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The Viral Economy

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Kraken
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Some restaurants are eliminating tipping and raising prices 18% across the board. The sub-minimum tipped employee wage goes away, workers know how much they're going to make per shift regardless of traffic, and the disparity between front- and back-of-house workers goes away. They're also reforming scheduling to provide more predictable hours, and introducing paid time off and health benefits for top employees. Having a loyal workforce with little turnover where people actually want to work, instead of a steady parade of people taking last-resort jobs, should give them a competitive edge among both customers (who will notice a better experience and improved quality) and staff.

Restaurants are in the early stages of making these reforms, and it's not widespread. I hope it works out for them. Nobody especially likes the tipping model.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

18% increase with no tips would save me significant amount of cash. Bartenders/waitataff would probably be less inclined to prioritize my drinks though. 50/50.


I worked a waiter gig in Ireland where tipping was highly optional. Usually you'd get the spare change from the bill if you got anything. It was nice to have a somewhat predictable income but if it was slow you just got clocked out and sent home rather than staying on and hoping for business.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Isgrimnur »

Black Lives Matter

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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Carpet_pissr »

Kraken wrote:Nobody especially likes the tipping model.
I bet restaurant owners whose customers pay 75% of their employees’ wages would beg to differ.

What a business model!
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Isgrimnur »

malchior wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:31 am Eviction moratorium is ruled unconstitutional (funny how many cases somehow seem to be litigated in Eastern Texas *ahem*). This moratorium isn't much protection anyway. There are already several accounts of judges ignoring it prior to this ruling.
CNN
A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday declared that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's moratorium on eviction -- a key element of the federal government's efforts to aid those hit hardest by the Covid pandemic and its economic effects -- must be set aside.

The ruling from Judge Dabney Friedrich says the Public Health Service Act does not give CDC the legal authority to impose the moratorium, which was first issued last year.

The current federal eviction moratorium was scheduled to end on June 30. It is unclear what will happen now. The Justice Department, which is appealing a similar ruling in Texas, filed Wednesday to appeal Friedrich's decision, along with the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC.
...
"It is the role of the political branches, and not the courts, to assess the merits of policy measures designed to combat the spread of disease, even during a global pandemic," she continued. "The question for the Court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium? It does not."
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Carpet_pissr wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 1:40 pm
Kraken wrote:Nobody especially likes the tipping model.
I bet restaurant owners whose customers pay 75% of their employees’ wages would beg to differ.

What a business model!
Well, there's that. :lol: Although if tips don't bring a worker's hourly wage up to the state minimum, the employer has to cover the difference.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by The Meal »

Kraken wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 4:07 pm
Carpet_pissr wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 1:40 pm
Kraken wrote:Nobody especially likes the tipping model.
I bet restaurant owners whose customers pay 75% of their employees’ wages would beg to differ.

What a business model!
Well, there's that. :lol: Although if tips don't bring a worker's hourly wage up to the state minimum, the employer has to cover the difference.
At the places where we dine, it feels like customers pay 100% of the workers' wages.
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The Viral Economy

Post by Carpet_pissr »

I think the only sweeter deal for businesses in terms of money paid to “people” (not necessarily employees) that do work for them are the gig worker deals, especially the ones that are tipped, like Instacart, Shipt, Doordash, etc.

Not only do the companies’ customers pay a big part of wages to the workers, the American taxpayer pays .57/mile driven. (And yes, I know that technically and legally the companies’ are clients of the gig workers, but my point is reality-based, not technical).

That truly is the best deal going in modern capitalism (for the company, obviously).
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by stessier »

Gov. McMaster is ending SC participation in all federal pandemic unemployment assistance as of June 30th. SC has 81k open positions and this will get people back to work.

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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

I dug up some data. 2 weeks ago SC reported about 80K job openings and 125K receiving benefits. They just reinstated a requirement to be actively looking for work - which seems reasonable. The unreasonable part is assuming that the 125K match up 100% to the skills in the 80K jobs or that the gap that'd remain is going to magically vanish in a month. But sure this is a tale of layabouts or something...
Last edited by malchior on Thu May 06, 2021 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Nothing would make me happier than more news reports from people saying they're tired of working for unreasonable minimum wage bosses that treat them like total garbage, serving a public that couldn't care less if they lived or died over the last year.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Brutal job numbers.
Hiring was a huge letdown in April, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by a much less than expected 266,000 and the unemployment rate rose to 6.1% amid an escalating shortage of available workers.

Dow Jones estimates had been for 1 million new jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.8%.

...

