QuickReaction, Thursday-3

Groupon, how much longer can they keep the scam going? I always thought Groupon was a scam Ponzi scheme, but what do I know. Clearly underwriters and early investors (who bailed) and stock analysis know better so all of you went out and bought Groupon at $20, then watched it fall, then were cheered when Wall Street talked the hype up again to drive it up by 51% from nothing, but guess what – it always fails, again Groupon, the fastest growing most wonderful junk company posts yet another loss, bigger than before. And with many people abandoning “deals” altogether, or at minimum, going elsewhere (how much barrier to entry is there peddling coupons on the Net, that’s really high tech, isn’t it) Groupon’s future is magically going to be better than the past. Groupon has always been a scam run by some greedy crooked folks feeding all gullible investors who nostalgically dream of another dotcom boom.

Facebook turns you into a sucker once again: This about says it all “the move could be one more fairly big step toward making Facebook a more indispensable place to advertise” Facebook has one purpose, to fool you into revealing yourself to them and then selling you off to the highest bidder. How much more will they get away with milking all you cows before you finally get it, you’re just a mark to them and pocks to pick for the merchandisers.

The Twitter Ponzi scheme begins: Sure Twitter is worth $10B. I’m sure all the hucksters will convince a bunch of rubes it is. Hey folks, remember Groupon. Or how about Facebook and its IPO flop? But more suckers are born all the time that will believe volume = profit = valuation. You know what human beings need most and can’t live without, the true killer app? Air. You see the valuations of the people selling air.

NASCAR and racial slurs: Like Captain Renault I’m shocked such a thing would happen, the bastion of dixie resistance, redneck wet dreams, and white supremacists would be tinged with racism. But I’m also amazed that NASCAR officialdom did anything (must have some advertisers that care about minority audiences). I bet NASCAR fans are holding rallies to support Clements.

Another junk study, even pretending to be science: Since I don’t have access to the original study I’ll assume it is what the popular press says it is. When will people learn association is not causation? The conclusion reached by the study is illogical and not founded on biochemistry. Calories are calories and an association they found doesn’t change that. Now if they actually had some genomic basis or biochemistry, maybe, but looking at one variable, out of hundreds of lifestyle and diet variables, are pointing to a connection is meaningless. More politics instead of science.

Only one side to this case: I’m amazed a creationist would be so brazen and then use such a feeble excuse as claiming “academic freedom” to push fundamentalist religion in classes. Passing out answers in genesis brochures – prima facie case, throw the bum out. Amazing the lawyer even tries to claim this, “said the board’s decision to dismiss Freshwater showed hostility toward religion” but that’s that standard religinut notion that any restraint on their selling their woo is an attack. The teacher works for the government and influences young impressionable children; feeding them fundamentalist religion (actually any religion) is just as vile as child molestation would be.

Fast food and minimum wage: I actually think Fred Deluca is right, paying his workers more probably will require a price increase. And the answer is, so what? Henry Ford once paid his workers more, thus driving up wages of all workers, thus allowing workers to be able to afford his cars. It’s called economic growth. Did Henry lose or win as a result of that wage increase? Did the U.S. grow or shrink as a result of that increase? Increasing minimum wage for everyone creates no competitive advantage for anyone, except perhaps a business that then invests in increasing productivity to compensate for wages and guess what, productivity is always good. In fact, high wages encourage productivity because it now means you can substitute technology for people which is why the U.S. gained most of the prosperity it has. But meanwhile you have to pay the people who are working so they can afford the things you make. There is a fairness issue to it, but the real issue is that all of us will be better off when there is economic growth and when some of that growth accrues to the people at the bottom, not at the top like three decades of Repug economics have done. Spreading the money around is the best way to stimulate demand and, in fact, make the rich richer, but the rich think in small narrow-minded terms. Every customer needs to be an employee (or else, they really are ‘takers’) so Mr. Businessman if you want more sales pay more wages. And the minimum wage, by applying to all jobs in all states, does exactly that. So why would Deluca, other than kneejerk greed, oppose this? Let’s assume he’s rational and recognizes there is one consequence and that is a decrease in demand that will occur with increased prices (although compared to what, MickeyD’s or Quiznos?, ah, maybe making your own sandwiches). Everyone is blaming fast food for obesity, so let’s jack up the prices and cut consumption, like what finally worked with cigarettes. Make stuff that causes widespread harm cost more and the magical market will cause reduction of consumption. A carbon tax will do more for global warming faster than any regulations because, in fact, the market will adjust rapidly to the higher prices and cut consumption. So what’s good for all of us, not just the workers, is the policies we should pursue.

Interesting gadgets: There is some innovation in the world, even if modest, though potentially useful. This idea for locating stuff is a good one. Dropping the power on Bluetooth will make it a lot more useful. Now if they could just get pairing to work easier. And this is intriguing, but also seems to be a bit more innovative, although clearly just a downsized Kinect. Mobility innovations and more robust input devices to computers all expand the horizon, possibly in unknown ways. Too bad the BodyMedia product doesn’t work since the idea is right, although potentially even more sensors are needed.

Another insidious Facebook scheme to scam you: Will they never stop sticking their hand in your pocket? Will you fools who use this ever realize that Facebook exists to cause you to spend more money, mostly for things you don’t want or need? How much more can they suck out of us until we decide FB may be one of the most evil things since addictive drugs. Zuck must have studied the tobacco companies in his brief stint at Harvard. And Google is not far behind as described here. Buy, buy, buy – but just don’t ask to get paid or that’s being a taker.

Accepting failure makes us happy? It’s only one line out of a modest article but the headline suggested that we get happier as we get older because we basically give up on dreams, since we’ve failed to accomplish most of them during youth. Oh goodie, lowered expectations is the key to happiness. I guess I can now accept my mediocrity and get on with a joyous life.

Oh horrors, pure European bankers: Amazing that Bloomberg even admits the sins of the bankers in past crisis, plus even goes so far as to admit the bonus system caused these sins. Of course, nonetheless they’re opposed to a cap on bonuses because “EU banks would be at a competitive disadvantage to U.S. and Asian banks not subject to the cap, driving talent into their arms” and “To keep existing bankers and attract new talent, banks would need to pay higher base salaries to guarantee higher levels of compensation”. Oh those poor bankers, the horror of fixed pay rate (like most of the world, who would probably happily take the rate the bankers will get). And more horrors, the scumbags who play fast and loose with finance in order to zip up their bonuses will go work for someone else, bringing the disasters they create to someone else while EU banks are stuck with stable and reasonable bankers who can’t get those jobs doing scams. Gosh, sounds really awful to me. Why oh why do we have to kiss the ass of this privileged bunch of folks who serve no useful economic function, just a parasitic function of bleeding money out of the real economy into the hands of speculators and their own pockets. Frankly I’d find a wall to line them up against instead of just forcing them to take a huge fixed salary.

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About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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