Category: Economics

Monday Links

First some gun stuff…

First, from Fox News is an article about the doubling of people routinely carrying between 2015 and 2019. I can’t imagine that has slowed at all since 2019. Particularly with more states not requiring permits to carry.

Next, from the Volokh Conspiracy, comes the ruling that the SAF can challenge California on the state’s attempt to make people pay attorneys fees for challenging anti-gun laws. Not surprising it comes from Judge Benitez – who has been trying to tear down every crackpot gun law that comes across his transom.

From SAF’s own GunMag, a bunch of state AG’s want shipping companies to explain their new gun tracking policies.

Kind of gun stuff, but more civil liberty stuff…

Reason has an article that Mesa Arizona is paying the family of Daniel Shaver $8 million for shooting him. Unarmed. And crawling on his hands and knees while police were shouting contradictory orders. And the cop who shot Shaver was under qualified immunity.

I came across this article from The Civil Rights Lawyer blog. New source for me, but it says that the big hotels are getting into the tactical team game so it can do weapons searches on customer rooms. Oh that’s going to go so well. Better read the terms and conditions when checking in – particularly with large hotels in big cities.

Two more Reason articles for fun…

Elon’s rolling back Twitter’s rules on COVID misinformation. I’d be more sympathetic to the pearl clutchers if so many of the things they screeched were misinformation hadn’t turned out to be true.

Surprising no one who actually lives in Florida, the state is quietly making a deal with Disney to undo the legislation that revoked their special zone.

The light item…

Headstamp Publishing is funding a book called Clockwork Basilisk. About early revolvers. Early flintlock revolvers. Nifty stuff.

Monday Links

One of the big stories from last week was NASA launching their big new rocket for a trip around the moon. I, unfortunately, did not see it launch, but Rocket Engineer Brother and his family were kind enough to send over a video.

Heading over from space to the tech sector, the apparent Ponzi scheme that was FTX came crashing down. This is an item in the crypto arena that bears watching, because it may be the catalyst that drives regulation of the crypto arena that will kill its promise. One bit of advice for those of you who have any crypto currency? Don’t leave it on an exchange. Put it in a cold storage wallet.

Amazon has joined the ranks of massive layoffs in the tech sector – particularly in the Alexa and Luna teams. This is of some concern because Ward Manor’s smart systems are in the Alexa ecosystem. And with the Matter standard not quite ready for prime-time means interoperability with another digital assistant will be tricky.

Oregon’s recently passed anti-RKBA Measure 114 is facing heavy attacks on its many issues. Ammoland reports that many sheriffs are refusing to enforce the magazine limit. Other sources are reporting that many small departments are refusing to even handle the new purchase permit due to cost and the fact that the state doesn’t even have the permits available – even though they’re supposed to go into effect next month. Let the shitshow commence!

It was a couple-three weeks ago I shared an article about a 3D printed home in Tallahassee. Now, we have an article about a company doing it in Tampa. Since it’s running about $600K for the list price, I’m not as hopeful on the cost savings. Particularly since a townhome in the same area is going for $400K.

Now on to light items:

War Is Boring has an article on how warfare is responsible for the necktie.

The Wife and I have tickets to the Quintessential Quintuplets Movie coming out next month. I really enjoyed the series, and I’m hoping The Wife enjoys the movie.

Monday Links

First, from the Volokh Conspiracy (yes, it’s hosted on Reason), is an article on how zoning is hurting the housing market for the “missing middle”. This is an area of concern for me because I see what’s happening in my part of Florida. We have subsidized housing for the poor, and the upper middle to upper classes can afford the current prices. What we need is workforce housing – affordable housing for those who are making around the median incomes. I worry that if we don’t find market-based solutions for this issue, then the collectivists will dominate the debate.

Speaking of market-based solutions, Lyft – with support from United Way, Goodwill, and Indeed – is providing free rides for people going to interviews. They will also provide additional free rides if the person gets the position for a few weeks to cover training and getting that first paycheck.

Another Reason article, this one slamming the ATF for losing thousands of gun parts to thieves. I’m less open to completely dismantling the ATF, mostly because then those duties would just go to FBI or Secret Service or some other .gov agency. It – like many federal police agencies – need some serious overhauling and reform.

Here’s an older article from NPR on the Cherokee Nation pushing to have a delegate in Congress. According to the article, there’s a provision in one of the treaties for the Cherokee to send someone to Congress. I do not know enough about the Native American issue to give a full opinion. I know the way the American government has handled the reservations are atrocious. There’s part of me that would like to abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and treat each of the reservations as “states” with their own Senate and House delegates, but I’m not sure if that would alleviate the issues.

From War Is Boring comes an article about the Haitian Police using some new armored vehicles and tactical training to retake the nation’s main oil port from gangs. I didn’t even know that this was an issue that small nation was facing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me. I feel for the people of Haiti, but I just don’t know what could be done that would make things better for both the short-term and the long-term.

Finally, an article from The National Interest on some alt history ways where Germany might have won World War I. In my amateur historian view, if Germany had won WWI, there would not have been a WWII – at least as it unfolded. However, I think we would have had a Pacific War. And if Germany imposed war reparations on the Allies as they did, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the history books would talk about a new Franco-Prussian War. The what-ifs are intellectually interesting.

The Great Realignment

One of the most puzzling issues cropping up in the last year has been the labor market. There’s been a lot of ink (digital and print) on the Great Resignation. How there’s a tight labor market, particularly in the service industries. Then in the last couple of months came the issue of quiet quitting – or the idea of just doing the minimum requirements of the job.

