The Rigged Retail Playing Field

Take a look at the chart of America’s monopolies and it is not difficult to understand the the issues facing local businesses – the playing field is rigged.

Emily Stewart writes, “From cellphone providers to beer to cat food, consumers have a lot fewer choices when it comes to buying — even if they don’t know it.” Emily Stewart and America’s monopolies

Stewart shows that the big companies have gotten bigger over the past fifteen years.

In the capitalist system that is what they are supposed to do.  However, local businesses have failed to see, no less understand, the threat the growing monopolies pose to their survival and success.There are 28 million local businesses in America.  The 2019 Department of Labor Statistics confirms what everyone instinctively already knows – local businesses are under threat.  The cause is clear – shoppers have shifted their buying to online and local businesses have not responded.  Amazon has 50% of e-commerce and grows stronger daily.  Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, ominously warned all local businesses, “Your margin is my opportunity.” Retail Business Failures

The bigger companies become the tighter control they place on wages, working conditions, and advancement.  Small local businesses NEED employees and focus on increased wages and advancement in order to grow their businesses.

The financial advantage goes to the bigger company.  The problem is then reflected in weak personal income growth because entrepreneurs are being pushed out of the game. The New Times review of the impact of monopolies

Stewart writes, “In more traditional sectors, such as hardware stores, tobacco, and railroads, concentration is on the rise. And in technology-related fields, including smartphones, social media, and cellphones, in just in the past five or so years, it’s even higher.”

Think of monopolies as movie studios that buy up scripts to keep them off the market.  The bigger a company becomes the more it needs to grow.  Growth comes from gobbling up competitors.

The #1 fact about monopolies is that as they take dominance in market share they use that power to drive up prices.The New York Times and how monopolies drive up prices.  Competitors drive down prices because their battle ground is efficiency and innovation.  Monopolies drive up prices because there is no battleground.  Steward writes, “The fewer options there are, the fewer places consumers have to shop for goods and services, and the less pressure for competitors to keep prices down.”

The big three monopolies are Amazon, Google and Facebook.

Let’s focus on Amazon which is earning an estimated $187 billion per year.   Jeff Bezos is brilliant and his team the best.  These top of the food chain capitalists have rigged the game. Amazon is smart and their focus is growing market share at the expense of every other business in the world.

Amazon’s retail strategy is to enter a business and use its technology and processes to make selling and delivery of products better, faster, and cheaper – AT FIRST.  Amazon uses lower prices to drive out competitors .  Once Amazon has market dominance it increases prices. This behavior is what monopolies do.

Consumers don’t care about monopolies and their impact on local businesses but they should.  Monopolies take money out of local communities.Money Stays in LocalThey have been convinced that convenience is important than choice.  A belief that will come back to haunt them as local communities become ghost towns where stacks of Amazon boxes on front porches.  Keep in mind that local communities need revenue to support schools, infrastructure, parks, trash pick, and all the other things that make local communities thrive and a place to live.

FACT: Amazon and the other monopolies take the financial lifeblood away from local communities.

Amazon wants to totally control local retail

Business Insider reports, Amazon accounts for 43% of US online retail sales.  An analysis by Slice Intelligence released found that 43% of all online retail sales in the US went through Amazon in 2016, as the e-commerce giant’s market share continues to grow.  According to the study, which analyzed more than 4 million online purchases, Amazon accounted for the majority (53%) of the growth in US e-commerce sales for the year.

Amazon is a great company and a great business and yet as great as it is, it is always dangerous and destructive.  The six million local retailers cannot compete with Amazon UNLESS they learn to compete in ways that Amazon cannot.

Amazon is convenient and impersonal.  Local businesses are convenient and personal.  The key is for local business to learn to use real-time coupons and direct-to-shopper communications.  This means enrolling in-store shoppers with direct communication tools of real-time email and text.

