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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

We should understand

18 Mar

how insurance works.

Too often, people just don’t get it. Usually that is because they have never lived off their own business.

 
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Posted in Business, Economics

 

Not at all

09 Mar

surprised. If I were a burger restaurant owner, I would do this as soon as possible. I just weigh the costs…

 
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Posted in Business

 

Here’s what I think the deal is:

25 Jan

A few years ago, it made advertising and financial sense to kowtow to Leftist punks. But it makes far less sense now. Parents (those who actually pay) are stepping in, and they are irritated by what has gone on. So now even a famously PC college like Oberlin is starting to push back. A little. Starting.

So we need to understand that university presidents are very sensitive to the bottom line. Once the bottom line is negatively affected by the PC crowd, they will be gone. Mark my words…

The Leftists in the academy know this very well, which is why they push for things like universal college paid for not by discerning parents but by the state (the state is very much against intact families, as you can easily see from their policies–and they are getting there). The schtick is that such things (like Pell Grants) help the underprivileged, and to a certain degree that is true. In ALL welfare policies there is a veneer of “helping.” But it also substitutes the gov’t for the parent, which is an overriding goal. It’s about self-preservation as much as anything else.

This is business. What happens may be couched in “noble” terms, but once those “noble” things are a hindrance rather than a help, the protestors will be GONE in a heartbeat. The bottom line is all that really matters. And that is actually a good thing.

See, universties have long acted in loco parentis, in the place of parents. That is usually talked about as the university’s responsibility to young people. But there is another aspect to parenting. You at some point are likely to be devalued (or worse) as a person. You will say “no,” and then there will be a tantrum. Mark Twain famously said that when he was 16 he thought is father was the dumbest man alive and when he was 18 he was amazed and how much his dad had learned in only two years. Parents need to be able to endure the tantrum. They need to be able to endure being thought dumber than a box of rocks. Can universities stand being cast as “stupid old fuddie-duddies?”

 
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Posted in Business, Culture

 

Yeah, bankers

30 Oct

need skin in the game.

And I see how this could be a major marketing niche. Would YOU rather have your investment manager depend on YOUR earnings? I know I certainly would. And this could be a MAJOR advertisement/way to get business, by saying that you only take a percentage of the increase, not the principal. I can see the ads now: “You can trust us. If you don’t make money, we don’t make money…”

 
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Posted in Business

 

Anyone even peripherally involved

20 Oct

in retail knows that raising minimum wage does HUGE damage to retailers. It is an unbelievably stupid idea, and those who endorse it betray their economic ignorance. I’ve never ONCE heard a cogent defense of it. Not once. If I have a 3% margin, you can bet that I can’t take a 30% rise in employee costs! That may mean that I can no longer make my mortgage. Or it may mean that the business closes. Items that cannot be automated will increase drastically in cost. Already a lot of people buy all they can from online sources. That will only increase. And if fresh food becomes easily purchasable that way (and it will), grocery stores will be few and far between.

The minimum wage also makes technology FAR more attractive.

Unknown

You don’t have to pay machines hourly wages. No horrid Obamacare expenses. Even with some maintenance costs they are the cheapest option. So anything that can be automated will be. Medical diagnoses? Already we are seeing machines that do that pretty well, at least for routine things. I get emails all the time about doing treatment over video–and that means that the archaic licensing scheme we currently have is doomed. And this is just the infancy! Surgery? Already it is highly technology-assisted (though I think there will always be a place for human care). Just give it a few years…

Nursing is probably relatively safe for now, though it will certainly go part-way down this road. Already in Japan there is a push to have the caregivers for the elderly be robots. And speaking of the road, how long will there be taxi drivers? They will be automatic cars. I can imagine not even owning a car when living in the suburbs, and just calling a self-driving cab via my smartphone when I need it. Why have a monthly car payment if it only costs me five bucks when I occasionally need a lift? If I need it 20 times a month that is only a hundred bucks! And I can do productive stuff while the car drives.

With Square and other services I can take credit cards without a monthly fee (they take a small percentage of the transaction). It’s all run automatically through my bank account. Already I have a daughter who writes business documents and then submits them to a web site. The person who wants it then pays the site via PayPal and the payment goes directly into her bank account. I hired someone to design a book cover for me (see it here) and it cost me five bucks. Five. Bucks. I paid via PayPal and have never even met the designer–she is certainly not my employee and she lives in a very far away state on the other side of the country. Can you imagine what it would have cost me to hire an in-house graphics designer?

Additionally, I think that within a decade (probably far less) most positions will be 1099 contractors. You are hired to do a job, but I pay you and am done–this is your own business and and you bear all responsibility and you are NOT an employee. Once people start writing checks themselves for the (about) 7.5% they pay in Social Security taxes, the 7.5% in employer’s portion of Social Security (YOU are the employer, remember!), Medicaid taxes, Federal taxes, State taxes, and local taxes, there will be an absolute revolt. No wonder the Democrats absolutely HATE the “gig” economy! It leaves them totally exposed.

This has several effects on people. The main one is that it makes them much more conservative. They have to actively pay taxes rather than do so passively through the dark magic of withholding. Maybe you have to pay quarterly. Maybe you have to hire an accountant to even comply with the labyrinthine maze that is our tax code (so you pay taxes and then pay your accountant, too). Just try to untangle THAT Gordian knot on your own! And don’t make a mistake because the IRS is VERY punitive and not at all tolerant of honest mistakes. So pry your checkbook out of your back pocket and pay! And pay. And pay. And remember that experience when it is time to vote.

All this makes people hate the tax code and the government. They get conservative about expenses. You want a country music festival in your district, Senator Reid? Fine, but don’t even ask me to foot the bill! I don’t care what YOU spend YOUR money on. But MY money should be used wisely and judiciously.