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The Viral Economy

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LawBeefaroni
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Smoove_B wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:00 pm It's likely another data point, but I have more than one extended family members squarely in the Boomer demographic that are *irate* over the idea of student loan debt forgiveness. It's apparently a hard line they will not accept under any conditions.
It's not "forgiveness". It's a bailout. Because the lenders aren't going to forgive the loans. The government will pay them off.

As long as we're honest about what it is and who's paying for it, we can talk. Are we cool with lenders and universities profiting handsomely while we get stuck with the bill?
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Paingod »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:36 pmAs long as we're honest about what it is and who's paying for it, we can talk. Are we cool with lenders and universities profiting handsomely while we get stuck with the bill?
Are we also cool with a whole generation of students trying to enter a workforce where burger flippers need Bachelor's degrees and those come with crushing debt?

I'm fine with making state college basic 4-year degrees a free option, and it doesn't piss me off that I had to pay my way before them. If a basic 4-year degree is free, we should eliminate standing debt for them.

I did a remote tabletop game with a few guys from Malta for a year or so, and those folks get paid to go to school, never mind student debt. The US's fixation with debt is disturbing. There's a reason that we're sliding down the scale of "first world nations" on so many fronts.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Carpet_pissr wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:59 pmI think it's safe to say you should NOT be comparing against these numbers, but use something more concrete to figure out if you are "on track" or not. Seriously though, something seems very off with those numbers. Can we (*cough*) check against a different source? :D
This stuff comes from the retirement companies and Federal reserve data. You aren't going to find a better data source or one that says much different. It's a stark picture. We are more than 40 years into the 401K regime and it objectively is a failure and is almost certainly driving more inequality. The problem with the housing angle is that you still need a place to live. If you sell your house for example and pocket the $200K you still have to buy/rent and *live* on that small nest egg.
LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:36 pmAs long as we're honest about what it is and who's paying for it, we can talk. Are we cool with lenders and universities profiting handsomely while we get stuck with the bill?
Isn't this the American dream now? Hoping you can lobby to socialize your externalities?
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

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.

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Re: The Viral Economy

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Paingod wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:47 pm
LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:36 pmAs long as we're honest about what it is and who's paying for it, we can talk. Are we cool with lenders and universities profiting handsomely while we get stuck with the bill?
Are we also cool with a whole generation of students trying to enter a workforce where burger flippers need Bachelor's degrees and those come with crushing debt?
Are they really? I'm hiring for a $55K entry-level job (around $100K total comp) and I have applicants wanting $75K and demanding WFH. I'll hire an associate's or dropout and put them through a BA program if they want it.
Paingod wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:47 pm I'm fine with making state college basic 4-year degrees a free option, and it doesn't piss me off that I had to pay my way before them. If a basic 4-year degree is free, we should eliminate standing debt for them.
That's a fine plan moving forward. But how do you wipe out $1.7T in existing debt? I have yet to hear a concrete plan for this.
Paingod wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:47 pmI did a remote tabletop game with a few guys from Malta for a year or so, and those folks get paid to go to school, never mind student debt. The US's fixation with debt is disturbing. There's a reason that we're sliding down the scale of "first world nations" on so many fronts.
Did they tell you that their tax rate is 35% if you make over €60K? Or that they only have one university and you need to test to get in? I think their entire education system, top to bottom has roughly the amount of students as Chicagoland.

