Marketing to Daddy Warbucks

By Christopher Zoukis

What makes a customer affluent? How much money does someone have to make or have to be considered affluent? How is wealth defined? For the sake of convenience, this discussion defines three categories of wealthy customers.

            The moneyed customer.

            The rich customer.

            The ultra-rich customer.

Later on, each of these categories will be divided into sub-categories, such as women, men, same-sex, baby-boomers, and the self-made. But generally speaking, the three basic categories are defined as follows.  Photo courtesy top5s.net

Moneyed customers. The people in this category make $200,000 to $1 million dollars per year. They are usually young professionals, what used to be called “white-collar workers.” More often than not they are highly educated, having graduated from colleges or universities. However, this is not always the case. There are many exceptions. Some have graduate degrees, and many attended professional schools, where they received specialized training in a specific discipline. This group includes doctors, lawyers, computer sciences and dentists. Others graduated from professional business schools. Some are entrepreneurs, who hope to grow their small-businesses into large corporations. In reality, this category is difficult to define, other than the fact that they are motivated to succeed.

This category is experiencing rapid growth, and is in the upper 3 percent based on income. In other words, they make more than 97% of the population in the United States. Unique to this category are the baby-boomers, who are not young. Indeed, they are close to retirement. Some are from blue-collar backgrounds. Nevertheless, they have tremendous wealth.

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Money Is the Root of All Evil

By Christopher Zoukis

America’s attitude toward crime is based on geography and personal experience.  People living in Fargo, North Dakota worry less about crime affecting them personally than, say, people living in Oakland, California.  Image courtesy amazon.com

Most Americans don’t believe that criminals are congenitally hardwired to commit crimes.  According to most people, the immediate causes of crime are illegal drugs and a lack of adequate deterrents.  Thus criminals involved in the use, distribution, sale, and possession of illicit drugs should be locked away for lengthy periods of time.  Harsher sentencing laws and harsher prisons serve to discourage future criminals is the general opinion. 

Yet studies have demonstrated that neither longer prison sentences nor even the death penalty restrain crime.  If the studies are correct, then perhaps the problem of crime needs to be re-evaluated and approached from a new and different direction, one that eschews deterrence as part of the solution.    

A recent study by Dr. David Krus indicated two primary causes for crime:  uneven distribution of wealth and family disintegration.  The correlation between incarceration rates and the index of wealth distribution was .48.  The correlation between incarceration rates and the index of family disintegration was .43.  In other words, most criminals come from impoverished backgrounds and/or broken homes.

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Death Row Cook Book

By Christopher Zoukis

The popularity of horror stories, like those of Stephen King, and horror movies such as Friday the 13th, and the SAW progression of sequels, along with the multitude of forensic shows on television, demonstrate the appeal of such bizarre topics.  Nancy Grace has built an entire career on exploiting morbid crimes.  And don’t forget murder mysteries, which are perennial bestsellers.  And, of course, all the traffic jams on California’s highways as all the cars slow down so that their passengers can stare wide-eyed at the carnage wrought by the most recent traffic accident. 

There are whole websites on the internet dedicated to Serial Killers and mass murderers.  Indeed, MSN’s homepage recently depicted the latest photos of Charles Manson. 

People are literally beguiled by the grim and gruesome.

Which brings up the following question:  why would people be captivated by the last meals of men and women condemned to execution?  Because the choice of one’s last meal provides a chilling peek into the evil resident in the human mind.   What does a monster want to eat for his last meal in this life?  Does his choice of food carry psychological implications?  If he chooses Dr. Pepper and burritos – and I like Dr. Pepper and burritos too – does that mean I might be like him?  The very thought horrifies me.  At the same time, it titillates me.  Image courtesy s102.photobucket.com

For his last meal, Ted Bundy dined on steak, eggs, hashbrowns and coffee.  Michael Pennington had vegetarian pizza, salad and strawberry ice cream.  Serial killer John Wayne Gacy chose fried foods:  fried chicken, fried shrimp and French fries.  For dessert he ate strawberries.  Velma Barfield, whose favorite method of murder was arsenic, dined on Cheez Doodles, washing it down with Coca-Cola.  Whereas the woman who murdered seven men, Aileen Wuornos, didn’t request anything.  At the last moment, she had a hamburger.  That’s all that was available.  Timothy McVeigh only wanted ice cream. 

