August 8, 2007
Starting Sunday, The Times welcomes David Lazarus and his new column, Consumer Confidential, to the Business section. David will stick up for consumers who get the short end of the stick, sniff out suspect business practices and call authorities to account when they're not doing their jobs. David's dogged work for the San Francisco Chronicle attracted notice -- and action -- from lawmakers, corporations and consumers alike.
September 27, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column "Everyone into a healthcare pool," Sept. 20: Employers should be proscribed from offering health insurance as a benefit, period. It's a competitive edge for larger companies and is snuffing very badly needed innovation in many industries. The right wing in this country claims to be "pro-small business," yet in this significant way, it sides with big business against the small guy. Bob Hillman Thousand Oaks :: Apparently David Lazarus does not let facts get in the way when there is a (misguided)
May 22, 2012
Re "Is it possible to get a human on the phone at Google?," Column, May 18 I agree with David Lazarus that it is frustrating to be unable to contact a "live" person for customer service. Some companies offer free live help for a limited time after you buy a product. Before I buy a product that may require help to use, I always ask about the customer support policy. Google, however, is a totally different issue. It is not charging for the use of its search engine. Its revenue comes from advertisers, which I am sure have no problem contacting Google by phone to talk with a sales rep. I can understand Google not providing live telephone support because the users pay nothing for services.
October 13, 2013
Re "Wealth gap only getting worse," Column, Oct. 11 I agree with David Lazarus that we need a remedy to the wealth gap issue. But I cannot agree that we should raise the top marginal tax rate, which drives so many business decisions, including workforce size. Raising this rate would give the government more money to spend. That's not the same as giving workers more money to spend, as Henry Ford did in 1914 when he decided to pay his workers a good wage. Lazarus noted that last year, chief executives in the U.S. made 354 times what the average rank-and-file employee did, compared to 42 times the average worker's earning only 30 years ago. That's quite a change.
August 15, 2007 |
This was supposed to be the year that California finally did something about the roughly 7 million state residents who lack health insurance. Lawmakers proposed a broad range of fixes that got us, more or less, in the vicinity of genuine reform. So where are we now? Pretty much worse than ever. Sure, people are still talking about change, but the budget mess in Sacramento has derailed virtually all other legislative business for 2007 and sapped momentum from the healthcare movement.
December 30, 2007 |
New Year's resolutions are typically as reliable as big companies' assurances that customer service is their No. 1 priority. But that doesn't stop people from making them. Here are mine: -- I will not give up hope for healthcare reform. Political leaders at the state and national levels vowed 12 months ago that 2007 would be the year we'd finally do something about the shameful statistic of 47 million Americans lacking health insurance.