Blog Commenters UNITE!

The announcement of this new left-leaning blog made me wonder something…

When left-leaning blogs and websites show advertising, what happens to the money?  I mean, a blog is nothing without its readers, just like a company is nothing without its workforce, right?

Is the money left over after operational costs are paid dispersed evenly amongst the people who comment and the site owners/publishers?  Do they only accept enough advertising revenue to pay the bills for hosting?

Does it seem right that the owner of such a site would profit off the work of the people who leave comments there and provide content and community? And really, it shouldn’t matter how good your comments are or how often you comment, right?

I guess the principle dictate that whoever has been commenting the longest (seniority) should get the most money, even if they don’t leave comments that often any more.

I think people who comment on blogs should unionize.

At least it would get me to stop blogging.  The only thing my commenters are ever going to get here is berated. 😀

The Absurdity of the Big Three Bailout in One Sentence

If the taxpayers of this country wanted you to have their money (or had it to give), a good indicator would have been that they were actually buying your cars.

Didn’t we already vote on this when we decided not to buy?

More here:

The federal government has no business running a car company. Congress has proven their inability to be fiscally responsible in any context. Five hundred thirty five CEOs of GM will only screw it up futher.

HT Michael Silence

$100,000 Cars–Everybody Got ‘Em

For a limited time only, you can buy Barack Obama’s 2005 Chrysler 300 Series C on eBay. Current bid is just under $120k.

Apparently Mr. Obama gave in to pressure a while back and switched to a Ford Escape hybrid. Isn’t it ironic that his gas guzzler is still out on the road? I mean, the carbon footprint remains, so I don’t see what was actually accomplished.  At least his conscious is clear I guess.  Now if he could just find a hybrid jet.

If you can’t afford Obama’s Series C, maybe you can get Jon Voigt’s LaBaron instead.

Business Fail Because of Banks and Credit Card Companies? C’mon.

I normally wouldn’t comment on a situation like Cindy Fairless Lay’s.  She is closing her privately owned business here locally, and that’s none of my business.  However, Ms. Lay wrote a guest column for the KNS (related article) today in which she explains why her business is closing.  In doing so, she’s put herself out there, presumably to solicit opinion and reaction.  I happen to have some.

Because the closing of my business is due to (lending) practices of my bank, legal loan-sharking of credit card companies, price gouging by oil companies, two governmental agencies arguing as to whether my cakes with cream cheese frosting can be sold, and a president that suddenly, as if he were innocently surprised, announces our country is headed for the worst economic shakedown since the Great Depression, I cannot remain silent.

Let’s break this down.  Her business is closing for the following reasons:

  • Bank lending practices
  • Loan sharking by credit cards companies
  • Price gouging by oil companies
  • Two government agencies
  • President Bush

What?  The first two reasons lead me to believe this business was highly reliant on debt for operation.  And that leads me to believe this business would have never even gotten off the ground without debt from banks and credit cards.  Did Ms. Lay write an article crediting them for her success when the business was thriving?  Seems fair to me.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe this business was started from a pure cash position.  Maybe.

And I wonder if her business accepted credit cards from customers.  If so, does that make her complicit in their “loan sharking” practices?  Or is it only loan sharking when they charge you high interest rates and punitive fees?  I’m no fan of credit cards–don’t have one.  But to lay the blame for the failure of your business at their feet while failing to recognize that it was you who agreed to the terms they presented is ridiculous.

Could it be that failure to effectively control debt leverage contributed to the closing of this business?  That seems like a management issue to me.

And price gouging by the oil companies?  If oil companies were gouging and getting away with it, why have gas prices dropped so much recently.  They’d have to be fools to drop prices if they were getting away with unfair gouging practices.

No one is more irritated by the idiocy of government agencies than me, so I sympathise with Ms. Lay there, but their decision over whether or not a cream cheese frosting can be sold is a major factor in the business failure?  Really?  This would make sense if the business were “The Cream Cheese Frosting Company”, but this was a restaurant.  Was the whole thing riding on the ability to sell cream cheese frosting?

Lastly, this is (obviously) President Bush’s fault.  I guess that is a given, because everything else seems to be his fault too.  Look, I’m no fan of Dubya, but I’ll give him this–he has to be the hardest working President in history based on what I’ve heard and read.  I mean, to be personally responsible for every single problem of every single person in this country is quite a feat.  Hell, I don’t even have the time to wreak that kind of havok in my own life.

