Category Archives: Business

UBI is not the solution

The idea of Universal Basic Income is like a band-aid on a sucking chest wound, it appears as though the situation is solved, but the underlying problem remains.

UBI tries to solve the problem of inequality but will fail at this. Why? Because the problem of inequality can only be solved by the equalization of wealth. Yes, giving cash — outright — to a select few individuals, or group does, generally, lift those people up out of the mire of poverty, or elevate them enough, give them a glimmer of hope so that the specter of impoverishment is pushed to the shadows.

But, give everybody the same allotment of cash and all you’ll do is inflate the currency and we’ll be back to Zimbabwe or the Weimar Republic. The elites will still be thousands of times more wealthy than the median population.

That’s the inequality that will not be cured. That’s why a full coverage UBI will fail.

But what can we do? Well, we could start with understanding why the wealthy are wealthy. If we figure that out, and universally distribute that — whatever it is — then perhaps the inequality will be reduced, eventually, to a socially acceptable level.

So, why are the wealthy wealthy? No doubt there are dozens of reasons we could cite, but the primary one is that they do not work for their income. As Warren Buffet famously said “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

Okay, so what can we do with that thought? Let’s see, if the wealthy let their wealth earn them money, and if this is predominately done with investments in the corporations, the means of production, the growth and expansion of productivity, then somehow we need to get that into the hands of everyone.

What about this: create a financial instrument which can be distributed — UBI style — to every citizen of the country. Let’s say we create an ETF, an exchange traded fund, which is comprised of the rolling top 10000 companies and utilities, include bonds and treasuries in the instrument – a smorgasbord of components that represent the country’s economy.

We take that EFT and we give shares of it away to every citizen, one share per month, for life. We make investors out of every single person in the country, invested in the country itself, its progress, its future.

Some people will turn around and sell their shares right away. That’s okay, let them. They can use that money like the common UBI that has been proposed.

Others will let their shares sit. Accrue. Gain value and multiply. When they need cash for emergencies or buying a house or car, they can sell them then.

We could label this ETF: USAA — United States of America for All.

This would give cash to those who need cash, but for most, I suspect, it would give them a sense of participating in the wealth growth of the nation. Their investment would be making them money – “while they slept.”

This let’s every citizen participate in the economy just like the elites on Wall Street. This distributes Wall Street level prosperity down to Main Street where it’s needed.

GO USAA!

~~~

Sure, this is not the whole solution — the wealthy still have thousands or millions of times more wealth than the median population. And there are solutions for that too — namely progressive taxation…

Employee Income Inequality Tax
https://anonymole.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/employee-income-inequality-tax/

Scaled Tax Schedule:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NOAMnmO8XQnUwZbUWDWETC8Bs9jPeTehOj1LGWyMi-4

Scaled Federal Tax Schedule
Individual Income %Tax $Tax $Net
10000 10 $1,000 $9,000
11000 10.1 $1,111 $9,889
15000 10.5 $1,575 $13,425
25000 11.5 $2,875 $22,125
50000 14 $7,000 $43,000
75000 16.5 $12,375 $62,625
90000 19 $17,100 $72,900
100000 20 $20,000 $80,000
200000 21 $42,000 $158,000
300000 22 $66,000 $234,000
500000 24 $120,000 $380,000
1000000 30 $300,000 $700,000
10000000 40 $4,000,000 $6,000,000
100000000 50 $50,000,000 $50,000,000
1000000000 60 $600,000,000 $400,000,000

Google to buy Netflix

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [5/12/2017] :

Alphabet (Google) has offered $180/shr for Netflix in a 1/2 cash 1/2 share buyout.

Netflix will join YouTube in Alphabet’s (Google’s) growing media powerhouse. Details of the deal were not available as of this writing. However, Alphabet’s bank account, (GOOG: Marketwatch) can more than deal with the purchase. NFLX CEO Reed Hastings remarked, “With Google’s, I mean Alphabet’s, introduction of their ChromeView — [their television plus intelligent agent set-top box] — Netflix will have even better domestic and growing world-wide exposure. I look forward to working with that team creating vivid and engaging content, both for our flagship Netflix platform as well as the quirky but wildly popular YouTube channel venue.”

Officers at Alphabet were unavailable for comment, but a quick tweet from CEO Larry Page “A natural fit: Netflix and Google” and positive remarks from Sundar Pichai seem to indicate that the deal will succeed. Anti-trust sources at the DOJ were also unavailable for comment.


Typical Microsoft – threats!

“Your account is inactive. Sign in to keep access to your files.

OneDrive

Don’t lose your important files

We noticed you haven’t used your OneDrive account in a while. If your account remains inactive, it may become locked in the future.
A lot can happen to your devices. With OneDrive, if you forget your laptop in a taxi or drop your phone in a puddle, it doesn’t mean losing valuable work and photos.
Sign in and continue to use OneDrive to avoid losing your files.

You’re receiving this email because you have not logged into your OneDrive account for more than 60 days.”