There was more bad news: March’s originally estimated total of 916,000 was revised down to 770,000, though February saw an upward revision to 536,000 from 468,000.
Sounds like participation rate disappointed too, but I haven't seen the numbers yet.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Smoove_B wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:49 pm Nothing would make me happier than more news reports from people saying they're tired of working for unreasonable minimum wage bosses that treat them like total garbage, serving a public that couldn't care less if they lived or died over the last year.
Schools are a wildcard. With kids at home, the equation isn't livable wage or not, it's livable wage + child care or not.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LordMortis »

Smoove_B wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:49 pm Nothing would make me happier than more news reports from people saying they're tired of working for unreasonable minimum wage bosses that treat them like total garbage, serving a public that couldn't care less if they lived or died over the last year.
A public that literally could care less if they lived or died and are chomping at the bit for the day they don't have to pretend like they they have a reverence for the current working conditions so they can openly hold contempt for the mass of retail and food service workers again.

Looking back to "the job creators" who paid me $3.35 an hour in the 80s. Nor even how good it felt to make $10 an hour with no perks at all in mid 90s. Screw them.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Oops: Bam-med above!

The jobs report came out and it was way worse than expected. Unemployment went up because more people entered the labor force but job openings didn't appear. It sort of shoots a bit of a hole into the 'don't want to work' and inflation stories but the next few months will give us the trend.

Edit: Naturally the right is already seizing on this as Biden mismanaging the economy. No you mouth breathing idiots this is why they wanted more stimulus. And maybe this will wake people up unless we want a repeat of the great recession recovery.

Edit 2: This is the same day that the WSJ ran an article saying that companies can't hire people. This feels like information warfare. It's possible the government suddenly forgot how to collect jobs data but that seems very unlikely. It seems way, way more likely this is the rich/corporations playing defense on their tax rate.

There are other oddities in the data. A sizable amount of people switched out of temp jobs into 'permanent jobs'. That's generally healthy. Restaurants and amusements were the big gainers. Manufacturing was down. Some of that was supply chain issues but those are good paying jobs generally. This is a bit of a mess and the pattern is one of an economy that isn't very organized right now.
LawBeefaroni wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 8:49 amSounds like participation rate disappointed too, but I haven't seen the numbers yet.
Trended up for second month in a row. It wasn't a big pop but people re-entered the workforce and then supposedly didn't accept jobs even though wages surged. It really adds to the hazy outlook at the moment.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Carpet_pissr »

I’m not sure the argument is “people don’t want to work”. It’s more like you can choose between these options:

1. Make $7.50/hour in a hot, greasy kitchen getting yelled at from all sides due to the restaurant running with 50% staff capacity
Or
2. Stay home and make $16/ hour

For people who typically work shitty jobs, $16/hour is ‘fuck you’ money.

States that have lower than average min wages (like SC) are likely seeing more problems from this than states with higher minimums.

Tons of local restaurants are shortening hours or closing certain days bc they can’t get workers.

Hell, the Chipotle near me put up a sign in their window saying new temporary hours are 12-8p.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 8:51 am
Smoove_B wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:49 pm Nothing would make me happier than more news reports from people saying they're tired of working for unreasonable minimum wage bosses that treat them like total garbage, serving a public that couldn't care less if they lived or died over the last year.
Schools are a wildcard. With kids at home, the equation isn't livable wage or not, it's livable wage + child care or not.
That's a very good point and likely part of the bigger picture.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Carpet_pissr wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 10:56 am I’m not sure the argument is “people don’t want to work”. It’s more like you can choose between these options:
That's pretty much the argument we hear over and over again. There was one nuanced take that UI benefits are paying people not to work. That was semi-reasonable but stil the subtext though is let's get this economy roaring despite the impact on actual people due to the *continuing* pandemic. But also let's not cause inflation with big government spending which is mixed messaging. I still believe the latter is defense against corporate tax hikes. Also a bit of we want workers on our terms.
1. Make $7.50/hour in a hot, greasy kitchen getting yelled at from all sides due to the restaurant running with 50% staff capacity
Or
2. Stay home and make $16/ hour

For people who typically work shitty jobs, $16/hour is ‘fuck you’ money.
Sure but Chipotle and many restaurants are advertising much higher wages. They still aren't hiring. Honestly I think this is pretty complex but you have more people in the labor force, higher wages, less actual hiring, people scared to work due to the pandemic, childcare, and also the rent moratorium in the mix. The rent moratorium being a real wild card depressing investment and perhaps simultaneously reducing need to work.
Tons of local restaurants are shortening hours or closing certain days bc they can’t get workers.
The interesting thing was the jobs reports only bright spot was robust restaurant hiring. Adding a little over 300K jobs (offset by a loss of about 110K temp and other industry jobs).
Hell, the Chipotle near me put up a sign in their window saying new temporary hours are 12-8p.
No doubt but keep in mind fast food is a really bad proxy for the overall economy. Still the story being pushed today in outlets like the WSJ is no one wants to work economy wide because of stimulus or UI or whatever. It's too broad a brush. If it was no one wants to work in shitty restaurant jobs maybe we'd be onto something grounded in a bit of reality. :)
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

