a regular basis.

We were very lucky to have someone who took the initiative to handle the server backups. Is your company that lucky? Yes, doing backups can be VERY unexciting. However, losing valuable data can be very exciting, but in a negative way.

2. The crewmen in the lookout tower, or the "crow's nest," were not issued binoculars to better search for icebergs.

Employees were not given the proper tools to use to do their job. Is your company using the right software for the job? Are you saving money on upgrading your operating system and software, but are losing customers? If you are losing customers, you're NOT really saving any money at all.

The right equipment can range from the very basic, such as issuing headphones that are compatible with the phone system to customer service representatives, to ensuring that a backup generator can adequately run due to a power outage.

3. Titanic had a total of 16 watertight compartments. Initially, it sounded fine, but unfortunately, each compartment did not hold water on its own. Every compartment was similar to an ice cube tray. When one compartment overflowed, water flowed into the next compartment. Each compartment did not completely seal off water on its own.

Does your company have a good disaster recovery plan in place? If a flood or a fire struck the premises, would you be able to resume business operations in a matter of days or would it take a matter of months?

Is your information that you have on site being sent off site so you CAN have another place to access your valuable information?

4. The Titanic was going at full speed at night in iceberg-infested waters.

Are your machines at your business running at 100% capacity on a continuous basis? How much is downtime costing you when those machines need to be fixed? Are you REALLY saving money by not buying more machinery? Does the cost of more machinery outweigh the cost of your present machines' downtime?

5. The Titanic did not heed to the many iceberg warnings.

Titanic received six iceberg warnings on the day it sank! Is your sales force, customer service department and/or helpdesk REALLY listening to your customers? Sam Walton, the founder of Wal Mart, said that the most important person to an organization can be the one who greets that customers. Too many companies don't even realize just how MUCH each person represents their company!

There is WAY too much competition in the marketplace NOT to heed warnings. Industries like telecom, automobile, office supplies, soft drinks, and restaurant industries, just to name a few, had better take warnings seriously. Some companies might not get the luxury of six warnings that the Titanic got. Sometimes, only one warning can break a company. That's why companies that DO encourage, and take seriously, customer feedback are invaluable and can be a gold mine.

6. The Titanic only had white flare guns to signal for help.

Red is the standard color for a flare gun used to signal for help. When the Titanic was sinking, white flare guns were shot off from the ship. One or two ships many miles away say the white flares, but did not interpret the white flares as warning messages.

Does your entity use the proper means of communication? Is it ensured that all of the parties involved completely understand what the other parties are saying? Many groups within an organization speak entirely different languages. Sales, technology and management translations may as similar to translating three different foreign languages.

7. Bruce Ismay, the president of White Star, pressured Captain Smith into unrealistic and dangerous goals.

Ismay wanted the Titanic to arrive in New York on Tuesday, April 16th. In order to meet this goal, the ship would have to travel at full speed a majority of the time. The coercion from Ismay turned out to be dangerous due to the ship's demise.

Ismay's level was similar to a CEO's level. Is your company's CEO and the rest of the management staff setting realistic goals? Are your managers providing bilateral communication? Feedback is vital to any company's survival because many managers are not involved in day-to-day activities.

8. The two wireless operators' priorities were not focused on the ship's priorities.

Many of the aristocrats in first class passage had paid both operators bonuses to wire messages to New York. One of the Titanic's operators told another ship to "shut up" after being given another iceberg warning. It was a powerful rebuke that may have cost thousands of lives.

Is your customer service department doing all it can to retain and acquire it customers? A polite and knowledgeable customer service representative can save the company thousands of dollars and maybe more! I have had the fortunate experience of dealing with many great customer service representatives. I have told many of the rep's supervisors that I really appreciated their help as well and that they are lucky to have such great rep's on their team.

9. The Titanic's steel construction was never tested in cold temperature.

The steel that made up ocean liners in the early 20th Century was brittle to begin with. Unfortunately, the steel was never stress-tested to determine what stress levels the structure could endure.

Is adequate testing being done on your company's products? Are your prototypes up to the challenges of customers' demands? Are an automobile company's crash tests being utilized to the fullest extent?

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Anarchy As An Organizing Principle

(category: Ethics, Word count: 768)
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The recent spate of accounting fraud scandals signals the end of an era. Disillusionment and disenchantment with American capitalism may yet lead to a tectonic ideological shift from laissez faire and self regulation to state intervention and regulation. This would be the reversal of a trend dating back to Thatcher in Britain and Reagan in the USA. It would also cast some fundamental - and way more ancient - tenets of free-marketry in grave doubt.

