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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Groupon Numbers…”Dummied-Down”…on Purpose?

By Dan Getz, Blogger
Dance4One, June 16, 2011

I have personally observed over the last 12 to 24 months what I see (and all of US should see) as a very disturbing trend in the world, particularly within the United States, TODAY…and what a school teacher from East Texas I recently visited with described as “Dummying Down”.  She asked me plainly, “Do you realize not only how low the ‘bar’ has become for our children to advance from grade to grade to grade and ultimately graduate, BUT how many of OUR children are labeled as “exemplary”, but lack the basic cognitive, writing and mathematic skills NEEDED to SURVIVE?”  She went on to give specific examples of how several of her own grandchildren (along with their parents) had recently had a “rude awakening” when they were informed by the headmaster of a private institution that they were NOT only as “exemplary” as they had been repeatedly “told” through numerous “academic achievements” via the Public Education System, but that they had failed (quite miserably, in fact) the basic elements of the reading and arithmetic (that would be “math” for any of us that might be “dummied-down” as well) portions of a widely recognized and standardized battery of tests.

This fact alone should be cause enough for alarm, but when one begins to question the how’s and why’s of this disturbing trend, we should not only be very angry, but be passionately resolved to do something about it.  You see, unbeknownst to MOST of US, the groundwork for CONTROLLING our SOCIETY has been methodically and steadily laid over several decades.  If people cannot think, write or perform simple mathematic computations, while all the while believing (through “academic achievements”) that they are “exemplary”, they can be CONTROLLED…told how to think…told what to believe…and told what to do.  My friend, THAT, without even needing to add “Obama-Care” to this scenario, is PLAIN and SIMPLE… SOCIALISM.

So how does all of this relate to Groupon, a web-based company that offers daily deals to consumers for all kinds of things…like restaurants, jewelry, auto-maintenance, tires, comic books and  whatever else you can imagine someone buying and want to save some money on?  Well, for starters, there is the astronomical amount Groupon spent on Advertising in 2010$263.2 Million according to the article written by Will Deener in the Dallas Morning News Business Section on June 13, 2011.  In comparison, and as cited and quoted in this same article by Sucharita Mulpuro, an experienced and on-line analyst for Forrester Research, “Just to put that number in perspective, the average e-commerce company maybe [italics added for emphasis] spends at most $50 million on marketing.  This is an insane amount of money they are throwing out there to get customers in the door.”  Folks, the amount Groupon is spending on Advertising/Marketing is a whopping 500.26% (5.26 TIMES) more than the average e-commerce (i.e. web-based) company spends at MOST in a year. 

And this is the “clincher”.  Never-mind the fact that despite revenue jumping from $94,000 in 2008 to $713.4 million in 2010, Groupon LOST, in terms of profitability $420.3 million in 2010, and posted another $117.1 million in losses for the first quarter of 2011.  This is no small detail to simply set aside, but please try for a moment as you hold your breath and brace yourselves for this “newsflash”…Groupon uses what Will Deener calls a “complex and rather unusual metric for measuring profit” (I’ll go one step further, Will…I would call it “UNHEARD of”, “COMPLETELY INSANE”, and a “SMOKING MIRROR to the nth degree”)…”Adjusted Consolidated Sement Operating Income” where it EXCLUDES it’s LARGEST EXPENSE…yep…that would be ADVERTISING…and turns a significant LOSS into PROFITABILITY.  As Mr. Deener adequately conveys, “This bears as much resemblance to ‘generally accepted accounting principles’ as a duck to a donkey.”

So while MANY analysts and prospective investors anxiously await the “highly anticipated initial public offering of Groupon, Inc.” (if the best word choice has already been used, why try to come up with something else…Right Will?), I challenge ALL of YOU (investors, analysts, and the WORLD) to not only seriously consider what Will Deener, and now I on behalf of Dance4One are telling you (and are well documented facts), but WHY it would either be a good idea (or not) to invest in a company like Groupon, Inc.?  If you discover in this process that you are having trouble with the basic cognitive thought process, or even READING ALL of Will Deener or I’s commentary on this subject, BUYER BEWARE, and STOP and THINK.

Dan Getz, on behalf of Dance4One is not only a DAILY BLOGGER covering Economics, Politics, Religion and Every Day Life, and now READ in 24 NATIONS, but also owns More Green Consulting, a firm dedicated to helping companies and individuals save Time and Money by first identifying and eliminating deficiencies or inefficiencies, and then utilizing creative methodologies to add and improve efficiency.  More information can be obtained by visiting or or Tweeting @Dance4One.

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