Tips Below 20% Make You a Racist Homophobe

According to this article, everyone should tip 20% no matter what.

You cannot will yourself to be blind to physical differences. Remove those biases by deciding to tip 20% before ever laying eyes on your server. Don’t even bring the quality of your service into the equation.

First, they attempt to quote scholarly sources like the characters in Harry Potter:

The sometimes-wise Sirius Black tells always-garbage Ron Weasley, “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” Well said, dog stars!

The odd part is that this moron doesn’t even know that JK Rowling plagiarized that line from numerous historical figures.

Then they appeal to your leftist cred, because if you don’t tip at least 20%, you are a racist or something.

The tipping system also opens up opportunities for us to flex our unconscious biases. Racism, sexism, ageism, and ableism decimate the earning potential of many competent servers.

Not to be appropriative, but: you’re woke, aren’t you? A big part of being woke is admitting that you have unconscious biases.

Then they proceed to make flawed analogies:

I work a salaried job. I have bad days—days where I am grouchy, disorganized, and distracted. You know what my company doesn’t do in response? Send me a smaller paycheck that month.

Here is the flaw in your argument, cupcake: I am not your employer. You don’t work for me, I have absolutely no contractual obligation to you. If you don’t like your job or what you get paid, get a different job. To show you exactly how asinine and flawed your position is, I could use your same logic and apply it to my own job: If I have a great day at work and save your life, will you give me extra money in appreciation? If I have a bad day and kill your mother when I accidentally give her the wrong medication, shouldn’t I still get paid the same amount as when I saved a life?

This mental midget then goes on to make the classic threat that they always make: threaten to spit in your food.

Visible Inflation

If you live in the southeast, especially in Florida, you know what Publix is. Publix is quintessential Florida and has been since before my parents were born. Things like BOGO and PubSub are just a part of what makes this store unlike others. Now I know that the prices are not always the lowest, but once you come to know Publix, you come to know when and how to get the best prices. The nice thing about Publix (and why prices are slightly higher) is that many of the products are locally grown: produce, meat, and much of the seafood comes from Florida, as do a lot of the other products.

One of the things that Publix does, is sell food items that make Florida culture what it is. In the spring, that always means grilling out. Yes, you know that spring has finally arrived when Publix begins selling the stuff you need for grilling your dinner. One of the meals that I always make to begin the spring grilling season is: BBQ chicken quarters, grilled ears of yellow corn still in the husk, fries, and grilled watermelon.

I went to Publix to get the stuff today, and this is what I saw:

There are so many things in this picture that are problematic.

  • First, its bicolor corn, not yellow. There is no yellow corn.
  • Second, bicolor corn is usually even cheaper than yellow.
  • Third, ears of yellow corn have sold 5 for $2 every spring and summer for the past few years. Until now.

So this is not only a shortage, but also indicates about a 70% year over year increase in the price of corn, and the corn you get for that inflated price is inferior to what you got just a year ago.

Next, I stopped by the meat department for the chicken quarters. They had chicken breasts, they had thighs, and they had breasts, but no quarters. The butcher asked me if I was looking for anything, and I told him I wanted some chicken quarters for some grilling. He laughed and said he was looking for a blonde millionaire who would trade him a Ferrari for some sex. I told him that he must be keeping his Ferrari out back with the chicken quarters. We laughed, but then he said that they have been hard pressed to keep the meat department stocked over the past few weeks.

The signs are being carefully hidden, but they are there. It’s ominous, but the signs are there.

Now It’s Nashville

Now rent control is coming to Nashville. In city after city, we are seeing reports of 20, 30, even 40 percent increases in rents. Market forces are putting pressure on rents nationwide.

Governments have been trying to set maximum or minimum prices since ancient times. The Old Testament prohibited interest on loans, medieval governments fixed the maximum price of bread, and in recent years, governments in the United States have fixed the price of gasoline, the rent on apartments, and the wage of unskilled labor, to name a few. 

Price controls hold within them the promise of protecting groups that are hard-pressed to meet price increases. Like all price controls, rent controls are supposed to protect those who are renting when the demand for apartments exceeds the supply and landlords were preparing to “gouge” their tenants. But what price controls actually do is distort the allocation of resources. See Venezuela for the inevitable conclusion to that plan.

The unrealistic assumptions behind the logic of those who argue for price controls are amazing. The first of those assumptions is that hikes in prices apparently have no impact on consumers’ demand for goods.

