Now Multiply That By A Million

I saw this little story via Insty, and it made me not just sad, but furious.  Read it first.

They didn’t lose a fortune, because they never had the opportunity to earn one. Nothing happened. There they sit. And there they’ll stay.

And that’s where the writer is wrong.  You see, economists and accountants have a terms for this phenomenon, and it’s called “opportunity cost” — in other words, the financial cost of a lost opportunity.  Because when people open up their own business and it’s even moderately successful, they have to hire other people to work for them.  Those workers in turn become successful, and pay taxes, and perhaps use the learning to open their own businesses.

The aggregate opportunity cost of this ripple effect, just for this little case study, is potentially millions of dollars.  The Toni & Guy chain of hair salons started in precisely this fashion with a single outlet in the 1960s, as did the JiffyLube chain, back in 1979 — and I chose these two businesses deliberately, because those are the two types of business that the above story deals with.  Who’s to say that Kaitlyn and her husband wouldn’t have had a success story similar to Tony&Guy and JiffyLube?  But we’ll never know, will we, because the heavy hand of government regulation reached into their lives and killed their adventure before it could get started.

So when Donald Trump’s first action as POTUS was to decree that all government departments had to delete multiple regulations for every new one they wanted to promulgate, it was to free people to get going with their businesses and dreams.

Lest we forget, the fucking Democrats are the party of massive regulation and government intrusiveness — and remember that if you’re toying with a “protest” vote against Trump (or a quixotic vote for a third-party no-hoper) in the mid-term elections later this year.  (If you’re a lifetime Democrat voter and want socialism, then you’re at the wrong website and, if I may say, in the wrong country.)

It’s all very well for the economy to grow when manufacturing opens new plants and what have you (which is what Trump has also been making happen) — but that growth is finite.  Individuals starting their own businesses and becoming successful isn’t finite:  that is where America is at its strongest, and that is what will create true economic success for the whole country.  And Donald Trump understands this, and because of it he deserves our unflagging support, if for no other reason.

Incomprehensible Fuss

So one of Wal-Mart’s satellite suppliers was selling “Impeach 45” (i.e. the 45th POTUS, Donald Trump) merchandise, but after some people started squealing, the Big W ordered the stuff pulled.

I have to say that I’m a little nonplussed by the fuss.  Frankly, I remember when a lot more “objectionable” stuff was sold — and still is, e.g. Che Guevara T-shirts — and the world got on just fine.  Even the satirical riffs on the revolting Obama’s “Hope” / “Dream”  logo could have been construed as objectionable, at least to liberals, Commies and Democrats [massive overlap] , but I don’t remember howls of outrage coming from them — and they are quite easily the most-easily-triggered population group ever (see MAGA caps, reaction to).

And I’ll probably get the “But it’s Wal-Mart that’s selling it!”, as though the stereotypical American retailer (with 90% of its inventory carrying a Made-in-China label) should somehow be above such objectionable merchandise.  (I note that the Emperor Misha’s excellent dictum — “Rope.  Tree.  Journalist.  Some Assembly Required.” —  was also pulled from being sold on a T-shirt, as though journalists should not be strung up weekly from lampposts, as commonsense would suggest.  Sheesh.)

But with all the shit that the Left is causing these days, a stupid call for impeachment (which ain’t gonna happen, no matter how many Impeach 45 T-shirts they sell) is small potatoes.  Far more problematic is [list of 2,000 Lefty-loony actions omitted, for space reasons] .

Let’s face it:  we as a nation have a long and proud tradition of using T-shirts, pamphlets and bumper stickers to get under the other guy’s skin and up his nose.  And I’m enough of a capitalist to believe that as long as there’s a market, people should be able to make a buck from it, regardless of offense taken.

Here’s my suggestion for a T-shirt logo which broadens Misha’s thought somewhat:

Think I could get Target to carry it?

Still Not Truckin’

Looks like I got it right:

Shortage of truckers is stifling the economy.

Recruiters that show up daily at TDDS are offering jobs that pay $60,000 to $70,000, with full benefits and a $4,000 signing bonus.

I suggested in my earlier post that this would leave the door open to illegal aliens being hired for trucking jobs by desperate trucking firms, but I think that we’re missing an opportunity here.  Why not invite foreigners to do the jobs, on the equivalent of an H1-B visa, i.e. a temporary work permit?  But I don’t mean just anyone:  I’m thinking Eastern Europeans, specifically Poles, who are already doing a lot of long-haul truck-driving in the EU.

Discuss in Comments.

Skirting The Rules

So what to do when you’re working outside in sweltering temperatures, but the ‘Elf & Safety regulations forbid wearing short pants?  You find a way around the rules:

The brickies — who were working in Chertsey, Surrey — were horrified by new health and safety rules forbidding shorts. But when they realised they could get around the ban by wearing women’s clothing thanks to gender equality regulations, they showed up for work in skirts and frocks.  [emphasis added]

And because this story would be no good wifout pichurs:

I love stories like this.  Fuck the bureaucrats.

Except That Icky Gun Stuff

Last week I got this email message from CitiBank telling me all about the wonderful new benefits of using their little credit card. Here are the salient areas I want to talk about (and note the emphasized parts):

  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection:   You may be covered for up to $10,000 per incident for 90 days from the date of purchase or delivery of the item purchased with your card. Please note, coverage provided by this benefit will be secondary (meaning if you have another insurance policy, this benefit will cover only the amount your other policies do not). Coverage won’t include firearms, ammunition, jewelry, watches, tires or items that are under the care and control of a third party including, but not limited to, the U.S. Postal Service, airlines, or delivery services.
  • Citi Price Rewind:  You may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $200 per item and $1,000 per calendar year. Program coverage won’t include consumables, tires, watches, firearms, or ammunition. You won’t be reimbursed if the lower priced item is found at a warehouse club where the merchant requires a membership fee.
  • 90 Day Return Protection:  You may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year. Program coverage won’t include firearms, ammunition, tires, jewelry, furniture or appliances.

All these wonderful benefits will be mine after June 29 — which is kind of ironic because that’s the date I intend to cut up and cancel the card, after paying off the final balance.

And what does that final balance include, you may ask?  Just the renewal fee for my annual membership at DFW Shooting Range.

(Not) Truckin’

A couple weeks ago, I gave a ride to a guy in the trucking business — he was the Area VP of Operations of a large firm — and he told me that they can’t find drivers to handle just the local deliveries (stores, restaurants etc), never mind the long haul stuff.  And this in an area where a driver gets a starting salary of $60,000 plus serious benefits, after company-sponsored training and licensing.  As I recall, he said they need about 1,800 drivers, and so far had managed to get… 40 (forty).

That, folks, is a serious labor shortage, and his company isn’t the only one with this problem.

Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the United States in 2018, one of the clearest signs yet of a strong economy that might be starting to overheat. Higher transportation costs are beginning to cause prices of anything that spends time on a truck to rise. Amazon, for example, just implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers goods to customers in two days, and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and Betty Crocker, said prices of some of its cereals and snacks are going up because of an “unprecedented” rise in freight costs. Tyson Foods, a large meat seller, and John Deere, a farm and construction equipment, also recently announced they will increase prices, blaming higher shipping costs.

And here, in a nutshell, is why the illegal immigrants keep flooding over the border.  Business owners (not just truckers) are facing a series of rock/hard place situations, and foreign-born workers (mostly illegal) are in many cases the only solution.  I don’t agree with what they’re doing in principle, but as a former employer myself, I can understand their actions.  Stuff’s gotta move, and nobody’s interested in the “how”.