I still don’t fully understand what is happening. I don’t even think the experts fully understand. They probably won’t until the autopsy is done in a generation. What I do think is that all of this is part of a great realignment of the labor market. Workers are reevaluating not just what jobs they want and how they do their work, but what is the new work ethic for the coming decades. Management and owners are going to have to determine how to do work in this new environment. What work needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and if it needs to be a human doing it.

Like so many things, the pandemic and the resultant shutdowns have forced issues to come to ahead much faster and sooner than expected. It jumped started these kinds of conversations well before we had the underlying conversations and decisions. So, now we’re forced to deal with the aftershocks. What concerns me is where we are on the “thesis-antithesis-synthesis” model. I don’t think we’re at synthesis, and I fear we’re at thesis. Which means this new labor world will probably be shaking things up for the better part of a generation.

Monday Links Time

Monday Links

I wanted to blog about the PayPal kerfuffle last week, but we’ll, I’m out of pocket. So, I’ll post a Reason article about it. When Eugene Volokh is concerned, I sit up and take notice. I don’t keep money with PayPal, and it looks like I’m going to be winding down my use of it for other things.

The New York Post ran a scare article on how all of these virtual jobs will be outsourced. I’m more skeptical, mostly because I think the labor market is undergoing a massive transformation.

Reason has a good overview of the ESG movement in the corporate world. Stakeholder is one of those concepts that have been twisted into a club against the business community. Worse, they seem to be wielding it against themselves to impress people who hate them regardless.

The Verge has an article on Microsoft abandoning the Office brand. It’s transitioning to Microsoft 365. Eh, I’ll still probably refer to the core apps as “Office”.

For a couple of light items to round out this week’s links:

Gizmodo talks about a new gaming chair from Logitech and Herman Miller. Personally, I’m more amused by the collaboration than the actual product.

Finally, The Wife found this listing for a cat advent calendar. Not treats for your cats, but a bunch of tiny cat figures.


Monday Links

First, from US News & World Reports an article on how detrimental the school closures were for the kids. New federal data – the first comparing academic achievement from before the coronavirus pandemic to now – shows unprecedented drops in math and reading scores and the largest setbacks for students in more than half a century. Way back in March/April of 2020, there might have been a case for closing the schools. We didn’t know enough about how COVID was spread, how dangerous it was, and who it impacted the most. However, as we learned more, it was clear that the biggest obstacle to opening the schools were the unions who wanted their members paid for not having to go into the schools. I think we will be feeling the ramifications of this for a very long time.

It’s not Derek’s links without Reason articles. So here’s one on what happened when Sri Lanka banned synthetic fertilizers. The short version? Famine, inflation, government destabilization. Everything a country needs. <Sarcasm>

And here’s another on embracing the prepper mindset. Seriously, hasn’t the last two years kind of proven it’s probably a good idea to have some extra supplies on hand? As reader David says in his articles at Blue Collar Prepping, “Some is better than none.”

From The Reload, comes an article on a recent survey of gun owners. According to the article, this was the largest survey done with more in-depth questions. So, what did it find? Gun owners are more diverse, they are carrying more, and they often own the same weapons and magazines that many want banned. Oh, and they are possibly more than 1.5 million defensive gun uses annually.

What We Pay

I was listening to The Michael Shermer Show where he was interviewing Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley on their new book Superabundance.

A statement made by one of the authors hit me. We buy things with money, but we pay for them with time. They went on to discuss how economics made a mistake by measuring prices in terms of monetary cost instead of measuring the cost of goods/services in work-hours.

One of the dramatic examples is how much in terms of time we have to pay for an hour of light.

From the Washington Post article. And with modern LEDs, the efficiency is even better.

Monday Links

First, a couple of links regarding the housing issue.

From CBS comes an article that a school district near San Francisco is trying to keep teachers by offering low-cost housing on school district property. This has been an issue facing the area I live in. The editor of one of the local papers calls it a shortage of "workforce housing." How do you house all the people between the lower class and the upper middle class who do all of the work needed to run our cities and our businesses? Some good solutions (like what this school district is trying) are needed before the failing ones (like rent control) are brought back out.

One of the downstream impacts of the housing market has been an increased demand in storage units. A recent report from Yardimatrix expects demand to continue to be high and sustained Considering how many self-storage places are going up near us, this doesn’t surprise me.

A couple of new gun offerings that interest me.

First, TFB has an article on B&T’s folding sub machine gun. I have been fascinated by folding subguns since Robocop 2 and B&T has just been putting out neat stuff. I’m really looking at their APC308 for my heavy AR slot.

From GH Hill, comes Big Horn’s new 500 S&W tactical lever action. One of my Zombie Strike characters carried one of their levers, and there was some temptation to give Nick one in Badmoon.

Finally, an article from Nature on why we get tired when we think really hard. From the article: "The study, published on 11 August in Current Biology1, found that participants who spent more than six hours working on a tedious and mentally taxing assignment had higher levels of glutamate — an important signalling molecule in the brain. Too much glutamate can disrupt brain function, and a rest period could allow the brain to restore proper regulation of the molecule, the authors note. At the end of their work day, these study participants were also more likely than those who had performed easier tasks to opt for short-term, easily won financial rewards of lesser value than larger rewards that come after a longer wait or involve more effort.”