~~~

I just happen to be reading Lawrence Lessig’s The Future of Ideas. In it he depicts all the strong arm tactics Microsoft used to stymie innovation in the computing / internet world.

Why should we expect anything better from such a company?

 


No Money in antibiotics

Corp-Pharmaceuticals are waiting until the epidemics are eminent before they even consider wasting research and production on antibiotics. This is not across the board of course, but the trend is there. Actually ‘saving’ the world is a low priority for corporations. making money once it gets really bad — well, that’s a profitable mode of operation.

Corp-Pharma = Evil.

“Antibiotic resistance is growing, and we are fast running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.”

WHO priority pathogens list for R&D of new antibiotics

Priority 1: CRITICAL

  • Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
  • Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: HIGH

  • Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
  • Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
  • Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
  • Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant

Priority 3: MEDIUM

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
  • Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
  • Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

 

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/bacteria-antibiotics-needed/en/

~~~

How to cure this? (ha!)

Put a society funded (government) bounty on creating effective drugs that combat drug resistant bacteria — with a guaranteed production and delivery of N numbers of doses over X number of years, all at an agreed upon ‘society benefiting’ fixed price.

Penalize drug companies that do not participate by adding additional months of FDA approval time to any drugs on the docket.

“Hey, Drug Companies! Society needs this. You’re in the business. DO IT! Or find another means to fill your shareholder’s bank accounts.”

 


One potato two potato

What is money?

It’s a proxy, a stand-in for exchanging value for value.

Does money have value? Should it? I think not.The entities being exchanged have value but money should never have intrinsic value. Money should be a temporary representation of value that is used in transactions between entities exchanging real things of value for other real things of value.

Something like the gold standard therefore is the wrong approach as this gives intrinsic value to a rare resource. Gold, silver, platinum are useful for various industrial and decorative purposes and their relative value might be representative of some worth. But because they are rare and permanent they can be hoarded and controlled. Money (value for value exchange) should never be allowed to be “cornered” or overtly controlled; rarity is not a system of value.

Say I grow corn. And you raise chickens. I’d like some of your chickens and you would like some of my corn. We could establish a system of value for value exchange, e.g. money or currency, by creating a temporary contract, 5 chickens = 1 bushel of corn. Currency is always a ratio: x of these equals y of those. If I plant corn in the spring but would like to acquire some of your chickens before the corn can be harvested, I could create a little promissory note, “NOTE WORTH ONE BUSHEL of CORN”. If you *trusted me* I could give you one of these and depending on how valuable you considered my corn, you would give me five of your chickens.

Now, here’s the part that fails with our current monetary system. Harvest comes and I have corn to spare. You come to me with that NOTE I gave you and exchange it for a bushel of corn. But what should happen to that NOTE now? Our contract is complete. I got chickens and you got corn. That NOTE I created as a promise should be destroyed. I no longer own you a bushel of corn. I have possession of this NOTE and it *should* no longer possess representational value.

Our current monetary system uses dollars. These dollars, these NOTES, have no intrinsic value. Nor have they been created as promises, as proxies or stand-ins for real value. That’s the rub. That’s the problem. Today’s money exists not as true proxies for value for value exchange, but as some fabricated, faked up promise created out of thin air. Money, the dollar, is magically created from nothing and somehow we accept it as representing value. And it gets worse. That dollar is not just magically created from thin air — a promise is made to banks to pay them a dollar — for nothing! We, government, society, goes into debt to create dollars owed to banks with which we then trade among ourselves, value for value.