The two strangest requests for last meals came from Victor Feguer and Adolf Eichman.  Feguer had kidnapped a doctor and killed him.  His last meal consisted of a single olive, which he swallowed whole – with the pit.  He hoped the pit would grow and sprout from his dead body.  And Eichman, the infamous Nazi architect of murder, demonstrating a wry sense of humor, asked for a bottle of Israeli wine.

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JESUSLAND: PLOT OUTLINE (TENTATIVE)

By Christopher Zoukis

Opening Image:  Jesus is introduced.  He’s back because he decides to take another vacation. 

Theme Stated:  Satan’s constant opposition to everything Jesus does is introduced on page 3.

Set-Up:  Jesus and Heather eat at the Flying J, where Jesus’ disenchantment with religion is exposed.

Catalyst:  Arriving in Butte, Montana, Jesus delivers the garlic he is hauling in his Peterbilt to a grocery store owned and operated by a religious group known as Springers (followers of the deceased Curtis Howe Springer of Zyzzx fame).  Springers are Merovingians.  Heather is a Springer.   Image courtesy en.wikipedia.org

Debate:  The Springers identify Jesus as a preacher just waiting to happen.  The Springers attempt to persuade Jesus to become a radio/TV evangelist for Springerism. 

Break in Two:  Jesus does not want to get “involved in the preaching thing again.”  But he does.  The Springer Church becomes The Last Chance Church of the Last Days.

B Story:  the relationship between Jesus and Heather takes off. 

Fun and Games:  Jesus/Henry becomes superstar TV evangelist.  The Last Chance Church goes international, surpassing every other religion in adherents.

Midpoint:  Satan is pissed.  He believes Jesus/Henry is trying to pull a fast one:  a premature Second Advent, along with the Millennium, where Jesus gets to rule the world.  Satan marshals an opposition religion.

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KENNETH MCGRIFF: (CONTINUED)

By Christopher Zoukis

In December 1999, Supreme and one of his associates, Colbert ‘Black Just’ Johnson, were in Southeast Queens, where they ran into Eric ‘E Money Bags’ Smith.  Smith was a gangbanger, who was a wanna-be Rapper.  Smith confronted Black Just about some money Black Just owed him.  Tempers flared and Smith pulled a gun, shooting Black Just in the leg.  Supreme dragged Black Just into his SUV and took off.  Because he didn’t want to be implicated in a shooting, Supreme simply drove around.  He didn’t know what to do.  As he tried to figure a way out of the situation, Black Just died.  Finally, Supreme dumped the body at the Southeast Queens Hospital.  Then he drove off.  Colbert ‘Black Just’ Johnson / Photo courtesy vibe.com

Meanwhile, the Rapper known as 50 Cent put out a song called Ghetto Qu’ran.  The song celebrated the street hustling exploits of Supreme.  Only Supreme didn’t see it as flattery.  He saw it as “dry snitching.”  Angry words and accusations were exchanged, leaving only bad blood between Supreme and 50 Cent.  The Source magazine described 50 Cent as “a snitch.”

On May 24, 2000, 50 Cent sat in a car in front of his grandmother’s house in South Jamaica.  Another car pulled up beside 50 Cent’s car.  The man inside the car pointed a gun at 50 Cent and opened fire.   The man fired nine shots.  All nine shots hit home.  The gunman’s car squealed away.