Markets are perceived as self-organizing, self-assembling, exchanges of information, goods, and services. Adam Smith's "invisible hand" is the sum of all the mechanisms whose interaction gives rise to the optimal allocation of economic resources. The market's great advantages over central planning are precisely its randomness and its lack of self-awareness.

Market participants go about their egoistic business, trying to maximize their utility, oblivious of the interests and action of all, bar those they interact with directly. Somehow, out of the chaos and clamor, a structure emerges of order and efficiency unmatched. Man is incapable of intentionally producing better outcomes. Thus, any intervention and interference are deemed to be detrimental to the proper functioning of the economy.

It is a minor step from this idealized worldview back to the Physiocrats, who preceded Adam Smith, and who propounded the doctrine of "laissez faire, laissez passer" - the hands-off battle cry. Theirs was a natural religion. The market, as an agglomeration of individuals, they thundered, was surely entitled to enjoy the rights and freedoms accorded to each and every person. John Stuart Mill weighed against the state's involvement in the economy in his influential and exquisitely-timed "Principles of Political Economy", published in 1848.

Undaunted by mounting evidence of market failures - for instance to provide affordable and plentiful public goods - this flawed theory returned with a vengeance in the last two decades of the past century. Privatization, deregulation, and self-regulation became faddish buzzwords and part of a global consensus propagated by both commercial banks and multilateral lenders.

As applied to the professions - to accountants, stock brokers, lawyers, bankers, insurers, and so on - self-regulation was premised on the belief in long-term self-preservation. Rational economic players and moral agents are supposed to maximize their utility in the long-run by observing the rules and regulations of a level playing field.

This noble propensity seemed, alas, to have been tampered by avarice and narcissism and by the immature inability to postpone gratification. Self-regulation failed so spectacularly to conquer human nature that its demise gave rise to the most intrusive statal stratagems ever devised. In both the UK and the USA, the government is much more heavily and pervasively involved in the minutia of accountancy, stock dealing, and banking than it was only two years ago.

But the ethos and myth of "order out of chaos" - with its proponents in the exact sciences as well - ran deeper than that. The very culture of commerce was thoroughly permeated and transformed. It is not surprising that the Internet - a chaotic network with an anarchic modus operandi - flourished at these times.

The dotcom revolution was less about technology than about new ways of doing business - mixing umpteen irreconcilable ingredients, stirring well, and hoping for the best. No one, for instance, offered a linear revenue model of how to translate "eyeballs" - i.e., the number of visitors to a Web site - to money ("monetizing"). It was dogmatically held to be true that, miraculously, traffic - a chaotic phenomenon - will translate to profit - hitherto the outcome of painstaking labour.

Privatization itself was such a leap of faith. State owned assets - including utilities and suppliers of public goods such as health and education - were transferred wholesale to the hands of profit maximizers. The implicit belief was that the price mechanism will provide the missing planning and regulation. In other words, higher prices were supposed to guarantee an uninterrupted service. Predictably, failure ensued - from electricity utilities in California to railway operators in Britain.

The simultaneous crumbling of these urban legends - the liberating power of the Net, the self-regulating markets, the unbridled merits of privatization - inevitably gave rise to a backlash.

The state has acquired monstrous proportions in the decades since the Second world War. It is about to grow further and to digest the few sectors hitherto left untouched. To say the least, these are not good news. But we libertarians - proponents of both individual freedom and individual responsibility - have brought it on ourselves by thwarting the work of that invisible regulator - the market.

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Are Employers Less Likely To Hire Muslims

(category: Ethics, Word count: 402)
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Research conducted at Davenport University by Murad Ali indicates that Muslims are the least likely out of all other ethnic groups to be hired by employers. Participants were students enrolled in either the MBA program or in business undergraduate courses. The type of full-time work the students engaged in ranged from entry level to senior executive. Many of the MBA students were already managers and had hiring powers within their companies.

Participants ranked their desired applicants for positions based upon their own preconceived notions from 1-5. A ranking of 1 meant that the applicant was most desirable and a ranking of 5 meant that the applicant was least desirable. All of the applicants were considered to be equally qualified and all of them were male. The only difference between the applicants was there name. Robert Schwalbach (White), Tyrone Johnson (Black), Yan Chin (Asian), Pedro Gonzalez (Hispanic) and Ahmed Al-Arabi (Muslim) were used to represent the different races and ethnic groups.

The results of the study indicated that the following order of preference was as follows African American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic and Muslim. African Americans were more likely to be called back for employment while Muslims were the least. The data was split into similar groups with African Americans, Caucasians, and Asians on the far left with Hispanics and Muslims on the far right. Data indicating which background the participants came from wasn't collected.