malchior wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 10:12 am Edit: Naturally the right is already seizing on this as Biden mismanaging the economy. No you mouth breathing idiots this is why they wanted more stimulus. And maybe this will wake people up unless we want a repeat of the great recession recovery.
Yeah, this actually strengthens the case for Biden's big infrastructure extravaganza. A lot of people (myself included) were getting nervous about adding more stimulus amidst all the "overheating economy/inflation/labor shortage" stories that have been coming out lately. The country absolutely needs to invest in infrastructure and human capital, but spurring on a galloping horse might have been ill-advised. Seeing the horse having trouble breaking out of a trot isn't a bad thing right now.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Kraken wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 11:58 amA lot of people (myself included) were getting nervous about adding more stimulus amidst all the "overheating economy/inflation/labor shortage" stories that have been coming out lately.
Which I suspect was the desired outcome that big money was pushing. Several economists pointed out it was a leap and so many voices were saying Yellen/Powell were lying. The experts with the best data. Anyway, if Biden was going to put it on the credit card or put it on the backs of the peasants I think we would have heard a lot less of this noise.
The country absolutely needs to invest in infrastructure and human capital, but spurring on a galloping horse might have been ill-advised. Seeing the horse having trouble breaking out of a trot isn't a bad thing right now.
It definitely helps. More support for the plan is a net positive. I still suspect it'll be too anemic or won't happen still because of all the multiple of blockers in and out of Congress.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Zarathud »

Workers aren’t stupid. They’re seeing the rush to reopen that will likely end in additional COVID transmission. The key to reopening the economy is beating COVID — that’s getting everyone possible vaccinated and rates low. The wages still aren’t worth the possibility of disease.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Another possibility that Krugman threw out is that it could be a data error. He said BLS is pretty good but occasionally does make mistakes on things like the seasonal adjustment. I rank that lower but still the only thing to do is wait for more data and see if a story emerges.
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The Viral Economy

Post by Carpet_pissr »

malchior wrote:If it was no one wants to work in shitty restaurant jobs maybe we'd be onto something grounded in a bit of reality. :)
Yes, that’s pretty much my argument.

I also think it’s probably highly location dependent on state/min wage rates.

I also am 95% sure, at least here, that it’s NOT bc workers (in shitty/low paying jobs) are worried about COVID. 99%. :p
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

I'm not sure if this is entirely Viral Economy or perhaps better in Marathon, not Sprint, but since it does seem to be related to working, it seems like a good spot:


"We find robust evidence that reopening Texas schools gradually but substantially accelerated the community spread of COVID-19....school reopenings led to at least 43,000 additional COVID-19 cases and 800 additional fatalities within the first two months."
Study is here and only covers the first 8 weeks after schools were opened.
Median time spent outside the home on a typical weekday increased substantially in neighborhoods with large numbers of school-age children, suggesting a return to in-person work or increased outside-of-home leisure activities among parents.
I swear, I'm not picking on TX. :wink:
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

I guess it's good information for the rest of us since it'll fall on deaf ears there.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

I do think it reinforces the general belief that that a good segment of the working economy (either directly or indirectly) is predicated on kids being in school all day. America!
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by noxiousdog »

I find that a bit hard to believe.

The total Texas death count across 15 months is 50k. During the "first two months" of fall school openings, we were averaging 5k cases/week total. Their claim, then, would be that schools were the result of 40% of the cases during that stretch and 2% of the entire death count. Our peak wasn't even until January or February.... which I suspect is holiday season spread.

Seems really difficult that schools could be the primary factor especially considering the significant downslope once post holiday school restarted.

This strikes me as a correlation and not causation which is what our school district was saying. Contact tracing in schools was ineffective as it nearly always came from the community and not the school.

edit: I'm confused on a part of their data set:
Our baseline model is an
event study that separately estimates effects for each week in a four-month bandwidth surrounding
reopenings.
This allows us to assess pre-treatment trends while also allowing impacts to emerge
gradually due to incubation periods, testing delays, multiple rounds of subsequent spread, and the
fact that COVID-19 deaths tend not to occur quickly. We find that school reopenings in Texas
gradually but substantially increased the per capita numbers of new weekly COVID-19 cases and
deaths. To illustrate, 95 percent confidence intervals from the baseline regression imply that school
reopenings across Texas led to at least 43,000 additional COVID-19 cases and at least 800
additional fatalities after two months.
These magnitudes represent 12 percent and 17 percent,
respectively, of the total numbers of cases and deaths in the state during that period.
Is it a 4 month set or a 2 month?