Google and Facebook control everything

Local media companies and local retailers are under attack from Google, Amazon, & Facebook.
•    Google and Facebook control 76% of digital advertising and 85% of each new dollar spent on digital.
•    Google controls 12% of all advertising revenues globally.
•    Amazon controls 41% of all online retail.   In 2016 Amazon[i] accounted for $0.51 of every $1 of growth in online retail and 24% of total retail growth.  Amazon, you already know.  Welcome to Facebook and Google’s “Buy Buttons”.
•    Google and Facebook control 67%[ii] of global mobile ad revenues[iii].
•    Newspaper dollars are off nearly two-thirds.  Ad spending will slide to $18.3 billion this year, down from $51.5 billion. They’ve been dropping for 10 straight years, quickly at first and now more gradually, though still at a pace of 8 or 9 percent per year.

A new forecast from ZenithOptimedia, the London agency, projects newspaper dollars will fall another 8 percent this year, to $18.3 billion. That’s down from a peak of $51.5 billion in 2006, meaning nearly two-thirds of all ad spending in the category has evaporated in just a decade.  What’s more, the declines will continue. By 2018, spending will have fallen to $15.1 billion, down 9 percent from 2017.
•    Traditional Program Viewing Sinks For TV Networks / 9,14, 2016 / MediaPost.  For the entire September to September TV season, broadcast networks showed more declines in traditional prime-time TV program ratings — with three of the four top channels losing ground.

G4’s technology platform connects dealers and other retailers to local media channels directly (that is, under full control of the dealer/retailer) and in real time (any changes made by the dealer/retailer show up on the local media or self-owned website instantaneously!).   Dealers/retailers now collaborate with local media at warp speed, creating value and immediacy to the local consumer that the Tech Giants simply cannot match.

Is there a personality difference in Dreams and Waking

Everyone dreams every night.  These night time movies can range from night terrors to amazingly insightful episodes.  The culture of the Senoi people of Malaysia was built around harnessing the power of dreams. The Senoi and Dream Power

Tijana Radeska wrote of the Senoi,  “Maybe one of the most beautiful works based on anthropological research done in the highlands of Malaysia is the book Pygmies and Dream Giants, by anthropologist Kilton Stewart. He wrote about the Senoi, a group of people that he encountered during his trip in Malaysia and their dreaming culture. Stewart first wrote on the subject in his doctoral thesis in 1948, in which he presents an argument about the Senoi’s ability to control their dreams and how they educated their children to master the same ability. The Senoi are a tribe that lives deep in the highlands of Malaysia and can be reached only by a helicopter or a boat. Along with the Negrito and Orang Malayu Asli, the Senoi are one of the three main Orang Asli groups, which are the oldest people of the region, the indigenous of Malaysia. Almost any written source about the tribe discusses the Senoi with dreams, so quite often they are mentioned as “the dream people.”Every morning, a Senoi family would gather for breakfast and the children would start telling their dreams to the elders, and together they would analyze them. They didn’t have an established system of symbols according to which they would interpret the dream, but rather, they would analyze the plot and the story of the dream.”
The Senoi understood the interesting and important intersection between how one’s personality functions during waking and how one’s dream personality functions during REM sleep or dreams.This is quite different than what Freud thought. Freud thought that dreams were the voice of the personal unconscious and needed an expert psychoanalyst to interpret their meanings.  Freud believed that the more disturbed the patient the more symbolic and troubling were his or her dreams.
Carl Jung, one of Freud’s peers, argued that dreams often were messages from the collective unconscious and by understanding them one could gain profound insights into self, personal growth, and the meaningful of life.In my work, The Transformation of Dream, I agreed with both Freud and Jung but went one step further by focusing first and forement, not the dream content, but the process of the dream or how the dreamer’s personality functioned during the dream state.
As my guide I used the dream practices of the Senoi and how they taught members of their tribe to become more active in their dreams and most importantly, how to make dreams useful.  After analyzing thousands of dreams I finally concluded that what the dreamer dreamt about, i.e. the content of the dream, was often directly influenced by how the dreamer functioned during the dream.After years of research, my team and I developed the following Dream Scoring System Journal of Clinical Psychology – The Functional Analysis of Dreams:

1. Is this dreamer ACTIVE or PASSIVE in this dream.  A researcher or dreamer could use a scoring system that went from 1 = toally passive to 5 = active.  We found that the more active the dreamer,  the less confusing and symbolic the dreams were.  To simply the dream scoring system a dreamer could reasonably ask, “Was I active or passive in this dream?”

