Archive for July, 2018

Tariffs Are Tarrible.  Oh, And Happy Bastille Day!  (July 16, 2018)

Posted in Tariffs on July 16, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The unexpected $4200 surcharge for the schedule 80 steel pipes used to support the solar arrays was a real hit.  If fuel jumped in price during the performance of the contract, the fuel surcharge provision in the contract covered the jump, but he never anticipated that steel would be subject to a tariff and a big jump in price.  He has to eat the loss.”

J          “So they placed tariffs directly on solar panels and indirectly on solar panel support pipes.  I know ordinary homeowners who are also impacted.  While provisioning materials for her addition, a friend found that Canadian lumber is now subject to a tariff and is off the shelves.  Stores stock only one brand in each dimension.  The American lumber is more expensive.”

. . .

J          “Most business persons agree that predictability of even an unpleasant factor is preferable to uncertainty.” 

K          “Folks may be able to absorb the cost, hassle, dislocations and inconvenience of the tariffs individually, but can a just-in-time manufacturing and distribution system survive the jolts collectively?”

. . .

K          “Are the American steel workers better off?”

J          “Are the American lumber jacks better off?”

. . .

K          “Are the Americans better off?”

J          “Is the world better off?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Tariffs are not so good

Concerns, Troubling (July 9, 2018)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Debt/Deficits, Freedom / Liberty, Money, Price, Society, Supreme Court on July 9, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Decreasing velocity of money.”

J          “Increasing inequality.”

K          “Inverting yield curves.”

J          “Perverting civil liberties.”

K          “Distending price-earnings ratios.”

J          “Exploding national deficit.”

K          “Imploding institutions.”

J          “Exploding personal debt.”

K          “Collapsing trust.”

J          “Decreasing freedoms.”

K          “Increasing prices.”

J          “Deflating credibility.”

K          “Disturbing climate patterns.”

J          “Destroying the [Supreme] Court.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Amtrak – The (Rail) Road to National Security (January 23, 2006)”, “Humanity’s Motto:  To Enslave And To Colonize (January 27, 2014)”, “Twenty Sixteen (January 4, 2016)” and “Prepping:  Public and Private Perspectives (April 27, 2015)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

A system that cannot go on forever will not go on forever

Fraudulent Frequent Flying Fiascos.  Oh, And Happy Canada Day and Independence Day! (July 2, 2018)

Posted in Airlines, Aviation, Boycott Series, Less Government Regulation Series, Price, Transportation on July 2, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “In the past, an airline descending into bankruptcy protection did everything to pull out its frequent flyer program.  Now, many of the programs are a fraud and a ruse and . . . morally bankrupt.  United Airlines and Delta Airlines are among the worst offenders.  By contrast, Alaska Airlines still believes that a mile is a mile is a mile is a mile.”

J          “I suffered a stall and spin in March.  After an almost 6000 mile trip in a sardine can in the air, I was iron fistedly begrudged about 1500 ‘miles’ on the ground.  For each 21,120 feet I endured in the air, I ended up with a ‘mile’ in the program.  The new calculation of ‘ground speed’ today is perplexing and vexing.  Some byzantine formula discounts the actual mileage based on purchase price, whether you had a middle seat, whether you ate peanuts, whether the flight was delayed, sun spot activity and other irrelevant factors first foisted on impressionable ‘b’ school students to foist on the public.”

K          “At least the observant traveler who missed the form letter that starts “For your convenience . . . ” becomes aware of the fraud and the ruse each month and can shift loyalty accordingly.  If each consumer acts diligently, the market works adequately.  If consumers are involved, the government does not need to get involved.”

J          “Most of the statements are electronic and not likely reviewed by the consumer with any care.  We are tolerating far, far, far too many M.B.A.s flying around the country.”

. . .

[See the e-ssay at “An Airline (Partial) Survival Guide (January 24, 2005)” discussing the absurd and inefficient pricing scheme for tickets and “Going The Extra Mile:  Today’s Airline Mileage Programs (August 19, 2013)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

21,120 feet in the air = 1 mile on the ground

Fly the unfriendly skies

The first thing we do, let’s imprison the M.B.A.s