Thursday, March 29, 2007
Alex Epstein makes a good case for repealing Sarbanes-Oxley over at Principles in Practice.
That America's honest, productive businessmen are spending their time and shareholder money to "prove" they are not criminals — when they could be spending those hours and dollars on R&D, new product launches, or mergers and acquisitions — is a monumental injustice. Is it any wonder that misery among top executives is reported throughout corporate America, that top executives are departing at record rates, that more and more public companies are going private, that only a small fraction of the largest IPOs last year took place in the United States?I completely agree. And let's not forget that on top of this fundamental injustice is the fact that the law may have the unintended consequence of deputizing attorneys, thanks to some very unfortunate creative prosecution by the Feds....
Radio Dismuke is today's entry in Page-a-Day's 2007 Wacky Web Sites: 365 For The Weird & Wired calendar. That and more over at Dismuke's blog.
There is an interesting discussion about tipping going on over at Night Watchman. My position is somewhat like the Inspector's. I have agreed for years with Judith Martin (better known as "Miss Manners") that tipping should be abolished in favor of service workers being paid appropriately by their employers.
The fact is that what we have here is an incoherent system. In what sense do the servers work for the restaurateur if he does not pay them wages? Is it that he provides a venue and situation in which the servers can try to impress -- or press -- the customers into giving them handouts? And is that a dignified way to do business?There is nothing I find more uncomfortable than situations in which there are undefined and conflicting expectations and fears held by all parties. Tipping is not a huge deal, but it definitely falls under that same unpleasant category.
The just solution is to have employers pay the employees, passing on the cost to customers frankly, by building the amount into the cost of the dishes ordered.
[Note: Myrhaf does bring up something I will clarify, in the name of erring on the side of being too clear: I most certainly do not think that tipping should be outlawed. Having said that, I refer the interested reader to the comments below regarding Myrhaf's example, which I think differs in kind from essentially mandatory tipping for standard service.]
A Day of Infamy
The Los Angeles Times noted yesterday that McCain-Feingold has turned five. Although blogger Brian Doherty wrongly agrees with the premise that political contributions are somehow inherently "corrupt", he does cite a prediction that I think is accurate:
While the Supreme Court has so far upheld the patently anti-Constitutional ban on advertising by citizens' groups 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election, the rise of Internet politics may eventually supercede this atrocity. Witness the anti-Hillary Clinton "1984" ad that caused such a stir on YouTube just last week. Such ads, cheaper than dirt (it costs money to distribute dirt, YouTube's free), will only be more important with every election cycle.This law should have been overturned and ought to be repealed. But barring that, it would be poetic justice of a sort (and potentially a major disaster averted by accident) if this very law somehow caused John McCain to lose the Presidency.
For this reason, look for Congress to start taking an interest in "unregulated" Internet speech any day now. Money has never been the issue. Cleansing our speech of impure thoughts about politicians is the real agenda. [bold added]
But let's work to keep from having to depend on such luck!
3-30-06: Added note to section on tipping.