2. Is this dream CLEAR or UNCLEAR.  Everyone has had a confusing dream which was like a Fellini movie that jumped from one event to the next without any seemingly logical progression.  A second component in the dream scoring system went from 1 = toally confused to 5 = clear and logical.  We found that the clearer the dream was the less confusing and symbolic the dreams were.  To simply the dream scoring system a dreamer could reasonably ask, “Was this dream clear or unclear?”

3. Is this dreamer EXPRESSIVE or UNEXPRESSIVE in this dream.  We found that when a dreamer was EXPRESSIVE in the dream, he or she also tended to be more active.   A researcher or dreamer could use a scoring system that went from 1 = nonexpressive to 5 = expressive.

4. Are the other characters in the dream known or unknown.  We found that when a dreamer has KNOWN characters in the dream, he or she also tended to be more ACTIVE and EXPRESSIVE.   A researcher or dreamer could use a scoring system that went from 1 = unknown to 5 = totally known.

5.  The fifth component of the dream scoring system was feeling.  Are the feelings in this dream clear, i.e., anger, sadness, fear, happiness or were the feelings unclear, i.e., depressed, anxiety, or unknown.  We found that when a dreamer’s feelings were clearly defined he or she tended to be more ACTIVE and EXPRESSIVE and just as importantly the other characters in the dream were KNOWN.   A researcher or dreamer could use a scoring system that went from 1 = unknown feelings to 5 = totally known feelings.

RJ Lang and KP O’Connor in their research paper – Personality, dream content and dream coping style presented research on 130 subjects who completed the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and a Dream Analysis Questionnaire (DAQ), based on retrospective recall.  They sought to further the findings that how a person functioned why awake was related to how they functioned in their dreams.

In their study Lang and O’Connor referred to the earlier research presented by myself and co-workers which suggested there is a parallel between waking behavior and dream behavior.  Psychotherapy Research & Practice. 

We published additional support for the thesis regarding the parallel between the dreaming and waking personality in the Journal of Clinical PsychologyThe Functional Analysis of Dreams: a new theory of dreaming.

One can further review the parallels between dreaming and waking in the following books: The Dream Makers The Dream Makers, Dreaming and Waking Dreaming and Waking,  and the Functional Analysis of Dreams The Functional Analysis of Dreams.




A Practical Approach to Dreams

Dreams have long been the purview of shamans, healers, witch doctors, psychoanalyists, and newpaper columnist.  What these “dream experts” all have in common is a desire to understand dreams and interpret their meanings.

The goal, of course, has always been to extract from the sleep shrouded one-third of our lives something of value.  Dreams are important.  If they weren’t important, then our evolutionary biology would have eliminated them over the milenium.

And yet, evolution has not stepped in.  Everyone dreams every night.  Paradoxically, a very small percentage of people remember their dreams, no less understand the practical value of dreams.

Does a house represent the personality?  Is a train symbolic of sex? What does it mean when someone from the past appears in a dream? The interpretations of dreams is as varied as the person doing the interpreting.  What is similar to any dream interpretation by a “dream expert” is that it isn’t practical.

After studying thousands of dreams, Transformative Dreams as published in Journal of Clinical Psychology my collegues and I came to the conclusion that we dream because they are important to our physical, intellectual, social and spiritual health.  In fact, we found that dreams were in many ways an inner self talking to us about all of those things.  Now Freud thought this inner self was trying to tell us deep dark secrets.  Some of that is true.  Jung throught this inner self was trying  to tell us universal truths.  Some of that is true.

In a five year study we presented the research facts behind what we saw as A Practical Approach  to Dreams.  First, of all let’s discuss the word practical.  If you have to pay a psychoanalyst $250 an hour to explain your dreams – that is not practical.  Or if you need to go to Haiti and dance around a bonfire in jungle – that is not practical.

My collegues Joseph Hart, Werner Karle and I practical meant, what can an average person do to tap into his or her dreams;  how can an average person understand his or her dreams, and finally, what can a person do to take value from dreams.

Here is what we found. A practical approach gives you a way to recall dreams, understand dreams and use dreams.

