Economics

Zappos is Going to Have No Bosses, Say the Bosses

dr-evil-right

 

Let us assume they are serious, and this “holacracy” is their real intent as opposed to the kind of window dressing that small companies use to mask their transition to big companies. It’s still hogwash.

Labor is conditional upon employment: one works because one is paid. People whose work is unsatisfactory are thus a negative value for their employers. So any company must have the capacity to end employment for those who do not work to the company’s goals.

Ah, but who defines such things? Who decides what are the company’s goals and what is “satisfactory”? Not everyone, surely: such would mean an infinity of mission statements (the horror!), and eventually, collapse.

So only certain people are given the authority to a) decide the goals, and b) reward or punish those who meet, exceed, or fail these goals.

Whoever these people are, whatever their title, however carefully the iron fist is swaddled in dainty gloves of pre-war velvet, they are the bosses. Whoever isn’t a boss is a worker. Et voila! Hierarchy.

 

Who the &#^% Did You Think Was Going to Be Paying For It?

I’m hearing a lot of this from the sudden victims of Obamacare.

Most young, middle-class Americans I know are happy that millions of previously uninsured people will receive free or heavily subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

We just didn’t realize that, unless we had health insurance at work, we’d be the ones paying for it.

There’s an old axiom among con-men: you can’t cheat an honest man. An honest man knows he can’t get something for nothing, so when you offer him something for nothing, he’ll assume you’re full of it, and walk away. That’s why I ignore all those “This one weird trick will save you $58,746 dollars on your car insurance!” flash ads that appear on websites. It’s why most people never gave their bank info to that Nigerian prince.

Dishonest people, on the other hand, believe that they’re smarter than the sharpers, even though it’s the sharpers’ game, and that they’ll come away with something for nothing. They’re marks, every single one of them.

How the hell did any young, middle-class Americans expect that the Government would expand health insurance for the poor, without anyone in the middle class ponying up? Simple: they expected that someone else would pay the tab. Someone who deserves to be made to pay it. Like corporations, or the wrong kinds of white people. Mitt Romney or those Wall-Street, 1%-ers. Not the virtuous, bien-pensant progressives. Why, they’re the smart ones, who can see the need for others to have insurance. The poor bastards – someone should really pick up the check for them.

But not us.

The government should do it. Yeah. Government money comes from a magical land of of happy pink bunnies and angels with puppy dog faces and the printing machines are powered by chocolate rainbows and baby farts. It’s not something that primarily gets taken out of the paychecks of the middle class before they even get it.

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A Few More Contractions, and the Economy Will Really Be Rolling!

If you ever needed a definition for “spin”, this is it.

In response to the news today that the economy contracted -.1 percent in the final quarter of last year, Democrats are touting the claim that this is “the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see.” The claim was originally made by chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics Paul Ashworth.

Yup. We are double-dipping, ladies and germs, and the smart boys are loving it. Because apart from the contraction of the economy part, everything else was really “encouraging”. Yeah, that’s the word.

Encouraging.

"But look how well it's moving through the water!"

“But look how well it’s moving through the water!”

African Official: Please Stop With the Aid Already, You’re Killing Us…

In Der Spiegel, a Kenyan economist named James Shikwati attempts the Herculean task of explaining economics to a journalist.

Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

Via Protein Wisdom.

Also, see “Planning is the Kiss of Death to Entrepreneurship.”

Captain White Just Rearranged the Hell Out of Those Deck Chairs.

Which is to say, “There are too many metaphors here applicable to the Senate’s 89-8 passage of a “fiscal cliff” bill in the middle of the night (around 2 a.m. this morning).”

Read the Whole Thing, because it’s kind of bracing to realize just how well and truly screwed we are.

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“But hey, free birth control!”

Via Other McCain.

“Planning is the Kiss of Death to Entrepreneurship”

Via Protein Wisdom.

I seem to recall a saying that “the poor need nothing but the spur of their poverty.” That’s not precisely true, but the poor know what they need better than anyone else trying to help them. Collective responses to poverty create massive instituions but do not give the poor what they truly need, which is a chance to unleash what they can do.

Now, true, not all of the poor will be entrepreneurs. Some will be willing to serve entrepreneurs for a paycheck. All the same, empowering the entrepreneurs among the poor will create opportunities for the rest.