Governments may not know much, but they do know how to produce a shortage or surplus. Price ceilings, which prevent prices from exceeding a certain maximum, cause shortages. If you mandate that a product be sold below its value, those holding that product simply refuse to sell. This spawns a black market where the product is sold at its new (even higher) value.

Price floors, which prohibit prices below a certain minimum, cause surpluses. That is, dictating that consumers buy a product for more than it is worth causes consumers to stop buying. The surplus means many can’t find jobs, which forces some to work (under the table) for an amount below that minimum. (See illegal immigrants)

The law of unintended consequences is at work always and everywhere. People outraged about high prices of plywood in areas devastated by hurricanes, for example, may advocate price controls to keep the prices closer to usual levels. An unintended consequence is that suppliers of plywood from outside the region, who would have been willing to drive in to supply plywood quickly at the higher market price, are less willing to do so at the government-controlled price. Thus results a shortage of a good where it is badly needed.

This entire cycle of inflating the currency before installing price controls is another means of increasing government power.

“Inflate the money stock; when prices rise, impose price controls to correct the situation. These controls lead to shortages which ‘require’ government intervention to assure appropriate use of the limited supply and to allocate it and even to control and nationalize the production of energy. The powers of political authorities are increased; the open society is suppressed.”

Armen Alchian, 1976

This entire exercise is a means of grabbing more power and control by a government keen on stealing private property.

Private property rights contain three key features: (1) the right to make decisions about the physical conditions and uses of specified goods, (2) the right to sell the rights of ownership to other people, and (3) the right to enjoy the resulting income and to bear the loss of the use decision.

Armen A. Alchian, Universal Economics

Read more here about the government’s motives.

Rent Control Comes to Orlando

In February, I posted that communists in Florida cities were pushing for rent control. The attempt in St Petersburg ultimately failed because commissioners realized that it likely won’t work. Even liberal Miami Dade will likely not move forward. All of that won’t stop other cities from trying, so now that trend has come to Orlando, with one Orange county (where Orlando is located) commissioner pushing for adding rent control to the upcoming ballot.

Her plan calls for a rent hike cap of 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. That is pure horseshit. Right now, the official rate of inflation is 8.9%, but the real rate is probably at least double that. So let’s be kind and say that my costs as a landlord increase by 12%. I am going to be held to a 5% increase?

The good news here is that this is going to take some time because Florida law is pretty explicit. As a reminder, landlords in Florida can’t raise rent during the term of the lease. As an example, my tenants sign a lease for a year, and the rent is laid out in the lease. That is the amount they pay for that year. When the lease is up, we can negotiate for another year, but that deal is separate from the year before.

No, what the left is talking about doing is restricting the increase from one lease to the next. In order to restrict the rate increase of a new lease, Florida statute 125.0103 is pretty explicit. There are a number of steps that have to be followed. First, the city has to declare a housing emergency.

Such governing body makes and recites in such measure its findings establishing the existence in fact of a housing emergency so grave as to constitute a serious menace to the general public and that such controls are necessary and proper to eliminate such grave housing emergency.

Orlando hasn’t even done this yet. So the first thing that they need to do is declare a housing emergency. A vote on this won’t happen until early summer. That brings us to step two, which is that they have to put it on the ballot and get a majority of voters to approve it:

Such measure is approved by the voters in such municipality, county, or other entity of local government.

Now if this makes it to the ballot I am betting it will pass, for the simple reason that people will usually vote for free shit that has to be paid for by someone else. That means landlords. That this also likely means a collapse of housing prices in central Florida won’t dawn on the voters until after it passes.

After all of that, the rent control is only in effect for one year. Following that, the entire process has to be repeated. Even then, the rent control doesn’t apply to seasonal rentals or to “luxury rentals.” A luxury rental is defined as a rental that would have cost more than $250 in 1977. According to the US inflation calculator, that would today be a rent of $1,159.

All of this means that rent control likely won’t happen, but it doesn’t mean that the left won’t use it to get their freeloading base to the polls in November.

Housing Bubble?

The Federal Reserve is watching housing prices increase and is claiming that there is a risk of a 2009-esque housing bubble. I am not so sure.

The prices of homes were skyrocketing in 2008. Everyone was in a panic to buy a house, flip it, and get rich. This isn’t that. I think that, unlike 2008, prices of everything are rising, and that is because the value of the US dollar is falling. That is, the US government has printed its way into this mess.

We are not on the verge of a housing bubble popping. We are on the verge of a collapse of the US dollar. In 2008, your home lost half of its value. In 2022, you are at risk of having your bank accounts lose half of their value.