They're also an EU nation. I'm fine with the Malta Plan but we'd have to do more than just say, "let's pay people to go to school!". It would require funding to do so and some degree of nationalizing universities and colleges, as well as eliminating a large number and accepting that not everyone who wants to go can.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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malchior wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:53 pm
LawBeefaroni wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:36 pmAs long as we're honest about what it is and who's paying for it, we can talk. Are we cool with lenders and universities profiting handsomely while we get stuck with the bill?
Isn't this the American dream now? Hoping you can lobby to socialize your externalities?
Kind of. The present American dream is to live comfortably on family or public funds until you get nasty rich live-streaming or YouTubing.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:51 amDid they tell you that their tax rate is 35% if you make over €60K?
They're also an EU nation. I'm fine with the Malta Plan but we'd have to do more than just say, "let's pay people to go to school!"
I've had this discussion in depth when my previous employer stood up a European practice. Their tax rate is indeed much higher up until you figure in the comparable health care costs. They then start to become competitive despite the higher tax rates. In fact, we were able to offer company cars, internet access, and phones to some employees at salaries comparable to the United States since the phenomena becomes that their salaries end up being a bit lower overall. It's a very different model overall. Our model has just spiraled a bit out of control and become internationally uncompetitive. As a US company my former employer simply couldn't compete in Europe and it 99% was because of health care costs.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LordMortis »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:02 pmKind of. The present American dream is to live comfortably on family or public funds until you get nasty rich live-streaming or YouTubing.
I think the American Dream is to: be an entrepreneur who gets funded so you can cash in or cash out, be a trust fund baby, or win at stocks/gambling. (not invest well but win at stocks)
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Re: The Viral Economy

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malchior wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:28 pm
LawBeefaroni wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:51 amDid they tell you that their tax rate is 35% if you make over €60K?
They're also an EU nation. I'm fine with the Malta Plan but we'd have to do more than just say, "let's pay people to go to school!"
I've had this discussion in depth when my previous employer stood up a European practice. Their tax rate is indeed much higher up until you figure in the comparable health care costs. They then start to become competitive despite the higher tax rates. In fact, we were able to offer company cars, internet access, and phones to some employees at salaries comparable to the United States since the phenomena becomes that their salaries end up being a bit lower overall. It's a very different model overall. Our model has just spiraled a bit out of control and become internationally uncompetitive. As a US company my former employer simply couldn't compete in Europe and it 99% was because of health care costs.
I edited a bit specific to Malta. They have just one University and are a nation of about half a million. The education piece is a.lot easier for them to manage.



Yeah, healthcare costs are a huge problem. But it's not just the healthcare, it's the expectation that there is no putting a limit on healthcare. Some of the outliers in our current system are absolutely insane in terms of dollars. I have yet to see a proper comparison of utilization to cost statistics between the US and other nations at a procedure or even diagnosis level. I suspect that while our base costs are higher, an even bigger driver is outlier expenses.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

LawBeefaroni wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:52 pmYeah, healthcare costs are a huge proe. k But it's not just the healthcare, it's the expectation that there is no putting a limit on healthcare. Some of the outliers in our current system are absolutely insane in terms of dollars. I have yet to see a proper comparison of utilization to cost statistics between the US and other nations at a procedure or even diagnosis level. I suspect that while our base costs are higher, an even bigger driver is outlier expenses.
I'm sure it is. We spend 150% per capita compared to peer OECD nations. I'd totally expect outliers to drive that like we'd see in any bloated, inefficient infrastructure as well as an outsized amount of billing/services fraud. We keep dancing around that issue and it steals dollars that could possibly be used to fund education or other social initiatives.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Re: The Viral Economy

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McConnell Opposes $1,400 Stimulus Checks Because He Thinks People Could Stop Working

So would he stop working if he got $1400? If so Im sure someone would give it to him.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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:lol: I hate them all so much. Right that 1,400 could last years! Looks like I'll end up getting something which I can use to pay my taxes which were horribly off this year. Yayyy
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Without wanting to give McConnell the time to give him a chance, under normal circumstances I'd want context and assume this is about extending unemployment and increasing benefits, as if $400 a week in umployment is enough to make you not want to work for a living. However, I can't even give him or his party that blind benefit any more.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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McConnell doesn't think people will stop working. Or more accurately, he doesn't care one way or the other. It's just the best way to sell his obstructionist, save-the-pork agenda to people who do believe that.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Ding! Especially the part about him caring.

