3-30-13 Hodgepodge

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Due to error, my calendar incorrectly tells me that Edison Hour (aka Human Achievement Hour) is tonight. Actually, it was a week ago. Fortunately, it isn't too late to amuse oneself with what leftists are doing to save the planet feel good about themselves via the slide show at WWF.

Much more important than that, it isn't too late to support the causes of reason, justice, and capitalism.

Weekend Reading

"Concierge physicians routinely report greater job satisfaction, because they can practice the way they were trained -- taking the time to really talk to their patients and use their skills to their fullest extent." -- Paul Hsieh, "Is Concierge Medicine the Correct Choice for You?", at Forbes

"[T]he problem is that the minimum wage doesn't ensure everyone can earn a living--it ensures that many of us can't earn anything." -- Don Watkins, in "To Protect the Defenseless, We Must Abolish the Minimum Wage", at Forbes

"Your time is more precious than that money that's going to tick down to zero whether you're parked there or not." -- Michael Hurd, in "What's Your Time Worth?", in The Delaware Coast Press

"So how do you handle the process of dealing with tradespeople? Simple: Treat them the way you want to be treated." -- Michael Hurd, in "A Little Respect Gets Things Done" at The Delaware Wave

"As we reach the law's third year mark, we know what's in it--and we know it is poison." -- Scott Holleran, in "It's Never too Soon to Repeal Obamacare", at The Washington Times

My Two Cents

Apropos of Edison Hour, Michael Hurd's point about the value of piddling amounts of money versus time reminds me of a very good one I ran into years ago versus the kind of pointless recycling environmentalists indulge in and try to make the rest of us do: "If it's immoral to waste, then it's immoral to recycle when the benefits of doing so are less than the value of the time it takes to do so." [my bold]

Is it really worth even a second to treat that used soda can like gold?

Lock-In by Any Other Name

I ran across a thought-provoking phrase a while back: "digital sharecropping".

[O]vernight, their business model quit working. Revenues simply wouldn't exceed costs. A decision made by another party, one they had no control over, took a wonderful business and destroyed it.

And that's precisely what you risk every day you make your business completely dependent on another company.
The article makes some great points, but I dislike the term "digital sharecropping" because it smears legitimate business practices by invoking the predation that bad laws and a backward culture once made possible. One can say, "Have a Plan B," without impugning a company for making decisions it deems best (but which might pose problems for third parties).



Anonymous said...

The soda can thing reminded me of my cousin and I (the only two males of our generation on that side of the family). When we were 16, we'd collect the cans from the family and take them to the recycling center. Then we'd take the money and go have fun--watch a movie, or play paintball, or something. To us, $20 was a huge windfall! It's probably not worth it now for me to recycle (not that way, at least--I have better uses for aluminum, such as casting), but back then it kept us out of trouble (well...mostly!), helped keep the houses clean, and made the recycling center money.

So sometimes yeah, recycling makes sense! But most of the time, it's just a waste, I agree.

Gus Van Horn said...

Did you turn in that much aluminum that someone was willing to pay for, or was there some government-mandated surcharge per can to "incentivize" recycling, that you then received?

Even if that were the case, there would be nothing wrong per se with what you did, but the government has no business inducing people to waste time on such an activity. What else might you have done were you not scavenging cans?