Paramedic

One question I get all of the time is “What is it like to be a paramedic?” There are a few places that you can work as a paramedic in the peninsula of Florida. I have heard that things are different in other places, but this is how it is here. I described it 9 years ago, if you want to compare.

Most new paramedics want to work flight. The glamour of riding around in a helicopter is pretty alluring, but due to weight restrictions on helicopters, they generally won’t let you be a flight medic if you weigh more than 150 pounds. Flight medics typically have at least 5 years of experience with a 911 service to even be considered for the job.

The next best thing is running with a 911 service. Running with a 911 service is not as boring or routine as other jobs, so that is where nearly all paramedics want to work. The catch is that nearly all 911 EMS on the Florida peninsula is run by fire departments. The pay is pretty good with 911 service, so the competition is fierce. There will be 200 or more applicants for each position, so getting hired for one of these jobs is difficult. Starting pay for a dual (fire, paramedic) certification paramedic is currently about $50,000 per year.

Then there are hospitals and doctors’ offices. They are largely avoided by paramedics because nurses have managed to get employers to prohibit paramedics from giving medications. The reason is that nurses don’t want to be replaced by paramedics making less money. Hospital paramedics are also prohibited from inserting endotracheal tubes, because doctors make several hundred dollars for doing them. They aren’t going to let an hourly employee perform a procedure that a doctor can do for the price of a Lexus payment. So many medics (especially new ones who want the excitement) don’t take these as full time jobs. What winds up happening is the paramedic gets to do all of the things the nurse doesn’t want to do. You start IV lines, draw blood, bathe patients, change adult diapers, collect stool and urine samples, run ECGs, fetch drinks for patients, and other gopher work. A medic in a busy emergency room can expect to walk 20,000 steps (over 8 miles) per day. Starting pay for a hospital medic is around $36,000 a year with no experience.

There are also the theme parks. Most of the work there is simple first aid, with a few emergencies, and a bit of employee health. There are the big ones: Disney, Sea World, Universal, and Busch Gardens. There are smaller ones like Lego Land, Cypress Gardens, and even water parks like the now defunct Water Mania or Wet N’ Wild. Starting pay at these places can be odd, because some require experience, and quite a few only hire part time paramedics who already work elsewhere. Starting pay is between $18 and $23 an hour.

The paramedics who get the least pay and respect in this area are the ones working on non emergency transport ambulances. The pay is low and the working conditions are poor. Shifts are long, normally 12-14 hours each. You do not get a station to sit in on those times where you wait for your next call. You sit in the truck and wait. No reading, eating, sleeping, watching movies on your electronic devices, no texting, no phone use, and no drinking of anything except water. (Not even coffee) These jobs are easy to get, but turnover is high, and most people don’t stay for long, using this place to get experience and move on. These positions are where many medics who can’t get a job elsewhere wind up. Most medics work one of these jobs at some point in their career, but strive to get away from as soon as possible. If you work at one of these for more than 2-3 years or so, most employers will assume that there is a reason why you can’t get a better job and will avoid hiring you out of general principle.

One manager at a private ambulance company told me that his crews were not allowed to eat during shift, because he doesn’t pay them to eat, he pays them to haul patients so he can make money. Expect no meal breaks for the entire 12 hour shift. Another told me that patient care is secondary to keeping the customer (nursing home, hospital, etc) happy, and that the patient was just cargo, and no one cares what cargo thinks. One of my former EMT students was told by an employer when he complained about working conditions, that for every EMT that was working there, there were 7 more looking for a job, and if he didn’t like it, he could be replaced tomorrow. Starting pay for a transport medic averages $32,000 a year. In contrast, a kid right out of high school can get a job at a fast food place for $25,000. Delivery drivers for places like Sysco are making $50,000 a year.

A person aspiring to be a paramedic who isn’t a firefighter is better off going to nursing school. An RN has the same amount of schooling as a paramedic, but makes about double the pay.

That and burnout mean that only half of all paramedics are still working as paramedics five years later. The half of paramedics that leave generally eventually become nurses or respiratory therapists, the rest usually leave for other professions. I know one that became an ice cream man.

Even becoming a firefighter paramedic is a tough road. About half of the people who spend two years becoming paramedics and another six months becoming firefighters never get hired by a fire department. They wind up either moving on to other careers or taking jobs like non emergency ambulance jobs as they wait for the big break that never comes.

I got lucky. I spent two decades running 911 calls with fire departments. I have worked in all of the settings above (except flight- I am too heavy): three hospitals, four different fire departments, two doctor’s offices, three different theme parks, and two different ambulance companies. Each had its plusses and minuses. The biggest minus for most is pay, closely followed by poor working conditions.