It is interesting to note that those people who are considered "main stream" or who have been in the country for some time were all very similar in their rankings. Hispanic and Muslims who are seen as newer immigrants were stratified as the least likely to be hired. In essence this means that immigrants are not considered to have the same desirability to employers as "main stream Americans". It is therefore possible that poverty, unemployment and lack of healthcare may be something imposed on this group than by personal choice.

Employers should be aware of the results of this study because it has an impact with their compliance to the Civil Rights Act. As Muslims become more aware of their rights in the workplace employers may have more lawsuits to deal with. If the hiring managers allow their personal preferences to determine who they are going to hire, instead of most qualified, the bottom line of the company may be affected.

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Your Lenders Are Spying On Your Clients

(category: Ethics, Word count: 935)
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As mortgage brokers we are always in jeopardy of losing our customers to the lenders we work with.

We deal with our clients for a short amount of time, but the lender is in constant communication with them for years. And whenever your customers are asked who their mortgage company is, they will usually answer the name of their lender.

Some lenders are better at stealing our clients then others.

As a real estate investor I have had loans with several different lenders. One of my properties had a loan from a lender called JB Nutter. This was a small bank that did a very poor job of marketing itself to its customers. I would hear from them 3 times a year. Once to send me a coupon book for the year, another to tell me how much interest I paid that year for my taxes, and another to tell me about how much money was in my escrow account.

They never once tried to offer me a refinance.

My current mortgage for my residence is with Countrywide. These guys know their stuff. They mail me a statement every month. And in every statement is an offer to refinance or get a line of credit, or insurance. They are always politely selling something. And if that weren't enough, they mail me every couple months or so more offers to refinance or tap some equity. But at least they are not as sneaky as World Savings Bank.

One of my investment properties had one of their loans. They now have hooked up with the credit bureaus so that whenever someone with one of their loans gets their credit checked by a mortgage company or lender, they get notified. I like getting my credit checked every 3 months, and with my own mortgage company all it takes is a couple keystrokes of my computer. Imagine my surprise when I got a call at home from a World Savings rep asking me if I was thinking about refinancing. He told me he knew I had my credit checked by a mortgage company and that they were ready to give me a better offer then whatever I was getting,

They have a whole division of telemarketers who do nothing but call their loan holders who are getting their credit checked by other mortgage companies. So even if you get a client a World Savings loan, and that client comes back to you later for a refi, you are now going to have to compete with World Savings for this customer.

Pisses you off doesn't it?

And you can bet that now that one lender is doing this, others will follow suit,.

So what do we as mortgage brokers do about this?

Simple, we form close relationships with our clients, that basically makes them immune to any sales pitch by any other lender or mortgage company. I call it the "silent force field". We need to use every tool at our disposal to make sure that once a person becomes a client we never let them go.

I outline the "silent force field' completely in our Referrals on Demand product, but I will lay out some guidelines for you here.

1. You must stay in contact with them on a regular basis. Once a month minimum The easiest way to do this is through a monthly newsletter. Outsource this to a newsletter company and they will handle the production, printing, and mailing of the newsletter to your clients every month.

2. WOW your clients as soon as you can. Come up with a creative way to make a great impression on your clients. Here's an example. There is dentist in Australia who was tired of having customers be afraid to see him. So he completely changed his office. Now instead of a regular dentist office, it looks more like someone's living room. There is the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon buns in the air, (sugar free) that can be enjoyed with coffee or tea. There is no receptionist sitting there with the little window that they keep closing on you. This dentist now has a referral only practice, where the only way to work with him, is if you know someone who already works with him, and they give you a referral.

3. Get to know your clients and let them get to know you. Show your personality. Let them know about your family. Keep them informed about how your kids are doing in school. Remember, you do not want to seem like their bank. You want to seem like a family friend that happens to do mortgages. Have customer appreciation parties. Have house warming parties. Have a grand birthday party for yourself every year. Give yourself excuses to call your clients and get to know them socially.

4. Start a blog and write about whatever you want. Invite your clients to visit often and provide feedback.

5. Become a customer of your clients. If one of your clients owns a dry cleaners, get your clothes cleaned there. Reward them for doing business with you by doing business with them.

6. Get your clients to network amongst themselves. Create a referral club. Your dry cleaner client can go to your dentist client when his teeth hurt. And if you make the referral you look even better.

These are just a few ideas to help you keep your customers. People do business with people they like. By forming relationships with your past clients you can make sure they keep coming back to you.

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