Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Robocalls: Has Andrew Yang been reading my blog?

with 20 comments

A while back, I wrote:

Why doesn’t Donald Trump do something about this?

Why can’t we create a system where it’s impossible to spoof caller ID?

Why can’t phone service providers figure out that a huge number of robocalls are coming from a certain entity and put a stop to it?

But Andrew Yang talks about the issue on his website:

It’s ridiculous that companies can call us all day every day pitching us unwelcome services, particularly when the calls are automated. Our time is the most valuable resource we have. Companies need to value our time the same way that we do. If you call me you’d better be human.

You may say, no way is he reading the blog, this is just an obvious problem. Andy politician with common sense would address it.

But if it’s so obvious, why has no other politician besides Andrew Yang ever mentioned the issue? Donald Trump has ignored the issue. He obviously doesn’t read my blog. Is Andrew Yang the only politician with common sense?

* * *

Andrew Yang actually hasn’t addressed the technological and legal issues. That the calls come from outside of the United States, they spoof caller IDs, and our telecommunications network, for whatever reason legal or technical, is unable to stop them. But at least he mentions it as a problem for government to solve.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 18, 2019 at EDT pm

A response to a comment

with 36 comments

Armando writes:

I can’t imagine anything worse than being a kid of middling intellect and getting into a prestigious university with daddy’s money. Ignore the fact that the school experience would be dreadful/ let’s assume daddy hires the best tutors to spoon feed you the curriculum and other individuals to write your papers and your exams. Even still, upon graduation wouldn’t the stress of regularly being unable to live up to people’s reasonable expectations of how a high functioning cognitive individual behaves and thinks (because that’s what’s expected of graduates from prestigious institutions), ultimately destroy you. Could there be anything more crushing than a lifetime of people constantly finding you stupid. Honestly what a curse.

Corporations are full of stupid people in roles both high and low who have no shame (that I can discern) about their stupidity.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 13, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Business

The huge eyeglasses ripoff

with 22 comments

This article in the LA Times explains what a huge ripoff eyeglasses are. And the reason? Because of the massive monopoly power of Luxxotica, which owns everything in the eyeglass industry. They own all the major retail chains, all the major brands of eyeglass frames, and they own several different lens suppliers.

As I’ve written before, the goal of free market “competition” is to get into a monopoly situation so you don’t have to compete anymore, and then you can start making the real money. There’s no profit in competition.

Butler said he recently visited factories in China where many glasses for the U.S. market are manufactured. Improved technology has made prices even lower than what Dahan recalled.

“You can get amazingly good frames, with a Warby Parker level of quality, for $4 to $8,” Butler said. “For $15, you can get designer-quality frames, like what you’d get from Prada.”

And lenses? “You can buy absolutely first-quality lenses for $1.25 apiece,” Butler said.

Yet those same frames and lenses might sell in the United States for $800.
Butler laughed. “I know,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s a complete rip-off.”

That explains how Zenni Optical can make a profit selling glasses, lenses includes, for under $20 (although you have to pay an extra $15 if you want their best lens coating). Also, if you search the internet, you may find a savings promo code and get an extra 10% or more off.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 7, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Business

Hire diversity or lose clients

This article is three weeks old, but I must have missed it three weeks ago.

I found this especially interesting:

A group of general counsels, the people who hire elite law firms, began discussing how to respond. They later published an open letter, signed by officials at companies like Lyft, Heineken USA and Booz Allen Hamilton, calling on firms like Paul, Weiss “to reflect the diversity of the legal community” or they would send their business elsewhere.

So big law firms need diversity in order not to lose big clients!

I think this demonstrates that big corporations have drunk the Kool-Aid and are not just doing the minimum possible to avoid being sued for discrimination.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 20, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Business

The Amazon HQ2 debacle

Does New York City need another 25,000 jobs?

I can say with certainty that New York City needs them less than most other cities. And from the perspective of the nation as a whole, the nation doesn’t benefit from even more jobs going to New York City.

Bezos could have chosen to move HQ2 to so many cities in Republican states where the citizens would have gladly bowed down and prayed to his steroid-infused body in order to get 25,000 jobs. But that was never the plan. The “search” for HQ2 was a scam from the beginning. Bezos always wanted to move to the liberal SWPL power centers of DC-NoVa and New York City.

But Bezos is a huge hypocrite. Despite hating Trump, he gladly takes Trump’s tax cuts, and then runs this scam “search” so he can squeeze even more state and local tax cuts out of New York City and New York State where he always intended to move to in the first place.

Notice that there’s no backup plan announced. Bezos isn’t going to abandon New York City for Las Vegas or Omaha. Nope, it appears that he’s just going to move into New York City anyway, but quietly, without the tax breaks, and without the big splashy showmanship of building a huge Amazon campus in Long Island City. So the liberal protesters were right, De Blasio and Cuomo didn’t actually need to suck Bezos’ **** in order to lure him here.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 15, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Business

College, part 7: why do for-profit colleges suck so bad?