Somehow 50 Cent drove himself to the hospital.  Except for a hole in the side of his jaw and a piece of bullet in his tongue, 50 Cent made a full recovery.  The police and the feds began an investigation.  Supreme’s name came up and he was considered a suspect.

Then on July 16, 2001, E Money Bags – who had shot Black Just in the leg – was sitting in his Navigator in Queens Village.  A black Mercedes pulled up next to the Navigator.  Inside the Mercedes were four men wearing white gloves.  The men opened fire on the Navigator, riddling the vehicle with bullets.  E Money Bags died from ten 9mm bullets.  Over 40 rounds pierced the Navigator, according to the forensic experts.

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KENNETH MCGRIFF: (CONTINUED)

By Christopher Zoukis

Now that he was out of prison, Supreme had decided to re-invent himself.  He would become a producer of movies. 

While in prison at Talladega, Supreme had had to kill a lot of time.  So he began reading.  His favorite author was Donald Goines, who was an ex-hustler from Detroit.  Goines wrote about the streets, drug trafficking and hustling.  Supreme fell in love with Goines’ novels and wanted to make them into movies.  He thought they’d be bigger hits than the Godfather.  To make this dream a reality, Supreme needed to hook up with the right kind of people – players in the entertainment business.  Irv Gotti / Photo courtesy mtv.com

Hip-hop and Rap were coming on like skyrockets in 1995.  Music labels and producers were on the lookout for new talent.  One such producer was Irv Lorenzo, who was out of Hollis, Queens.  Lorenzo started out as a DJ and a talent scout.  Calling himself DJ Irv, he hooked up with people and began handling up and coming Rappers and Hip-hoppers.  Changing his name to Irv Gotti, he started his own record label, which he christened Murder Inc, the world’s most dangerous record label.  Murder Inc. promoted and produced music that revolved around the gangsta’ life.  Which meant Gotti needed street cred.  He needed to be perceived as the real McCoy – a hustler with ties to the street, drugs and gangland style slayings.

One day Gotti was overseeing the shooting of a video for one of his Rappers, whose name was Cash Money Clicks.  A friend of Gotti’s walked up to him and told him Supreme was there and wanted to say hello.  Gotti couldn’t believe it.  This was just the street cred he needed.  Gotti jumped at the chance.

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KENNETH MCGRIFF: (continued)

By Christopher Zoukis

Things changed while Supreme paid his debt to society.  The Dominicans started pushing a new drug onto the streets.  Crack.  Almost overnight, cocaine was out and crack was in as the number one hit. 

Crack was two parts cocaine and one part baking soda mixed with a little bit of water.  Heat it up until the solution separated.  The precipitate was then skimmed off and the cocaine dried.  The resulting cocaine flakes were called crack.   Photo courtesy gorillaconvict.com

When Supreme got out of prison in 1987, he was ready to jump back onto the streets.  He had missed the adrenaline rush of the action and the feeling of power he got from being the Top Dog.  Holding a meeting of the Supreme Team, he re-established his authority and told his crew their goals were to make money and rule the streets.  The Supreme Team hit the road in bulletproof luxury cars and used rooftop lookouts with walkie-talkies to counter the police.  Handbooks on how-to-be a smart criminal were put together and distributed to the Team.

What Supreme didn’t know was that the feds and the Queens Narcotics Squad were keeping tabs on the top members of the Supreme Team.  The Supreme Team’s activities under the violent reign of Prince had attracted cops like ants to a picnic.  Like Big Brother, the feds were watching everything and everybody, waiting for their chance.  The feds even had Supreme’s mother under surveillance.

On November 6, 1987, the feds got their chance. 

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Kenneth McGriff: ‘Supreme’

By Christopher Zoukis

The South Jamaica section of Queens, New York was where Kenneth McGriff was born and raised.  The McGriffs lived right across the street from the Baisley Projects.  It was a working class neighborhood.  Both his parents worked for the Transit Authority on New York’s subway system.  They wanted their son to go to college and get a good job.  That was the future they dreamed about and worked for.