As has been mentioned many times before, he cares only to the extent that it furthers/maintains his personal power.

He’s very Trumpy that way.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:12 am I woke up this morning to a notification of deposit - my stimulus payment arrived. $600, again skipping both of my kids, 17 and 19. Because they based 'child' on the Child Tax Credit, 17 year olds aren't counted as either adults or minors, so they don't get a check. My eldest, at 19, was claimed as a dependent last year, so he falls into the other gap - adult dependents. It's the gap that prevents a majority of college students from receiving it, too. The democrats tried to change it so that they didn't base their definitions on the tax code, but the GOP blocked it. And yet I still have to pay for food, clothing, utilities, and everything else for both of them.

We'll survive it. We still have two incomes, so it isn't like we're going to starve, but it still aggravating that as broke as we are, and as in debt as we've become over the past few years, we've already lost $2200 this year (two sets of stimulus checks that have skipped the kids) compared to everyone around us. $2200 is enough to have a significant impact for us.
I'm hesitant to get your hopes up, but the current stimulus plan appears poised to include adult dependents in the checks they are sending.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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I was hoping the current package would renew the CARES act suspension of the "non-qualified" retirement withdrawal penalty. I looked through the details (without actually reading the bill), but didn't see mention of it. That kind of surprised me.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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They worked the whole night and Machin was able to delay the whole thing 8 or 9 hours to force unemployment support from $400 to $300 a week. It's really hard not to be cynical about this. It stinks that they have to struggle to pass a wildly popular measure.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Economists are swiftly upgrading their US growth forecasts as Covid vaccinations accelerate and after Washington enacted a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that is far larger than many thought possible just a few months ago.

Goldman Sachs is calling for 2021 US GDP growth of 6.9%, the fastest since 1984. Morgan Stanley is even more bullish, predicting 7.3% growth. That would surpass the Chinese government's humble target of 6%. More importantly, these Wall Street estimates for the US' pace are not far from the 8.4% consensus forecast for China among economists polled by Refinitiv.

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Re: The Viral Economy

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Wow. Talk about not giving a damn about job security.


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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

I guess this is the viral economy? Remember when GOP officials screamed that the President and the federal government shouldn't be handing out aid to Blue states to help them deal with poorly managed budgets? You might want to sit down, but Ohio is suing the Biden administration to be able to use their federal money to lower state taxes.
The American Rescue Plan appropriates $195.3 billion in aid to states, and Ohio’s share is about $5.5 billion. Like every other state, Ohio has the option to turn down the funds. If it does decide to take this free money, however, it must comply with a provision of the law specifying that “a State or territory shall not use the funds provided under this section ... to either directly or indirectly offset a reduction in the net tax revenue of such State or territory.”

Essentially, Congress wanted to make sure the money it provided to help states fund public programs would actually go to fund public programs, not to cut taxes.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Is this by any chance the same Ohio that is running plentiful ads during the NCAA tournament touting its low taxes?
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Re: The Viral Economy

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I am skeptical that low taxes will lure people to move to an armpit.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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CDC extends eviction deadline through June.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended the national ban on evictions through the end of June.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The eviction ban was scheduled to expire in two days, and advocates warned of a spike in evictions without an extension.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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I had a suboptimal takeout experience tonight. The details are whiny and uninteresting. The gist is that the restaurant appeared to be mostly full, there was a steady parade of people going in and out for takeout, and the curbside pickup area was fully parked-up. This mediocre chain restaurant (Chili's) was slammed on a Tuesday night and my pickup order was 20 minutes late...and fulfilled wrong...and not very good. (I told you it was whiny.)

Over the past few weeks Massholes have agreed to pretend that the pandemic is over, and every surviving restaurant in MA is now scrambling to hire and train workers. For their part, a substantial number of former restaurant workers have either moved on to other things or decided that food service just sucks too much to go back to. And extended unemployment benefits are reducing the pressure to take the first available opening. (This paragraph is supported by a Boston Globe story that ran last week.)