A lot of conservative types reflexively support for-profit colleges, because everyone (on that side of politics) “knows” that the free market is always best! Despite the empirical evidence that for-profit colleges are a big scam.

For starters, it’s wrong to think that there’s no competition between colleges just because they are not-for-profit. Just like for-profit colleges, the nonprofit colleges have stakeholders, and management trying to increase value for the stakeholders, with value measured in prestige and the size of the college’s endowment, as well as some other measures.

Thus we see that for-profit colleges are coming into a market where there is a lot of competition from long established competitors with huge brand reputations that are impossible to crack. It’s more likely for a new business in the beverage industry to supplant Coke and Pepsi than it is for a new business in the college industry to supplant Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

There’s very little profit in providing a product that’s a good value to the customer. It’s a lot more profitable to sell something overpriced. As often as competition causes prices to decrease, competition can also cause prices to increase, because competing companies need to spend a lot of money on marketing to win customers from the competition, and then those marketing costs are passed on to customers in the form of higher prices.

For-profit colleges have to compete against publicly funded colleges that charge a reasonable tuition. It seems like a rather unobtainable dream that a company is going to make a lot of money in education by providing lower tuition than state schools but at the same time providing a better degree. Nope, it makes a lot more sense for the for-profit enterprise to offer a crappy education, and sucker in stupid people with advertising and using high-pressure salespeople, and then relying on the fact that the stupid people are paying with government loans and lack the future-time-orientation to realize that those government loans are real money they have to pay back later. The true entrepreneurial nature of the for-profit college is its innovation in making it as enticing and as easy as possible for stupid people to take out student loans and enroll. Whereas, the typical nonprofit college has an obtuse enrollment process and probably doesn’t advertise.

The Obama administration introduced some smart policies to crack down on giving away student loans to students attending crappy for-profit colleges, but that moron Betsy DeVos has reversed a lot of the good that came from Obama.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 30, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Business, Education

Lauren Sanchez

Some have theorized that Bezos didn’t go for a younger woman because of commonality of interests. What would Bezos have in common with a woman young enough to be his daughter?

I actually don’t buy it. Sanchez strikes me as an aging gold-digger who’s all wrong for Bezos. The right woman for Bezos would have an MBA from an elite university or something like that. Nope, I think that Bezos was attracted to Sanchez because, even though 49, she reminded him of the hot slutty girls who wouldn’t have given him the time of day when he was in high school.

How Bezos wound up with her is that he doesn’t move in the right social circles to meet younger women, either younger gold-diggers or younger women from Ivy League colleges. And he probably doesn’t even have any “game.” Sanchez probably came onto him first (using three decades of acquired man-hunting skills), all he had to do was acquiesce to it.

It’s how Clinton wound up with Monica Lewinsky. In the White House, behind a wall of Secret Service agents there were very few eligible women that he came in contact with. Monica was who was available. Although, unlike I imagine happened with Bezos and Sanchez, I’m sure it was Clinton who put the moves on Monica. Unlike Bezos, Clinton was a huge hound dog in his prime.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 10, 2019 at EDT pm

Jeff Bezos cheated on his wife

With Lauren Sanchez, who is 49 years old and semi famous (local morning news/talk-show host).

Is that the best that the world’s richest man can do?

* * *

“njguy73” writes in a comment:

Am I supposed to have an opinion on this? The soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Bezos could take half of everything Jeff has and he’d still be on the Forbes 100. He doesn’t need to impress bozos like us with how hot his mistress is. He can throw it away on what he wants. Where’s the tears for the ordinary schmo who gets cucked and has to move back with his mom?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 10, 2019 at EDT am

Wall Street adopts the Pence rule!

As reported by Bloomberg:

No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings.

In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way?

Across Wall Street, men are adopting controversial strategies for the #MeToo era and, in the process, making life even harder for women.

Call it the Pence Effect, after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife. In finance, the overarching impact can be, in essence, gender segregation.

Yet women are still complaining, even though what they got is the natural result of #MeToo.

* * *

Here’s my personal experience:

A year and a half ago, I did a meeting with a female coworker with just her and me in a conference. In retrospect, knowing about the Pence Rule, that was a big mistake. Luckily, nothing happened, but in the future, I will only do phone meetings in a one-on-one situation.

I don’t have any other issues with #MeToo. In the past two years, no women have suggested that we eat lunch or dinner together, and none have asked to be mentored in any way. The benefit of being a loser at work is that women don’t want anything from you. #MeToo is mostly a problem for successful men.

I think that beta males actually benefit from #MeToo, because now male executives will prefer to hire a beta male instead of a hot babe, whereas before #MeToo the hot babe always got hired.

I still think I will go to the company Christmas party and get drunk on free alcohol.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 5, 2018 at EDT pm

Thank you to whomever bought that camera

Looks like Amazon pays a 4% commission on digital cameras. I made enough money to almost pay for two SWPL-quality Manhattan lunches.

If I had a blog with a hundred times as many readers, I could almost make a living by hawking stuff at Amazon.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 29, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Business

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