Some dreams come true.  Others don’t.   Image courtesy evi.com

When he was 10 years old, Kenneth got religion.  He came under the influence of a quasi-religion known as The 5 Percent Nation, which was also known as The Nation of Gods and Earths.  For lack of a better term, it was a cult.  The Five Percent Nation came from the peculiar imagination of Clarence 13X, who – once upon a time – had been part of the Nation of Islam.  Before he converted, 13X’s name used to be Clarence Edward Smith.  Later, Clarence 13X decided he could no longer accept the idea that Wallace Fard – who was the founder of the Nation of Islam – was god.  So Clarence 13X left and started his own religion.  His new religion taught that God was the Blackman and woman was his Earth.  In other words, the Blackman was the highest power or Supreme Being of the Universe. 

The 5 Percent Nation took their name from the fact that they believed they were the chosen five percent of humanity.  The other 95% of humanity were made up of two divergent groups.  Those who lacked knowledge accounted for 85%.  And those who were devils made up the remaining 10%.  The devils were people who knew the truth but deliberately taught lies for the purpose of personal gain. 

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Razzle Dazzle

By Christopher Zoukis

There has been an explosion of wealth over the last twenty years. Not just in the United States, but throughout the world.  Millionaires are everywhere. They have lots of disposable income, and are looking for goods and services to purchase. The individuals and companies that identify, target, and market to these millionaires will profit handsomely. Indeed, they will become millionaires themselves. To be successful in this undertaking, these individuals and companies will have to position themselves correctly. Correct positioning equals attraction, and is similar to becoming a flower. Pretty flowers that smell sweet attract the bees. In the case at hand, the objective is not the most bees but the most prosperous bees. This book explains the ins and outs of becoming the flower that attracts the affluent bees. In other words, this book spells out how to attract and keep wealthy customers.  Image courtesy tumblr.com

This book has three goals.

The first goal is to tell you how to attract and appeal to affluent customers. Make no mistake attracting affluent customers is very different than attracting multitudes of customers, who regularly shop at malls and department stores.  Affluent customers rarely visit the average mall, and they don’t shop at Penney’s or Wal-Mart.  Thus attracting and appealing to the affluent involves a whole new way of thinking. This new paradigm means a whole new way of engaging customers, for affluent customers are a segment of the populace that is almost invisible, simply because they are such a small part of the populace. To appeal to this niche market means using a new way of selling and marketing.

The second goal of the book is provide insights into the psychology of the affluent customer. Wealthy customers purchase goods and services for different reasons than the average customer. Affluent people have a distinct attitude toward money. It is the attitude that comes from having money. This unique attitude is part of the affluent customer’s psychology, which explains why they buy, and what they want to buy. Knowing how they think, which in turn means knowing how they make the decision to buy also means knowing what they don’t want to buy, what prevents them from buying.

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Up, Up, and Away!

By Christopher Zoukis

Not too long ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made a momentous decision.  The Court decided that the Affordable Care Act was in fact constitutional.  The Democrats cheered and the Republicans booed.  The Court asserted that ACA was a tax, and that the U.S. government has the right, according to the Constitution, to impose taxation.  Essentially, and under the circumstances, the Court was correct.  There’s nothing more to be said.  Image courtesy of politicalnewsnow.com

Other than this:  Obamacare is going to change the whole shape of the playing field. 

Let’s take a look at what’s going to happen.

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee estimates that the Affordable Care Act will incur $17 trillion in additional cost over the rest of this century.  At the present juncture, healthcare spending includes $38 trillion for Medicare, $20 trillion for Medicaid and $7 trillion for Social Security.  Adding $17 trillion to the equation brings the grand total to $82 trillion.  If that’s not scary enough, try this on for size:  all of the above healthcare programs are unfunded.  Translation:  there’s no money set aside to pay for them.

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