Recalling Dreams:  It is actually easy to begin recalling dreams.  All one needs to do is asking yourself, “What did I dream last night?”  That may sound simplistic but in fact it is like learning to stretch.  If you ask yourself the question, you begin to think about it.  We found that people could not only learn to recall their dreams but they could in time, recall multiple dreams from a single night.

Understnding Dreams:  To understand dreams our focus was counter to Freud, Jung and Shamans.  What the content of dreams change frequently, we found HOW the dreamer was in his or her dream was very consistent.  We know WHAT a person dreamt about changed every night.  One night you might dream of work and tomorrow night you might be in a strange city fighting gangs.  HOW you were in the dream was the key to understanding your dreams.

The Practical Approach to Dreams simply has dreamer ask him or herself a few dream questions.  Over the years, I have taken the liberaty to simplify and reduce the questions we used in our research.  In that regard here are three useful questions to help understand your dreams. 

1. Was I ACTIVE or PASSIVE in this dream?  If one is active in dreams then you are in control of the dream.  When one is passive you are the victim in the dream.  Think about it this way, if you HOW you are is PASSIVE in your dreams then you can literally dream up all kinds of scenarios where you are the victim.  By asking the ACTIVE/PASSIVE question one comes to understand dreams in a new way – “when I am passive in my dreams I am a victim in my dreams.”  Conversely, “when I am active in my dreams I am in control.”

2. Was I EXPRESSIVE or NON-EXPRESSIVE in this dream?  If one is expressive in dreams then you are in control of the dream.  When one is non-expressive in dreams you are often the victim in the dream.  By asking the ACTIVE/PASSIVE question one comes to understand dreams in a new way – “when I am passive in my dreams I am a victim in my dreams.”  Conversely, “when I am active in my dreams I am in control.”

3. Are the people in my dream KNOWN or UNKNOWN to me?  If the people in your dreams are KNOWN to you then you have a greater chance of understanding how you are thinking and feelings about these real-life people.  On the other hand, if the people in your dreams are UNKNOWN to you then look see if you find yourself PASSIVE and NON-EXPRESSIVE.

These Practical ideas about dream are more fully describe in my three books on dreams:  The The Dream Makers, Dreaming and Waking,  and The Functional Analysis of Dreams, The Functional Analysis of Dreams.


The anthropology of dreaming

A reapplication of the process scoring system for dreams

In a Journal of Clinical Psychology Richard Corriere and his colleagues Hartshorn, Hart, Karle and Switzer replicated their original research which described a new  way to analyze and understand dreams.  The first study done over five  years found that how the dreamer acted in dreams was a powerful determinate of dreams content.

For example, if the dreamer was passive in the dream the dream content was often confusing and highly symbolic and if the dreamer was silent and non-expressive the dream often portrayed the dreamer as a victim in the dream.

The research found then when the dreamer was expressive and active in the dream the dream was often positive.

The inspiration for Corriere’s research came from his anthropological studies of the study of the Senoi Tribe of Malaysia.  The Senoi were known as a non-violent, highly productive society that taught their children from their earliest days to be strong in their dreams and to confront bad or evil characters.  They had children learn to re-dream dreams until they were strong, active, speaking and calling on friends to help them while sleeping.  The Senoi then went further to apply these same teachings to waking life skills.

Corriere began to understand how the current field of social science was 180 degrees different from the Senoi.  Social Sciences instead of teaching the skills people needed to learn to be productive members of society was focused on what went wrong with people and societies.  The Senoi were looking ahead to how to make life better while Social Science was looking at what went wrong.  The light bulb turned on.

Corriere’s ideas are defined in his three books on dreams:   The Dream MakersDM Source FrenchDreaming and Waking,  and The Functional Analysis of Dreams.


American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association published a research article by Richard Corriere and his colleagues Werner Karle, Judy Klein and Joseph Hart entitled The Personal Orientation Inventory and the Eysenck Personality Inventory as outcome measures in a private outpatient clinic.  Journal Citation

Using standardize psychological tests the researchers found that time in therapy increased subjects extra-version scores and decreased their neuroticism scores. What is important about this study is that the increase in extra-version was driven by subjects learning new skills rather than undergoing traditional psychotherapy.  The authors argued that learning new is essential to one’s sense of well being.  Lack of skills is often displayed with inappropriate behaviors which are incorrectly diagnosed as various psychological problems.

