Archive for the Markets Category

“Legs Network” Is Big Brother (October 27, 2014)

Posted in Amazon, Consumerism, Elections, Facebook, Google, Internet, Journalism, Markets, Press/Media, Technology, Television on October 27, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “While watching late last night, it dawned on me.  Big Brother is now privatized and outsourced.  The ‘Legs Network’ is Big Brother.”

2          “I like it.  The name, that is.  The Network provides ideological programming punctuated by ideological advertising.  Spin reality and repeat it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and . . . .”

1          “A vile message grounded in fear and repeated and repeated and repeated to advance the interests of the corporate sponsors.”

2          “Over and over and over and over.”

. . .

1          “Female applicants are required to submit photographs of their legs.  They know what they are foisting.”

2          “Shoes?  Restorative varicose vein surgery?  And all of the propagandists are graduates of the Edward L. Bernays School of Disinformation.”

1          “One was a Joe Goebbels Fellow.”

2          “Josephina Goebbels Fellow?”

. . .

1          “A higher percentage of the indoctrinees of the ‘Legs Network’ are living on government assistance than the viewers of public television.”

2          “The governments – federal, state and local – are also even bigger Big Brothers than in the past.”

1          “Every new social media spawns its own monopoly and gestates another Big Brother.  Amazon, Google, Facebook, you name it, are all Big Brothers.  We need a protective and independent ‘Big Brother’ to protect or at least to inform us.  Instead we get a bevy of Orwellian ‘Big Brothers’ that monitor and manipulate us.”

2          “Everyone is in our corner and no one is in our corner.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Big Brothers abound

“Legs Network” is Big Brother

Facebook is Big Brother

Google is Big Brother

Twitter is Big Brother

Amazon is Big Brother

ebay is Big Brother

Zillow is Big Brother

_____ is Big Brother

Are Big Sisters more benign?

[A Pawel Kuczynski sketch of a video camera on a wall focused (and fixated) on a second video camera on the same wall also focused (and fixated) on the first camera.]

Possibly Just Barely Maybe Hopefully Gettin’ Through The Day (March 3, 2014)

Posted in Economics, Freedom / Liberty, Markets, Minimum Wage, Personal Stories Series, Personal Story, Russia on March 6, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

_________________           “I was up all night trying to figure out who to pay and how much to pay.  Everyone wants to be paid everything right now.  I tried to figure out who really needs the money.  Everyone needs the money.  I tried to figure out who was waiting the longest.  Everyone has waited too long.  I tried to figure who has been helpful and understanding.  A few people have been nice about it.  I tried to figure out who I would need in the future.  I need most of them because they provide my basics in life.  I didn’t have to try to figure out who has made threats and been mean to me.  In my head, I took one dollar from someone and added two dollars to someone else.  Then I added up the total payments and again had spent more money than I have again.  I tossed and tried again and turned and tried again and tossed and cried again.  Then I got up tired and went to my first job that will not provide enough money to pay my current bills.”           

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

The real value of money is the freedom it provides to be generous

Colorado:  All is fine; taxes are up; life goes on

When Texas threatens to secede, do the Russians threaten to attack?

U.S.A and Russia:  When you have someone in a corner, you are also in the same corner 

Humanity’s Motto: To Enslave And To Colonize (January 27, 2014)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Economics, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Markets, Pogo Plight on January 27, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “You can now add Bezos to the legendary ‘CDEs’ of exploitation – Carnegie, Disney and Edison – who made their fortunes exploiting others.”

B          “And the kingpins of exploitation – the Waltons.  As humans, we seek to enslave and to colonize, not to nurture and to develop.”

A          “Take one’s liberty and take one’s property.  It’s the human way.  We established a Constitution to protect life, liberty and property.”

B          “He too seeks to enslave.  Amazon has become the CyberWalmart.”

A          “Like Walmart, the prices are very low and allow some shoppers to afford to make it through the day.  Some of the customers may be the same employees who cannot subsist on Walmart wages.  The Amazon prices are usually lower and the guarantee is objectively better than the guarantees offered by locally owned businesses that may be going out of business in part because of Amazon’s competition.”

B          “By contrast, Costco pays a living wage and offers health care and retirement to its employees while offering very low prices and an unconditional guarantee to its customers.” 

A          “Walmart is a Red State company headquartered in a Red State.  Costco is a Blue State company headquartered in a Blue State.  Amazon is an anomaly – a Red State company headquartered in a Blue State.” 

B          “Look at the state they leave the employees in when a company pays slave wages.  Slaves don’t make profitable consumers.” 

A          “If there are no consumers, you can’t have seventy percent of economic growth fueled by consumer spending.”

. . .

[The author has no financial interest in Amazon, Costco or Walmart and has shopped at all three institutions.]

[Pete Seeger – May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014]

[“Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.  The World Economic Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.”  http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

To Enslave And To Colonize.  Hey, it’s who we are.

‘Mericanize: Monetize, Mechanize And Militarize (December 30, 2013)

Posted in Economics, Energy, Kleptocracy, Markets, Military, Pogo Plight, Society on December 30, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

C1        “America makes nothing but monetizes everything.”

C2        “And makes things up.” 

C1        “We make up fake money, but we cannot make up fake energy.  We need to energize not monetize.  We need to measure the energy inputs and environmental outputs before we do or make or consume anything.  Money is not the measure and sends the wrong signals.”

C2        “Even by their own terms, money and markets are far too broken to work either efficiently or equitably today.”