We need a new monetary system.


Misery != Profit

Industries which profit from misery should not be profit seeking.

Here’s an ugly thought, and although it would never be stated as true, is true none-the-less:

• If every person on the planet became diabetic, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, and Mannkind (among others) share holders and board members would be thrilled (they make insulin).

• If every person on earth contracted cancer, Genentech (the leading cancer drug company) and its shareholders and board members would be equally energized (despite having cancer and diabetes).

• If you STOPPED getting sick, were healthy all your days until you died of old age these pharmaceutical companies would all collapse and die AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Roche, Johnson & Johnson and many others (representing nearly $500Billion in annual revenue – they MAKE that much money off of our misery every year).

There are other industries, like the entire health care system, HMOs and insurance industry. The healthcare system only makes money when you are sick or dying. The insurance industry only makes money when you THINK you are going to be sick or dying.

Lawyers who specialize in malpractice litigation are another foul industry — they only make money when you’re ill or dying AND you claim your doctor or hospital made you sicker or killed you.

For them your misery = their livelihood.

This is EVIL.

How do you fix it? It’s obvious I’m afraid. Many progressive countries have made the switch over to cure this egregious misanthropy: socialized medicine.

What entity does NOT want you to get sick, or be unhealthy causing you to be unproductive and becoming a costly burden on society? Society of course! And what is the central representation of society in every country on the planet? Government.

In a socialized healthcare system government loses money when you’re sick and can’t work, when you can’t be productive in society. So, government and the offices they create will try and make sure you are cured as quickly and effectively as possible. They’ll advance medicine and care systems to try and keep you healthy and reduce costs not increase them.

Society wants its citizens to be healthy and productive. Corporations want citizens to be sickly and profitable. Novo Nordisk does NOT want your diabetes cured — they want you to be forced to buy insulin for the rest of your life. Novo Nordisk loves the booming trend of obesity – get fat and get sick is their mantra.

That is EVIL!

Industries that make money off of our misery should be severely regulated and taxed or better yet – nationalized.

 

 


The Need Economy

We are most assuredly smack-dab in the “I Need” economy.

I need ____ fill in the blank. What app hasn’t been built to try and fill some niche need some human (or other) might want or desire?

  • I need a trip to the airport next week.
  • I need a place to stay in Cabo in August.
  • I need a pizza.
  • I need my groceries picked up at the store.
  • I need a flight to Chicago, next Wednesday.
  • I need a new prescription filled.
  • I need a prom dress.
  • I need a child sitter tonight.
  • I need my lawn mowed.
  • I need, I need, I need.

The list goes on forever.

Now, many of these needs can be filled almost instantly. Amazon is the ultimate “I need” fulfillment provider. I need a ride, Uber of course. I need a place to stay, AirBnb. I need a flight — oh priceline, or expedia or kayak. And then the other needs have fulfillment channels but those require more work. Craigslist can fulfill some needs for selling your stuff, or buying local goods and services like firewood or carpentry. The same for Angie’s list, and the other “lists” out there.

But what’s wrong with this whole picture is that there are dozens of these channels that a person must navigate in order to have a need fulfilled.

Why not just have one?

This one will interpret your need, maybe query deeper to narrow down your choices and then either begin the fulfillment chain or connect to the service of choice to have that need realized.

Where is this singular, unified needs provider? Is it in the soul of the new DeepMind  AIs being built? Is IBM’s Watson going to become my personal valet for every want I could ever voice? What?

Someone will build this. You know they will.

Or is this an opportunity to be the first?