Categories
economics Presidency

One Year

Let’s see:

Categories
economics Economy

The Useless Generation

Just last week, I asked how people could afford to simply up and quit their jobs as a part of the great resignation. It seems as though the child tax credit was a big part of it, and now that credit has come to an end.

Yahoo brings to us a piece that explains how those who have quit their jobs are now complaining that the loss of the tax cut means that they have no money for bills, believing that the government should pay them to sit at home and do nothing but breed.

Roberts, who lives in Marks, Miss., left her job as an insurance agent at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic when her employer wouldn’t let her work from home…”This tax credit is the only way we’ve kept food on the table,” said Roberts, who is raising a 5- and 7-year-old. “For a lot of the working poor, it gave us a chance to finally take a freaking breath and not stress so much about how the bills get paid every month.”

Imagine how easy it would be to pay your bills if you didn’t quit your job.

Back in Mississippi, Roberts – who took custody of her cousin’s grandchildren five years ago – says she’ll probably let her car insurance payments lapse so she can buy groceries. She has just $388 left in her bank account but feels lucky to own her house, which she says puts her in a much better position than many friends who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure.

This poor woman is stuck having to raise and provide for the grandkids of her cousin. I feel bad for her, but it isn’t the responsibility of the US taxpayer to give her money, simply because she has a sad backstory.

Who else is sad because they aren’t getting checks anymore?

In San Antonio, Nathaniel Miller and his wife used their monthly payments to buy gluten-free food, oat milk and diapers for their 1-year-old daughter, who has severe food allergies. Without it, he says his family of four will have to start using their savings to cover everyday expenses.

“We’re a one-income household, so that money has been a lifeline,” said Miller, 34, who works in communications. “Now that it’s gone, I don’t know where that extra money is going to come from. We have a little bit in savings, but savings deplete quickly. If anything else comes up, we’re kind of screwed.”

My wife and I both have jobs. Why doesn’t yours?

Caroline Nasella, a government attorney in Sacramento with 3- and 6-year-old daughters, said the extra $400 a month helped cover child-care costs and provided extra breathing room during the pandemic.

Or how about this woman:

Kelly McKernan, an artist and illustrator in Nashville, used her $250 monthly checks to cover mid-month bills and buy school clothes and winter boots for her second-grader. Her income has been cut in nearly half, to about $25,000, during the pandemic.

“Not having that money is already having a really big impact,” said McKernan, 35, who’s working on a graphic novel anthology with the rock band Evanescence and is looking for art teaching positions to make ends meet.

It’s good to know that my paycheck is cut in half by taxes so my tax money can be used by a woman to sit at home and work part time on a comic book about a rock band.

Categories
economics

Free Markets?

Twitter restricts a person’s ability to post something that the company disagrees with, so Twitter censors it. A company sells a product that Amazon web hosting doesn’t like, so the company finds out that its webhosting has been shut down. Many companies take punitive actions against their customers because they CAN. This can be done as a form of political or social engineering, or it can be done as a form of manipulating the marketplace to maximize profitability. No matter why it is done, one thing that you always hear is “If you don’t like it, you can start your own company. That’s capitalism.”

No it isn’t. Let me explain why. What a person means when they say “that’s capitalism” is actually referring to a free market where private parties own the means of production and commerce, and market forces dictate what happens in the marketplace. That isn’t what we have here.

Let me use my recent experience with my LGS as an example. Let’s say that I decide that I am so unhappy with how they do business that I want to open my own gun store with a shooting range. What would it take to make that happen?

  • I need to get a license from the Federal Government to sell firearms
  • I need to get a permit from the state to collect sales tax
  • I need to get zoning approval
  • I need to get building permits
  • In order to have an indoor range, I need special ventilation in order to meet indoor air quality regulations
  • I need a business license.

In all, I need permission from more than 10 Federal, state, and local government entities in order to run my business. On top of that, I have banks, credit card processors, shipping companies, and other suppliers of services to deal with. All it takes is for your competitor (that existing LGS) to have friends at one of those entities, and your quest to open your own gun range just got exponentially harder and more expensive.

That isn’t a free market. This is why someone can’t simply “Start their own YouTube” or go out and build whatever business they want. I own three different businesses. The regulatory hoops are incredible, and don’t just come from government. You can’t be a lawyer without being a member of the bar association, for instance. (The bar isn’t a government agency, but they decide who can be a lawyer, and by extension, a judge.)

An example: One business that I own is a travel agency. I have memberships in industry organizations like CLIA, ATA, and IATA. Many hotels, cruise lines, resorts, and other entities that I do business with won’t talk to you unless you are a member of one or more of these organizations at a cost of thousands of dollars per year. If you don’t kiss their rings, you won’t have a travel business. They decide who sells travel and who doesn’t. That isn’t free market.

Amazon is another example. Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to Internet commerce. As many conservative businesses are discovering, it is difficult to have a significant Internet presence if Amazon is opposed to it. That is one reason why I started this blog on its own server, a server that is located outside of the country. It’s why I share that server with other blogs. For being an entity that makes no money, it’s expensive, but it is the only way to be free to say what we want.

One thing I have learned from running a business- this country isn’t even close to having a free market.

On a side note- donations are always appreciated to keep the lights on here. I pay out of pocket to keep this place open, and any help is appreciated. I have a Patreon, the link is below.

Categories
economics

The Great Resignation

I keep hearing about how the 90% have tired of playing a losing economic game while watching the top 10% get rich at their expense, so those 90% are quitting their jobs and refusing to pay. I don’t understand how.

