Requiring employers to pay employees more than they’re worth has consequences. Who knew, besides anyone who knows anything about economics? From Sarah Cowgill at libertynation.com:
The move to make flipping burgers and shoehorning fries into a lucrative career has been a national debate pitting hourly workers against the businesses that employ them. Granted, doubling the entry-level wage seems ideal for those struggling to survive. However, as more states and municipalities force the issue through legislation or ballot initiatives, the downside risk becomes increasingly, and painfully, obvious.
It’s a bite that the Big Apple is experiencing firsthand as the minimum wage increased 15% on Jan. 1, and employees who rely on tip wages to eke out a living are salving their dashed hopes of gaining ground because restaurant owners are slashing hours and, in many cases, abolishing hospitality positions altogether.
Well, that didn’t take long at all.
Sharing may be caring, but it’s not much of a base for economic activity. From Susie Cagle at onezero.medium.com:
‘Sharing’ was supposed to save us. Instead, it became a Trojan horse for a precarious economic future.
Founded in 2014, Omni is a startup that offers users the ability to store and rent their lesser-used stuff in the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. Backed by roughly $40 million in venture capital, Omni proclaims on its website that they “believe in experiences over things, access over ownership, and living lighter rather than being weighed down by our possessions.”
If you’re in the Bay Area, you can currently rent a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo from “Lan” for the low price of $1 per day; “charles” is renting a small framed lithograph for $10 a day; and “Tom” is renting a copy of the film Friends With Benefits (68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) on Blu-ray for just $2 a day. Those prices don’t include delivery and return fees for the Omni trucks traversing the city, which start at $1.99each way.
In 2016, Omni’s CEO and co-founder Tom McLeod said that “lending enables Omni members to put their ‘dormant’ belongings to good use in their community.” That same year, Fortune said Omni “could create a true ‘sharing economy.’” For a while, the tenets of the sharing economy were front and center in Omni’s model: It promised to activate underutilitized assets in order to sustain a healthier world and build community trust. In 2017, McLeod said, “We want to change behavior around ownership on the planet.”
Just three years later, those promises seem second to the pursuit of profit. In 2019, the Omni pitch can be summed up by the ads emblazoned on its delivery trucks: “Rent things from your neighbors, earn money when they rent from you!”
Life has gotten a lot better for most of the world’s population over the last two centuries, due to the one “ism” that works: capitalism. From Onar Am at libertynation.com:
During the heyday of Windows in the 1990s, Bill Gates was vilified as an evil capitalist. Then he started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at helping the poor and making a better world, and slowly his name was transformed on the left into something akin to a decent human being. However, he recently tweeted a highly controversial fact: Extreme poverty is rapidly being eradicated.
His tweet shows an infographic by Our World in Data with the development of key factors, such as education, child mortality, and extreme poverty in the last 200 years. He has the audacity to celebrate when poverty is overcome. Apparently, Gates isn’t just virtue signaling to the cultural elites. He truly seems to care about the poor, and is genuinely happy when poverty is alleviated. Also, he isn’t afraid to give credit where credit is due.
Not everybody is buying into climate change. Count Doug Casey and E.B. Tucker among the more astute of the “deniers.” From Casey and Tucker at caseyresearch.com:
Justin’s note: Today, I continue my conversation with Doug Casey and Strategic Investoreditor E.B. Tucker on the great climate change hoax. If you missed part one, click here to catch up.
Below, the guys take a closer look at what’s really going on… and why all of the hysteria is actually a big threat…
Justin: Why peddle this idea that the Earth is warming rapidly? What’s the motive?
E.B.: Bigger government.
I mean, climate change has become a pop culture drumbeat. If you watch the Oscars, somebody is going to say, “We’ve got to do something about the climate.”
But no one, of course, knows what to do. All they know is that we should give the government more money to do something about this. And that money is obviously going to come from the developed world. I mean you’re not going to get any money if you implement a carbon tax in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
So it’s basically just a giant tax scheme. I mean carbon taxes brought in $82 billion last year. That’s a big number. And no one even knows where this money goes. You can’t question it because everybody has the best of intentions.
The Tesla company, its cars, and global warming are articles of faith among a certain set. That faith is going to be tested. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
As the center of the U.S. freezes this weekend, Elon Musk is trying to figure out how to save Tesla from going the way of Enron.
Religions die hard. It takes an orgy of evidence to change a person’s mind on a subject that is integral to their moral and ethical structure.
In the case of Tesla, the mania surrounding it over the past decade has been inextricably bound up with the hysteria of global warming.
For years investors ignored the obvious warning signs that Tesla would never be able to graduate from a boutique, hand-built car manufacturer and technology skunk works to a mass producer.
I’ve been very hard on Musk in the past, with good reason. But, as a guy with vision I applaud him getting Tesla off the ground and legitimizing the idea of the upscale electric car.
But it was never going to work as a mass production scheme because Musk isn’t that guy. He’s a dreamer and a schemer, not a builder. And, as I’ve said multiple times, he should have stepped down as CEO of Tesla ages ago.
A man has got to know his limitations as The Man once said.
Libertarianism is a political philosophy that deals with the proper use of force in a society, by government and everyone else. It can’t be criticized for not dealing with issues outside that essential but not all encompassing question. From Jeff Deist at mises.org:
Daniel McCarthy, editor of Modern Age and editor at large for The American Conservative, recently published an essay on the Spectator USA site titled “Why Libertarians are Wrong.” It merits a response because Mr. McCarthy is friendly and sympathetic toward libertarianism, and despite the infirmities of his article ought to be seen as a fellow traveler.
The title misleads us a bit from the beginning, because McCarthy is sound on the single most important libertarian political issue: war and peace. He objected to George W. Bush’s foray into Iraq, he attacks the permanent-war complex and its funding, and he consistently advocates a reasonably non-interventionist US foreign policy far closer to Ron Paul than John Bolton. He also has read Mises and Hayek, and unlike many intellectual conservatives (a dwindling group) McCarthy is not mired in Burke or Buckley or Reagan. He even blogged for the 2008 Paul presidential campaign and has spoken at the Mises Institute on foreign policy. So unlike a Bill Kristol or Sean Hannity, his conservative critique comes without ignorance or malice.