Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Electronics and "cheap" labor in China.

Supply Chain for iPhone Highlights Costs in China -- What the latest analysis shows is that the smallest part of Apple's costs are here in Shenzhen, where assembly-line workers snap together things like microchips from Germany and Korea, American-made chips that pull in Wi-Fi or cellphone signals, a touch-screen module from Taiwan and more than 100 other components.

But what it does not reveal is that manufacturing in China is about to get far more expensive. Soaring labor costs caused by worker shortages and unrest, a strengthening Chinese currency that makes exports more expensive, and inflation and rising housing costs are all threatening to sharply increase the cost of making devices like notebook computers, digital cameras and smartphones.

Job title inflation.

Too many chiefs -- When it comes to job titles, we live in an age of rampant inflation. Everybody you come across seems to be a chief or president of some variety. Title inflation is producing its own vocabulary: "uptitling" and "title-fluffing." It is also producing technological aids. One website provides a simple formula: just take your job title, mix in a few grand words, such as "global", "interface" and "customer", and hey presto. The rot starts at the top. Not that long ago companies had just two or three "chief" whatnots. Now they have dozens, collectively called the "c-suite." A few have more than one chief executive officer; CB Richard Ellis, a property-services firm, has four. A growing number have chiefs for almost everything from knowledge to diversity. Southwest Airlines has a chief Twitter officer. Coca-Cola and Marriott have chief blogging officers. Kodak has one of those too, along with a chief listening officer.

Now the question is: who deserves their title, and who doesn't?

Do you like your mail on Saturday?

Sides Form Over Threat to Saturday Mail Service -- As federal regulators consider a proposal to cut most Saturday postal deliveries, the business community is sharply divided about the consequences of switching to five-day service.

Rate increases or complete dissolution?

Sheena Moore

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