How are they paying for housing? Food? Utilities? I understand wanting to quit your job and lie about with no job. What I don’t understand is how they can afford to. Can anyone explain this? Are the government handouts really that great?

Categories
economics Guns

LGS has gotten ridiculous

I arrived at the range and paid my $20 (plus tax) range fee. I used to have an annual pass (cost $650 for both the wife and I) but we let it expire during 2020 because the COVID shutdown made it silly to pay for a range pass we weren’t using. Once they reopened, we didn’t renew it because ammo had gotten so expensive that we couldn’t go shooting enough to make it worthwhile.

Why? At $20 an hour per shooting lane, we need to go to the range at least three times per month to make it worthwhile to have a membership. Even if the wife and I each took a lane, that still means a range visit every three weeks. Ammo has gotten to be so expensive that we just couldn’t pull that off.

In January of 2020, I bought a 1,000 round case of 9mm for $150. So 15 cents a round for 9mm. Then the ammo supply dried up. When I finally DID get a ‘good’ deal on 9mm, it cost me $150 for 500 rounds of 9mm. That’s right- 30 cents per round, for this stuff:

I took it to the range this morning. That was a disaster. After firing one magazine of it, the RSO came over and told me that I couldn’t shoot steel case ammo, because they were unable to sell the casings to their scrap dealer. He invited me to buy some ammo in the store to continue shooting. Here is a cross section of what they were selling:

Norma .22LR for $10 a box?

Remington .38 Special for $1 a round.

Winchester 9mm for 50 cents a round. I can get the same stuff from 2A warehouse for 37 cents a round.

This means that shooting 2 boxes of ammo at this range using their ammo is going to cost me:

  • A $10 annual “membership fee”
  • $20 for the range fee
  • $13 in extra ammo costs.

Over the course of a year, a monthly trip to the range using their ammo will cost me $406 in range fees and extra ammo costs. Also, I don’t reload, but if I did, this would bug me: They won’t let you take your brass with you.

So I will make sure that I have brass cased ammo next time.

Categories
Tipping

Unintended Consequences

Delivery drivers brag that they won’t pick up an order unless it is marked as coming with a large tip.

So consumers respond by promising large tips, but not following through.

Categories
economics

Rent Increases were Predictable

News of large rent increases are coming in from all over the state of Florida. Orlando, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa, to name a few. Rents in Florida are up 29% year over year.

The causes are obvious. I’ve been warning of this for more than a year. The eviction moratorium was killing landlords. Many landlords are leaving the business, while tons of northerners are moving to Florida in a bid to escape the increasingly socialist policies up north. This is increasing home prices, so many rentals are now being sold. Taxes and insurance rates are climbing.

On top of that, there is inflation to deal with. Florida minimum wage just increased 17 percent over the 2020 rate. The increased costs, increased risk, increased demand, and falling supply has combined with record inflation to put a lot of upward pressure on rental prices.

Tampa has decided that they are going to do an end run: a voter referendum declaring a housing emergency and enacting rent control. This will be the Democrat issue for the 2022 election. Expect a State constitutional amendment on the ballot for rent control.

If rent control is enacted, there are steps I can take: Each year, I will raise rents by the highest permitted under the new law. On top of that:

  • I will no longer provide lawn service as a part of rent. That will shift $900 a year of expense to the tenant.
  • I will no longer provide a free washer and dryer. I will recommend a company that will rent the tenant one at an additional cost, if they don’t have one. That company will be owned by me. The going rate for that is $144 a month.
  • I currently pressure wash the outside of the property twice a year. I can push that off to the tenant, and make it their responsibility as a part of cleaning.

There are many ways that I can maintain profitability. Just taking the three steps above will have the effect of increasing the cost of renting by 15 percent without increasing the rent itself.

Landlords will have to be creative.

Categories
economics Economy The Collapse

Moar Inflation

From the NY Post: A fresh wave of supermarket price hikes is expected to begin in January, raising prices anywhere from 2% to 20% 

Categories
economics

Own to Rent

Toyota is following the Tesla plan: you will have to pay subscription fees to use your car’s features, or they will be remotely deactivated.

Categories
economics

Rent Control

The Democrats in Florida are losing their shit because rents are increasing so much. Now they are putting forward a plan where they accuse landlords of price gouging. They are also wanting to pass a law that implements statewide rent control. They themselves are the ones to blame for increasing rent.

For a year and a half, renters lived in homes without paying rent, and there was nothing landlords could do about it. During that time, those same tenants received government checks and many of them didn’t pay a single dollar of it in rent. This increased the risk of investment for landlords. As anyone with a lick of economic sense knows, an investment with increase risk always comes with a higher price tag.

That’s exactly what we see happening all over the country- rents have increased by as much as 25% per month. I’ve been warning that this was coming for over a year and a half.

Communism always begins by vilifying landlords. I raised my rent by 7.3 percent this year. I could have raised it more. I am keeping a close eye on this, because a statewide law capping increases will force my hand. The exact wording of this proposed law can cause all sorts of reactions. For example:

  • If the law caps increases at 10%, I will simply raise rent by 10% every year.
  • Rent on my property currently includes lawn maintenance. If such a law passes, it no longer will. That cost is the same as a 4% increase in rent.
  • If it’s too onerous, I will simply sell the property and take the equity out in profit, as many others will. My rental property has increased in value by more than 32% since I bought it. Now there will be no rentals at any price.

Nice job, commies.