C1        “We aid and abet the rich players taking money electronically from the poor and middle class.”

C2        “Everything is an accounting hijink and a legal mirage concocted by the accountants and the lawyers.”

C1        “And the e-con-omists.  Everything is virtual; nothing is real.”

. . .

C1        “Now they are proclaiming that the great American heartland will be saved by the construction of new factories and a renaissance in manufacturing.  However, the typical factory does not actually employ more than two employees who turn on and monitor the machine.”

C2        “And billions are spent to keep those two employees from receiving a slightly higher minimum wage.”

C1        “Economic slaves make unprofitable consumers.”

. . .

C1        “The response in Boston is another display of the militarization of society.  The town was invaded by American storm troopers who dressed and acted like they were invading Fallujah or Kandahar.”

C2        “We lost the race years ago.  The camo armored personnel carrier replaced the black and white Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.  The .308 replaced the .38.  Kevlar® replaced khaki.”

C1        “The old saw says it all:  ‘A YouTube video is worth ten thousand words.’  The vignettes told the most harrowing stories as the militarized police broke into houses and pulled citizens out of their homes.  A few folks were shocked, a few were outraged, and a few were disgusted, yet there was an undertone of acceptance and obeisance.”

C2        “We are lost.  We are neutered and anesthetized.”

. . .

C1        “We are the Etch-A-Sketch® society.  Nothing is real or permanent.”

C2        “We are the Play-Doh® people.  No spine and no substance.  Malleable as clay.  There is no there there.” 

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled Minimum Wage and Maximum Earners (July 31, 2006), Racing Backwards; Moving Forward? (July 27, 2009), Occupy America: The “Bonus March/Chicago Police Riot/Kent State” Of 2011? (October 17, 2011) and Men In Pink: Today’s Sensitive New SWAT Togs (August 20, 2012).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Too much information, too little insight

Everything is virtual; nothing is real

Energize don’t marginalize

We need fewer folks chasing fewer flora and far fewer fauna

The cup is one sixteenth full

In the end, the physicists always triumph over the e-con-omists

Coal (December 2, 2013)

Posted in Book Reference, Carbon Surcharge & Dividend, Coal, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Less Government Regulation Series, Market Solutions, Markets, Plastic on December 2, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

S          “Books on Cod and Salt discuss the profound impacts of the fish and the element on civilization.  Someone should write a piece titled Coal and its pernicious consequences.”

T          “A few books dig into Dirt.  We have clean dirt but not clean coal.  ‘Clean coal’ is an ironic, oxymoronic and alliterative phrase repeated often enough to fool many folks.”

S          “And ‘Dirty coal’ is redundant.”

. . .

S          “Mother Nature leads us into temptation.  The stuff is not shiny like gold but does provide that warm inner glow and hot outer glow that we all covet.”

T          “We must resist El Diablo Negro.”

. . .

T          “Later this week, coal will be deposited in the shoes of the youngsters who have been naughty rather than nice.  And may not have resisted temptation.”

S          “Some folks leave switches in shoes to acknowledge unacceptable behavior.”

T          “I really never needed candy.”

S          “We need to jolt folks into realizing that electricity is not produced for free at a wall switch.”

T          “We dig deposits out of the dirt and deposit the stuff in our power plants and then deposit the by-products around the Earth and in our lungs.  The death cycle of coal.”

S          “We need to get folks to switch their behavior.”

. . .

T          “I installed compact fluorescent lights (cfls) which admittedly have a little mercury that must be disposed of properly.  My reduced demand for coal reduces the mercury released when coal is burned to produce electricity.” 

. . .

S          “A Carbon Surcharge and Dividend policy (CS&D) enlists the market mechanism to internalize the costs of carbon production and reduce its use without any other government regulation.”

. . .

[See the article on plastics drowning the oceans at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-gold-plastic-waste-oceans-20131104,0,1147461.story#axzz2jywwzvfA.]

[See the “e-ssays” at On Trading Off (May 9, 2011) and Energy “Manhattan Project”: The “Carbon Tax And Dividend” (March 25, 2013.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The solution to pollution ain’t dilution.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis will be available in paper back in March. 

Going The Extra Mile: Today’s Airline Mileage Programs (August 19, 2013)

Posted in Aviation, Market Solutions, Markets on August 19, 2013 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “That is correct.”

P          “So I drive from my home near Raleigh to the airport and then fly sitting in a middle seat to Kuala Lampur International and wait for seven hours and then fly to Kathmandu International and sit for ten hours and then fly to Timbuktu International Airport and then go I arrive.  That is the best you can do under the mileage program.”

A          “That is correct.”

P          “I get it.  I had to accumulate a lot of miles and then the available routes entail enduring all kinds of miles in the air on inconvenient routes with long delays between flights.”

A          “That is correct.”

P          “So that is why they call it a mileage program.”

A          “That is correct.”

P          “That is the best itinerary to get to Durham Airport.”

A          “That is correct.  Would you like the available flights from Ft. Worth to Dallas?  In August, we can route you through Antarctica.”

. . .

P          “The president of the airline is a Harvard MBA and a sociopath who makes 120 million a year and could not make a HO gauge train in his den run on time.” 

A          “That is correct.” 

. . .

P          “You are required to read from a script and stay on message.” 

A          “That is correct.” 

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” at An Airline (Partial) Survival Guide (January 24, 2005).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

“Remember, we are not happy until you are not happy.”  Today’s Airline.