Demand is going to skyrocket as more and more people get fully vaccinated. Going into a restaurant again is high on my to-do list when I reach maximum immunity in about 6 weeks. I wonder if any business sector has ever gone from bust to boom as quickly as hospitality is reviving.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Kraken wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:40 pm I wonder if any business sector has ever gone from bust to boom as quickly as hospitality is reviving.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Kraken wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:40 pmI had a suboptimal takeout experience tonight.
During the medium-scale lockdown in our state, we felt it might be safe enough to try supporting the Chinese restaurant we enjoyed visiting pre-pandemic so they knew people still cared and wanted them around.

The takeout was so disgusting that we'll likely never go back. I get that things were tight and labor was short (they had one person taking orders and cooking), but they shouldn't be serving rice from 3 days ago that's already been reheated twice (that was the most edible thing). If they couldn't meet their usual quality standards - or any kind of standard - they should have closed.
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The Viral Economy

Post by Carpet_pissr »

Just as true now as it was when the weekly unemployment $$ went up last year - you’ve got cooks and bussers at restaurants making $7.5/hr (prob double that in Mass) or whatever min wage is, in a hot box with grease and people yelling at them to speed up.

Or they can stay home and play Xbox and smoke weed for $15/hr.

I’m sure this varies from state to state (or more granular), but I think you’re going to get a garbage restaurant experience from the big airport chains (chili’s for example) on down right now.

Higher end places seem to be doing better.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LordMortis »

One would think that a sign of the inflation to come. We'll see. I thought it interesting the CNBC was noting inflation probability this morning and speculating what I have been saying for years, that our inflation measures our out of touch with the reality of the cost of living. They confirm my perceptions so they must be telling the truth.

I do wonder when the 1 2 punch of taxes and inflation is going to come to call and hard. They have to, don't they? It was a price we had to be willing to pay to get through the last year. When do we pay it?
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Carpet_pissr wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:57 am Just as true now as it was when the weekly unemployment $$ went up last year - you’ve got cooks and bussers at restaurants making $7.5/hr (prob double that in Mass) or whatever min wage is, in a hot box with grease and people yelling at them to speed up.

Or they can stay home and play Xbox and smoke weed for $15/hr.

I’m sure this varies from state to state (or more granular), but I think you’re going to get a garbage restaurant experience from the big airport chains (chili’s for example) on down right now.

Higher end places seem to be doing better.
Wait until rent moratorium is up and this insane real estate pricing hits them. They'll have to collect unemployment and work under the table just to have a roof over their heads.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Carpet_pissr wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:57 am Just as true now as it was when the weekly unemployment $$ went up last year - you’ve got cooks and bussers at restaurants making $7.5/hr (prob double that in Mass) or whatever min wage is, in a hot box with grease and people yelling at them to speed up.

Or they can stay home and play Xbox and smoke weed for $15/hr.

I’m sure this varies from state to state (or more granular), but I think you’re going to get a garbage restaurant experience from the big airport chains (chili’s for example) on down right now.

Higher end places seem to be doing better.
Minimum wage in MA is $13.50/hr this year (on its way up to $15). Tipped workers can be paid as little as $5.55 as long as their tips bring the total to $13.50. MA also has the most generous unemployment benefits in the US, topping out at $823 plus $25 per dependent, plus the federal supplement.

Here's another story that ran today about the difficulty of hiring seasonal help on the Cape, which is facing a banner year.
Hiring seasonal workers to make beds and wash dishes has long been a challenge, even in the best of times. But with the arrival of a crucial foreign workforce potentially delayed due to just-lifted visa restrictions, and locals content to keep collecting enhanced unemployment checks as COVID keeps spreading — including a current spike in positive cases on the Cape — business owners are struggling more than usual to get their staffs in place. And the prospect of being overwhelmed by a stampede of vacation-starved tourists is putting some of them on edge.

