Crying wolf on sequester or simply crying?

03/08/2013 09:57:00 AM
Tom Karst

Nobody important wants to become a sequester expert, I suppose, because that means the sequester will be long-lived and its unwanted ills will be visited on nearly every federal program.

The effect of sequester cuts on federal agency budgets is being debated on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour basis. The buzz this week is that President Obama overhyped the automatic spending cuts. However, as some of the cuts become more deeply felt, that may well change.

In the stories I have read, I haven’t seen the link to the Office of Management and Budget’s master document detailing the administration’s cost-cutting plans for various agencies.

After I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for cuts to the Agricultural Marketing Service budget, the department’s FOIA officer sent me a link to the plan.

If you want every last detail on sequester cuts for all federal agencies, check out the 83-page document for the skinny on how government will cut the fat.

My Twitter account recently passed the 2,000-follower plateau, though some of my newest followers include an automotive shop, a youth pastor and, yes, more ever-abundant social media marketers.

And so the adventure in social media continues. One useful Twitter tool I found this week is called Twitter Counter — useful for tracking the escalating number of my auto shop followers.

———

Speaking of social media, one poll question in the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group this week asked “What is generally the biggest weakness in Wal-Mart’s fresh produce departments?”

And Wal-Mart, the market research is on me.

The options:

 

  • out of stock;
  • marginal quality;
  • selection;
  • freshness; and
  • identity.

 

Too early to tabulate the poll results, but early comments didn’t hold back on Wal-Mart’s shortcomings.

For all of Wal-Mart’s success and future aspirations to buy local and save consumers billions, it seems the chain still needs to up its performance at the department level.

Drawbacks include lack of training for produce department staff and low-quality produce in some stores. Lack of attention to reusable plastic containers on display also hurt its image, one observer said, and culling was not aggressive enough to removed bruised or old product.


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