Focusing on one’s problems eaves little room for self-improvement.  On the other hand, thinking of one self as a life athlete who can learn new skills opens up a world of growth and confidence.

Corriere’s ideas on bringing the idea of Psychological Fitness are found in his three books:  Life ZonesPsychological Fitness, Source French  and Going Sane. Each of the three books builds on the concept that few people are truly mentally disturbed and most people suffer because they lack basic life skills.  Skills which can be learned through practice.

Richard Corriere Research

The Mindful Manager


Ebony Magazine on Dreams

Ebony magazine’s article about the innovative dream research of Richard Corriere titled Change your Dreams and You Might Change Your Life  Source presented a new way a person can understand and use their dreams to help guide their life.

The Ebony article was based on the research article, Toward A New Theory of Dreaming which  explored the dream research of Richard Corriere as published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.  Volume 33Issue 3pages 807–820July 1977

In the article Richard Corriere stated it more important to understand how a dreamer was in the dream vs. what the dream was about.  For example, was the dreamer active or passive in the dream.  It was found that if a dreamer was passive in the dream then the dream was often troubled, confusing, and upsetting.  On the other hand when the dream was active the dreams often had clear story lines, positive outcomes, and were perceived as pleasant.

Corriere’s ideas on dreams are defined in his three :  The Dream Makers The Dream Makers, Dreaming and Waking Dreaming and Waking,  and the Functional Analysis of Dreams The Functional Analysis of Dreams.;2-N/abstract


Research on Life Skills Training

Psychotherapy Theory Research Practice 18(1):117-122 · December 1980

Richard Corriere and his co-authors in an article published in the journal Journal of Psychotherapy Theory Research & Practice  research on 221 patients as patients learned new skills.  Their research showed that when compared to a control group patients increased their scores in the Personal Orientation Inventory which measures self-actualization and their positive scores on the Eysenck Personality Inventory which measures neutroticism vs. extraversion

The inspiration behind the research was from Corriere’s interest in anthropology and the research on the  Senoi Tribe in Malaysia.  The Senoi focused on the development of the positive dream and waking behavior as supported by AbrahamMaslow and Carl Rogers.

Corriere and his co-workers developed a program which enable people to identify the skills they need to achieve their life goals. Skills which could be learn through practice and peer support.  The most radical proposition was that people could help each other rather than relying solely on professional help.

Corriere’s ideas on bringing the idea of Psychological Fitness are found in his three books:  Life Zones Source, Source Italian  Psychological Fitness  Psychological Fitness, Source French  and Going Sane GS Source,  Source German.  Each of the three books builds on the concept that few people are truly mentally disturbed and most people suffer because they lack basic life skills.  Skills which can be learned through practice.


Journal of Clinical Psychology

In a research article Toward a new theory of dreaming published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.  Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 807–820, July 1977,  Richard Corriere the lead researcher. argued for an new look at how dreams are studied, understood and used.

In contrast to Freud’s analytic theory, which deals with content and interprets dreams as coded symbolic messages, the new transformative theory focuses on how the dreamer performs in the dream.

The inspiration behind the research was a study of the Senoi Tribe in Malaysia.  The Senoi taught their children from their earliest days to be strong in their dreams and to confront bad or evil characters.  They had children learn to redream dreams until they were strong, active, speaking and calling on friends to help them.

Corriere and his co-workers developed a new scoring system which identified how active, how expressive, how connected with friends, how clear and how much expressed feeling there was in a night’s dream.  The results were revealing and showed that when a dreamer pays attention to dreams he can learn to take new actions in dreams.  Dreams shift from confused symbolic stories to clear helpful guides.

BOOKS:  These research findings were later expanded in three books:  Psychological Fitness;  Going Sane; Life Zones.  These books argue that people who have developed life skills feel and perform better than those who do not possess the same skills.  When a person does not have basic life skills they manifest what traditional psychology refers to as symptoms.  Symptoms are directly reflective of a lack of skills.  What is troubling for a person is that given the same situation with the same skills they repeat unproductive behavior.  The good news is that with new life skills given the same situation they change their behavior and derive desired outcomes.

The Mindful Manager by Richard Corriere

Richard Corriere’s writing, articles, and research