If it's 4 month, it's a bit more reasonable. Mid-November was the start of our winter spike. If it's two month, I'm super skeptical.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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After reading the whole thing, the math goes over my head, but the overall point doesn't make much sense.

The overall point is that because kids were in school, it allowed parents to leave home and have more social interaction.

The data doesn't seem to fit that. It's data searching for an hypothesis.

90% of Texas schools were open in September... yet we didn't see the effects until Mid-November. In addition, we see no "return to school" issues in February.

I'd take this paper with a huge grain of salt.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

noxiousdog wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 2:28 pm I'd take this paper with a huge grain of salt.
Well, it is a bunch of economists without any input from public health researchers, so yeah, that's a given. :D

The math is over my head too.

In truth, I shared it because it's the first attempt I've seen to connect this policy (schools open/closed) to COVID-19 rates in a community. Yes, they're theorizing on why adults are out and about (work? socializing?) when kids are in school but I think there's strong reason to believe in the connections as we now argue over why people aren't returning to work, namely that childcare is a factor (for kids not attending or living in communities where f/t school is an option).

I actually haven't seen chatter among my PH people about this study, though I suspect it's coming. I do think it's important to make connections between policy and the bigger-picture implications and here, I *think* their core message is important:
For these reasons, debate about school openings and mitigation strategies will therefore likely continue to persist into the 2021-2022 school year, and our results provide important information that can help inform that debate. In particular, the CDC guidelines say that schools can reopen if community spread is low and considerable precautions are taken. Our study is not necessarily at odds with that guidance; instead, it simply shows that school reopenings are not always safe if those conditions are not met.
It speaks to what I've said in other discussions. Everyone seems to be focused on part of the message "Schools should be open" instead of understanding there's a huge * at the end of that sentiment, requiring (1) community compliance with recommended protocols and (2) low levels of circulating virus. My impression (particularly local to me) is the general public is only focused on schools being open and unwilling to accept what that requires.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by noxiousdog »

Smoove_B wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 4:34 pm
noxiousdog wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 2:28 pm I'd take this paper with a huge grain of salt.
Well, it is a bunch of economists without any input from public health researchers, so yeah, that's a given. :D
I did notice the irony.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

As noted in the gas thread, prices for everything are going up but there is no inflation because price increases are caused by something other than inflation. Nothing to see here.

The numbers: Consumer prices rose sharply again in April and drove the rate of inflation to the highest level in nearly 13 years, signaling greater stress on the economy as businesses grapple with supply shortages that are raising the cost of many goods and services.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Octavious »

Pretty much everything is in shortage right now. It's going to be a fun couple of years for sure. :? When house prices in my town are skyrocketing you know things are getting weird. :lol:
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Blackhawk »

Time, I think, to buckle down and ride it out.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »


WeWork's CEO tells WSJ there is an easy way for companies to spot their most engaged employees: They’re the ones who want to come back to the office. “Those who are least engaged are very comfortable working from home,” he said.
I'd love for a series of investigative reporters to do an analysis of corporate real estate obligations and see if there's any correlation between companies that are up to their eyeballs in rental and mortgage fees with wanting workers back in the office. In a world of awful sentiments to express, this CEO is striving for top billing.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by TheMix »

Considering that essentially ALL of my company's IT and development resources work from home, most of them in other states, he can go @#$% himself. Some of us are comfortable working from home and engaged.

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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Isgrimnur »

WeWork is still a thing?
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by stimpy »

TheMix wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 1:31 pm Some of us are comfortable working from home and engaged.
he says while posting on a forum during working hours.......
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by TheMix »

stimpy wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 2:51 pm
TheMix wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 1:31 pm Some of us are comfortable working from home and engaged.
he says while posting on a forum during working hours.......
Oh. The wit! Ha. Ha. Too funny. You are a treasure. Such insight. Such nuance. Such cleverness. I am undone.

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Isgrimnur - Facebook makes you hate your friends and family. LinkedIn makes you hate you co-workers. NextDoor makes you hate your neighbors.
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geezer
Posts: 7403
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:52 pm
Location: Yeeha!

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by geezer »

Smoove_B wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 12:01 pm

I swear, I'm not picking on TX. :wink:
You should. This is a shit state with the government it deserves. I'd be outta here in a millisecond if my wife would leave.
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coopasonic
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Location: Dallas-ish

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by coopasonic »

geezer wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 3:11 pm
Smoove_B wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 12:01 pm

I swear, I'm not picking on TX. :wink:
You should. This is a shit state with the government it deserves. I'd be outta here in a millisecond if my wife would leave.
Yeah the state and local govts can largely go to hell, but for me the combination of employment opportunity, weather and cost of living is hard to match plus in my area the schools are pretty good. My wife won't do snow and requires that I bring her piles of money.
-Coop
Black Lives Matter
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