California Poverty Capital of America

The LAtimes published a story on how California is the poverty capital of America even though we have some of the highest spending on government anti-poverty programs.

The article blames a few major factors:

  • Massive government bloat (nearly a million government employees work just giving out welfare benefits)
  • Welfare programs that just give money without trying to help people into the work force
  • Blocks on new housing construction causing rents to spiral upwards

More Housing Inventory Drops Prices

Not very shocking to those who understand the laws of supply and demand, but may come as a surprise to some of the people who endlessly complain about housing prices but refuse to allow new construction:

Seattle’s rent prices are dropping significantly due to lots of new buildings coming on the market. This has raised the competition for tenants, causing prices for an apartment to go down.… read more “More Housing Inventory Drops Prices”

Doctors Continue To Scam Americans

America has the most expensive cost of giving birth in America at $32,093 on average as reported by the advocacy group Childbirth Connection. This is for an uncomplicated vaginal birth with newborn care. A caesarean section is $51,125 on average without complications.

Most other countries are far less expensive. For example, Spain is only $1,950.

The US also gets much worse medical care even though we pay the most… our infant mortality rate is 6.1… read more “Doctors Continue To Scam Americans”

Business Mergers Are Almost Always Bad

The last forty years has seen huge amounts of mergers and acquisitions between companies. In my opinion, a large majority of these have negative results for investors. There are certain rare occasions where there is true strategic alignment and two companies coming together will increase profitability and results for customers. In most cases though, there are a few individuals who benefit (CEO, a couple top managers, sometimes board members) at the expense of investors, employees, and customers.… read more “Business Mergers Are Almost Always Bad”

Bestemor & Grandpa

I am up in Washington again for my friend Justin’s wedding and am staying with my grandparents. My grandparents are extraordinarily good people: my grandma makes great meals and has family all get together, and my grandpa gets the old Ford Contour all ship shape so I can have transportation when I visit. I hugely appreciate both of them and all of the help they have given me in life.… read more “Bestemor & Grandpa”

Marine Corps Fitness Test

I took the Marine Corps Fitness test today. I ran three miles in 23:20 on a treadmill, did 17 pullups, and did 60 crunches.

I haven’t done any abs in a long time, so the crunches were the most challenging part. I feel like if I work on my abs that can improve significantly.

This would have given me a first class rating for the Marines, making me eligible for good promotions I think.

Kraig Kramers: CEO Tools

My Vistage chair John told me about Kraig Kramers and his CEO Tools. He mainly mentioned it in reference to using moving averages to help better judge how your business is doing. Some of the moving averages I am considering:

  • # of salespeople 12 month moving average
  • Actual billings trailing twelve months
  • # of transactions per month, 12 mma
  • $ realized per transaction 12 mma
  • Customer happiness index
  • Employee happiness index

 

Conscience

I had an interesting conversation with my friend Ryan yesterday on the topic of conscience. He mentioned that he believed conscience was something all of us had… just some hear it more or less quietly. He thought it shared common principles.

I disagree. I think conscience has two parts:

  • Genetic: this is the amity – enmity theory… basically people will take care of and love people in their “in” group, and not care if bad things happen to those in their “out” group.
read more “Conscience”

California Public Employee Pensions Should Be Defunded

California public employee pensions were negotiated by unions (who had representatives who STRONGLY and PASSIONATELY cared for their members) and politicians (who strongly and passionately cared that the union members vote for them, but did not care much about the taxpayer).

What was the result?

The union members got unfairly huge payouts at the expense of regular citizens and taxpayers, most of whom have never received remotely as good of benefits and the government workers did.… read more “California Public Employee Pensions Should Be Defunded”