“We believe that everybody who was in COVID jail for the last year — and rightfully so — is going to be released from house arrest and they’re going to be wild,” said Sarah Robin, owner of the Flying Fish restaurant in Wellfleet. “Frankly, we’re nervous.”

Bookings are way up at hotels and rental properties from spring through fall. As of late March, reservations for Cape and Islands properties were up more than 73 percent this year over each of the three years prior to the pandemic, according to the listing site WeNeedAVacation.com. With more people getting vaccinated but still avoiding metropolitan areas and international travel, drivable beach vacations are in a sweet spot. And between the lack of spending on leisure activities in the past year and a round of freshly deposited stimulus checks, some people have money to burn.

About a quarter of the 20,000-plus seasonal workforce on the Cape is made up of foreign workers here on H-2B or J-1 visas, which were suspended last spring after the pandemic hit. The ban expired last week, which could create a logjam at US consulates, many of which are still operating at reduced capacity, as workers who haven’t been able to apply for visas try to start scheduling interviews, said Nate Riccardi, an immigration lawyer in Framingham.

For those able to secure a visa, travel restrictions remain in place for a number of countries. People who don’t qualify for an exception can’t travel directly to the United States from several countries where COVID-19 variants have emerged, including South Africa, for instance, where a significant number of Cape H-2B workers come from. They would instead have to travel to another country without travel restrictions and quarantine for 14 days before entering the United States. All foreign travelers are required to show proof of a recent negative COVID test or recovery before boarding a flight to the United States, even if they’ve been vaccinated.

“Coming to the US is still difficult right now for many foreign workers,” Riccardi said. “It leaves many US employers in a tough spot.”
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Jaymann »


Sorry, but I will never pay for anything through my phone. It is only a matter of time until the hackers start stealing.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by YellowKing »

I'd do that in a heartbeat. The less people I have to deal with on a shopping trip, the better.
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Re: The Viral Economy

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Jaymann wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:50 pm Sorry, but I will never pay for anything through my phone. It is only a matter of time until the hackers start stealing.
Those stores use cameras to track your movements and what you take. The phone is just used for charging your account using NFC. It's like when you are able to tap your credit card instead of swiping it.
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Jaymann »

stessier wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:13 pm
Jaymann wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:50 pm Sorry, but I will never pay for anything through my phone. It is only a matter of time until the hackers start stealing.
Those stores use cameras to track your movements and what you take. The phone is just used for charging your account using NFC. It's like when you are able to tap your credit card instead of swiping it.
Understood. I just refuse to put any financial access on my phone. Credit cards can be handled if abused. Maybe I need a tin foil hat, but it only takes one breach to ruin your whole day.
Jaymann
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LordMortis
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by LordMortis »

I am loath to put any financial data on my phone. Not sure what will change my aging and addled mind on this. The only reason I have a smart phone is because I was forced to take a work smart phone. It is not unreasonable to think I will retreat from such things when they are not required for work. We'll see how handy and how much of modern society I believe it to be necessary to have when that time comes. (I do like the idea of a checkoutless shopping experience)
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Alefroth
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Alefroth »

Jaymann wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:50 pm
Sorry, but I will never pay for anything through my phone. It is only a matter of time until the hackers start stealing.
What does it do if you just eat it in the store?
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Jaymann
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Jaymann »

Alefroth wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:56 pm
Jaymann wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:50 pm
Sorry, but I will never pay for anything through my phone. It is only a matter of time until the hackers start stealing.
What does it do if you just eat it in the store?
Call Bezos? LOL that was also my first thought.
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YellowKing
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Re: The Viral Economy

Post by YellowKing »

FWIW, I've been hacked twice from swiping my debit card at the counter, but never by paying through my phone. In my personal track record, mobile is actually safer than paying at the register.

That said, to each his own. My mom still refuses to even buy anything online with a debit card.
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