Nosebleed And RCOB

Yesterday I went to buy someone a Dallas Cowboys cap (don’t ask), and at Academy I was just about to throw one into the shopping cart when I caught a glimpse of the price.

THIRTY FUCKING DOLLARS?  FOR A LOUSY CAP????

So back on the rack it was flung, with some force, and I was so angry I had to buy some new .45 ACP ammo to settle my nerves.  (And at just over a dollar per round for primo self-defense stuff, it wasn’t that bad or else I’d have had a stroke.)

I can sorta see how a thermal cup, for instance, could cost maybe fifteen bucks (don’t get me started about that stupid Yeti crap):  there’s a combination of materials and a little quality thrown in, and then there’s the “brand” to pay for (although the way the Cowboys have been playing recently from all accounts, they should be paying US to take their shitty merchandise).

But $30 for a common-or-garden baseball cap, made (as they all are) in China?

FOAD, America’s Team.

Let The Market Decide

We often hear that mantra from free-traders and staunch capitalists, but sometimes the situation isn’t that simple.  Take this example in the exquisitely-beautiful town of St. Ives, in Cornwall, Britishland:

Landlords and businesses have been buying up properties in the area and converting them into summer homes, meaning there is nowhere left for locals to rent.
Jasmin cannot find a new place to rent and her tenancy is due to end on May 10.  She has exhausted letting agents and spare room sites, and fears in three weeks she will be sleeping rough.

And from the local council:

“The boom in house prices and the demand for holiday accommodation is causing a significant reduction in the availability of homes to rent.  It matched sudden escalation in rental costs.
“Private landlords have been moving away from long-term letting and instead moving towards the short-term holiday market.”

Read the whole thing.

I know that many towns in rural counties Over Here have had the same problems — transplanted Californians, ’nuff said — to where locals with jobs in those towns have to find a place to live in further-off towns, sometimes as much as an hour’s drive (or more) away.

Jackson Hole in Wyoming, when I first drove through there back in 1987, was a one-horse town that had nothing to recommend it other than proximity to Yellowstone and a couple of ski runs;  now, it’s the place to find Hollywood types and other California scum in their vacation homes, with all the foul side-effects:  expensive housing, expensive eateries, empty streets out of season, and so on.

I don’t have any solutions — at least, not free-market solutions — so maybe it’s up to the local governments to step in;  although getting government involved usually if not always seems just to exacerbate the problem.

I welcome discussion on the topic, in Comments.

Language Nannies

And then there’s this development:

Google has announced the launch of an “inclusive language” function to help users eliminate politically incorrect words and expressions. The feature is being introduced initially to Google’s “enterprise-level” users and will include both warnings and suggestions as part of Google’s new assisted writing features in Google Docs.
Typing in the word “landlord,” for instance, generates a warning the term “may not be inclusive to all readers” as well as the suggestion to replace the offensive locution with “property owner” or “proprietor.”

Similarly, Google takes issue with the word “mankind” and proposes substituting it with the more appropriate “humankind.” Use of “policemen” and “housewife” provokes a correction as well, and Google will urge replacing them with the gender-neutral “police officers” and “stay-at-home spouse.”

Curiously, the new software seems targeted only at a specific sort of communication infractions.

How nice.  Wait till this feature turns into “obligatory” rather than just “advisory”…

My message to Google:  take your wokist nonsense and stick it up your excretion aperture.

Oh, and fuck you.  And your poxy email.

Tectonic Shift

ZMan has a typically-mordant look at the global economy:

The Global American Empire has been supported for the past half century by a novel form of seigniorage. This is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce and distribute it. In the old days, the king would make a profit from the minting of coins used in his kingdom. This was usually a tax added to the total cost of a coin on top of the cost of production. This was the king’s profit from coinage.

Since the Louvre accords in the 1980s, Washington has been able to swap securities for newly printed banknotes by the Federal Reserve. This would normally impose an inflation tax on the public, but the dollar being the reserve currency of the world spread this tax over the global economy. Inflation rates in the United States remained low, as long as global growth remained high and the world was willing to tolerate this system.

The bigger issue is that the rest of the world is losing interest in the system that profits Washington at their expense. China has been manipulating its currency for a few years as a way to prevent Washington from exporting inflation to Beijing. She has also been quietly building parallel financial structures, along with Russia and India, in order to escape the perfidious rules imposed by Washington.

Which means that if the $US is replaced by some other form of currency, we’re fucked.  The only bright side of that scenario is that other currencies are even more shaky than ours (yuan coff coff)  and a commodity-based system such as gold is impossible because quite frankly, there is no commodity on Earth large enough to replace the dollar without a radical devaluation of, well, everything.

Sobering stuff, all the same.  Read all of it.

Crash Diet

Well, I suppose that’s one way of losing weight:

“For the first time, this generation is going to go into a store and not be able to get what they want.  And we have a very entitled generation that has never had to sacrifice.”

I don’t know how much credence to give this alarm — I can’t vouch for the source and quite frankly, I find it hard to believe anyone these days — but having just paid $106 to fill my Tiguan over the weekend, I’m still in shock so all the stuff on the article seems plausible.

Worse till, even if it’s halfway true, there’s going to be a whole bunch of pain going on, and the current Maladministration is going to make things worse and not better, before we can try to correct it in November.