Ms. Lay seems like a nice enough lady.  She enumerates her virtues as a humanitarian in her article, and she sounds like a nice person to work for and with.  Apparently her food is really good too.  But at the end of the day, she has to realize that she took risks and lost.  She was not forced to take these risks.  In fact, she’s quite fortunate to live in a place where the opportunity to take these risks is available to her.  I’m not sure what her purpose was in writing this article.  Maybe she’s looking for a bailout?

I Don’t Feel Like Writing

But these people do.  So go read their posts.

LissaKay on how socialism works.  Notice the guy at the top pays the same amount either way.

BillyMac has fun playing with John McCain’s tongue.  Strange fetish.

Why Libertarians and true conservatives don’t win elections.  Duh.

Seth Godin writes a post about me–too small to fail.  If I had a nickel…

Jen has some thoughts on Warren Buffet’s recent op-ed piece.  My big problem with it is that Warren Buffet has a huge financial interest in bailouts and market recoveries.  Do it because you think you should, not because he thinks you should.

An Anonymous Idiot is begging for more chicks with tattoos.

Just Sayin’ has some ideas on Money and Power.

Stolen bases= free tacos.  Bet on it!  Why can’t someone do this with sub-prime mortages?  What a great way to give everyone home ownership!

If you’re going to be a criminal anyway, don’t pay for the privelage.

Stock Market Realization

I just realized last night why the ol’ gov’ment is so concerned about the stock market’s behavior over the last couple of weeks–they are afraid of competition.  I’m not talking about competition among business operating in an free market.  I’m talking about the free market’s competition with the gov’ment.

Up until now, the only way to achieve the negative returns people have seen in their 401ks was Social Security. 

Illogical Markets

From Fast Company:

“The idea that the market is always right is a crazy idea. Laissez-faire is over.”

Well, until the shit hits the fan, maybe. But it can’t be stopped forever.

Here are a few observations I’ve made in my few years…

1) Unregulated markets are illogical, emotional, impulsive, abusive, and reactionary…in the short term. But in the long term they are rational and efficient.

2) Government is smart, able, and well-meaning…in the short term. But in the long term it is idiotic, inefficient, and oppressive.

3) People who act based on fear, emotion, and good intentions and only think in the short-term tend to pay for it heavily in the long term. Almost always.

Short term thinking got Barry Bonds the home run record. It probably shriveled up his nuts and took a few years off his life in the long term.

Short term thinking got people to buy houses they could afford to pay for while their adjustable rate was low. It caused them to get foreclosed on in the long term.

Short term thinking will give institutions that made bad loans investments the ability to make more loans investments. In the long term, well, I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

Why Ain’t Po Folks On The Ballot?

With apologies to Whisperin’ Bill Anderson

Salvation Army give us clothes to wear
A man from the county came to cut our hair
We lived next door to a millionare
But we wasn’t nothin’ but po’ folks.

I don’t plan on voting for Barack Obama.  I don’t plan on voting for John McCain either.  But let’s be honest here…is the fact that someone is financially successful really a negative thing?  And how can it be negative when the guy pointing out the horrible financial success of his opponent is successful as well.

In most of the world, this guys nice jacket would qualify him as rich
In most of the world, this guy's nice jacket would qualify him as "rich"

Hell, it’s a goal of mine to one day have so many damn houses I can’t remember them all.  Of course, it’s also a goal of mine to live to be so old that I don’t know how many houses I have too.  I’d settle for a happy medium.

Would it make us all feel better about ourselves if the only two guys with a shot at winning were homeless, unemployed, and traveling around the country buying gas for their 1996 Saturn with change out of the ashtray?  Then could the discussion shift to an actual issue?

How much longer are we going to have to listen to two rich guys (and their minions) argue about over which of them is the least rich?  Are you paying attention to what they aren’t talking about?

Here are some questions I’d like to ask.  The right answers could possibly make me consider voting for one of them:

  • How many houses do you own outright?
  • How much credit card debt do you have?
  • What percentage of your monthly income do you budget for food?
  • Entertainment?
  • Savings?
  • Charitable donations?
  • Do you pay cash for your cars?

I feel much better about trusting someone with my money if they take good care of their own.

Burger King Bubble Bath–Rub a Dub

Yeah, it’s gross. But on the other hand, I’m impressed that there’s at least one employee there who has washed his hands.

Burger King is delicious (mmmm….Whopper), but let’s face it, you’re no doubt ingesting some pretty disgusting stuff every time you go in there. The fact that we now know exactly how disgusting it is may add years on to your life.

I move we start a Fast Food Workers Bubble Bath Day. This is a free market way to disgust everyone from eating fast food. Once these establishments are eliminated I won’t be as tempted to partake.