In Florida, a nurse can challenge the paramedic exam and become a paramedic, but a paramedic can’t challenge the nursing exam. I can say with all honesty that nursing school doesn’t teach you anything that you didn’t already know as a paramedic. Even so, nurses who began their careers as paramedics make better nurses, especially if you are working in the ED.

Communists Press for Florida Rent Control

It’s happening everywhere. Communists in New York pushing to make all evictions for any reason illegal. They try to paint tenants as the victims.

This woman in Winter Haven, Florida had her rent increased by 58 percent, from $1545 to $2450. During the pandemic, the woman wasn’t paying rent, and the landlord collected nearly $6,000 in federal COVID stimulus money to make up for the year or so that she wasn’t paying rent. One of the stipulations on getting the COVID funds is that the landlord has to accept it as full payment for all back rent. So this landlord got screwed out of approximately $12,000 in rent that had to be written off. That six grand was less than a third of what he was owed. So he did what any business would do- he raised prices to make up for it. That apparently makes him the bad guy.

That woman’s case, like others, is being used to paint business owners as the evil, greedy ones for daring that their customers pay for the products and services that they receive. We are talking about a 40 year old woman who is living with her retarded 20 year old daughter and 9 year old son, while also taking care of her daughter’s toddler child. She is trying to raise three kids on nothing but government handouts. I wouldn’t have rented to her broke ass in the first place.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the local commies can’t afford rent, so they show up to protest at the landlord’s house, demanding that the landlords sell the apartment building they live in to a local non-profit at a loss. He bought the building for $6.5 million, and the tenants are using this intimidation tactic in an attempt to force him to sell the building for only $3.6 million.

All of this leads us to Tampa. A local communist newspaper called “Creative Loafing” is calling for rent control in the Tampa Bay area. The measure failed in Tampa, but across the bay in Saint Petersburg, the council has actually voted to declare a “housing emergency” and has begun walking down the road of rent control. So what does it take to make that happen under Florida law?

Landlords in Florida can’t raise rent during the term of the lease. My tenants sign a lease for a year, and the rent is laid out in the lease. That is the amount they pay for that year. When the lease is up, we can negotiate for another year, but that deal is separate from the year before.

To restrict the new lease, Florida statute 125.0103 is pretty explicit. There are a number of steps that have to be followed. First, the city has to declare a housing emergency.

Such governing body makes and recites in such measure its findings establishing the existence in fact of a housing emergency so grave as to constitute a serious menace to the general public and that such controls are necessary and proper to eliminate such grave housing emergency.

Saint Petersburg has already done that. Step two is that they have to put it on the ballot and get a majority of voters to approve it:

Such measure is approved by the voters in such municipality, county, or other entity of local government.

After all of that, the rent control is only in effect for one year. Following that, the entire process has to be repeated. Even then, the rent control doesn’t apply to seasonal rentals or to “luxury rentals.” A luxury rental is defined as a rental that would have cost more than $250 in 1977. According to the US inflation calculator, that would today be a rent of $1,159.

The only people who will come out ahead on this will be real estate attorneys.

Communists hate landlords. They want free shit. They are going to destroy the right to private property.

Price Controls Always Fail

In December, I did a post about rent control. I explained that there are all sorts of steps that property owners can take when the state attempts to control what they can charge in rent. It turns out that landlords in Los Angeles have done exactly that.

During the pandemic, LA passed an ordinance prohibiting landlords from raising rent from one lease period to the next. The definition of increase specifically excluded discounts when calculating base rent. The property owners used that. Let me explain:

The lease says that you can rent my property for $4,000 a month, but I will give you 4 month’s free rent per year, with the free rent being spread across the 1 year term of the lease. So the rent you actually pay is about $2,670 a month. The lease comes to an end, and you want to renew. When you do so, I tell you that I am only going to give you 3 months of free rent this year. That means you will pay me $3,000 a month. Even though you are paying me $330 more a month, I didn’t increase your rent, at least as far as the law is concerned. All I did was reduce your discount.

The tenants say that this is unfair, but I don’t see it as any more unfair than telling a property owner what they can charge for the use of their property. A landlord and a tenant agree to a lease for a one year term. The following year is a completely separate sale. Once the first year’s lease is concluded, that deal is complete. Now we are here to negotiate a completely different agreement.

Imagine if there were a law telling supermarkets that they cannot raise prices. Or a gas station that it can’t raise the price of gas. Or even a car dealership. It’s all been tried before, and price controls always fail in the end.