Remember When Billionaires Come For New Stadiums

Companies can not stay in business if their expenses exceed their revenue. Companies create jobs but to stay afloat, especially in unexpected times of crisis like we are going through, they may be forced to cut staff if they are closed. That is tragic, albeit understandable. But the world of professional sports has a situation that we all should keep in mind.

America’s love affair with sports has created a situation where owners and players make a lot of money. And Thinking Man can understand if people decide that they can’t do something that causes them to lose money. But in unusual times like these, it is heartwarming to hear of players and owners who are offering to pay salaries for laid off stadium workers, for example. Continue reading “Remember When Billionaires Come For New Stadiums”

An Oregon Union Reacts To The Pandemic

The state of Oregon has a law that forbids self-service gas stations. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has long worked against allowing self-service stations so that they could create job for their members.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an order that temporarily suspended that prohibition, allowing gas stations to be self-service and not requiring an attendant. It came amid reports that some pump attendants were ill and some feared coming to work at a job that puts them in contact with many members of the public each shift.

The Union opposed the temporary change.

And Meanwhile, Workers Suffer

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced her own ‘pandemic relief bill’. Among the items included in the bill was money for the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, solar and wind tax credits, having taxpayers pay for prior student debt and other items in the billions of dollars that have nothing to do with the current pandemic.

This is what Pelosi thinks is most important?

With businesses forced to close and having to lay off workers, claims for unemployment benefits are projected to reach 5 million this week. Even knowing that, Pelosi thinks that it is worth it to hold up crisis relief funding to try to get money items unrelated to the current pandemic, things that she has been advocating long before anyone heard of coronavirus but unable to get passed.

If we want to have a debate on those items, that’s good and let’s have it in due course. But don’t try to promote your agenda at the expense of holding up critically needed help for people who now have no jobs because of government mandated orders to close businesses that employ them. If you really want to help the working class, then quit trying to promote an agenda at their expense and while people are suffering.

Help the Country vs. Help the Ego

The stock markets like stability. Instability makes people take their money somewhere else that they think may be safer (or at least less risky). And as our economy has changed over the last two decades, the stock market is increasingly important to all segments of the US population since most people now have a 401(K) or an IRA. Stock ownership is not just primarily for the more affluent, as it once might have been.

Similarly, business owners like the ‘known’. Business conditions that are unstable or that may change in unpredictable ways make them nervous and fearful of investing in technology and additional jobs.

The stock market averages have plunged almost 30% in the past 2 weeks, prior to recovering a bit on Friday when some averages gained back 6-9%, in the first sign that the financial crash may be stabilizing.

What the markets and the economy need is a steady hand, and a consistent policy to address the current crisis, which is largely the result of the total unknown of how the current coronavirus pandemic will affect us and the economy. Continue reading “Help the Country vs. Help the Ego”

Too Big To Care?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Friday endorsed a $5 billion settlement with Facebook for its violations of privacy of its users. The proposal now goes to the Justice Dept. for final approval. In addition to the fine, the settlement is expected to require Facebook to implement new measures to protect user’s personal information.

The proposed settlement comes after Facebook sold massive amounts of personal information during the last two election cycles. In 2017, Facebook acknowledged that a personality-prediction app it developed had been sold to several analytics firms. And note that wording— “sold”, so it was a conscious decision not an accident. Continue reading “Too Big To Care?”